As concerns among Democrats and liberal media outlets rise that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s apparent mental decline would hamper him during debates with President Donald Trump, some are calling for them to be conditioned on ways that would advantage the former vice president.
In a Tuesday column, New York Times writer Thomas Friedman suggested that Biden shouldn’t debate Trump unless two conditions were first met:
First, Biden should declare that he will take part in a debate only if Trump releases his tax returns for 2016 through 2018. Biden has already done so…
And second, Biden should insist that a real-time fact-checking team approved by both candidates be hired by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates — and that 10 minutes before the scheduled conclusion of the debate this team report on any misleading statements, phony numbers or outright lies either candidate had uttered.
Republicans have blasted such calls as ludicrous and another example of the ‘mainstream’ media working to shield the gaffe-prone Biden from an aggressive President Trump.
Others — including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas — have used the opportunity to poke fun at Friedman’s conditions.
“Biden’s two conditions: (1) the debate must occur in his basement, and (2) it cannot be televised or broadcast to anyone in America,” Cruz wrote in response to the Friedman piece.
Biden’s two conditions: (1) the debate must occur in his basement, and (2) it cannot be televised or broadcast to anyone in America. https://t.co/3lMA5zyv9R
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 9, 2020
The Friedman column, and the mocking response by Cruz and others that it generated — comes as Democrats and their media allies push to have debates scrubbed altogether.
“Only if leading into the debate, American voters have a clear picture of Trump’s tax returns alongside Biden’s, and only if, coming out of the debate, they have a clear picture of who was telling the truth and who was not, will they be able to make a fair judgment between the two candidates,” Friedman writes, without mentioning that presidential contenders are not required by the Constitution to disclose financial records.
“That kind of debate and only that kind of debate would be worthy of voters’ consideration and Biden’s participation. Otherwise, Joe, stay in your basement,” Friedman added.
“The New York Times is already making up excuses for Biden ducking the debates,” National Pulse editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam noted on Twitter.
The New York Times is already making up excuses for Biden ducking the debates. pic.twitter.com/6u4MunifZb
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) July 8, 2020
“Thomas Friedman should’ve deleted his account after he called the Internet a fad that would go away,” Ian Miles Cheong, the editor of Human Events, responded.
Thomas Friedman should’ve deleted his account after he called the Internet a fad that would go away.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 8, 2020
Fox News host Tucker Carlson said during his Wednesday program that Democrats do not want Biden to debate Trump because the former VP is allegedly on track to become president right now because he leads in a series of national polls.
“It turns out Tom Friedman is not really a genius. So, it’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. This is the most cynical election strategy ever devised or ever perpetrated on American voters,” Carlson said.
Hide the candidate until Election Day, the country can find out what’s in the administration after it’s in power, but until then, no appearing in public, and my God, don’t ever tell the truth, he continued.
“So will the Biden campaign take Tom Friedman’s advice? Well, of course, they will take it, because they have no choice. Biden is up in the polls as of right now, so they can’t let him talk. That could wreck everything.”
As for conditions under which Biden should debate, plenty of others on social media offered their suggestions.
His wife and his sister can’t sit or stand too close together. #BidensDebateConditions
— The🐰FOO (@PolitiBunny) July 9, 2020
— P.T. Moore (@N975B) July 9, 2020
#BidensDebateConditions must have gibberish translator.
— LauraE (@frenchgen2) July 9, 2020
#BidensDebateConditions each person allowed a cut man in their corners in a surprise move Biden requests Corn Pop
— ← scoπ’s †wεε† 1776 (@imstudwe1l) July 9, 2020
Only dog-faced pony soldiers will be allowed to post the colors. #BidensDebateConditions
— Mike (@BadKarma5555) July 9, 2020
Unlimited mulligans #BidensDebateConditions
— Holly Briden (@HollyBriden) July 9, 2020
There will be no discussion of, you know, the thing. #BidensDebateConditions
— ⚾️ Is It Opening Day Yet? ⚾️ #NatsFan Carla (@LibertyBelleCJL) July 9, 2020
President Trump must not wear any fragrant shampoo.#BidensDebateConditions
— Tim J (@TTJ_pa) July 9, 2020
Jon is a staff writer for BizPac Review with 30 years’ worth of reporting experience, as well as an author and U.S. Army veteran. He has a BA in political science from Ashford University and an MA in national security studies/intelligence analysis from American Military University.