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  • Trump spurns traditional debate prep with first faceoff less than 3 weeks away


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has not held a single mock debate session, and has no plans to stage a formal practice round, as he readies for his first faceoff with Joe Biden in less than three weeks, according to multiple people familiar with the discussions.

    The president has dismissed the typical debate preparations he participated in four years ago, joking to aides and allies that he’s been preparing for debates since he was born. His ability to fire back at an opponent in real time, he’s argued, “isn’t something you have to practice.”

    Instead, Trump has so far chosen to prepare through informal discussions with key allies and with briefings from top officials in his administration on various topics that are likely to come up, these people said.

    “It’s not the traditional, ‘we need Chris Christie to fill in and play Hillary Clinton’ like we did four years ago,” one of the president’s allies said, referring to the former New Jersey governor who has helped Trump prepare in the past.

    The lack of formal preparation is notable given how much emphasis Trump’s team has put on the debates. His allies have pushed for more of them beyond the scheduled three. And his re-election campaign was so concerned about early voting that it even pushed the Commission on Presidential Debates to schedule a debate earlier than the first one Sept. 29, but that idea was quickly rejected.

    Not all of the president’s allies think his casual approach is a wise strategy. Privately, some of them are expressing concern that the president’s overconfidence could backfire.

    In particular, they’re worried that Trump appears to be banking on a Biden misstep in the first 2020 debate; all the three debates are scheduled for 90 minutes each. They said Trump has repeatedly told aides that he’s not worried about debating Biden because the former vice president is likely to have a gaffe moment or stutter. Biden had a severe stutter as a child that he overcame.

    These advisers point to former President Barack Obama, the last incumbent to square off on a debate stage, who took a similarly overconfident approach to the first debate in his 2012 re-election campaign and was widely seen as being bested by his opponent, Mitt Romney. They also note that Romney prepared extensively and was seen as losing the second and third debates with Obama.

    Trump’s allies said he plans to head into the debate with some talking points but has resisted practicing a series of scripted exchanges. The president doesn’t want to be told precisely what to say on specific issues, they said.

    Underscoring the shift from 2016, Christie met with Trump last month at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to discuss some debate strategy. The meeting also included the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien. And Trump has held other debate discussions while flying on Air Force One or sitting at his desk in the Oval Office.

    But, as one adviser put it, “He’s not standing at the podium” in those instances, and no one is playing Biden.

    Other allies involved in debate discussions with the president include White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller.

    Trump’s aides have provided him with details of Biden’s record, including his support for a crime bill in the 1990s and his recent comments on policing. The president also has been advised to point out policy inconsistencies between Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris.

    Trump has discussed foreign policy issues that might come up in the debate with national security adviser Robert O’Brien and economic issues with adviser Larry Kudlow.

    But Trump’s focus on the debate shifted several weeks ago toward preparing for the Republican National Convention and hasn’t moved back, people close to the president said.

    The president’s allies who are supportive of his cavalier approach argue that Trump is best off the cuff, and that he’s preparing regularly by holding news conferences with the White House press corps.
    Link
    _____________
    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

    Comment


    • firestorm,

      If Biden loses in November it will be because the mid-western states were too scared of far-left politics (riots hitting too close to home with little condemnation (and active support in some cases from the Dems.) It won't be because Biden wasn't left enough. So you seem to be suggesting that if he loses, the Dems will take the wrong lessons from the loss and screw themselves over for the next couple of elections too by doubling down on their mistakes.
      not the "Dems" as a whole, but the left-wing. they might not necessarily win -- they haven't won that fight since the 1980s -- but they will certainly be enraged that they had to eat the electability argument and nothing came of it.

      they'll point to the fact that Trump ran twice on destroying the system and WON twice.

      it's essentially the same set of arguments the GOP had post-2012, even if the structure of the GOP/Dems are so different that the political incentives are completely different.

      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

      Comment


      • I can't seem to find the full-page ads taken out by retired military officers denouncing The Trumpet's comments about veterans and war dead.
        It's almost as bad as the total lack of shame among GOPers.
        Trust me?
        I'm an economist!

        Comment


        • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
          [SIZE=16px][B]

          The president’s allies who are supportive of his cavalier approach argue that Trump is best off the cuff, and that he’s preparing regularly by holding news conferences with the White House press corps.
          Link
          Preparing by holding news conferences with the White House reporters. Ok, so that means his debate will consist of lies and grievances cause I haven't seen anything factual. Should be interesting.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by astralis View Post
            firestorm,



            not the "Dems" as a whole, but the left-wing. they might not necessarily win -- they haven't won that fight since the 1980s -- but they will certainly be enraged that they had to eat the electability argument and nothing came of it.

            they'll point to the fact that Trump ran twice on destroying the system and WON twice.

            it's essentially the same set of arguments the GOP had post-2012, even if the structure of the GOP/Dems are so different that the political incentives are completely different.
            Problem is if what you say happens, and I agree that it might, the Dems are going to be screwing themselves out of power for a while. Just the nature of the electoral college reality for them unfortunately.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by DOR View Post
              I can't seem to find the full-page ads taken out by retired military officers denouncing The Trumpet's comments about veterans and war dead.
              It's almost as bad as the total lack of shame among GOPers.
              Not our style.
              Chimo

              Comment


              • Originally posted by DOR View Post
                I can't seem to find the full-page ads taken out by retired military officers denouncing The Trumpet's comments about veterans and war dead.
                It's almost as bad as the total lack of shame among GOPers.
                As the colonel said, not the style of military officers, especially not those in liberal Western democracies.
                Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                Comment


                • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                  As the colonel said, not the style of military officers, especially not those in liberal Western democracies.
                  And no bad thing that. There is value in some retired individuals becoming involved in government, but as a whole I'm happy for retired officers to stay out of politics.
                  sigpic

                  Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Bigfella View Post

                    And no bad thing that. There is value in some retired individuals becoming involved in government, but as a whole I'm happy for retired officers to stay out of politics.
                    Exactly gentlemen....we stay out of politics as a rule.

                    And I really wish the press would stop referring to Mattis and Kelly as general. They should be called Secretary as those were the highest offices they held.

                    I mean until his death Truman referred to Marshall as Secretary as the general had serves as a cabinet secretary twice in Truman's administrations.

                    If iy was good enough for Marshall....
                    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                    Mark Twain

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

                      Exactly gentlemen....we stay out of politics as a rule.

                      And I really wish the press would stop referring to Mattis and Kelly as general. They should be called Secretary as those were the highest offices they held.

                      I mean until his death Truman referred to Marshall as Secretary as the general had serves as a cabinet secretary twice in Truman's administrations.

                      If iy was good enough for Marshall....
                      Maybe Mattis & Kelly would rather forget their last jobs & just be referred to as 'General'. I suspect there are quite a few folk who served in this Administration who will be leaving a few gaps in their resumes. ;)
                      sigpic

                      Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by WABs_OOE View Post
                        Not our style.
                        Surely "Not their style"?

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by snapper View Post

                          Surely "Not their style"?
                          What the Colonel meant was that as a recent history tradition in Western democracies that military/naval officers, both active and retired, do not regularly comment on political matters unless there are gross political irregularities.

                          It is to avoid any appearance of the military interference in civil government. We do not overstep our civilian masters.

                          So, yes, for folks like the Colonel and me it is very much a WE.
                          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                          Mark Twain

                          Comment


                          • A worthy principle. Thankyou.

                            Comment


                            • General Wesley Clark, kinda blew that principle up.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                                General Wesley Clark, kinda blew that principle up.
                                For which he was roundly criticized within military circles.

                                However there is nothing which precludes running for office.

                                “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                                Mark Twain

                                Comment

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