Trump Says Will Debate Biden ‘Anytime, Anyplace’

Former President Donald Trump said at a Tuesday rally in Wisconsin that he will debate President Joe Biden “anytime, anyplace” ahead of the election later this year.

Comically, an empty podium stood to Trump’s right, representing the open invitation to Biden to show up and take the Republican challenger on — as well as his refusal to.

“You can see we have an empty podium right here to my right. You know what that is? That’s for Joe Biden,” Trump said. He continued, saying, “I’m calling on ‘Crooked Joe’ to debate anytime, anyplace. We’ll do it anyway you want, Joe.”

Instead of responding to the challenge directly, the Biden campaign attacked Trump for his legal challenges and the resulting financial hardships, which have been a result of a Democrat-supported onslaught to throw everything including the kitchen sink at Trump — even loose interpretation of the law — to try and prevent him from successfully running for president again.

Biden campaign spokesman Michael Tyler said the display was a “weak merch play from a guy desperate to avoid talking about how he’s got no cash, no campaign infrastructure, and no answer for how his chaotic, divisive and violent campaign is going to win this November.”

In other words, they know Biden can’t stand up to Trump in a debate. In fact, he barely could in 2020, and repeatedly needed the “moderators” to jump in and save him, resulting in Trump essentially debating two people, not one.

The 2024 election faces the extraordinary and very real prospect of there actually being no presidential debate at all.

Not even Vice President Kamala Harris will commit to the idea of Biden debating Trump. When asked after the most recent State of the Union address whether or not Biden would debate, she side-stepped the question and said, “We’ll get to that at some point and we’ll deal with that.”

Biden was later asked directly if he would debate Trump, and he also would not commit. Instead, he attempted to shift the decision off of him and on to Trump, saying, “It depends on his behavior.”

Speaking of “behavior,” Joe Biden walked all over Paul Ryan in the 2012 vice-presidential debate, back when he still had his wits about him. The moderator allowed it all as Biden interrupted, laughed and mocked Ryan repeatedly all throughout the debate, to the point where Ryan could hardly make a single point. His portrayal of himself as a dignified speaker that respects the rules of debate is in stark contrast with his history, but nevertheless, it is a favorite Democrat talking point that Trump is “mean.”

Holding on to imagined caricatures may be Biden’s best play at this point, since he can’t debate Trump in any substantive way. Polling shows Biden’s advantage dangerously slipping in numerous swing states.

While running from a debate with Trump is certainly a loss for Biden, it is clear Democrat strategists know that debating him outright risks an even bigger loss if they cannot control the picture the debate would create. While Democrats have been successful in crafting their image through the filter of a favorable mainstream media, getting on stage with Trump is surely a minefield they would loathe to face.