Since cinching up his party’s presidential nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden has been at the center of bipartisan speculation regarding whether he would agree to debate President Donald Trump ahead of Election Day.
As rumors continue to swirl about a possible cancellation by the Democrat, Trump is officially requesting that his general-election rival confirms in writing that he will commit to an in-person debate, as Breitbart reports.
“I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation”
A narrative within the Democratic Party began to surface earlier this summer that Biden would be better served by avoiding a debate.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was among those making such an argument, attempting to portray Trump as unworthy of Biden’s time.
“I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that anybody has any association with truth, evidence, data, and facts,” she said last month, according to NBC News. “I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him, nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States.”
Biden and his campaign quickly responded to reiterate that he intended to participate in presidential debates.
“I have every confidence in Joe Biden,” Pelosi later said of her recommendation. “Why I said he shouldn’t debate [Trump] has nothing to do with Joe Biden. Joe Biden will be great. He is great as a debater.”
“I can hardly wait to compare”
Nevertheless, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani sent a request to the Commission on Presidential Debates to confirm Biden’s participation.
“The public discussion of canceling the debate schedule should not be allowed to continue unchecked,” the former New York mayor wrote, according to Breitbart. “Written assurance of Joe Biden’s attendance at debates is important because we have seen this act before.”
Biden has faced open speculation throughout the campaign that he is suffering from some level of cognitive decline, though he continues to maintain that he is physically and mentally fit to serve as president.
“I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against,” he said last month.
Plenty of critics who are skeptical of Biden’s ability to hold his own against Trump, however, are betting on a different outcome.