Sunday, May 19, 2024

Biden's Proposed Terms Reveal His Fear of Debating Trump


AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Joe Biden's debate challenge to Trump was a joke. Despite his projected confidence in his video statement directed at Trump, the terms proposed by the Biden campaign are extremely telling, as they indicate Joe Biden is pushing for debates that are incredibly controlled. 

For starters, the Biden campaign is demanding no live audience, which strikes me as odd. Generally speaking, candidates prefer having an audience they can feel like they're addressing directly. Another demand is that microphones be off when it's not a candidate's turn to speak and that they be cut when they go over their time limit.

Oh yeah, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. can't participate.

The letter by the Biden campaign lays out for the first time the president’s terms for giving Mr. Trump what he has openly clamored for: a televised confrontation with a successor Mr. Trump has portrayed, and hopes to reveal, as too feeble to hold the job. In a Truth Social post on Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump quickly agreed to the two dates proposed by the Biden campaign, although it was unclear whether he would agree to Mr. Biden’s other terms.

Mr. Biden and his top aides want the debates to start much sooner than the dates proposed by the Commission on Presidential Debates, so voters can see the two candidates side by side well before early voting begins in September. They want the debate to occur inside a TV studio, with microphones that automatically cut off when a speaker’s time limit elapses. And they want it to be just the two candidates and the moderator — without the raucous in-person audiences that Mr. Trump feeds on and without the participation of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. or other independent or third-party candidates.

 The Biden campaign is also making demands about which networks can host the debates.

It should only be hosted, Ms. O’Malley Dillon writes, by broadcast organizations that hosted both a Republican primary debate in 2016 in which Mr. Trump participated and a Democratic primary debate in 2020 in which Mr. Biden participated — “so neither campaign can assert that the sponsoring organization is obviously unacceptable.”

Networks that meet that mark include CBS News, ABC News, CNN and Telemundo.

And the debate moderators “should be selected by the broadcast host from among their regular personnel, so as to avoid a ‘ringer’ or partisan,” Ms. O’Malley Dillon adds.

The terms proposed by the Biden campaign seek every possible safeguard to protect him, including only allowing pro-Biden outlets to moderate. While Trump has agreed to debate Biden on his schedule, there is no doubt in my mind that there will be some negotiations on these terms. Trump has already indicated he wants more than two debates, and he wants live audiences. I suspect the issue of which networks can host/moderate will also be a point of contention. Imagine if Donald Trump challenged Biden to debate, but only Fox News, Newsmax, OANN, or The First TV could host and moderate. Biden's campaign wouldn't consent to that, nor should the Trump campaign — which has demanded more bipartisanship and balance in the debates — agree to Biden's terms. 

With the first proposed debate not until the end of June, there is time for the campaigns to negotiate the terms. But when you look at what Biden is proposing, I'm wondering what conditions, if any, they will be flexible on. Biden's campaign is terrified of putting Biden up on a debate stage, and their ridiculous terms are proof.



CNN's Jake Tapper, who called Trump's presidency a 'nightmare,' tapped to moderate presidential debate

By Joseph A. Wulfsohn , Brian Flood | Fox News

CNN's Jake Tapper, who was tapped to co-moderate the first presidential debate between President Biden and former President Trump, has a long history of anti-Trump commentary.  Tapper spent years legitimizing Russiagate before calling the Durham Report 'devastating.' He spearheaded CNN's coverage of the Russian collusion hoax for years that plagued the Trump presidency, but his attitude shifted following the release of the Durham Report. (Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images)

CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who in recent years has become one of the most prominent anti-Trump voices in the liberal media, was selected to moderate CNN’s Presidential Debate between the former president and President Biden.

It was announced Wednesday that Tapper will co-moderate the debate with CNN colleague Dana Bash on June 27 in Atlanta after both candidates agreed to the terms.

But Tapper's hostile coverage of Trump and Republicans will perhaps offer a preview of what Trump should expect going into the key political showdown.

Tapper spearheaded CNN's Russiagate coverage that dominated the early years of Trump's presidency. On January 10, 2017, just 10 days before Trump's inauguration, Tapper co-authored a blockbuster report about the existence of the now-infamous Steele dossier and spent several months legitimizing its claims. 

Even after the release of the Mueller report that failed to find evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, Tapper suggested Trump sounded like "the spokesman for the Kremlin" over comments Trump made about his May 2019 conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Throughout the 2020 presidential election, Tapper became more vocal about his animus towards the then-president. In March 2020, in the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, he said Trump "continues to lie to the American people" about COVID testing at the time. The following month, Tapper retweeted a post from anti-Trump critic George Conway calling Trump "100% insane."

In October 2020, Tapper shamed Trump after he was diagnosed and hospitalized for COVID. 

"Make no mistake, this was not just reckless behavior, this was a demonstration of a wanton disregard for human life. President Trump, now in quarantine, has become a symbol of his own failures," Tapper told CNN viewers. 

Weeks later, after Trump's defeat in the 2020 election, Tapper declared "for tens of millions of our fellow Americans: their long national nightmare is over."

"It's been a time of extreme divisions, many of the divisions caused and exacerbated by President Trump himself," Tapper said in an impassioned monologue

"It's been a time of several significant and utterly avoidable failures, most tragically, of course, the unwillingness to respect facts and science and do everything that could be done to save lives during a pandemic. It has been a time where truth and fact where truth and fact were treated with distain," he continued. "It was a time of cruelty where official inhumanities such as child separation became the official shameful policy of the United States. But now the Trump presidency is coming to an end."

CNN's Jake Tapper and Dana Bash were tapped to moderate the first presidential debate slated for June 27. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Tapper maintained his animosity towards Trump and his supporters long after the 45th president left office. For several months, Tapper banned GOP lawmakers who challenged the results of the 2020 election who he deemed "election liars" from appearing on his programs, despite having written a book titled "Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency" about George W. Bush's election victory in 2000 and routinely inviting Democrats who didn't accept Trump's 2016 victory and other prominent election deniers like former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams onto his shows. 

He even questioned the patriotism of Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., an army veteran who lost both legs in 2010 after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan, after Mast voted against Trump's 2021 impeachment.

"Congressman Brian Mast, a Republican from Florida — who lost his legs, by the way, fighting for democracy abroad, although I don't know... about his commitment to it here in the United States," Tapper told a panel. 

Tapper continued to rail against Trump and Republicans during his brief 2022 stint in primetime, blasting his "unhinged lies" and his "refusal to accept reality… this anti-democracy insanity." He plugged the Jan. 6 Committee's final hearing as "one last chance to try to convince rational Americans about the dangers of the anti-democracy movement."

In December, the liberal CNN anchor declared that "the dehumanizing rhetoric of Adolf Hitler is once again alive and well" while condemning Trump's comments about illegal immigrants "poisoning the blood of our country."

Tapper repeatedly piled on former President Trump during his brief stint in CNN primetime. (Screenshot/CNN)

Meanwhile, Tapper has been far gentler towards Biden and Democrats. In October 2020, he joined the media chorus in avoiding the bombshell revelations from Hunter Biden's laptop, saying "the rightwing is going crazy with all sorts of allegations about [then-candidate] Biden and his family, too disgusting to even repeat here." In 2022, Tapper conducted a softball interview with Biden, which made so little news that it received virtually zero coverage on the five Sunday shows that weekend. 

He had one question pertaining to Hunter Biden's legal woes amid reports that criminal charges against him by the DOJ were imminent, asking the president, "Personally and politically, how do you react to that?" without any followups. 

Last year, Tapper chalked up the Biden family's foreign money transactions uncovered by House Republicans as being "sleazy" but not criminal during a combative exchange with House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky.

Tapper’s primetime debut featuring an exclusive sit-down with President Biden was widely panned as a softball interview. (Screenshot/CNN)

Biden wasn't the only Democrat that Tapper handled with kid gloves. In 2020, Tapper admitted he didn't fact-check Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., while she attacked Trump in an interview. In 2021, Tapper bizarrely would avoid covering the various scandals plaguing then New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on his CNN program but acknowledging them online by retweeting posts.

There was even an instance where Tapper tried to privately convince Republican Sean Parnell not to run against then-incumbent Democrat Rep. Conor Lamb for his House seat during the 2020 election cycle.

Tapper's co-moderator Dana Bash has also been hostile towards Trump and conservatives. In 2022, Bash defended Biden's "semi-fascism" jab against Republicans, insisting he was "specifically talking about Trump supporters," which represents tens of millions of Americans. Earlier this year, she invoked Nazi Germany while condemning Trump's comments slamming Jewish voters who back Democrats, calling what he said "antisemitic and incredibly dangerous." 

CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment. 

Also announced on Wednesday was a second debate to be hosted by ABC on Sept. 10, which will be moderated by anchors David Muir and Linsey Davis.