US presidential elections

Why did Nancy Pelosi say there shouldn't be debates between Trump and Biden?

Nancy Pelosi has suggested that Donald Trump would use any presidential election debates to act in a manner "beneath the dignity of the presidency."

Why did Nancy Pelosi say there shouldn't be debates between Trump and Biden?
RONDA CHURCHILL AFP

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has escalated the war of words between Democrats and Republicans amid an impasse over a fresh coronavirus stimulus package and just weeks from the November presidential elections by suggesting Joe Biden should avoid any public debates with White House incumbent Donald Trump so as not to “legitimize” any conversations with the US president, who she stated would use the opportunity if it arose to “act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency.”

Pelosi, the senior Democrat in Congress and one of the four chief negotiators working on the contentious fifth stimulus package, which is currently on the shelf due to deadlocked talks between her party and Republicans, cited Trump’s “disgraceful” attacks on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign for the Oval Office. Recapping one pre-election dust-up between Trump and Clinton in October 2016, BBC North America reporter Anthony Zurcher termed the debate “easily the most tawdry exchange in 56 years of televised presidential debates.”

Pelosi suggests Biden avoid firebrand Trump

Perhaps wary of unleashing an increasingly belligerent Trump on Democratic hopeful Biden, Pelosi told reporters she believed both candidates should answer questions put to them individually rather than run the risk of being dragged into a mud slinging contest. “They should have a conversation with the American people” instead of “an exercise in skullduggery,” Pelosi opined.

“I don’t think that there should be any debates,” Pelosi added. “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. I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States,” she added.

Biden: "I'll debate Trump"

Biden, meanwhile, has announced his intention to take Trump to task on debating floor. “I’ll debate him,” the Democratic nominee told MSNBC. “I'm going to be a fact-checker on the floor while I'm debating him.”

“I think everybody knows this man has a somewhat pathological tendency not to tell the truth,” Biden added.

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