US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has shared with reporters that she would prefer Democratic nominee Joe Biden not engage in debates with sitting President Donald Trump. She claimed that it would give legitimacy to POTUS and his allegedly untrue statements on a variety of issues that could be raised during the three rounds of debates.
"I don't think there should be any debates. […] I do not think that the President of the United States has comported himself in a way that [...] has any association with truth, evidence, data and facts. I wouldn't legitimize a conversation with him," the speaker said.
Pelosi suggested that debates with Trump would likely become "an exercise in skulduggery" recalling the president's performance during the 2016 debates with then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who lost the election.
"What he did in 2016 was disgraceful, stalking Hillary Clinton like that. [...] He will probably act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency", Pelosi said, without clarifying how that would damage Biden's presidential bid.
The speaker acknowledged that her position does not coincide with that of the Democratic Party or of Joe Biden.
Biden was quick to respond to Pelosi, pointing out that "very competent people" also advised him against debating Trump without a fact-checker on the floor. The Dem candidate will ignore their recommendations, suggesting instead that he would fact check POTUS himself.
Joe Biden reacts to Speaker Pelosi's suggestion that Biden not "legitimize a conversation with" President Trump by debating him:— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 27, 2020
"I'm gonna debate him ... I'm gonna be a fact-checker on the floor while I'm debating him." pic.twitter.com/RJr7G10IuC
Trump has repeatedly blasted Biden as a person "unfit" to be US president, arguing that a Biden presidency would be a "gift" to China and other nations the president considers to be adversaries of Washington, should the Democratic nominee win the November vote. POTUS has also repeatedly questioned Biden's cognitive abilities, citing numerous public gaffes, and started to refer to him as "sleepy Joe" at the start of the Democratic primaries.