Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Thursday night that he is eager to debate President Donald Trump, who has continued to make baseless claims about the former vice president's mental fitness.
“I’m looking forward to getting on the debate stage with Trump and holding him accountable. I think I know how to handle bullies — we’ll find out,” Biden said at a campaign fundraiser.
Biden said his debate strategy includes focusing on the facts, explaining his agenda to voters, and pointing out promises Trump made but has failed to fulfill. He added that he does not want to see a shouting match with Trump.
“I hope I don’t get baited into getting into a brawl with this guy,” Biden said. “It’s going to be hard because I predict he’s going to be shouting." Biden added there was “a lot more I can say” about his strategy but declined to disclose the rest of his game plan.
This is the most direct response from Biden weeks before the highly-anticipated debate, which slated for Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Ohio. Chris Wallace, the anchor of "Fox News Sunday" will moderate the primetime 90-minute event.
Trump and his re-election campaign have also made baseless claims about the mental acuity of Biden, who overcame a severe stutter as a child, to suggest a substandard performance. The campaign has also produced ads aimed at questioning Biden's fitness. Biden has pushed back at those claims, telling The Columbus Dispatch in March, “My mental acuity is fine."
California Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate, also said at Tuesday's fundraising event she is preparing for her debate with Vice President Mike Pence, which is scheduled for Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah. That one-time event is hosted by Susan Page, the Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today.
“Mike Pence and I have very different visions for our country," said the former prosecutor, who is known for her sharp, direct questioning. "And I am looking forward to being able to talk with him and the American people and make our case about what we see as the right path forward for our country. And, you know, I will do it in a respectful way, but I will also speak truth and point out where there have been untruths and lies from this administration.”
At a rally in Michigan on Thursday, Trump took another swipe at Biden, calling him "the worst presidential candidate in the history of presidential politics."
"Can you imagine if I lost to him?" Trump asked the crowd. "Don't do that to me, Michigan."