Trump Places Empty Podium On Rally Stage, Challenging Biden To Debate

Former president and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump declared during a Tuesday campaign rally that he would debate his likely rival, President Joe Biden, “anytime, anyplace” — even going so far as to display an empty mic stand next to his podium during the rally to symbolize his eagerness to debate Biden.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Trump explained the odd display — which included a black placard that read, “Anytime. Anywhere. Anyplace.”

“You can see we have an empty podium right here to my right. You know what that is? That’s for Joe Biden,” he said, motioning toward the unoccupied lectern.

“I’m trying to get him to debate,” Trump added. “I’m calling on ‘Crooked Joe’ to debate anytime, anyplace. We’ll do it any way you want, Joe.”

The presumptive Republican nominee then pointed out that a debate between him and his 81-year-old rival would allow the pair to “discuss in a friendly manner the real problems of our country… instead of trying to have corrupt prosecutors fight your battles for you.”

“Let’s go have a good, solid, friendly debate,” Trump continued, noting that they need to discuss “where our country’s going, because our country’s going to hell and we’re not gonna let it happen.”

Biden campaign spokesperson Michael Tyler issued a statement in response to Trump’s comments that was rife with falsehoods. In the statement, Tyler claimed that the display was a “weak merch play from a guy desperate to avoid talking about how he’s got no cash, no campaign infrastructure, and no answer for how his chaotic, divisive and violent campaign is going to win this November.” 

The continued false depiction of Trump’s campaign as “divisive” is especially rich coming from the Biden campaign, considering the president has repeatedly condemned half of the country as “MAGA extremists” and argued that they are a “threat to democracy.” Despite vowing to bring the country together during his 2020 campaign, Biden has done nothing but divide the United States since taking office — including prosecuting his political adversaries and using weaponized federal government agencies to target his rival and many other conservative individuals and entities.

Tyler also claimed that “Trump said last fall only people who are losing want debates. At least we agree on something.”

This comment was likely a reference to Trump’s controversial decision not to engage in any GOP primary debates — a decision that was made because none of his primary opponents had even a slight chance of beating him, as they were polling in the single-digits or low double-digits. Trump repeatedly stated that he did not wish to further divide the Republican Party by fighting amongst themselves on a debate stage when he was the obvious frontrunner, and would rather focus on campaigning against Biden and making the case to the American people that he could fix the various crises caused by Biden’s failed leadership.

While many believe that the argument from the Biden campaign about Trump refusing debates has some merit, there is a major difference between deciding not to debate people who are down by massive margins in the polls and deciding not to hold a debate between the two major presidential candidates — especially as they are running fairly close in the polls.

Meanwhile, Biden has already hinted that he may not even agree to debate Trump ahead of November — claiming that his decision “depends on [Trump’s] behavior.

Trump and his allies have made it clear that they believe Biden’s decision to refuse debates is actually because of Biden’s clear cognitive decline, which has been evident in nearly all of the president’s public appearances. If Biden can barely string a sentence together even when reading off of a teleprompter or during a short conversation with voters, it is apparent that he would not do well in a debate alongside his boisterous and strong opponent.

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