Pelosi On Presidential Debates: ‘I Don’t Think There Should Be Any’

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she does not think 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden should participate in any of the scheduled debates against President Donald Trump.

In a Thursday press conference, Pelosi was asked about the presidential debates, to which she said she does not think Biden should take Trump seriously.

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


After Pelosi’s comments, the Biden campaign released a statement saying: “We certainly agree with Speaker Pelosi on her views of the President’s behavior. But just as she has powerfully confronted that behavior in the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room, Joe Biden looks forward to doing the same on the debate stage.”

Republican National Committee (RNC) Rapid Response Director Steve Guest also reacted to Pelosi’s comments saying, “The Democrat establishment is trying to get Joe Biden out of debating President Trump. If Joe Biden can’t debate, he has no business running for President.”

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel then said: “First it was The New York Times. Now it’s the country’s highest-ranking Democrat. Democrats are terrified of letting Joe Biden out of the basement. If Biden cannot debate, he has no business being President!!”

Trump said Wednesday that he will call for drug tests before debating Biden before their first scheduled debate on Sept. 29. (RELATED: Trump Says He Will Call For Drug Tests Before Biden Debate)

Trump thinks Biden’s performances improved over the course of the Democratic primary and hinted that he believes the reason behind Biden’s success was related to drugs, he said during an interview with The Washington Examiner.

“Nobody thought that he was even going to win,” Trump said. “Because his debate performances were so bad. Frankly, his best performance was against Bernie. We’re going to call for a drug test, by the way, because his best performance was against Bernie. It wasn’t that he was Winston Churchill, because he wasn’t, but it was a normal, boring debate. You know, nothing amazing happened. And we are going to call for a drug test, because there’s no way — you can’t do that.”

“I don’t know how he could have been so incompetent in his debate performances and then all of a sudden be OK against Bernie,” Trump continued. “My point is, if you go back and watch some of those numerous debates, he was so bad. He wasn’t even coherent. And against Bernie, he was. And we’re calling for a drug test.” (RELATED: Trump Campaign Slams Biden For Declining More Debates)

In June, Biden’s campaign committed to three debates with Trump before the election in November.

“Joe Biden looks forward to facing Donald Trump in a multi-debate series that the American people have come to expect from their leaders; we hope that President Trump would not break that tradition or make excuses for a refusal to participate,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote in a letter to the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

Trump’s campaign then slammed Biden for declining to do more than three debates, as the Trump campaign had been pushing to do four.