Biden Tells Howard Stern He’ll Debate Trump


Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
Font Size:

President Joe Biden vowed to debate former President Donald Trump “somewhere” during an interview with Sirius XM’s Howard Stern.

While Trump and his campaign have repeatedly committed to debating Biden, the president’s campaign and congressional Democrats have expressed skepticism on whether Biden should debate Trump ahead of the general election. The former president said he is “happy to debate” his general election opponent following much speculation on potential debates.

“I don’t know if you’re gonna debate your opponent,” Stern said.

“I am, somewhere. I don’t know when, but I’m happy to debate him,” Biden replied.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to say whether Biden will commit to debating Trump during a Mar. 6 press briefing. (RELATED: Biden Campaign Silent As Trump World Openly Lobs Debate Challenge)

A Trump aide told the Daily Caller in November that the former president “looks forward” to debating Biden. The former president made the same claim to conservative podcast host Hugh Hewitt during a December interview.

“President Trump looks forward to debating Crooked Joe Biden next fall,” the aide said. “The real question is whether or not Joe will debate President Trump. Specific to the Presidential Debate Commission, the campaign has not yet accepted the suggested terms made recently.”

Prominent Democrats have sounded the alarm over a potential debate. Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin warned in January that Biden should “think twice” about debating Trump due to his alleged tendency to say and do “outrageous things,” while Democratic Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said Trump’s behavior during the 2020 debate and his refusal to debate his Republican primary challengers.

Democratic strategist James Carville said the debate could be a risk for Biden if he does not perform well.

“There’s a damage if you don’t [debate]. There’s a damage if you don’t do well,” Carville said. “It’s kind of expected as a presidential candidate.”

Some speculation on whether Biden would debate revolved around the 81-year-old president’s age and questions about his mental capacity. A Pew Research poll from Thursday found 65% of respondents have “little to no confidence” that Biden has the physical or mental fitness to be president, while 36% believe Trump has those capacities.

Neither prospective nominee participated in any primary debates against their opponents. Trump declined to participate in any of the Republican primary debates held during the race, citing his policy record and popularity.

“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had, with Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History, & much more. I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!” Trump wrote in Aug. 30, 2020, Truth Social post.

Republican operatives said participating in the GOP debates is “not in [Trump’s] interest” given that he will dominate the news cycle regardless of whether he debated.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) refused to hold primary debates despite Biden facing two primary challenges, Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. It is rare for an incumbent president to debate opponents during a primary season.

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) scheduled the first general election debate to be held Sept. 16 at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, followed by the second and third on Oct. 1 and Oct. 9.