Ex-Obama Adviser ‘Surprised’ Trump Would Agree To Debate Rules That ‘All’ Create ‘Better Environment For Biden’


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Former Obama adviser and MSNBC contributor Jennifer Palmieri expressed surprise on Monday about former President Donald Trump accepting a debate with rules that vastly seem to benefit his opponent, President Joe Biden.

CNN finalized its rules and format on Saturday for the 90-minute June 27 debate in Atlanta between Trump and Biden, which consist of silencing microphones and preventing a live studio audience from attending. Palmieri said there is a chance that the debate rules could help Trump, but suggested that is not the most likely outcome as each one appears to boost Biden. (RELATED: ‘Great News’: Sean Hannity Says Biden’s Debate Rules ‘Extraordinarily Favorable’ For Trump)

“It may be that Trump does know how to use a camera, and he has a smart team around him and if they decide to do something other than we expected … there could be a scenario where the rules work for Trump,” Palmierie told host Katy Tur. “But if you look at them based on past behavior, I don’t see anything in the rules that is a benefit to Trump, and they all seem to be something that would help, that would make it a better environment, for Biden.”


“I’m with you, Katy,” Palmieri continued. “Like, I don’t understand why Trump agreed to these rules. And [NBC News Correspondent Vaughn Hillyard] said, ‘well, you know, he’s been saying he could do it anytime, anywhere.’ But it’s not as if Trump stands by his word or anything. So I am still surprised that they said yes right away to CNN, they said yes right away to ABC and that they’ve agreed to these rules.”

Former CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza on Monday said that muting the microphones “clearly benefits Biden” as it takes away Trump’s potential strategy of rattling his opponent. He also said the two commercial breaks during the debate will help Biden as they provide him a breather to “regroup,” and that the lack of a studio audience helps the president because Trump supporters are more vocal and likely to cheer and boo the candidates.

The one rule he said benefits Trump is that the candidates will not be allowed to have pre-written notes, as Biden “struggles a little bit more when it comes to extemporaneous speaking” and could seem a bit “lost.”

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will not attend the debate as he failed to meet CNN’s thresholds to participate.

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