On Thursday, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she didn’t think Democrat Joe Biden should debate incumbent President Donald Trump ahead of the November general election.
“I don’t think there should be any debates,” said an unprompted Pelosi at a Capitol news conference.
“I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him, nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States. Now I know that the Biden campaign thinks in a different way about this,” she added.
The nation’s most powerful Democrat lawmaker is only the latest to suggest the 77-year-old former vice president, who many have suggested could be suffering from dementia or another neurological condition, should skip the debates altogether rather than risk damaging himself and the Democrat Party on a national stage.
CNN’s Van Jones said following Biden’s address to the Democrat convention that his allies were already lowering their expectations of Biden.
Oops… CNN's Van Jones let the cat out the bag!
"And we were prepared for it to be a terrible speech. As long as he didn't embarrass himself, we were going to come out here and praise it!"
This is what the liberal media will be doing tonight, tomorrow, and the foreseeable future pic.twitter.com/UIfZbPhYVe
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) August 21, 2020
These lowered expectations come as more and more individuals raise concerns that Biden is deteriorating mentally—and it’s not just conservative political pundits.
Last week, retired Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, who served as the White House physician to President Barack Obama and incumbent Trump and is now the Republican nominee for Texas’ 13th Congressional District, told the Washington Examiner “something is not right” with Biden.
“The best way I can describe him every time I see him is that he’s just lost,” said Jackson. “I won’t make any particular diagnosis about dementia. … But what I will say is that something is not right.”
Over the past month, a growing number of Democrats and their media allies have begun to advance the narrative that Biden skipping the debates in columns in the New York Times, Newsweek, and other publications and appearances on CNN.
Of course, CNN’s Brian Stelter still described the event as a “right-wing media tempest.”
It is mostly a right-wing media tempest, fueled by hour after hour of Fox commentary (not reporting), far removed from campaign reality… https://t.co/nQd4b312vX
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 4, 2020
What should not be lost in the shuffle is that Pelosi’s remarks come after Trump’s suggestion yesterday that candidates should be drug tested ahead of the debate.
“Somebody said to me, ‘He must be on drugs.’ I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I’m asking for a drug test. Both candidates. Me, too. I take an aspirin a day,” Trump said yesterday.
“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. … We are going to call for a drug test because there’s no way—you can’t do that.”
Trump also requested drug tests before his 2016 debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton. She did not agree to those terms.