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Thu Jul 9, 2020, 04:21 AM

 

Thomas Friedman, NYT: Biden Should Not Debate Trump Unless

I worry about Joe Biden debating Donald Trump. He should do it only under two conditions. Otherwise, heís giving Trump unfair advantages.

First, Biden should declare that he will take part in a debate only if Trump releases his tax returns for 2016 through 2018. Biden has already done so, and they are on his website. Trump must, too. No more gifting Trump something he can attack while hiding his own questionable finances.

And second, Biden should insist that a real-time fact-checking team approved by both candidates be hired by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates ó and that 10 minutes before the scheduled conclusion of the debate this team report on any misleading statements, phony numbers or outright lies either candidate had uttered. That way no one in that massive television audience can go away easily misled.

Debates always have ground rules. Why canít telling the truth and equal transparency on taxes be conditions for this one?

Yes, the fact that we have to make truth-telling an explicit condition is an incredibly sad statement about our time; normally such things are unspoken and understood. But if the past teaches us anything, Trump might very well lie and mislead for the entire debate, forcing Biden to have to spend a majority of his time correcting Trump before making his own points.

That is not a good way for Biden to reintroduce himself to the American people. And, letís not kid ourselves, these debates will be his reintroduction to most Americans, who have neither seen nor heard from him for months if not years.

He should not go into such a high-stakes moment ceding any advantages to Trump. Trump is badly trailing in the polls, and he needs these debates much more than Biden does to win over undecided voters. So Biden needs to make Trump pay for them in the currency of transparency and fact-checking ó universal principles that will level the playing field for him and illuminate and enrich the debates for all citizens.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/opinion/biden-trump-debate.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage


Whatever your opinion of Friedman, the fact is that he sometimes really nails it.

19 replies, 3172 views

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 04:37 AM

1. I think Biden can handle it . Friedman is too concerned about little details which most people who

aren't already decided don't pay attention to.

Biden can respond to Trump's attacks on him by bringing up how Trump hasn't released his tax returns and even suggest it's because Trump doesn't want to show he is a failure.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 08:57 AM

17. Little details such as Turd's taxes?

Seriously, that's a "little detail" to you?

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 05:48 AM

2. Sorry, but Joe is not a good debater, IMO.

I agree with Friedman. The candidate who is behind in the polls always needs to have debates to change the polls. Joe has nothing to gain by debating at this stage of the race.

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Response to gab13by13 (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:09 AM

7. Oh come off it. 1) Joe is good, 2) You miss the point. It is leverage to force the tax returns


3) Real-time fact checking prevents tRump from Gish-Galloping a whole herd of lies to trample over any truth.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #7)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 07:02 AM

15. Makes sense

Trump would never accept. The public -- at least the huge swath of it that do not kneel at the moron's altar -- can see the fairness of it. And Trump will harrumph and whine about how horribly wrong it is to ask a sitting president to let the public see his tax returns and have his honesty directly challenged by facts that prove he's lying.

Yes. I think Friedman's is an excellent idea.

But I also think Biden would beat Trump because he learned Trump's childish tactics when the fat man pulled them on Hillary Clinton. Biden is very apt to tell Trump to back his fat ass off if he attempted to shadow him the way he did Mrs. Clinton. And THAT I would pay real money to see.

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 05:50 AM

3. Well...

... Trump can't willingly release his tax records, so this would mean no debates. Also, Trump lies constantly and most people know he lies constantly; conversely, his supporters won't believe any fact-checker - they will smear anyone assigned to the task.

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Response to Mike Nelson (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:05 AM

6. What?

Of course Trump can release his taxes any time he likes. He wonít, but he can. His base is delusional, however, undecideds and independents are really the target of debates. OTOH, anyone who canít decide between them at this point might not be worth trying to reach. Biden really doesnít need to debate Cheatolini.

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Response to cate94 (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:15 AM

10. He can't...

... release them because they are too damaging. Even when the courts say release them, he won't... he does not comply with subpoenas! However, if the Supreme Court case says a third party must release them, that might work... but, if I were his lawyer, I would say, "You can't release these."

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Response to Mike Nelson (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:11 AM

8. Wrong. 1) tRump CAN WILLINGLY release his returns. He WON'T. 2) Mutually agreed checker


Mutually agreed, so tRump-endorsed.

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:01 AM

4. I agree with regards to the issue of tax returns

The fact checking would be nice as well. My concern not having the debates is one of airtime. Without rallies and spectacle for the media to cover how does one get airtime?

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:03 AM

5. I agree with Friedman here. Biden needs to make stipulations!

As soon as he does, Trump will say heís afraid to debate so Biden will need to have a response already prepared.

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:13 AM

9. I don't like Thomas Friedman at all.

But, in this case, I agree with him. Personally, I am a fan of canceling the debates altogether. What is there to debate? This is a fight for the soul of the republic. The choices are clear.

-Laelth

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:43 AM

11. Should always be a condition.

The proposal about having fact checkers should be a condition now and in the future for all debates. I think that is more important than a requirement to release tax returns.

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:53 AM

12. 10 minutes to go over the lies of the hour and a half debate??

Probably not enough time! If his lips are moving..... I can already hear the exasperation in the voice of the fact checker: "Where do we start???"

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:54 AM

13. Most voters know Trump is a fraud.

Every fact-checker confirmation of his lying confirms another reason to vote against him. The ONLY downside is, should the checkers feel compelled to play both-sideristic games, the whole concept will be off the rails.

In dealings with untrustworthy persons, truth cannot stand alone. Facts get out of focus and just melt away.

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:58 AM

14. "Trump might very well lie and mislead for the entire debate"

Day Glow Chowderhead will definitely lie because his entire life is a lie and he's incapable of telling the truth.

He lies in the morning, afternoon and night. Hell, he probably lies in his sleep.

Joe and his team should definitely demand that tRump release his taxes and for a fact checking team review any lies made during the debate and report same before the broadcast ends.

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 07:25 AM

16. Fact-checking is the moderator's job...or should be. CNN's Candy Crowley, who moderated the

presidential debate between Romney and Obama, corrected Romney's claim that President Obama did not refer to the consulate attack in Benghazi as an "act of terror" in real time. That was a lie, Romney was called on it in real time and it turned the debate around.

The moderators should correct Trump every time he lies. And Biden should preface every debate response with, "You're lying again, Donald..."

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 12:58 PM

18. Screw that moron

Debates are the American way. Anyone too cowardly to debate doesn't deserve a vote for dogcatcher.

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Response to Senor Insomne (Original post)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 01:31 PM

19. i agree, Agent Orange's tax returns & live fact-checking!!

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