Trump offers to debate Biden ‘ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANYPLACE’ ahead of State of the Union

The former president vowed to conduct a ‘rapid response’ fact check to all statements made by Mr Biden during his speech on Thursday

Mike Bedigan,Andrew Feinberg
Wednesday 06 March 2024 22:22 GMT
Donald Trump calls US ‘third-world country’ after Super Tuesday wins

Donald Trump vowed to debate Joe Biden “anytime, anywhere, anyplace”, despite refusing to debate any of his opponents in the Republican primaries.

The one-term president has also vowed to conduct a “rapid response” fact check to all statements made by Mr Biden during his State of the Union address, claiming it was “important for the country to get the truth.”

The annual State of the Union address will take place on Thursday evening, during which the president will seek to lay out the case for his re-election and address a range of pressing issues both domestic and international.

Mr Biden is also expected to tout his achievements in the White House, allay concerns about his age and warn of the threat to democracy posed by Mr Trump – his now all-but-certain rival for the Oval Office in November – and hard-right Republicans across the country.

As usual, Mr Trump, who has been charged with 91 criminal counts, took to his social media platform Truth Social to post angry messages on Wednesday evening, where he promised a “play by play” correction of the address.

(@realDonaldTrump/ TruthSocial)

“I am pleased to inform you that tomorrow night we will be doing a LIVE, Play by Play, of Crooked Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address. I will correct, in rapid response, any and all inaccurate Statements, especially pertaining to the Border and his Weaponization of the DOJ, FBI, A.G.s, and District Attorneys, to go after his Political Opponent, ME (something never done before in this Country!),” the post read.

“We did this once before to tremendous success - Beating All Records. It is important for the Country to get the TRUTH!”

He later added in a separate post: “It is important, for the Good of our Country, that Joe Biden and I Debate Issues that are so vital to America, and the American People.

“Therefore, I am calling for Debates, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANYPLACE! The Debates can be run by the Corrupt DNC, or their Subsidiary, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). I look forward to receiving a response. Thank you for your attention to this matter!”

A rematch between the two men is now almost inevitable, following their respective successes on Super Tuesday. Mr Trump’s only significant GOP rival, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, officially dropped out of the race on Wednesday morning.

A rematch between the two men seems all-but inevitable following their victories on Super Tuesday
A rematch between the two men seems all-but inevitable following their victories on Super Tuesday (AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Trump’s insistence on debating with his old foe comes after consistently refused to appear onstage next to his Republican challengers during the primary election this cycle.

Instead, the former president held several parallel events, including rallies and a sit-down interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, much to the annoyance of the other presidential hopefuls.

In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, three debates between Mr Trump and Mr Biden were initially planned and scheduled. The first debate took place on 29 September 2020.

The next was scheduled for 15 October but was later cancelled due to Mr Trump testing positive for Covid-19 and then refusing to appear remotely rather than in person. The final debate took place on 22 October.

Mr Biden was seen to have “won” the first debate, despite the chaotic arguing between the pair. The event was described as “a hot mess, inside a train wreck, inside a dumpster fire” by CNN’s Jake Tapper, and a “s***show” by his colleague Dana Bash.

During the first debate, Mr Trump was also criticised for his remarks concerning the far-right Proud Boys group, which he told to “stand back and stand by”. The comment was interpreted by some members of the group, as well as others, as a call to arms and was later described as a “mistake” by commentators.

In response to the interruptions during the first debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates decided that each candidate’s microphone would be muted during the other’s initial two-minute response to each question during the third and final debate.

Mr Trump’s demand for debates with Mr Biden comes nearly two years after he pressured the Republican National Committee into withdrawing from the commission, which has run general election presidential debates for decades.

At the time, then-RNC chair Ronna McDaniel claimed the bipartisan commission was “biased” and accused it of having “refused to enact simple and commonsense reforms to help ensure fair debates including hosting debates before voting begins and selecting moderators who have never worked for candidates on the debate stage”.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to say whether Mr Biden would participate in any debates this year, citing federal law barring federal employees from speaking about election-related matters.

But Mr Biden’s campaign’s communications director, Michael Tyler, responded to Mr Trump in a statement to The Independent in which he called Mr Trump “thirsty for attention” and said the likely GOP nominee is “struggling to expand his appeal beyond the Maga base” while promising that the campaign would address the matter of debates “at the appropriate time in this cycle,”

“If he’s so desperate to see President Biden in prime time, he doesn’t have to wait! He can join the tens of millions of Americans who will tune in to watch the State of the Union tomorrow night,” he said, adding that the ex-president “might even learn a thing or two about bringing people together and actually delivering for the American people” if he does.

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