President Joe Biden on Monday mocked former President Donald Trump’s push to engage in a series of debates as the primary process continues to unfold, remarking that the ex-president has “nothing else to do.”
During a radio interview on “The Dan Bongino Show,” Trump, who has so far refused to participate in any of the 2024 GOP presidential primary debates, said he wanted to debate Biden “immediately” and expressed his belief that it would be “for the good of the country.”
During a stop in Nevada ahead of the state’s primary on Tuesday, Biden declined Trump’s plea for a debate.
“Immediately? Well, if I were him, I would want to debate myself. “He has nothing else to do,” Biden explained.
In December, Trump expressed interest in a debate with Biden, telling Hugh Hewitt that he “looks forward” to it.
“How about 10 debates?” Trump told Hewitt several weeks before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries.
The former president easily won Iowa and New Hampshire, which were considered strongholds for his primary Republican opponent, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
Haley has long urged Trump to debate her, and on Monday, the former governor’s campaign jumped on the ex-president’s remarks, saying they were “thrilled” that he had “finally acknowledged the importance of debates.”
“Now it’s time for Trump to man up and agree to debate Nikki Haley,” Haley spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said in a statement. “Nikki is ready to put her conservative record and vision for a strong and proud America up against Trump’s campaign of chaos and vendettas.”
In 2020, Biden and Trump took part in two televised debates, with one cancelled owing to the then-president’s COVID diagnosis. The first debate was widely regarded as chaotic, with Trump and then-Fox News anchor and moderator Chris Wallace arguing over the event’s direction. Biden and Trump had heated debates, with the Democrat frequently addressing viewers on television.
In April 2022, the Republican National Committee voted to withdraw from the Commission on Presidential Debates, citing “bias.”
Last year, Trump slammed the commission during an interview with Hewitt.
“They are totally corrupt, and they’re terrible,” he remarked. “With that being said, I would do 20 debates even if they were organised by them.”