James Carville Flips the Script on GOP Claims Biden Is Scared of Presidential Debates: ‘I Don’t Think Trump Will Show Up’


Democratic political commentator James Carville flipped the script on growing Republican claims that Joe Biden is too scared to attend the three 2020 presidential debates this fall, and instead predicted: “I don’t think Trump will show up.”

Carville’s trademark outspoken remarks came during a discussion of the election with The 11th Hour anchor Brian Williams. The MSNBC host began the conversation on the debates by pointing out the latest New York Times column by Tom Friedman. which laid out two demands the Biden campaign should make before agreeing to any presidential debates with Trump.

Friedman’s column comes amid efforts by Republicans to paint Biden as too afraid to participate in the debates. During a Fox News town hall in late June, for example, President Donald Trump baselessly claimed Biden was preemptively using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to possibly skip out on the presidential debates. On Wednesday, GOP chair Ronna McDaniel reprised that claim on Twitter, saying “The Left is terrified of Joe Biden coming out of his basement to debate” Trump.

In fact, the Biden campaign has already committed to attending the standard three televised debates, in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates more than two weeks ago.

“[Biden] should demand Trump release his tax returns from 2016 to 2018 for starters. And should insist a real-time fact-checking team be hired by the nonpartisan commission and 10 minutes before the scheduled conclusion, this team report on any phony numbers or outright lies either candidate had uttered,” Williams explained of Friedman’s recommendations. “James, no one will agree to that; let’s establish that. Who needs debates more this season?”

“Tom Friedman is a very nice guy, he writes very well about climate. I like to read his columns. But he ought to stay away from writing about politics,” Carville said to Williams, pulling no punches. “Of course Biden wants to debate Trump. Trump is a doofus dolt. Biden debated Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, who’s the most on-message politician I’ve seen in my life, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar.”

“I saw him the night before South Carolina. He did very well,” Carville added. “[Biden] should debate him without condition anywhere that he wants to. Joe Biden will trounce Donald Trump. What he needs is to be sure to get a picture side by side so you can see how fit and trim Vice President Biden is and what a slob that Trump is. No, Tom Friedman is dead wrong on this. I’m sure that Biden people will be very well briefed to have the debates. I don’t think Trump will show up. I don’t think Trump will get anywhere around a debate with Joe Biden. Joe Biden has debated some of the most articulate, bright, message-disciplined people I’ve ever seen in my life. So, I’m sorry, Tom, I like you, you’re a nice guy, but that was a waste of ink.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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