Donald Trump, left, and President Joe Biden during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on Oct. 22, 2020.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI | AFP | Getty Images
Donald Trump on Monday said he wants to debate President Joe Biden “immediately” — but the Democratic incumbent quickly brushed off that idea.
“I’d like to call for, immediately, debates,” Trump said on “The Dan Bongino Show.”
“I’d like to debate him now because we should debate,” said the former president, who is the front-runner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. “We should debate for the good of the country.”
Biden dismissed the idea.
“Well, if I were him, I’d want to debate me too,” Biden told reporters at a boba shop in Las Vegas when asked about Trump’s challenge. “He’s got nothing else to do,” Biden added.
The exchange reflects both sides’ view that Trump and Biden are all but guaranteed to be their respective parties’ nominees, even though the primary season is ongoing.
It also reflects their debate strategy so far this election cycle.
Trump has skipped every Republican primary debate. He continues to ignore calls from his top remaining challenger, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, for a face-to-face showdown.
Biden has likewise not participated in any debates with the handful of long-shot Democratic contenders challenging him for the party’s nomination.
Trump in Monday’s interview with Bongino also bashed Biden for declining, for the second straight year, to be interviewed by the television network broadcasting the Super Bowl.
Biden participated in an interview for the Super Bowl in 2021 and 2022, continuing a tradition followed by other presidents. But he skipped doing that interview last year, and passed on doing it this year.
“He can’t do it, because he can’t talk,” Trump said of Biden.
The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Trump’s remarks.
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