A specialist in presidential debates predicted what the first meeting between President Donald Trump and his rival Joe Biden could look like in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election.
In a dialogue with the program “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Brett O’Donnell, one of the main coaches of political debate of the Republican Party, advanced what advantages the Republican candidate has to face his Democratic contender on Sept. 29.
The ‘clear advantage’ of Trump
The first of the three meetings will be at Case Western University and the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and will be moderated by Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday.”
The format will consist of six 15-minute segments, each devoted to a specific topic, such as the Supreme Court, the coronavirus pandemic, race and urban violence, among others.
O’Donell said that President Trump, who will seek re-election, could obtain a series of advantages over his Democratic rival.
“If the president sticks to talking about the economy, he has a distinct advantage,” said O’Donell, who previously trained George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, among others, for the presidential debates.
“He built an economy that was, by all accounts, one of the greatest in the last few decades,” he added, explaining, “If he can make the case that he will be the best person to get us back to that economy, following the coronavirus [CCP Virus] crisis, then I think he has an advantage.”
O’Donell said that if the president is “forward-looking” and based on “what he did on the economy, that could be very helpful to him.”
Another one in favor of the Republican
On Saturday afternoon, President Trump is expected to announce his election to the Supreme Court seat that became vacant after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Regardless of who he ends up nominating, several sources said it would be Amy Coney Barrett, O’Donell believes that the president’s decision to nominate his list of candidates may work in his favor.
“Joe Biden refuses to release the list of justices that he would pick from for a potential court nominee. I think that’s [an] offense for the president, as well,” he said.
No to Violence
The protests that followed the death of African American George Floyd in late May became increasingly violent, with looting, burning, and deaths.
The positions of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party were totally opposed: While Republicans emphasized the need to prioritize “law and order,” the Democrats defended the demonstrations assuring that they were legitimate.
However, noticing Americans’ discontent with the wave of violence, Biden changed his speech so that Trump would not be the only presidential candidate to oppose violence in the streets. Whether this new stance will have the effect the Democrat wants, however, remains to be seen, given his clear message in favor of the riots during the previous months.
“I think, also, the president can talk about what’s happening in the streets of America and use that to his advantage, as well,” O’Donell said.
In closing, he explained that it will not be easy for Biden to deal with President Trump.
“No one has yet figured out how to debate Donald Trump,” O’Donnell said. “If you approach him like a conventional candidate, sort of wait your turn, he defeats you. If you try to get aggressive with him like Marco Rubio did or Hillary Clinton did, it doesn’t work out well […].”
“I think if the president does what he did in 2016, which is return fire with fire, it’ll serve him very well,” he concluded.