Pelosi says she ‘would never recommend’ Biden debate Trump

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a Wednesday interview that she “would never recommend” President Biden share the debate stage with former President Trump, shortly after the two agreed to two debates before November’s election.

“I myself would never recommend going on stage with Donald Trump,” Pelosi told CNN’s Manu Raju on Wednesday.

“But the president has decided that’s what he wants to do,” Pelosi said. “I think the format he is suggesting is a good one.”

Biden offered two presidential debates before the election, and Trump accepted the proposal. Trump and Biden will meet in a June 27 debate to be hosted by CNN — a battle that is historically early in the general election calendar — and will meet onstage again Sept. 10 for a debate hosted by ABC.

Many Democrats were pleased to see Biden take on Trump. Sources close to the Biden campaign told The Hill that the debate decision was a strategic move to ensure voters see the difference between the two candidates for themselves before they start to make their decisions.

Pelosi, however, expressed concerns about some of Trump’s past debate behavior – including in 2016, when Trump appeared to physically intimidate Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president, while on stage. In 2020, Trump interrupted Biden and the moderator more than 100 times, reports said at the time.

Asked why she would not recommend Biden join Trump on the debate stage, Pelosi said, “I think he was stalking Hillary Clinton, he wasn’t professional, he wasn’t presidential, he wasn’t meeting the dignity of the office,” Raju reported.

Pelosi suggested instead that networks hold town hall meetings to let the candidates make their cases to the American public.

“I think you all should have separate town hall meetings with them, and let them, challenge them with questions about the future, and let the public make its decision,” Pelosi said.

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