Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden Thursday rejected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s call to do away with the upcoming debates between him and President Trump, and said he’ll “be a fact-checker on the floor” during their arguments, as “everybody knows this man has a somewhat pathological tendency not to tell the truth.”
“As long as the Commission (on Presidential Debates) continues down the straight and narrow, as they have, I’m going to debate him,” Biden told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “I know for certain I’m going to try, I’m going to be a fact-checker on the floor while I am debating him.”
Pelosi told reporters earlier in the day that she does not think Biden should debate Trump because the president has not “comported himself in a way that anybody has any association with truth, evidence, data, and facts. I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States.”
She also said Trump will “probably act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency, adding that his 2016 debates with then-Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton were “disgraceful.”
Biden told Mitchell that the vast majority of the news media “with notable exceptions” has been fact-checking what is being said at the Republican National Convention, and the speeches there have been “one lie after another, lie, lie, lie, one after another.”
He added that the debates that will take place have come with recommendations, including from leading Republicans, that he should not debate Trump without a fact checker present.
Pelosi suggested Thursday that rather than hold debates as “an exercise in skulduggery,” Trump and Biden should take separate stages and answer questions about their policies in a “conversation with the American people,” but acknowledged that the Biden campaign “thinks in a different way about this.”