Biden and Trump Prepare for First 2024 Debate in Contrasting Styles

Joe Biden and Donald Trump spent the weekend sharpening their lines in preparation for their first 2024 debate, but their approaches were markedly different. report from BBC.

President Biden secluded himself with aides at the Camp David presidential retreat, engaging in mock debates. In contrast, Donald Trump remained on the campaign trail Saturday, publicly testing attack lines and tactics.

Thursday’s CNN-hosted debate will be the third face-off between the Democrat and Republican candidates, but the first in this election cycle. They previously ran against each other in 2020, debating twice that year.

To prepare, Biden has been working with Ron Klain, his former chief of staff, who also assisted with his State of the Union speech in March. Bob Bauer, former White House counsel under President Barack Obama, is portraying Trump in Biden’s mock debates.

On Sunday, the Biden campaign announced plans to host hundreds of watch parties and events in battleground states for the debate. Alongside 1,600 events, the campaign will launch new TV and digital advertisements aimed at key voter groups, including the LGBT community and college students.

Biden’s campaign co-chair hinted at a strategy focusing on Trump’s legal issues and character. “It really doesn’t matter how Donald Trump shows up,” Mitch Landrieu told NBC, emphasizing Trump’s recent legal troubles, including his conviction in the New York hush-money trial and the civil defamation lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll.

Meanwhile, Trump has eschewed traditional debate preparations, opting instead for a series of meetings with US senators and advisors at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. He has been reviewing policy points and discussing strategies for addressing topics like the January 6 Capitol riot.

On Saturday, Trump held a rally in Philadelphia, mocking Biden’s Camp David preparations and soliciting audience opinions on whether he should be “tough and nasty” or “nice and calm” during the debate.

Trump also announced he had chosen his vice-presidential running mate but did not reveal the name, hinting that the pick might attend the debate in Atlanta. He plans to officially unveil his running mate at the Republican convention next month, with strong contenders including Senators JD Vance and Marco Rubio, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.

Recent national polls indicate a close presidential race. A YouGov poll conducted between June 17 and 21 for CBS News shows Trump slightly ahead by one percentage point.