Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday there shouldn’t be any presidential debates this year between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, adding that the president would debase the debate stage with poor behavior.
“I don’t think there should be any debates. I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that anybody should that has any association with truth, evidence, data and facts,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday.
“I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States,” she added.
Biden and Trump are set to face off during three debates before Election Day, with the first scheduled for Sept. 29 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Pelosi acknowledged that Biden, who has expressed excitement for facing the president, didn’t share her view on the debate. But she still told reporters about her distaste for Trump’s past debate performances.
Pelosi called Trump’s 2016 debates with Hillary Clinton “disgraceful,” emphasizing how he loomed behind her on the stage as she spoke. Clinton later admitted that Trump’s lurking made her “skin crawl.”
“He’ll probably act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency,” Pelosi said. “He does that every day.”
Biden said Thursday afternoon that he plans to face Trump so long as the debates remain on the docket. Still, he conceded Trump will likely use the debate stage to spread misinformation, similar to the instances of revisionism displayed at the Republican National Convention.
“I will be a fact-checker on the floor while I am debating him,” Biden said. “I think everybody knows this man has a somewhat pathological tendency not to tell the truth.”
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.