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Trump, Biden prepare lines of attack heading into presidential debate

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Former president Donald Trump has taken several shots at his opponent, President Joe Biden, heading into Thursday night’s first presidential debate, and Biden is returning fire.

Both Trump and Biden are the presumed nominees of their respective parties this time around, a rematch of the 2020 election where Biden unseated incumbent Trump.

This time, Trump is seeking to do the same to Biden, and he isn’t expected to hold back.

Trump has repeatedly mocked Biden for his verbal flubs and moments of appearing lost and confused on stage. Biden has responded, with him and his team mocking Trump for his legal woes.

As The Center Square previously reported, CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will host the debate, where both candidates have agreed to have their microphones muted when they are not speaking.

The debate will be 90 minutes long with no live audience. The debate is set to begin at 9 p.m. eastern Thursday.

Biden has been at Camp David since last week preparing for the debate, where he is likely readying his attacks on Trump over abortion and Trump’s conviction on 34 felony counts. He will likely have to play defense over the southern border crisis, which has even overwhelmed Democratic mayors in northern states like New York, as well as inflation since prices have risen about 20% since he took office.

The Biden camp needs to change the trajectory of the race, since Trump leads nationally and in nearly every swing state.

Trump also grabbed headlines recently for calling on Biden to take a drug test before the debate. Trump’s campaign has alleged that Biden, who has a string of confused moments and slurred speech in recent years but performs better at debates, received some kind of drug like adderall to boost his performance at the State of the Union address earlier this year.

The allegations have not been proven, but Trump has continued to blast Biden over the claim.

“Drug test for crooked Joe Biden???,” Trump wrote Monday on Truth Social in an all caps post, as The Center Square previously reported. “I would, also, immediately agree to one!!!”

That is far from the first time Trump has raised questions about the president using drugs to improve his performance on the debate stage.

“Is anybody going to watch the debate? [Biden’s] gonna be so pumped up,” Trump told his supporters, poking at the president at a rally in Racine, Wisconsin last week.

Meanwhile, Biden has returned fire in his own way, releasing an ad on the two-year anniversary of the overturning of Roe v. Wade to blast Trump on the abortion issue.

“My message to Americans is this: @KamalaHarris and I are fighting like hell to get your freedom back,” BIden wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We won’t stop until we restore the protections of Roe v. Wade for every woman in every state.”

Biden also said “a vote for Trump is a vote for a national abortion ban.”

On a press call with reporters Tuesday ahead of the debate, Trump’s campaign argued the media has given Biden flattering press in the past. They also said they expect Biden to be ready to perform well after taking a week off to prepare and again made reference to drug use.

In particular, Trump’s team raised questions about potential bias from CNN, pointing to Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt’s microphone being cut off during a heated CNN appearance on Monday.

The CNN anchors have a history of being tough on Trump, raising questions about whether a fiery exchange will erupt between Trump and the hosts.

“We believe that many in the media are already prepared to give Joe Biden a participation trophy if he can simply stand upright for 90 minutes,” Trump Campaign Senior Advisor Jason Miller told reporters, going on to argue that the candidates should instead be judged by their visions for the future and their records.

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