- The Washington Times - Monday, August 3, 2020

Donald Trump Jr. says a new op-ed by The New York Times is proof that “there’s absolutely nothing the left will not do” to shield presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden from himself.

“OMG they’re really going for it,” President Trump’s eldest son tweeted Monday in response to the newspaper’s piece titled, “Let’s Scrap the Presidential Debates.”

The commentary by writer Elizabeth Drew’s comes in the wake of a similar piece by former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart.

“Whatever you do, don’t debate Trump,” Mr. Lockhart wrote July 28 for CNN. “It’s a fool’s errand to enter the ring with someone who can’t follow the rules or the truth. Biden will undoubtedly take heat from Republicans and the media for skipping the debates. But it’s worth the risk as trying to debate someone incapable of telling the truth is an impossible contest to win.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, mocked the sudden calls for Mr. Biden’s campaign to duck debates as “Basement strategy, part 2,” a reference to the former vice president’s low media profile.

“There’s absolutely nothing the left will not do to protect Joe Biden and cover-up for all of his obvious flaws,” Mr. Trump Jr. tweeted.

Mr. Biden’s critics say that evidence of the 77-year-old’s cognitive decline is regularly on display and that every appearance in front of the camera increases the likelihood of a campaign-ending gaffe.

Ms. Drew’s piece, however, asserts that the Democrat “has done just fine in a long string” of debates and would continue to do so with Mr. Trump.

Her issue is that Mr. Trump is “the P.T. Barnum of American politics.”

“It was (and still is) all about the show, about distracting the public from reality,” she wrote. “The [2016] debates took us nowhere nearer the realities about arguably the most disastrous president in our history. They became simply another tool in his arsenal. … There’s no reason not to throw the presidential debates on the trash heap of useless (at best) rituals that are no help in our making such a fateful decision.”

The two candidates are scheduled to face off on Sept. 29 for the first of three debates, although the location and time have been in flux due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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