“He Will Be Very Mean Toward Biden” Maggie Haberman Discusses Trump’s Potential Debate Tactics

 “He Will Be Very Mean Toward Biden” Maggie Haberman Discusses Trump’s Potential Debate Tactics


Maggie Haberman, a prominent New York Times reporter who has extensively covered Donald Trump, shared insights with CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the former president’s approach to the upcoming debate with President Joe Biden. Despite Trump’s unpredictable nature, Haberman offered some predictions about his demeanor and strategy for the CNN-hosted event on Thursday, as per HuffPost.

“Predictions of how he is going to actually be are probably not worth very much,” Haberman admitted, highlighting the uncertainty of forecasting Trump’s behavior. However, she noted a potential shift in Trump’s preparation tactics. Unlike most candidates who engage in rigorous debate preparations focusing on rehearsing key points and refining their debate skills, Trump appears to be concentrating more on understanding policies rather than practicing traditional debate tactics.

One of the major questions surrounding the debate is whether Trump will choose to interrupt Biden less frequently than during their notably contentious first debate in 2020. Haberman believes Trump might have learned from the backlash he received for his disruptive interruptions. “I think that’s the lesson he took from the first debate in 2020,” she said, suggesting a possible decrease in interruptions, as per USA Today.

However, a reduction in interruptions does not mean a softer Trump, according to Haberman. “I think he will be very mean toward Biden. I would be very surprised if he’s anything other than that,” she predicted, indicating that Trump’s aggressive style of directly attacking his opponents is likely to persist.

In an interesting twist, Trump has actively involved his supporters in shaping his debate persona, asking them at rallies whether they would prefer him to be “tough and nasty” or “nice and calm.” This indicates that while Trump may not be engaging in conventional debate prep, he is still strategizing about how to present himself during the debate.

Haberman also highlighted a strategic pivot in Trump’s camp regarding the setting of expectations for Biden. In 2020, Trump’s team may have inadvertently benefited Biden by consistently underselling his capabilities, which lowered public expectations and made it easier for Biden to exceed them. “There is an awareness in Trump’s world that they have lowered the expectations pretty solidly for Biden there,” Haberman explained. This awareness has led to a recalibration of their approach, moving from portraying Biden as barely competent to acknowledging his potential effectiveness, similar to his performance at recent State of the Union addresses, as per The Hill

As the debate nears, Trump’s reflections on his previous debate performance and his open solicitation of supporter input suggest he is considering a different approach this time around. “He has said to people multiple times that he knows that he interrupted too much in the first debate with Biden in 2020,” Haberman noted, pointing towards a potentially modified strategy that might still feature Trump’s characteristic confrontational style.

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