‘Why Bother?’: Pelosi Reiterates Biden Should Skip Debates With President Trump

September 25, 2020 Updated: September 25, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) again called for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to skip his first debate with President Donald Trump, scheduled for next week.

“I just think that the president has no fidelity to fact or truth and actually in his comments the last few days,” Pelosi said on CBS News Friday. “No fidelity to the Constitution of the United States. He and his henchmen are a danger … to our democracy.” She added: “Why bother?”

The Trump campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.

There has been rampant speculation about Biden’s health in recent months, with some observers noticing the 78-year-old former vice president has slowed down in recent days. President Trump, meanwhile, has focused on Biden’s lack of public appearances, his relatively light schedule, and lack of questions from legacy news outlets.

“Supposing he never campaigns and he wins, you know how badly I’m going to feel? I’m working hard, and you’ve got to work hard,” Trump said of Biden in Jacksonville on Thursday evening.

Biden’s campaign also called a lid, or a memorandum for reporters covering his campaign meaning there will be no further availability for public statements, at 9 a.m. on Thursday.

“Sleepy Joe Biden just closed down his campaign for the day (Again),” Trump wrote on Thursday. “Wants to rest! He is a very LOW ENERGY INDIVIDUAL, and our Country cannot make it in these exciting, but complex and competitive times, with a Low Energy President !!!”

President Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his ‘The Great American Comeback Rally’ at Cecil Airport in Jacksonville, Florida, on Sept. 24, 2020. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Biden and Trump will face off on Sept. 29 in a debate moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

Pelosi first said Biden should skip all the debates about a month ago, but Biden refused to consider boycotting them and proposed being a “fact-checker” during the contests. If Biden were to opt-out, Trump and his campaign would be provided more ammunition to attack Biden for not making public appearances.

“Don’t tell anybody I told you this. Especially don’t tell Joe Biden. I don’t think that there should be any debates,” Pelosi said in a news conference in late August. “I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way … that has any association with truth, evidence, data and facts.”

Wallace and Fox News said they would feature 15-minute segments on six topics, including race and policing, election integrity, both candidates’ records, the CCP (Chinse Communist Party) virus pandemic, the economy, and the Supreme Court seat that was left vacant after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last week.

“The president is constantly prepping,” said Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, in comments to reporters this month. “We obviously will be well prepared for the debates. We’re not taking it for granted.”

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.