President Donald Trump said the greatest challenge in preparing for the upcoming debates is his uncertainty over Joe Biden’s condition.
“I don’t know which Biden is going to show up because I watched him during the debates, when they had 20 people on the stage and, before they started culling it out, and I watched him and he was a disaster. You don’t get worse. He was grossly incompetent,” Trump, a Republican seeking a second term, said during a phone call with “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday.
But Biden, the Democratic nominee, did fine when going one-on-one with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the final Democratic primary debate over the summer, Trump said.
“I watched him against Bernie, he was OK, he wasn’t Winston Churchill, I can tell you that, but he was OK, he was fine,” Trump said.
“What did he do? What happened to him all of a sudden? Because, he was OK, and Bernie was OK, it was an extraordinarily boring debate, but he got through it,” Trump continued. “And I said, what’s the difference between now and some of those classic moments in the other debates, and something was strange, in my opinion.”
Trump returned to his unsubstantiated theory that Biden is taking some sort of medication or drug to boost his performance before speaking publicly.
When a host mentioned Trump previously pushed for a drug test before debates, Trump said he would take one too.
“He’s taking something, or taking something that gives him some clarity or whatever. Maybe he had a lot of coffee. Maybe he had 15 cups of coffee,” he said, adding during the segment: “The man is shot, let’s face it. We can’t have a man who’s shot, because you know who’s not shot? Putin, President Xi, Kim Jong Un, they’re not shot. They’re world-class chess players.”
Biden has appeared to lose his train of thought in a number of interviews and had a spell earlier in the campaign when he got dates, names, and places mixed up.
Biden is 77 and Trump is 74.
Biden’s campaign did not respond to a request for a response to Trump.
In a statement in response to Trump initially calling for drug testing before debates, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said: “We know it’s unbelievable to Donald Trump, but Joe Biden can speak honestly without a shot of truth serum. We’d like to see Trump do the same.”
The first presidential debate is scheduled for Sept. 29.