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Biden says he’s ready to debate Trump: ‘I know how to handle bullies’

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Election Day 2020 is rapidly approaching. The first presidential debate is just over two weeks away in Cleveland, where Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Thursday he is “looking forward” to going one-on-one against President Donald Trump.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden talks with journalists Wednesday before departing the Detroit metro area. He had been campaigning in Michigan, which President Donald Trump won in 2016 by less than 11,000 votes, the narrowest margin of victory in state’s presidential election history. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

He said their Sept. 29 face-off, a 90-minute session moderated by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace, will allow him to hold Trump “accountable.” 

“I think I know how to handle bullies,” Biden told attendees of a campaign fundraiser Tuesday. “We’ll find out.”

He said his strategy that night includes appealing directly to voters, pointing out promises Trump failed to keep. 

Read More: Trump says he doesn’t feel the need to understand Black pain ‘at all’

“I hope I don’t get baited into getting into a brawl with this guy,” Biden said. He said that he wants to avoid a shouting match, but contended that “it’s going to be hard because I predict he’s going to be shouting.” 

Part of Trump’s approach since 2016 has been labeling competitors with derogatory nicknames to attract voters. Trump has repeatedly referred to Biden as “Sleepy Joe,” or “Slow Joe.” His campaign has also tried to cast doubt on the former vice president’s mental acuity. 

Biden told The Columbus Dispatch in March that his age and mental acuity should not be a concern for voters. “I’m in better shape than most people,” he said. 

Read More: Trump to resign, request pardon if he loses election: Cohen

Biden, who overcame a severe stutter as a child, highlighted the challenges he previously had with giving speeches during the Democratic National Convention when 13-year-old Brayden Harrington explained how the vice president helped him with his stutter. The moment was one of the most emotional of the four-night event. 

On Oct. 7, eight days after Biden and Trump exchange their arguments, Vice President Mike Pence is due to debate Sen. Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City, an event for which the Democratic vice presidential nominee said she has been preparing.

“I am looking forward to being able to talk with him and the American people,” Harris said at the campaign fundraiser, “and make our case about what we see as the right path forward for our country.” 

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