President Trump said on Monday that he assumes Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s “going to do great” during the first presidential debate scheduled for next week, then went on to slam the former vice president.
“I've done more in 47 months than he's done in 47 years and that's absolutely true,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” in an exclusive interview on Monday.
“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace has been selected to moderate the first presidential debate between President Trump and Biden, the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced earlier this month.
The debate is scheduled to take place Tuesday, Sept. 29 in Cleveland.
President Trump is reportedly taking a new approach to the upcoming presidential debates by preparing, which is something he didn’t do in 2016.
The incumbent is studying Biden’s idiosyncrasies, hoping to trip up the former vice president and avoid any missteps from four years ago, Politico reported earlier this month.
In 2016, Trump refused to conduct a mock debate, he didn't allow anyone to play former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and he would not simulate the question-and-answer dynamic between moderator and candidates.
Host Steve Doocy asked Trump on Monday, “As you look to combating Joe Biden, what are you thinking?”
“I think he's a professional,” Trump said in response. “I don't know if he's all there, but I think he's a professional.
“I have to assume that he's a professional and that he can debate,” he continued.
“I don't understand what's going on. He doesn't seem to be answering questions and he can't answer questions and much worse a little while ago when he was on the stage with the Democrats, he couldn't do well.”
Trump noted that Biden “did OK” against Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., adding that “it was sort of a tie” and “was nothing great.”
Trump went on to say that Biden was “horrible when he was debating the Democrats.”
“What she said to him was terrible,” Trump added. “I tell you what, I watched that, and I'm shocked that he picked her [as his running mate] because he was … treated so badly by Kamala and then he picks her.”
Before Biden and Harris were on the same presidential ticket, they were battling to win the Democratic primary and, in some instances, things got heated.
In what became her most memorable debate moment, Harris challenged Biden's opposition to federally mandated busing when he was in the Senate, telling him she benefited from the program to integrate schools. The face-off produced Harris' "That little girl was me" remark that drew widespread media attention.
“Nobody treated him worse than his vice presidential pick,” Trump said on Monday.
The president then continued to say that he has to “assume” that Biden is “going to do great” during the presidential debates because of his 47 years of experience in “the public service.”
“But the one thing I'd also say is he's been there a long time, why hasn’t he done all the stuff he said he was going to do?” Trump asked.
He added, “Three-and-a-half years ago he was there and why hasn't he done the same things that I've been doing?
“And he copied, in a bad version, it's a bad copy, but he plagiarized, he copied what we did with the pandemic,” Trump continued.
“He comes out with a report, it's everything that we've done. We're working with the great generals and admirals and doctors and everything, but what we're doing is the same things that he said we should be doing and we are rounding the turn.”
Trump also reacted on Monday to Biden holding a large financial advantage over him as the race for the White House enters its final weeks.
The former vice president’s campaign reported on Sunday that it and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) began September with $466 million in the bank – roughly $141 million more than the cash on hand for the president and the Republican National Committee (RNC).
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh tweeted on Friday that the president’s re-election team and the RNC had $325 million in their coffers at the beginning of the month.
“They've always had more money than the Republicans,” Trump acknowledged on Monday. ‘It's sort of a funny thing. We have a lot, but … look, when I ran against crooked Hillary, I had 25% of the money that she had and nobody ever talked about that.”
He added that Clinton “spent all that money and nobody ever gave me credit.”
“My father taught me if you can do something and win for less, that's a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said. “I actually got criticized after I won the election. They said, ‘You know, you didn't have the money, didn't raise as much money as her.’ Yeah, but I won.”
He went on to say that he’s “never figured that one out.”
Host Brian Kilmeade noted that Trump said he put his own money into his campaign and asked if that still stands.
“I would do that,” Trump said in response, adding that he “already put a lot of money in the first time.”
He said that “if we needed money” he would add some of his money into the campaign, “but we don't need money.”
“We have a lot of money too,” he stressed.
He added, “I could raise so much money if I took one day and just started making phone calls to rich people, but I don't like doing that. I never did.”
Kilmeade asked Trump, “Why wouldn't you to that?”
“The problem then is I’m then obligated,” Trump said. “I don't like being obligated.”
He then brought up pharmaceutical companies as an example, saying he wants to “drop medicine prices” by “50, 60, 70%” and that he was willing to do that because he’s not “indebted to them.”
“They didn’t give me money and I’m not indebted to them, not that I know of anyway, but I'm not indebted to the drug companies,” Trump said on Monday. “They have such control over politicians.”
He added, “I'm sure they gave a lot of money to the Democrats.
“I could get so much money, but then I'm not going to be able to drop your drug prices down 70% and I'm doing that,” Trump went on to say.
“I could raise all the money I want, I just don't want to be obligated to people. That's not my thing. And we don't need the money,” Trump added.
Fox News’ Andrew Craft, Teny Sahakian, Julia Musto, Paul Steinhauser, Allie Raffa and Brian Flood contributed to this report.