Democratic nominee Joe Biden is moving from briefing books into full days of preparations. President Trump is studying notecards and getting help from a long-time ally, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
As we get closer to the debate showdown in Cleveland on Tuesday, both campaigns have been quiet about how the candidates are preparing.
Biden’s early debate preparations focused on reading briefing books and holding smaller prep sessions with policy aides, people familiar with his preparations said. He typically prefers having aides pepper him with questions in rapid-fire form over conducting full mock debates, those people said.
Ron Klain, Biden’s former chief of staff who also managed ex-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s presidential debate work, is helping to oversee Biden’s debate preparations ahead of Tuesday night, those sources said. Other longtime close Biden advisers who have been involved in recent debate prep sessions include Anita Dunn, Steve Ricchetti and Mike Donilon.
Trump, according to a source familiar with his debate preparations, is studying expected attacks from Biden. The focus of the preparations are a series of notecards the President is reviewing — the front lays out an expected Biden attack while the back of the card has bullets of what Trump has done on the topic, what he will do in a second term and how to turn the attack back on the former vice president. Christie, who played Clinton in Trump’s 2016 debate, is also helping with Trump’s debate preparations, the source added.
The first debate, moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, will be 90 minutes and focus on six topics:
- “The Trump and Biden Records”
- “The Supreme Court”
- “The Economy”
- “Race and Violence in our Cities”
- “The Integrity of the Election.”