US debate 2020: How Biden will avoid BRAWL with ‘aggressive’ Trump during first debate

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President Trump and Joe Biden have just over a month to go until Americans elect a new president. Millions of voters will take to the polls on November 3 to pass judgement on their incumbent and his rival. Currently, Mr Trump is crashing in the polls, living him in a desperate position and potentially forcing him to take an aggressive tack.

Polling experts have President Trump behind the Democrat frontrunner by more than seven points, thanks to a series of blunders on his behalf.

The US currently leads the world in both coronavirus cases and deaths, as more than 200,000 people have succumbed to the disease.

The country also remains in the throes of social unrest due to police killings of black men and women, and Mr Trump has done little to soothe tensions.

Revelations about his attitude towards military veterans, a tax scandal and rumours he may defy the election results have caused further losses.

With the president very much on the back foot, his advisors will treat the debates as vital to rebuild his image.

His recent failings will likely cause him to shift attention to “sleepy” Joe Biden and distract voters.

Experts believe this will take shape as an aggressive onslaught against the former Vice President.

Speaking to the Guardian, Brad Bannon, a Washington-based Democratic strategist said the president would try to get a rise from his rival.

He said: “Trump will go after Biden hard, to deflect attention away from his own troubles, including the reports on his tax evasion and business failures.

“Much of Biden’s support is based on his calm demeanour, which contrasts well with the president’s erratic personality.

“So, it’s important for Biden to respond to Trump without losing his cool, and smile while he surgically cuts the president down to size.”

The best tactic for Joe Biden, therefore, is to resist any attempts by Mr Trump to suck him into a trap.

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The president’s track record shows a new kind of debate, according to analysts who have peered over his conduct.

They combed through Mr Trump’s clashes with Hillary Clinton in 2016 and found he counted on subverting traditional debate language.

Speaking to CNBC, Mitchell McKinney, director of the Political Communication Institute at the University of Missouri, said they classified a new kind of rhetoric, and therein lies the Trump attack.

He said: “[In 2016] we only had two categories for classifying attacks in political debate.”

“Was this an issue attack or a personal character attack?

“But we had to add a new category: ‘name-calling, taunting and denigrating’ attacks. This came overwhelmingly from Trump’s side.”

To win against Mr Trump, Mr McKinney said Mr Biden will have to avoid a “brawl”.

He said: “Forceful aggression can become a brawl. But if Biden sticks to his more reserved, senatorial style of debating, he could reinforce Trump’s argument of ‘low energy’ Joe.”

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