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Campaigns Prepare For Thursday’s Presidential Debate

CNN Debate Stage

In 1971, it was billed the ‘Fight of the Century‘ when undefeated Muhammad Ali met undefeated Philadelphian Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden for the undisputed heavyweight boxing championship of the world. The fight is widely regarded as the biggest boxing match in history and arguably the single most anticipated and publicized sporting event ever.

In 1975, the third meeting between the pair was titled the ‘Thrilla in Manila‘ and is almost universally regarded as one of the best and most brutal fights in boxing history.

In 2024, it does not have a title (Arguing in the ATL?) but Thursday’s presidential debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump shapes up as a pivotal moment in what promises to be a slugfest for the White House.

The two campaigns are approaching the event at CNN headquarters in Atlanta differently.

Bob Bauer, Biden’s personal attorney, has been standing in for Trump in the president’s debate prep, while other aides have portrayed the role of moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

Reports have stated that aides to Trump do not use the words, “debate prep,” but continue to pepper the former president with policy reminders to use during the 90-minute session. Trump’s campaign has also taken to attacking the format and the moderators, despite the fact that he agreed to the rules that debate will be held.

The Biden team is releasing a new TV ad entitled, “Stopped,” that will run on general market television in all key battleground states. The 30-second ad features Michigan Sheriff Chris Swanson, who watched in horror as the events of January 6 unfolded, in an attempt to underscore the contrast between the candidates.

Trump’s team has been calling out Biden for what he says are lies about the Republican wanting a total abortion ban, opposing IVF and that states should monitor women’s pregnancies.

The Biden-Harris campaign held events with labor leaders and local elected officials across Western Pennsylvania uplifting the president’s labor record while slamming Trump’s economic record, which included 275,000 Pennsylvanians losing their jobs and an unemployment rate of 7.4% by the end of his first term.

“Heading into Thursday’s presidential debate, we will make sure voters in every corner of the Commonwealth see the clear choice: After Donald Trump sold out Pennsylvania workers, tanked the state’s economy and raised costs for working families, President Biden has delivered 500,000 new jobs to Pennsylvania, spurred new business growth across the state, and made record investments in our roads and bridges and ports,” Jack Doyle, Communications Director for Biden for President in Pennsylvania said in a statement.

The Trump campaign has called out Biden for spending more than $100 million on paid advertising … and having nothing to show for it, according to RealClearPolitics polling averages. Trump has also erased Biden’s cash advantage, after raising $141 million in May compared to his opponent’s $85 million.

The debate begins at 9 p.m. ET and will be carried live on CNN and simulcast on various broadcast stations and streaming outlets.

How Will You Be Watching The Biden-Trump Debate?

  • Not planning to watch (44%)
  • At home by myself or with family (38%)
  • At watch party with others (18%)

Total Voters: 34

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  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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