Biden Will Provoke the ‘Real’, ‘Chaotic’ Trump at Debate by Grilling on Abortion and Jan. 6, MSNBC’s Jonathan Lemire Says | Video

Going into Thursday’s presidential debate between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump, political media on both sides of the aisle continued speculating how the historic CNN proceedings will shake out.

Particularly atop the collective mind is how the former president — post-conviction and notoriously a live wire — will comport himself in front of the millions of viewers at home. While the Trump campaign has indicated their candidate will be composed and disciplined, visions of him intimidatingly lurking around the stage while debating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 remain fresh.

Jonathan Lemire, the Politico White House bureau chief also known for his correspondent work on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said Thursday that Biden’s plan against Trump should be to “knock him off” that plan and to “provoke the real Donald Trump.”

“The Donald Trump we see every day at a rally and that sort of more chaotic Donald Trump that they think will not play well with the viewers who are still going back and forth between the two candidates,” Lemire told MSNBC host Chris Jansing.

He was joined on the debate panel by the network’s Symone Sanders-Townsend and Bulwark writer-at-large Tim Miller.

Asked how Biden can get under Trump’s skin on Thursday’s stage, which will contentiously be closed to in-person press, Lemire said that the president will target abortion, the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol and whether or not Trump believes he lost the 2020 election.

“It’s all the above and then some. I think we’re going to see a pretty aggressive President Biden tonight on a couple of issues — abortion, for sure,” Lemire said. “We’ve noticed Vice President Harris using ‘Trump abortion bans’ as the phrase. I think we’ll hear that from President Biden this evening.”

The journalist added that “defending democracy at home and abroad” will also be on the president’s talking points, “saying that Trump siding with Putin but also siding with the rioters to storm of the Capitol on Jan. 6.”

“And I think we’ll hear him talk about the 2020 election, and potentially even directly ask him if the moderators don’t beat him to it, ‘Hey, who won in 2020?'” Lemire posited.

Such a line of question “will not only point him out as a loser, but will likely have Trump then repeat the Big Lie to a national television audience.”

“So there’s this, you know, sort of chatter from the Trump campaign that he’s going to come in more disciplined tonight, he’s going to be calmer,” Lemire concluded. “We’ve seen him do that for small bursts in the past. But the thought is from the president and his team is to try and knock him off that.”

Watch the full MSNBC segment in the video above.

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