Trump Taunts Besieged Biden With New Debate With A Big Change; POTUS Insists He’s Staying In Race As Mass. Gov. Asks Him To “Carefully Evaluate” The Campaign

It probably won’t be Lincoln vs Douglas, but another debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump could be in the cards.

As the 81-year-old Biden gives a much anticipated and delayed campaign speech right now in an effort to contain the spreading blast radius from his debate debacle of last week, the 78-year-old ex-president and presumptive GOP nominee has thrown down the “no holds barred” gauntlet.

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In his opening remarks, Biden mocked Trump’s own cognitive abilities with the 44th president’s own claim to be “a stable genius.” The president then launched into his standard stump speech. “Can’t say it was my best performance,” the president noted of the June 27 debate. “I’m staying in the race,” Biden said, as he has several times in the past few days. “I’m not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three years of hard work,” he added, trying to turn his age as the oldest POTUS ever to his advantage in front of the cheering crowd.

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Still, a week after Biden’s disastrous debate appearance, Trump today challenged his rival to another debate, with one big difference from their last run-in.

“It would also, under great pressure, prove his ‘competence,’ or lack thereof,” Trump posted online this morning, when calling for a new debate with no moderators. “Likewise it would be yet another test for me. What a great evening it would be, just the two of us, one on one, in a good, old fashioned Debate, the way they used to be. ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANYPLACE!!!”

CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash moderated the June 27 debate. As a part of debate rules agreed on by both campaigns, the seasoned anchors did not engage in fact-checking with the candidates. As the live 90-minute debate went on, Tapper, Bash and CNN were subjected to heavy criticism for letting the former Celebrity Apprentice host launch one falsehood after another as Biden seemed to get lost in his responses.

Ahead in the polls as Biden’s support is getting increasingly shaky in key states, Trump’s call will likely go nowhere — especially as the two are already set to debate again in September.

“Let Joe explain why he wants Open Borders, with millions of people, and many violent criminals from parts unknown, pouring into our once great Nation, or why he wants Men Playing in Women’s Sports, or demand ALL ELECTRIC VEHICLES within five years, or why he allowed INFLATION TO RUN RAMPANT, destroying the people of our Country, and so much more,” Trump ranted Friday.

Trump’s challenge poses another risk for Biden, as calls for his exit grow in top political and donor circles. A sit-down interview with George Stephanopoulos was announced in a move to stem the bleeding Originally set to air on ABC on July 7 after two days of teasing on the Disney-owned network, the conversation will now be broadcast on ABC in a primetime special tonight.

Before the 8 pm ET/PT talk with GMA co-anchor Stephanopoulos, clips will show up on World News Tonight with David Muir at 6:30 pm ET/3:30 pm PT.

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The Biden and Stephanopoulos sit-down is set to be filmed right after his Wisconsin speech, a well-placed source tells Deadline.

With high-profile and deep-pocketed donors in Hollywood and elsewhere turning off the money pipeline on the Democrats unless the president steps aside, the stakes on his speech in the battleground state of Wisconsin come just minutes after Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey issued a circumspect statement on Biden’s fate. “Over the coming days, I urge him to listen to the American people and carefully evaluate whether he remains our best hope to defeat Donald Trump,” Gov. Healey said.

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The governor was one of many Democrats at the White House earlier this week meeting with the president face to face. At that abrupt gathering, with the Veep in attendance, Biden admitted he needed to schedule himself better and not have so many events after 8 pm. Despite the united front the Democratic governors put on at the White House, Biden’s remarks exacerbated many of the concerns they already had after his terrible debate performance, sources tell Deadline.

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