Burgum on debate: ‘We’re all anxious to see which Joe Biden is going to show up’

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) took aim at President Biden on Sunday, saying that he is “anxious” to see how he performs at the upcoming debate.

In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Burgum said Biden’s team has been making an effort “to lower expectations” of his debate with former President Trump on Thursday. Burgum suggested that two versions of Biden could appear on the debate stage as he discussed the president’s meeting with 40 governors across the country.

“America sort of looks at the State of the State, he stood up and he spoke strongly for over an hour. And then when we’re with a group of governors with him back in February, we were limited to two questions. One Republican governor and one Democrat … Forty governors, we had two questions for the president. Questions had to be submitted two days in advance,” he said.

“That’s a far cry from from standing in a debate for 90 minutes. So I think we’re all anxious to see which Joe Biden is going to show up,” he added.

A source familiar with the meeting told The Hill that Burgum’s description of the meeting was false, saying that Biden opened it up and took additional questions during the event.

Biden and Trump will be going head-to-head in the first presidential debate of 2024 this week, which will be hosted by CNN and moderated by Dana Bash and Jake Tapper. Despite taking aim at Biden, Burgum acknowledged that he has plenty of experience in debate and campaigning.

“The guy’s run for office more than a dozen times. He’s run for president four times. He’s been campaigning since President Nixon was in office. This guy has got the ability. We’ve seen it. We’ve seen him in [the] debate of four years ago. We’ve seen him in the State of the Union this year, that when he needs to, he could step up,” Burgum said.

“But I think this is a real opportunity for CNN, most trusted name in the news, to ask some tough questions,” he added.

Biden has been hunkering down with aides at Camp David to prepare for the debate this week, while Trump has been meeting with lawmakers to discuss what policies might come up. Biden has taken the more formal debate preparation approach and is practicing using mock debates, while Trump has decided to opt out.

Updated at 8:26 p.m.

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