Carville predicts Trump won’t show up for CNN debate with Biden

Longtime Democratic strategist James Carville says he doesn’t believe former President Trump will actually show up to debate President Biden next month.

“I don’t think Trump will go to the debate. He doesn’t do anything that’s not in his perceived self-interest, and this is one of these things where he could hurt — Biden has a chance to help himself,” Carville said in an interview Wednesday with conservative commentator Bill Kristol.

Biden and Trump are slated to debate June 27 and again in September. They will be the first debate either have participated in since the 2020 presidential election campaign, as Trump skipped this cycle’s GOP primary debates.

Kristol said he is “struck” over how many people “assume” the debate will happen because Trump has agreed to it.

“I assume Trump won’t do it if he thinks it’s not in his interest,” Kristol said.

Carville, who was a strategist for former President Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, pointed to Trump’s ongoing hush money trial, in which he notably did not testify after telling reporters he planned to take the stand.

“He said he was going to testify to trial … and you know what? When he didn’t testify, it didn’t cost him anything,” he said. “There was very little … even, ‘Well sir, you said…’ so he’ll say … he’s already said, ‘CNN can’t host. They’re not fair.'”

The June 27 debate will be hosted by CNN while the second, on Sept. 10, will be hosted by ABC.

“He’s just going to brush it off and say, ‘It can’t be fair,'” Carville continued, adding later, “He’s paid zero price for not testifying on his own behalf. None. And from that, he’s learned, ‘I can do what I want. I can back out of a debate. What are they going to do to me?'”

Trump accepted Biden’s invitation to debate within hours earlier this month, having long signaled an eagerness to take on the president.

“I am Ready and Willing to Debate Crooked Joe at the two proposed times in June and September,” he posted on Truth Social. “I would strongly recommend more than two debates and, for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds – That’s only because he doesn’t get them. Just tell me when, I’ll be there. ‘Let’s get ready to Rumble!!!’”

The former president has a razor-thin 1.2-point lead over Biden, according to a national polling index from The Hill and Decision Desk HQ.

Carville raised eyebrows recently when he said that “too many preachy females” were “dominating the culture of the Democratic Party.”

“A suspicion of mine is that there are too many preachy females … ‘Don’t drink beer, don’t watch football, don’t eat hamburgers, this is not good for you,’” he told The New York Times’s Maureen Dowd in March. “The message is too feminine: ‘Everything you’re doing is destroying the planet. You’ve got to eat your peas.’”

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