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Trump can seize the next debate if he listens to coaches — but they don’t anticipate he will

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Joe Biden and Donald Trump (AFP)

Thursday night’s debate may be the last opportunity President Donald J. Trump has to move ahead of his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, before Election Day 2020. In order for the incumbent president to make headway across the nation and pull in voters, debate coaches say he must do two things: be more likable and stop interrupting Biden.

In an appeal to the American public, Trump is expected to tell more jokes on the debate stage and try to set a softer tone. This, of course, is bound to get murky when he berates Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, as expected.

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Trump’s team thinks that Biden will “look doddering” and “step on himself” if he is given the space to answer questions and isn’t being interrupted the whole night. “Don’t save him,” is the advice a Trump adviser told Axios.

The Washington Post reported that in the September debate Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, compared with Biden’s 22 interruptions of Trump. At the time, moderator Chris Wallace asked, “Mr. President, your campaign agreed both sides would get two-minute answers, uninterrupted. Your side agreed to it, and why don’t you observe what your campaign agreed to as a ground rule?”

Trump’s team went back to his third debate against Hillary Clinton in 2016 for inspiration.

“All Trump has to do is give people permission to vote for him,” one source close to the campaign tells Axios. “He did exactly the opposite of that in the first debate. So hopefully he can right the ship in this one, because his re-election may depend on it.”

The reality is that Trump regularly throws rules out the window without consequence. Will this time really be any different?

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“It was clear Trump didn’t study his debate document for round one,” one campaign source said.

The next and last presidential debate will air Thursday, Oct. 22 from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. with moderator Kristen Welker. The format will be six segments of approximately 15 minutes each.


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2020 Election

Early voting to be hit by heavy rain and flooding as Hurricane Zeta barrels towards the Gulf Coast

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Hurricane Zeta is expected to make landfall near Louisiana's border with Mississippi on Wednesday evening as campaigns work to get supporters to the polls and convince any undecided voters to back their candidate.

"Hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge are possible along portions of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, and Storm Surge and Hurricane Watches are in effect," the National Hurricane Center warned.

"Between Tuesday night and Thursday, heavy rainfall is expected from portions of the central Gulf Coast into the southern Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic states near and in advance of Zeta. This rainfall will lead to flash, urban, small stream, and minor river flooding," the center explained.

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2020 Election

Lincoln Project releases harrowing new video of the future if Trump wins re-election

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The Lincoln Project, the group of former top GOP strategists seeking to beat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, released another new video on Monday evening.

Unlike other videos, the latest release did not feature Trump saying crazy things. Instead, it is more like a 60-second short film.

It features a mother listening to election night returns. She goes into her son's bedroom and lovingly awakens him.

"Hey honey, you asked me to wake you and tell you what happened in the election," she says.

"Who won?" the child asked.

"Trump," she replied. "Trump won."

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2020 Election

Twitter again takes action against Trump for lying about mail-in ballots

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On Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted yet another false claim about mail-in ballots, and implicitly called for throwing out any ballots that have not been received by November 3rd even if they were postmarked before that date.

Twitter took action against the president's false statement, hiding it behind a warning that it "might be misleading about how to participate in an election or another civic process."

The social network has previously limited other tweets from the president, including those giving false information about the COVID-19 pandemic and one that appeared to glorify the shooting of civil rights protesters.

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