Select Page

Biden is Afraid to Debate … As Well He Should Be

Biden is Afraid to Debate … As Well He Should Be

According to the Democratic National Committee (meaning Joe Biden), there will be no presidential debates among the Democrat candidates for president.  In other words, President Biden feels incapable of handling an unscripted event in which he and his handlers do not control his statements, the questions, and the counterpoints of opponents.

I chose the word “incapable” deliberately.  He and his inner circle know that Biden does not have the mental acuity to speak off the cuff.  He can only deal with issues in a closed and scripted format,  

His inability to campaign in public and speak extemporaneously was already evident in the 2020 campaign.  He used the Covid-19 Pandemic as an excuse to remain in his Delaware basement bunker – speaking to the voters through rehearsed and scripted videos and a smattering of friendly softball interviews.  In casual public appearances, he was more likely to be seen than heard.

As President, Biden has avoided open press conferences and impromptu interviews.  In fact, no President in modern times has had fewer meetings with the press.  Even at special events, he avoids taking unarranged questions.

Biden was once an effective orator.  He could handle anything thrown at him by the press or political adversaries.  You can see it in the old newsreels.  He is not the same man he was in those days.  In fact, on those rare occasions that he does find himself without script, he often makes serious gaffes.  Some say that is just old Joe – when it is really OLD Joe.

When properly prepped and rehearsed, Biden can pull off a good speech.  His home state Senator Chris Coons defends Biden’s mental agility by pointing to his recent State of the Union Speech.  As I had written at the time, Biden performed well in that speech.  He rose to the occasion.  But that was still a very carefully scripted and rehearsed event with a teleprompter.

Biden’s dedication to scripted video statements was underscored by the fact that he had a television studio constructed in the White House.  Many of his statements from the “White House” are recorded on a set – not in the Oval Office or some meeting room – as all past presidents did.

Biden has become a virtual reality President.  There is little difference between his appearance in electronic video statements – including the recent announcement of his candidacy — and a digitally created President.

Biden’s relative seclusion has already broken norms and traditions of presidential communication.  And now he cannot handle a debate.  Is he afraid to face Tulsi Gabbard and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. – and whoever else enters the Democrat primary?  Will he also refuse to debate his Republican opponent in the General Election?  I am betting that he will find an excuse not to debate.

It appears that Biden will be able to coast to the end of his first term – although he is at that anything-can-happen age.  But I think his health and mental acuity will not get better with age—Au contraire.  

I go with President Carter, who said that anyone over 80 is too old to carry out the duties of the President of the United States. If Biden cannot handle a debate in 2024, how is he going to handle complex topics and tough negotiations in 2028?

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Frank stetson

    I think you have to have someone to debate before you have a debate. You just wanna see Biden face off against Kennedy and a self-help guru.

    The bottom line is that if Candidates meet the normal debate qualification standards, which I believe is about 2% in a number of national polls, a certain amount of money, etc. then there should be a debate.

    Frankly, if they don’t meet the qualifications, I think Joe should debate himself. Larry would really love a 2 hour Dark Brandon monologue 😁 covered on all channels. He could tell grandad stories and how his Dad would tell him: “georgy, remember always the dignity of work. Child work, using Dad to get ahead, selling classifieds, you know jamey, dignified.”

    • Tom

      Your last paragraph is a real knee slapper Frank!! LOL :>))

  2. larry Horist

    Frank Stetson … RFK Jr is at 19 percent in the polls. That should get him a spot on the stage under most debate rules. But it is the old calculous. Taking a hit for not debating is less scary than chancing a debate.

    • Tom

      You speak the truth on this! Debates expose weaknesses. Never debate if you do not have to.

      • Frank stetson

        Depends on your strength.

        As many say, when he’s on, he’s really on. And when he’s not, he gaps.

        Rfk jr is riding coattails. Let’s see where he stands once they know he’s no rfk. And he needs other qualifiers like money. Doubt he’s hitting the family bank on this one.

  3. Frank stetson

    Now, it looks like Trump is going to dump on the first debate. First question is, who leaked this one? How many people could even know? Sure sounds like a deliberate leak in order to test the waters…and I don’t mean Maxine.

    One thing is certain, this is going to be the strangest presidential election we have seen in our lifetimes. And for Larry, Tom and I, that’s a really long time. Especially Larry 🥹

    • Tom

      I am not aware of Trump dumping on the first debate but it would make a certain amount of sense since he is the poll leader. He is learning off of Joe.

      I am wondering in a way if this might be a good thing that Trump does not want to debate the first round. IT will give us Independents/Unaffiliated voters more of a chance to hear the GOP alternatives. Many Independents/Unaffiliated voters do not want Trump back in.

      As far as Dems, it may also be a blessing if Joe is not present in the debates but I do think overall it is a mistake not to have the debate since folks like me would like to hear the Dem alternatives. In NC, an Independent/Unaffiliated voter can vote in either Dem or GOP primary but not both. Since our primaries are not until later, like in June or so of 2024, it it looks like Trump is the GOP choice then I would vote in the Dem to get a better choice than Joe. In the end, I want to see a competitive race with two highly qualified able to stay awake and in reality all day long candidates!

  4. andy

    I do not want Biden to run, even though I voted for him in the last election. He is too old and too demented. So I want him to get into a situation where it’s blindingly obvious that he cannot continue his campaign for reelection. A debate would work, as would an unscripted news conference.

  5. Darren

    Andy, the real question I would ask is, Why did you vote for Biden knowing all he did for years in Congress is consume air?
    Did you really think he could lead anything? Or just voted against Trump?
    Not picking on you Andy, just actually wondering.

    • Andrew Gutterman


    • Tom

      I voted for Biden because I could not stand anymore Trump. Four years of arrogance and belligerence was enough for me. He was a pleasant relief from Trump. Now it is time for him to ride into the sunset, enjoy retirement, and remember the good ole days as best he can. As an Independent, I do think you need to be fair to Biden. He has legislative accomplishments, please see **. I hope this helps you.

      • larry Horist

        Tom … Come on, man. I cannot believe that you presented that Newsweek puff piece as a legitimate summary of Biden’s “accomplishments.” Biden takes a lot of credit for things Obama did. Biden was mostly an observer — not a prime mover. You personally consider some of his work positive accomplishments that are highly interpretable. I would see that article as pretty thin in accomplishment for many at the top of American policy making for 50 years. Me thinks your damned Biden by feint praise.

    • Frank stetson

      Darren, really? Just air? Where’s your proof? Evidence? Facts?

      He IS leading the country and has a number of strong pieces of long-term legislation passed like the infrastructure bill.

      All you guys did was borrow us into a hole, produce the lowest gdp growth in decades, and brag a lot about lies like the wall, replacing Obamacare, and bringing all those thousands of factory jobs back. Even your scotus is on the take. Bunch of fucking grifters , that’s what you’ve been. And now he’s asking for more money to pay his legal bills like his recently tossed NYT case and to fuel his plane. Grift on Darren, be grifted upon.

      You need a rino to root out the magarats

  6. JPop

    If I hear this man say he’s battling for the soul of the nation one more time i am gonna puke. What a f**king lie.

    • Tom

      That all depends on how one views the soul of the nation. If its Soul Train, he is doing great! IF it is lower inflation, affordable transportation, decoupling from China, affordable gasoline, etc. he is not doing to great. MAGA is one soul, WOKE is another soul. His battle for one is a battle against the other.

  7. Darren

    I do not care how arrogantly Trump sounded.
    It made our country’s enemies worry every day.
    Now we have to worry about our enemies.
    We have an old man in the White House walking around like he is in a senior center looking for Jello.

    Oh Ya, that is better.

    • Frank stetson

      +1 Darren. Crazy does have it’s perks. However, Putin kept Ukraine, NK kept testing missiles and stockpiling nukes, and more. No wars stopped, we added a few conflicts, it wasn’t all peaches and cream.

      Glad we agree that it’s better now.

      • larry Horist

        frank Stetson … Obama did nothing when Putin took the Crimea. There was no effort by Ukraine to retake the Crimea. The conflict was in east Dombos region — and Trump sent military equipment to Ukraine for first time. NK stopped testing missiles after talks with Trump. Trump pulled out of Syria and Iraq (both mistakes). He also produced the Abraham Accords which ended the war with one nation and east tensions with others. Get your facts straight.

        • Frank stetson

          Mr. Horst, I agree that Obama did not provide lethal weapons to Ukraine. Given that they were governed by a Putin puppet, who was put in place by trumps crony who later, ran his campaign, then was convicted, and went to jail, there is some cause for that. Obama did provide a lot of military equipment to Ukraine, just not lethal weapons. It was not just blankets, that was bullshit made up by a lying bastard..

          Even though the discussion of Obama seems to be a red herring for what we were discussing, I am pretty sure I’m in agreement with you that Obama should’ve put the red line in the sand and settled the thing right then and there. It was a dove like classic mistake, in my opinion. I’m pretty sure you agree. Although that was not what we were talking about here.

          Zelinski took office in 2019 during the time of Trump and that’s when providing military equipment made common sense. Since the Putin puppet was no longer in power, it was time to arm, and Trump did provide funding. Unfortunately, I believe he held the funding up for two years, And then the famous “I want a favor“ telephone call, probably leveraging what his crony had set up earlier. After many delays, I believe Congress was the one that forced the equipment to be sent. So it was on trumps watch, but it was being grudgingly sent by Trump.

          North Korea tested missiles all throughout trumps legacy. Even fired one when Trump was next-door in Japan. You can Google “North Korea testing chronology“ to see all the missile tests. There’s a lot during Trump.

          I believe it was Iraq that voted to have our troops removed, I believe Trump instigated that, but I believe our troops did not finally withdraw until 2021. As of today, we still have personnel there, I believe.

          In Syria, yes, Trump did pull out and the Kurds paid for the way he did it. Personally, I believe the human toll was much worse than anything in the Afghanistan‘s pull out. For some reason, it does not seem to upset the Hawks in America.

          Not 100% sure on all those, but pretty darn sure.

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson .. You are parsing history. “Blanks” was the cliché. It represented the FACT that Obama did not send weapons — much needed weapons. Only blankest and other “humanitarian” aid. Credit Trump with the change of policy. After the Trump meeting, Kim Jong un ended all ICBM testing. That was the key concern. He also got the return of MIA remains — and dialogue between N and S Korea. And you for get that Obama’s double cross of the Syrian rebels created one of the largest and most deadly migrations in human history. You seem to focus on minor issues and ignore the greater history. And as far as accusing me of being off subject, i am LMAO. YOU are the number one off subject contributor to this site — followed by Tom. You use the platform as you own personal communication’s vehicle. You guys even talk about your personal finances and history. Come on, man. Stop the bs accusations.

  8. JoeyP

    He’s got NOTHING to DEBATE with . . . There’s NOTHING “Upstairs”!

  9. AC

    A. As for the critique on age being in an inverse relationship with mental agility. Your judgement goes just so far on this subject. For the old saying applies here,. “It takes one to know one.”
    B. Your guy Trump may well beg off from debating.
    Which is best anyway. You have to agree that he knows not one of debate’s governing rules nor a temperament beneficial to a good debate on the questions presented.
    C. We all recall Trump’s ability speaking and his keeping to script. His “handlers” did not know how a prepared speech would go, as planned or off the rails.
    D. On the whole nether is an accomplished public speaker. Of the two, Biden is the more presidential.
    E. There is no doubt 2024 election cycle will test the national patience quotient. Most would druther we had a fresh slate of qualified candidates.

    • larry Horist

      Ac … A. You are correct. Being Biden age an in extraordinarily good health, I still do not believe a person my age has the stamina and vitality to be President of the United States over the course of the next 6 years. It does take one to know one. in this case.

      B. Trump is NOT my guy as you should know from a reader of my commentaries. Either you are intentionally misinforming or you do not recall the past. And …. it was team Biden that is dodging debates.

      C. I agree — that that does not mean Trump would not like to take to the stage.

      D. I would tend to agree, but presidential in style. He still has problems with the truth … the shadow of scandal is darkening his front door … and his policies suck, IMO

      E. Agree.