Knew it.

Knew Joe Biden was going to try to get out of the second and third debates with President Donald Trump one way or another.

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Knew he was going to find some reason to stay in hiding, to hang back, to try to “coast” to the end of this election season.

And now we have it, right in front of our eyes.

Biden on Tuesday told reporters he’s “looking forward to being able to debate” the president next week—then said the two candidates, given Trump’s recent coronavirus diagnosis, will need to “follow very strict guidelines.”

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“I think he if still has COVID, then we shouldn’t have a debate,” Biden added, as the Washington Examiner and other outlets reported.

This completely changes what Biden had promised earlier.

Why aren’t people outraged by this? Because many on the left want Trump out so badly they’re not going to criticize Biden no matter what he says or does, even though they recognize he’s far from the perfect candidate.

But Biden can’t be trusted. He’s changed his stance on so many things so many times it’s hard to keep track of what he believes or doesn’t believe.

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Truth is, we knew this was coming.

Biden is not a great debater, despite his nearly five decades in Washington as an elected politician, and his internal reasoning on this is almost as clear as day: Why put himself through the wringer of another face-to-face encounter with the president of the United States, an outsider who’s been changing things up ever since he began running for president? Besides, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been trying to deflate these debates for Biden’s sake, essentially saying her guy shouldn’t agree to be on the same stage with Trump.

It’s as if she’s been saying to Joe, “You poor thing. You shouldn’t do this. You don’t deserve this. You don’t have to do it. It’s OK. There, there, now.” (Imagine if Republicans had ever tried this?)

Here’s the problem: If Joe Biden can’t figure out how to be in the same room with the president of the United States ahead of the election—COVID or no COVID—then why is he running for the highest office in our land?

How would he handle a myriad of other challenges if elected?

It’s one thing to take precautions, to follow common-sense and scientifically based guidelines when it comes to COVID. We know it is a vicious disease and we want everyone safe and protected. Everyone.

But it’s another thing to try to hide out, dodge, duck, cower, and cringe—and somehow hope for the best.

Trump is leading from the front. That’s what our country needs. That’s the only way we conquer our challenges and face our enemies.

Trump is a leader and Joe is a hider. It isn’t more complicated than this.

Trump is decisive, strong, pro-America, and pro-freedom. He wants to battle COVID, he wants solutions and fixes, he wants vaccines and therapeutics that work, and he’s willing to stand up and face this issue and scores of others for the sake of our country and for all Americans.

But Biden is bidin’ his time until the end of the election season.

Our states, our country, our businesses, our houses of worship, our schools, our communities—we need them open as soon as possible. We need to push forward smartly and with the best intelligence we have. We need to be successful and we need to be safe. These are not mutually exclusive.

Joe needs to debate. And not by Zoom or some other remote method, by the way, which would allow his handlers to feed him lines or otherwise help his performance. He needs to be on that stage if he wants to be in the White House in November. It’s part of our election process and the American people deserve to see the two candidates debate the issues (as much as possible given everything, including rampant media bias).

Trump, on the other hand, is looking forward to the debate. In a tweet on Tuesday morning about it, he wrote: “I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami. It will be great!”

But it’s not just the debate. It’s far, far beyond that. Trump has fought back against this coronavirus and he’s pushing forward in every way possible for the sake of our country. His bravery and robust leadership of our country in the face of numerous obstacles is inspiring and important.

As for Biden: You can run but you can’t hide. And if you hide, then you shouldn’t run.

 

Maureen Mackey is a writer and editor.