Biden Heads to Camp David to Prep for June 27 Debate with Trump

Biden to attend G7 summit and Hollywood fundraiser before debate prep.

by Nouman Rasool
Biden Heads to Camp David to Prep for June 27 Debate with Trump
© Win McNamee/Getty Images

After a week of international travel, President Joe Biden heads to Camp David on Friday. He will spend his weekend preparing for his first 2024 debate against former President Donald Trump. In the past, presidents have used the Maryland retreat to prepare for debates.

Mr. Biden, though, has just returned from France, where he joined other world leaders at the 80th-anniversary ceremony of the landing on D-Day. Later this week, he heads to Italy for a Group of Seven summit and then to Los Angeles for a weekend fundraiser with Hollywood stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

So, with the travel schedule—on which aides said he spent little time preparing for the debates, which start on June 27 and then go into a lull to September 10—this week is critical. One anonymous source privy to Biden's plans said the President may be at Camp David for almost a week in the lead-up to the occasion.

More determined final plans, such as how long he would be there or if that would be the site of his preparation, are deliberations that remain. Camp David has always been a favoured place to hold retreats in the Catoctin Mountains northwest of Washington.

Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush are among its guests. Biden has used the retreat in the past, notably to prepare for his State of the Union address in February.

Biden's Debate Strategy

In a memo marking the one-month countdown to the debate, Jen O'Malley Dillon, Biden's campaign chair, outlined the President's strategy.

Biden plans to challenge Trump on his Supreme Court appointments, which played a role in overturning Roe v. Wade, and how a potential second term could further threaten abortion rights. He will also push Trump to address his alleged attacks on U.S.

democracy, incitement of political violence, and an economic agenda that Biden's team claims favors the wealthy while jeopardizing Social Security funding. Trump, eager for the debate, has challenged Biden to face him "anytime, anyplace," even suggesting a debate outside the Manhattan courthouse where Trump is facing 34 felony counts related to hush money payments.

Trump's campaign has set up an empty lectern at several rallies to emphasize this challenge. In previous campaigns, Trump engaged in traditional debate prep, with former ally Chris Christie playing the role of Hillary Clinton in 2016.

However, this time, his team indicates that Trump will forgo formal preparation, relying instead on his regular tough interviews and lengthy rally speeches as his preparation. As both candidates gear up for the debates, the political stage is set for a contentious face-off. Each side is preparing to address key issues and leverage their strategies to appeal to voters.

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