Maggie Haberman Explains Trump's Last-Minute Pivot On Biden Before Debate

Donald Trump’s camp is trying to reforge perceptions of Joe Biden before next week’s presidential debate after recognizing a possible strategic blunder, according to Maggie Haberman.

During an interview on the “All-In Podcast” released Thursday, the former president suggested his successor will be a “worthy debater” and said Biden had “destroyed Paul Ryan” during the 2012 vice presidential debate.

“I’m not underestimating him,” said Trump, who has spent months insisting the president is in cognitive decline.

“I was told that this was where he and his team were heading as they went into the debate,” Haberman told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on Thursday.

“They were trying to move from, ‘Biden can’t tie his shoelaces and is gonna trip his way all over the stage,’ to trying to suggest that they expect that he will be good in the same way he was, say, at the State of the Union several months ago,” she continued. “And so, there is an awareness in Trump’s world that they have lowered the expectations pretty solidly for Biden there.”

She added, “I don’t know that a week out from the debate is enough time to try to recast that.”

After Biden’s strong State of the Union performance in March, Trump and his allies explained it by casting the president as “Jacked-Up Joe” and suggesting Biden could have used cocaine or other drugs before the speech.

Trump in April suggested any Biden debate “should be drug-tested.” He did the same thing ahead of presidential debates in 2020 and 2016.

The first 2024 presidential debate is scheduled for June 27 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. It will be moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.