Pelosi: Trump’s remarks at debate ‘what keeps me up at night’

Bonnie Cash

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that President Trump’s behavior during the presidential debate this week is representative of “what keeps me up at night.”

“As Speaker, over time, people have said to me, ‘What keeps you up at night?’ The night of the debate you saw what keeps me up at night,” Pelosi said as she opened a news conference in the Capitol.

“To see a president of the United States, in a debate with a potential president of the United States, refuse to condemn white supremacists, refuse to commit to a peaceful transfer of government. To ignore the climate crisis as our country is burning and our coasts are hit by fierce storms. To be there to crush the Affordable Care Act instead of crushing the virus,” Pelosi said.

Trump drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for refusing to directly condemn white supremacists during Tuesday night’s debate and for again refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses to Biden.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, which sponsors the televised debates, announced on Wednesday that it would implement changes to the remaining two debates to make them less chaotic after Trump continuously interrupted both Biden and the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News.

“What keeps me at night is what we saw that night was authenticity on both sides of the stage. The president authentically a bully. Joe Biden authentically a decent person who cares about America’s working families,” Pelosi said.

“[This] isn’t just like a Democratic or Republican debate. That’s the exchange of ideas. That’s what we came here to do. This is something quite different, undermining our institutions, undermining our democracy. The president of the United States with no respect for the office that he holds,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi originally said in August that she didn’t think Biden should debate Trump and “legitimize a conversation with him nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States.”

“I don’t think that there should be any debates,” Pelosi said at the time. “I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that anybody has any association with truth, evidence, data and facts.”

The Biden campaign said Wednesday that the former vice president will continue to debate Trump. The remaining two presidential debates are scheduled for Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.

Faced with pressure to more clearly condemn the right-wing group The Proud Boys — whom he had told to “stand back and stand by” during the debate — Trump denied Wednesday that he knew of the group.

“Whoever they are, they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work,” Trump said.

Pelosi later added in an interview on Bloomberg TV that she hadn’t “really slept five hours combined both nights” since Tuesday’s debate.

She also reiterated that she doesn’t think Biden should participate in additional debates with Trump.

“One and done,” Pelosi said.

Tags 2020 presidential debates Chris Wallace Donald Trump Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi
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