Trump Reveals Debate Aides Giuliani, Christie: Campaign Update

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President Donald Trump says he’s preparing for the debate after weeks of saying his job was enough preparation. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden again declined to say whether he supported adding more justices to the Supreme Court to fight its rightward tilt. Biden is keeping his focus on health care in the fight over Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

Other Developments:

Trump Says He is Preparing for Debate After All

Trump has been boasting for weeks that he doesn’t need to prepare for Tuesday’s debate with Biden because just doing his job was enough to get him ready for the face-off.

But on Sunday, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani accompanied Trump into the White House briefing room for a news conference.

When reporters asked about their presence, Trump acknowledged the longtime Trump loyalists were there for mock debates.

“We had a little debate before we came in,” Trump said, noting that “a combination of” Giuliani and Christie were playing Biden.

But Trump cautioned that he wouldn’t be preparing too much, saying “sometimes you can go too much on that stuff.” -- Wendy Benjaminson

Biden Declines to Commit on Expanding Supreme Court

Biden once again declined on Sunday to say whether or not he would support expanding the Supreme Court amid growing calls from Democrats to do so as Republicans expedite Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation process.

“I know you’re going to be upset with my answer but what I’m not going to do is play the Trump game,” Biden said, adding “If I were to say yes or no, that becomes a big issue, that’s the headline here.”

Instead the Democratic nominee said he wanted to stay focused on protecting the Affordable Care Act and reminding Americans they are being “cut out of this process.”

Biden Maintains Focus on Health Care in Supreme Court Fight (1 p.m.)

Biden hewed to the growing unified Democratic message in the fight against Trump’s decision to nominate Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, focusing on what he says is the danger to Americans’ health care.

“The clear focus is this is about your health care. This is about whether or not the ACA will exist,” he said, referring to the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. “This is about whether or not pre-existing conditions will continue to be covered. This is about whether or not a woman can be charged more for the procedures as a man. This is about peoples’ health care in the middle of a pandemic,” he said.

Biden mentioned Barrett only once in his speech, but only to note that she criticized Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion to uphold Obamacare.

Barrett, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, is now a judge on the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and vowed to follow his textualist approach to deciding cases. If confirmed, she could move the court to the right for decades.

Polls show a majority of voters believe the next president should fill Ginsburg’s seat, and Democrats are hoping voters will rebel against Republicans for expediting the process.

Hollywood’s ‘Rock’ Endorses Biden, Harris

Action star Johnson, also known as the Rock, created a buzz Sunday by endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Biden over Trump in an Instagram post.

The former pro wrestler, who has 199 million followers on the social media site, said it was his first public presidential endorsement.

“I’ve voted for Democrats in the past and as well as Republican,” wrote, Johnson, 48, describing himself as a political independent and a centrist who has “friends in all parties.”

“I believe Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the best to lead our country,” said Johnson, adding that he spoke with the Democratic candidates “on a number of important issues” before making the announcement.

Johnson’s seven-minute Instagram video, including parts of the dialogue with Biden and Harris, had been viewed 1.8 million times by 11 a.m. Eastern Time.

Tom Ridge, a Republican who was President George W. Bush’s homeland security secretary and governor of Pennsylvania, a key battleground state, also endorsed Biden Sunday.

Ridge, 75, said he’s never voted for a Democrat for president before but that Trump “lacks the empathy, integrity, intellect and maturity to lead.”

“It’s time to put country over party,” Ridge wrote in an op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Biden Maintains National Lead Over Trump in Two Polls

Biden held a lead over Trump among potential voters nationally, according to two polls conducted in the past few days, while other surveys showed Biden ahead in key swing states and running close in others.

In a poll by the Washington Post and ABC News, Biden had a 10 percentage point advantage over Trump. Biden’s lead was eight points in another survey conducted by the New York Times and Siena College.

Biden was up by two points in North Carolina, 48% to 46%, in a CBS poll, while Trump was ahead by just a point, 47% to 46%, in Georgia. In both cases the results were within the margin of error.

NBC/Marist polls showed Biden up by 10 points in Wisconsin and eight points in Michigan, two key Midwestern states won by Trump in 2016 on his way to the White House. In both states, strong support from women gave Biden the edge.

Coming Up:

The first presidential debate will be held Tuesday in Cleveland. The moderator will be Chris Wallace of Fox News.

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