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Donald Trump and Joe Biden are gearing up for their debate next week. Here's how they'll prep.

WASHINGTON — A week ago, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump were in a debate.

The presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees are beginning the final stages of preparation for their first in-person showdown since 2020. Biden will hold campaign briefings at Camp David this weekend, while Trump will also meet with political advisers, all activities leading up to the showdown on Thursday. . .

On Saturday, the former president will also participate in his favorite form of debate preparation: a campaign rally, this one in the politically important state of Pennsylvania.

The Trump and Biden campaigns expect millions of people to watch this first of two planned presidential debates. CNN will host the opening round Thursday in Atlanta. The ABC is hosting a second debate on September 10, details to come.

In a currently heated race, both candidates are poised to play both offense and defense, on topics ranging from Biden's age to Trump's criminal conviction in New York's illicit money case. York.

Prepare for the election: Find out who's running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our voter's guide

Joe Biden goes to Camp David

As Biden prepares for the showdown in Atlanta, he's taking a more traditional approach: the debate camp.

The president is scheduled to leave Thursday for the presidential resort at Camp David, Maryland, where he and his advisers are trying to determine how to confront his political rival next week.

A question likely to come up in the debate (and during the preparation of the debate): the age of the candidates.

Voters are concerned about the ages of Biden and Trump as the November election approaches. After all, in 2025, either would be the oldest president to hold the position.

Trump, 78, has made clear he intends to make Biden's age an issue during the debate scheduled for Thursday and in the coming months of the campaign trail. While Trump said Biden (81) was not too old to serve as president, during a rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday. Trump said Democrats “have a candidate who has no idea.”

On the other hand, Biden is also expected to put Trump's cognitive skills to the test, whether it's stumbling over words or threatening his political opponents with lawsuits.

Biden spokesman James Singer said in a statement that Trump "has gotten worse" and accused the former president of being "a convicted felon who's only out for himself."

Donald Trump rallies his supporters

This time, Trump is not planning mock debates, a tool commonly used by politicians to prepare for on-stage contests. Instead, he appears to rely on gatherings and conversations with various allies.

In recent weeks, he has spoken with a network of advocates about how to handle a debate with Biden. Advisers at the debate included some of Trump's leading vice presidential contenders, such as Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and J.D. Vance of Ohio and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.

In addition to attacking Biden on the debate stage, Trump will also likely address his criminal conviction in New York, where a jury convicted him last month of falsifying business records to conceal a secret payment to the porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

He should also talk about abortion. Trump has publicly said he believes states should set their own restrictions while Republicans struggle to unite behind a single position — and Democrats accuse the former president of supporting a nationwide ban.

Political observers will be watching to see if Trump addresses these issues in front of crowds in Philadelphia this weekend, as he prepares to make his Republican pitch to voters across the country next week.

In previous speeches, Trump has said proposals to ban abortion at the federal level could hurt Republican candidates — including himself — in the fall election.

Regarding the four sets of criminal charges, Trump said Thursday on Truth Social: “All Biden can do is call it an armed witch hunt trial against me. » The former president has long claimed, without proof, that the charges against him in several cases target his candidacy for re-election.

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