Exclusive: Trump takes debate prep to campaign trail, calls it a winning strategy


As we get closer to the CNN Presidential Debate, both President Biden and former President Donald Trump are now preparing to take the stage.

Biden is prepping out at Camp David, while Trump hit the campaign trail in Philadelphia. Fox News Correspondent Alexis McAdams caught up with Trump before his rally to find out how he is getting ready.

“Well, this is really the best strategy right here. We have all these people out here and they are screaming questions. I look forward to the debate,” Trump said.

Trump asked the crowd during his rally at Temple University what his approach should be on stage.

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President Biden is set to go head-to-head with former President Trump on Thursday in the first general election debate of 2024. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“How should I handle him? Should I be tough and nasty, and just say, ‘you’re the worst president in history.’ Or should I be nice and calm and let him speak?” Trump asked.

Though no matter his demeanor, Trump told Fox News that he is not worried about Biden’s debate preparations and feels confident in his own ability.

“Well, I think if he prepares, he’ll be fine. Then he will forget it within about an hour after preparing. So, we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens,” Trump said.

The former president is on a swing state tour, recently hitting Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania – a list of states Trump won back in 2016 but lost in 2020. According to recent polls, Trump is doing better in those states this time around. Gaining support with young and nonwhite voters, who say they are upset with Biden’s handling of the economy and Gaza.

According to a recent Marist College Poll, Trump is leading Biden by two points in Pennsylvania, a key state on the road to the White House. Trump told Fox News he could be anywhere, but is choosing to stop in urban areas, including a cheese steak shop in South Philly.

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“It’s not a game plan. It’s just there’s a lot of love. You know, they want hope. There’s no hope with this guy. Biden is the worst president we’ve ever had. There’s no hope. I’m saying the people need hope. I go out, I see the greatest people. So, we’re in the middle of a pretty rough area and it’s a love fest,” said Trump.

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Former President Trump appears at his Philadelphia rally on June 22, 2024. (Anna Moneymaker/Jim Watson/Getty Images)

Some voters waited for hours outside the rally in record heat. Many said they wanted to hear more about the former president’s plans to fix the border, crime and inflation. This, as a recent Fox News Poll found, 32 % of voters say the economy is in excellent or good shape. It is the highest approval rating on the topic so far during Biden’s presidency. Though, the sentiment seems to be negative when you talk with voters.

I need to make money to feed my family. I used to pay $200 a week for groceries… now I pay $450 a week. I’m not even making that anymore. So, it’s killing me,” said one Philadelphia voter.

TRUMP, BIDEN AIM TO USE DUELING RALLIES IN THESE STATES POST-DEBATE TO PUT EACH OTHER ON DEFENSE

So far, Trump has not announced a vice president pick. But, said he does know who he will choose.

Well, if you knew that, you would probably be up for a major raise. We have a lot of viewers who say, ‘who do you like, who do you like? ’There are so many different answers. We have a lot of good ones. I’ll be announcing it right around the time of the convention,” Trump said.

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President Biden speaks in North Carolina – a state he’ll visit again shortly after the CNN Debate. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

After the debate, both candidates plan to stay in the South. Biden will stop in North Carolina, a state he lost to Trump back in 2020.

Trump will head to a rally in Virginia. It has been two decades since a Republican carried the commonwealth state in the race for the White House. The former president plans to change that.

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“We are actually two points up in Virginia. Virginia is not a state that a Republican generally wins and has not won in decades. We are leading in Virginia, and we are leading in Minnesota. That one hasn’t been won since 1972. I think we’re going to win a lot of places that people never even thought about, because our country is in dire shape to put it mildly. It’s doing badly,” Trump said.

According to a recent Fox News survey of Virginia registered voters, Trump and Biden are in a dead heat.

The poll, released June 6, shows Biden and Trump with 48% each in a head-to-head matchup in the Old Dominion State.

Fox News Digital’s Victoria Balara contributed to this report.



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