President Trump says he wants both he and Joe Biden to take drug tests before their first debate on September 29, according to an Oval Office interview with the Washington Examiner.
Trump "expressed suspicion at what he said was a sudden, marked improvement in Biden's debate performance during the Democratic primary season," which Trump thinks was due to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, according to the report.
"Nobody thought that he was even going to win," Trump said of Biden - who participated in 11 debates during the primary season. Trump suggested that there was a big difference in Biden's performance between the first debates against a crowded Democratic field and the last debate on March 15 against Sen. Bernie Sanders.
"... his debate performances were so bad. Frankly, his best performance was against Bernie. We're going to call for a drug test, by the way, because his best performance was against Bernie. It wasn't that he was Winston Churchill, because he wasn't, but it was a normal, boring debate. You know, nothing amazing happened. And we are going to call for a drug test, because there's no way -- you can't do that."
More via the Washington Examiner:
Q: "What do you think was going on?"
"I don't know how he could have been so incompetent in his debate performances and then all of a sudden be OK against Bernie," Trump answered. "My point is, if you go back and watch some of those numerous debates, he was so bad. He wasn't even coherent. And against Bernie, he was. And we're calling for a drug test."
Q: "Is this like a prizefight, where beforehand you have a test?"
"Well, it is a prizefight," Trump answered. "It's no different from the gladiators, except we have to use our brain and our mouth. And our body -- to stand. I want all standing; they want to sit down."
The president based his call entirely on his own observations, and not on any actual knowledge of Biden's actions. "All I can tell you is that I'm pretty good at this stuff," he said. "I look. I watched him in the debates with all of the different people. He was close to incompetent, if not incompetent. And against Bernie he was normal...And I say how does that happen?"
The first Trump-Biden debate, to be held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, is little more than a month away. The president gave no indication of when he would make his drug test request, or even to whom. But he appeared to know that there is little chance such a thing would actually happen. "I think it's appropriate," Trump said. "I don't know that they'll let me do it, but I think that they should do it."
"Go back and watch his performances in some of those debates," Trump continued. "He didn't know where he was. And all of a sudden he was not good, he was normal, and I don't understand how. I don't know if there is or not, but somebody said to me he must be on drugs. I don't know if that's true or not, but I'm asking for a drug test. Both candidates. Me, too. I take an aspirin a day."
Meanwhile, Biden supporters have been looking for ways to wriggle out of an in-person debate altogether, while Notre Dame - which withdrew from hosting the first Trump-Biden debate after the St. Joseph County deputy health director recommended against it, and the college cited a "diminished educational value."