search
Sections List
American Journal News

Trump campaign launches new 'earpiece' theory for how Biden will cheat at debates

The Trump campaign is throwing accusations at the wall ahead of the Tuesday night debate.

By Donna Provencher - September 29, 2020
Share
Donald Trump

Donald Trump has made an odd request for an amendment to presidential debate rules: that third-party inspectors examine both of Joe Biden’s ears for electronic devices.

In a Tuesday statement, Trump’s 2020 communications director Tim Murtaugh claimed that “Joe Biden’s handlers” initially agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces but “today abruptly reversed themselves and declined.”

He added that Biden’s team has asked for breaks during the debate, but Trump’s team has rejected this request because “Trump doesn’t need [them].”

“On top of the refusal to take a drug test, it seems pretty obvious that the Biden team is looking for any safety net they can find in the hours leading up to the debate,” Murtaugh said. “With his 47 years as a failed politician, how much help does Biden want?”

But other sources indicate the Trump campaign is fearful of a debate loss and merely throwing accusations at the wall to see what sticks.

Elizabeth Landers, Washington, D.C., correspondent for Vice News, tweeted a screenshot Monday of a list of talking points urging the Trump campaign not to underestimate Biden’s debating abilities.

“A source confirms that the Trump campaign’s congressional liaison is sending along these talking points to Republican allies, basically saying DON’T downplay Biden’s abilities in a debate,” Landers tweeted.

The list notes that Biden has run for president three times, and has participated in two vice-presidential debates and 11 Democratic primary debates. It also refers to him as a “career politician” and suggests that his recently lightened campaign schedule indicates he’s been shoring up for extensive debate preparation.

The GOP has long used allegations of cheating during presidential debates as a red herring to deflect from a Republican candidate’s poor debate performance.

Conservative media went wild with accusations of Hillary Clinton supposedly donning an earpiece for a 2016 presidential debate. The Drudge Report and InfoWars both published pieces alleging Clinton was wearing an electronic device of some kind during a debate.

And it was none other than Donald Trump Jr. who amplified the spread of the conspiracy theory by retweeting the InfoWars story.

During the 2012 election, viral chain emails circulated accusing former President Barack Obama of wearing an earpiece while debating Mitt Romney, with no proof offered beyond a grainy photo showing what appears to be a shadow over his ear and a near-invisible bump in his jacket.

“President Obama was wearing an earpiece during the last debate,” the debunked email’s text read. “He was advised on what to say using this earpiece. Is this fair, America?? … This president will stop at nothing to stay in power.”

In 2008, American law professor and blogger Ann Althouse similarly accused Obama of potentially wearing an earpiece during his debates against Mitt Romney. She initially claimed it looked like a “crescent of clear plastic.” After some pushback, Althouse backpedaled on her claims.

But, she cautioned, just because what she thought was an earpiece wasn’t, in fact, an earpiece, doesn’t mean Obama wasn’t wearing some other earpiece.

“Just because the thing I saw wasn’t there doesn’t mean there wasn’t something there I didn’t see,” Althouse said.

Even Republican candidates are not immune to this kind of unsubstantiated speculation surrounding presidential debates. Former President George W. Bush was widely accused of wearing an electronic assistive device during the 2004 presidential debates, chalking his bulge up to a “poor tailored suit.”

Robert Nelson, a senior research scientist for NASA, went so far as to analyze the debate footage for a week and claimed Bush’s jacket bulge was consistent with an electrical device requiring a wire or a tube snaking up his back.

“I am willing to stake my scientific reputation to the statement that Bush was wearing something in his jacket during the debate,” Nelson told Salon in a 2004 interview. “This is not about a bad suit. And there’s no way the bulge can be described as a wrinkled shirt.”

The upshot is this: Presidential debate cheating accusations are as old as presidential debates themselves. And the Trump campaign seems ready to write off any debate loss as foul play.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

 


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Biden rallies Democrats in Las Vegas: ‘Imagine the nightmare’ if Trump reelected

Biden rallies Democrats in Las Vegas: ‘Imagine the nightmare’ if Trump reelected

By April Corbin Girnus, Nevada Current - February 05, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
White House calls for focus on tutoring, summer school, absenteeism as pandemic aid winds down

White House calls for focus on tutoring, summer school, absenteeism as pandemic aid winds down

By Kalyn Belsha, Chalkbeat and Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat Colorado - January 22, 2024
Trump legal problems abound as first test of 2024 presidential campaign nears in Iowa

Trump legal problems abound as first test of 2024 presidential campaign nears in Iowa

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom and Jacob Fischler, Georgia Recorder - January 08, 2024
December jobs report: Wages up, hiring steady as job market ends year strong

December jobs report: Wages up, hiring steady as job market ends year strong

By Casey Quinlan - January 05, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

By Katie McKellar, Utah News Dispatch - February 27, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024