Donald Trump (L) and Joe Biden have agreed to rules and a debate format set by CNN
President Biden is publicly showing no signs of stepping back and held a virtual meeting with governors on Wednesday to try to reassure them he's up to the job. AFP News

Former President Donald Trump has issued a challenge to President Joe Biden for another "no holds barred" debate. Writing on Truth Social on Thursday night, Trump stated:

"I have the answer to the Crooked Joe Biden Incompetence Puzzle - Let's do another Debate, but this time, no holds barred - An all-on discussion, with just the two of us on stage, talking about the future of our Country."

Biden's performance in last week's CNN debate, widely described by commentators and politicians as "disastrous", heightened existing concerns over his mental acuity. Biden's voice was weak and raspy, and he repeatedly stumbled over his words, confusing numbers and statistics throughout the contest.

Since then, three House Democrats and other party members have suggested that he should withdraw from the race.

Trump's Debate Challenge

In Thursday evening's post, Trump expressed his desire for Biden to discuss topics ranging from immigration to inflation in another debate.

"Likewise it would be yet another test for me. What a great evening it would be, just the two of us, one on one, in a good, old-fashioned Debate, the way they used to be. ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANYPLACE!!!" the former president added.

Defending his performance in the first presidential debate, Biden claimed he was suffering from jet lag and tiredness.

"I didn't listen to my staff... and then I nearly fell asleep on stage," he said.

The President, who is 81, last returned from travel on 15 June, nearly two weeks before the 27 June debate.

Democratic Governors' Meeting

On Wednesday night, the president reportedly began a meeting with Democrat governors by declaring that he would continue his campaign, prompting complaints from some anonymous attendees that Biden had pre-empted any serious discussion about the state of the race.

He told a gathering of nearly two dozen Democrats at the White House that he needs to get more sleep and work fewer hours - and even avoid events held after 8 p.m. - despite previous reports that he can only fully handle the job between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

During the same gathering, Biden responded to a question from Hawaii Governor Josh Green about his health by saying that while his health was fine, the problem was "just my brain", an apparent attempt at humour that went unrecognised by at least one state leader in the room, according to The New York Times.

Governors, including California's Gavin Newsom and Michigan's Gretchen Whitmer, who have been touted as potential replacements for Biden and his vice-president, Kamala Harris, emerged from the meeting enthusiastically pledging their ongoing support for the president as the presumptive party nominee for this November's election.

Biden's Campaign Strategy

In support of Biden's comments regarding his sleep schedule, Biden-Harris campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz said in a statement:

"President [George W.] Bush went to bed at 9, and President [Barack] Obama made dinner at 6:30, normal presidents strike a balance, and so does Joe Biden. Hardly the same rigour as Donald Trump who spends half of his day ranting on Truth Social about plans that would cause a recession and the other half golfing."

Meanwhile, a report published on Thursday by New York magazine revealed that Biden no longer remembered the names of longtime friends of the first family. On at least one occasion, according to the report, First Lady Jill Biden "fed" the president a greeting to a Democratic mega-donor at a White House reception.

"It hasn't been good for a long time but it's gotten so, so much worse," a witness to the latter exchange was quoted as saying.