Allies to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTop House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documentsJudge’s ruling creates fresh hurdle for Trump’s TikTok banHarris says she hasn’t ‘made a plan one way or another’ on meeting Supreme Court nomineeMORE say he can win the debate on Tuesday night if he can maintain his composure and not fall into traps set by President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau intends to wrap up count on Oct. 5 despite judge’s orderTop House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documentsNew Yorkers report receiving ballots with wrong name, voter addressesMORE.

The allies who are close to the campaign said Biden believes Trump will try to trip-up the Democratic nominee by seeking to throw him off course with personal attacks.

If Biden can keep his cool, the Biden camp thinks it will prevail in the debate.

If the VP doesnt get angry and just makes Trump look like he’s a crazy person, its a win, said one longtime ally close to the campaign. We can’t just get into a back and forth fact-checking mission. 

Behind the scenes, however, Bidens campaign and the Democratic National Committee are preparing a fact-checking operation to respond to Trump on Tuesday night, launching a Twitter account intended to fact check the debate in real time. 

The ally said Biden needs to channel his debate performance with Sarah Palin in 2008. At the same time, allies expect Tuesday nights debate to be the polar opposite of Bidens 2012 debate with Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump, Biden have one debate goal: Don’t loseRNC chair on election: We are on track to win the White HouseKenosha will be a good bellwether in 2020 MORE, the former Republican vice presidential nominee. 

He needs to be more Biden 08 vs Palin and less Biden 12 vs Ryan… Ryan played fair, the ally said. Trump obviously won’t.

A top Democratic fundraiser said Biden needs to remain on offense for much of the debate. 

If hes on defense and constantly responding to Trump, he is losing, the fundraiser said.

The way to do that, the fundraiser said, is to keep the emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic, which is something every single American can relate to. 

If he holds him to the fire, he wont need to do much else, the fundraiser said. 

Guests of Biden point to his planned pandemic emphasis. Kristin Urquiza, a San Francisco woman whose father died of COVID-19, will attend the debate as one of Bidens guests. 

They also telegraphed plans to hit Trump over his tax history after a New York Times investigation published this week revealed that Trump paid just $750 in federal income tax in both 2016 and 2017 and paid no taxes in 10 of the 15 previous years.

In an apparent effort to put pressure on Trump ahead of the debate, Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris says she hasn’t ‘made a plan one way or another’ on meeting Supreme Court nomineeCompromise, yes but how? A pre-debate suggestionBiden must clarify his stance on energy for swing votersMORE (D-Calif.) released their 2019 tax returns. 

Trump did not make his own tax returns public when he first ran for the White House in 2016 and has still refused to do so. 

Trumps tax returns and what we learned from that reporting I think reinforces what we already knew about Donald Trump which is that he looks down on working people, Kate Bedingfield, Bidens deputy campaign manager and communications director, told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday ahead of the debate.

It reinforces how much of a choice there is in this campaign between Scranton and Park Avenue, she added, echoing a line that Biden has used frequently in recent days to hammer Trump as out-of-touch with working-class Americans.

Symone SandersSymone SandersBiden campaign ratchets up courting of Black voters, specifically Black menThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association – Trump, Biden renew push for Latino supportSunday shows – Trump team defends coronavirus responseMORE, a senior adviser to Bidens campaign, said that the former vice president has no plans to fact check Trump on stage Tuesday night, putting it on the moderator, Fox News anchor Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceCompromise, yes but how? A pre-debate suggestionTrump tax reveal roils presidential raceVoters split on whether Trump, Biden will win first debate: pollMORE, to call the president out on false or misleading statements.

I want to be very clear on one thingit is not Joe Bidens job in this debate to fact check Donald Trump, Sanders said. Again, it is not Joe Bidens job in this debate. Thats the moderators job.

Sanders said that Bidens focus would be on speaking directly to the American people.

Democratic strategist Joel Payne predicted that the first presidential debate is typically difficult for incumbent presidents. He pointed to former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJudge orders Georgia officials to provide backup paper poll books ahead of electionSupreme Court fight should drive Democrats and help BidenMichelle Obama says even former first families can get on each other’s nerves during quarantineMOREs debate against then-Republican nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPresident Trump faces Herculean task in first debateHBO’s Oliver laments ‘dark week’ after Barrett nomination: ‘Hopeless’The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by JobsOhio – Trump’s tax return bombshellMORE in 2012. 

He struggled in that first debate because he had to readjust to the idea of being challenged by an equal on stage, Payne said. It would not surprise me if the same phenomenon emerged in this first debate.