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Biden is facing pressure to drop out. Trump isn't joining in.

Former President Donald Trump is not known for restrained commentary about his political opponents’ weaknesses.

But after a debate in which a number of Democrats felt President Joe Biden’s performance was so uneven and concerning that he should consider getting out of the presidential contest just weeks before the Democratic National Convention, Trump is holding back from the full pile-on.

Speaking at a rally in Virginia on Friday, Trump said his complaints about Biden have nothing to do with his age, that the president overprepared for the faceoff, and that at the end of the day Biden was likely the toughest competitor he would get.

“He studied so hard that he didn’t know what the hell he was doing,” Trump, 78, said of his 81-year-old rival, adding: “It’s not his age, it’s his competence.”

Trump added that he doesn’t believe Democrats would ditch Biden “because he does better in polls than any of the Democrats they talk about,” pointing to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Vice President Kamala Harris and “some of the others.”

“It’s hard to believe, but Crooked Joe Biden polls better than those people,” he said.

It’s a departure from Trump’s rhetoric, and that of his allies, from as recently as a few weeks ago, when Trump told WABC 770 AM that he doubts Biden “will even be running, frankly. I just can’t even imagine it.”

For months, Republicans have floated the idea that Biden, already the oldest president in the nation’s history, would not ultimately be on the ballot this fall, spreading a conspiracy theory that Democrats were working to replace him late in the campaign with Newsom or former first lady Michelle Obama.

But after Biden’s performance on Thursday, Trump and his campaign advisers have quickly sought to fend off

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