“If Trump is going to take his football and go home, I say good riddance to bad rubbish,” said one longtime Biden confidant and former Senate staffer, who originally felt that the former vice president shouldn’t have attended any debates, “but it turns out that there is an amount of lying and ugliness that blows back even on Trump.”

“Joe should spike the football, consider the debates won, and just do a town hall to show that he, unlike Trump, knows how to relate to the concerns of everyday Americans,” the confidant said.

But others—including the Biden campaign itself—see a potential repeat of Trump’s disastrous performance in the first presidential debate as too tempting a possibility to ignore.

“The key is for him to be seen and heard. The best offense is a good offense,” said John Morgan, a longtime Biden supporter and one of his top fundraisers in Florida. “Sitting on leads usually backfires. The more people see Joe and compare and contrast the better—the Russian spin that he has lost his pep and step is knocked down with every appearance.”