The following is a suggested opening statement for former President Donald Trump at the upcoming June 27 debate with President Joe Biden.

For an alternate viewpoint, see “Point: What Joe Biden Should Say at the Debate”

My fellow Americans,

Tonight, with millions of you watching from home, as you did so many times when I was hosting “The Apprentice” — you remember that, Joe? (Looks at President Biden.) Probably not. It was past your bedtime.

Anyway, with so many of you watching and worrying about which of us is ready to serve as your president for the next four years, I’m going to say something that, quite frankly, I can’t believe I’m saying myself:

I’m not perfect.

Now it’s true, I’m probably closer to perfect than anyone since, well, I’m thinking of a baby born in a manger a long time ago. … But I’m here to tell you that I have made mistakes, and I know it.

More importantly, and this is the big difference between me and Mr. Four Years of Failure standing over there, I have learned from my mistakes. And I am ready to use those lessons learned to make our great America even greater!

For example, Joe can’t admit he got the border wrong. When he took office, he just threw out all of my very excellent policies that made the border safer than ever. And it did just because they were mine. Can you believe that?

Under Joe’s watch, we’ve had about 10 million illegal border crossings, including “gotaways.” Everyone has seen the pictures from the border, the chaos and the crime. All because Biden wouldn’t admit his policy isn’t working.

I want Americans to know that when you elect me over Crooked Joe, you’re not just getting someone ready to lead this country 24/7 — including nap time and weekends. You’re also getting someone who has learned that being a great president means admitting mistakes and choosing a new path.

And I want to start down that path by quoting the person who’s really been running the White House these last four years: “There are no red states or blue states, just the United States.” Remember when Obama said that? That was when he was still calling me asking for campaign donations. Remember that?

Obama was right about the “United States.” But you wouldn’t know that listening to Biden. Everyone keeps saying that I’m a divider and I target my enemies, but have you listened to how Biden and his administration talk about the American people?

He gave a speech down in Philly denouncing “MAGA” Republicans who support me as enemies of democracy. Can you believe he called millions and millions of Americans the “enemy”?

Everyone keeps saying that I’m a divider and I target my enemies, but have you listened to how Biden and his administration talk about the American people?

It’s wrong. He needs to admit it. And you know what? So do I.

And that’s not all.

I was wrong on January 6 to remain silent when the riot began, and I was wrong not to denounce it and the people who led it.

I was right to ask questions about how some states handled their elections in 2020, but I was wrong to say it was stolen. The election wasn’t perfect, our democracy isn’t perfect, and, as you are discovering tonight, even I am not perfect.

But we should all be good enough to put our American system ahead of our own, individual desires.

And that’s another thing: No more jokes about wanting to be a dictator, just for a day. My voters and I, we get the joke. Stiffs like my friend Jake Tapper here (just kidding, Jake!) think I meant it. And that’s not good.

Right now, our American ideals, like democracy, are under assault all over the world by the likes of Russia and Iran and China. As president, I shouldn’t say or do anything to undermine them. I can do better.

Which may be the most important difference between Biden and me. When it comes to defending our American way of life, or protecting our border or making Americans feel more secure — I can still do better. I can learn more lessons, improve my performance.

He can’t. What you’re seeing right now is Joe Biden doing the best he can. Even if he wanted to do better on inflation, or fighting China, or helping our economy grow, he can’t. He’s Jack Nicholson, and this is “As Good As It Gets.”

Here’s the truth, if you can handle it:

Maybe you didn’t like me as president, perhaps you still don’t. I get it. I’m not asking you to change. I’m asking you to give me a chance to show you that I have. Four years in the office — the last one stolen by a pandemic — and four years of watching a fumbling, incompetent failing at the job have given me a new respect for the presidency and the nation it serves.

It’s not just a new season, folks. Elect me, and I’ll bring you a brand-new show.