Biden and Trump agree to hold two television debates before the presidential elections

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, and the former president and candidate Donald Trump have agreed to fight in two face-to-face debates in the months leading up to the November elections, on June 27 on CNN and on September 10 on ABC News.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 22:21
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Biden and Trump agree to hold two television debates before the presidential elections

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, and the former president and candidate Donald Trump have agreed to fight in two face-to-face debates in the months leading up to the November elections, on June 27 on CNN and on September 10 on ABC News. The first debate will be held on an unprecedented date, before the national conventions, which will formally elect candidates from both parties to the White House in July and August. The second, shortly after the Democratic convention and less than two months before the presidential elections on November 5.

This morning, Biden challenged Trump with a video posted on social media, in which he stated that the magnate “lost two debates to me in 2020” and “now acts as if he wants to debate again.” “I will do it, even twice, so let's choose the dates. “They told me that you are free on Wednesdays,” he joked, as it is the only day during the week that Trump does not have to attend his criminal trial in New York.

The Republican picked up the gauntlet right away: “Corrupt Joe Biden is the worst opponent in a debate I have ever faced: he is not even able to put together two sentences in a row,” he said. “I am ready to debate. Anywhere, at any time. Let's see if Joe can get up to the podium standing up,” Trump posted on his platform, Truth Social.

Shortly after, CNN and ABC News announced their respective debates, which will break a tradition in American politics by being held outside the Commission on Presidential Debates, which usually organizes these meetings. Both candidates have expressed their concern with the debates organized by this commission, scheduled for September 16, October 1 and October 9 – in addition to the vice-presidential debate on September 25 – since voting will have already begun on those dates. early in some states. In this way, the two campaign teams have preferred to directly agree on the dates and rules between them, which will be detailed in the coming weeks.

Biden's main condition has been that it be produced on “any broadcasting organization that hosted a 2016 Republican primary debate in which Donald Trump participated, and a 2020 Democratic primary debate in which President Biden participated.” In this way, “no campaign can claim that the sponsoring organization is inadmissible,” since Trump won in 2016 and Biden in 2020, said the president of the Biden campaign, Jen O'Malley Dillon, in a letter to the Commission of Presidential Debates. Furthermore, “the moderator or moderators must be chosen by the presenter of the broadcast from among his usual staff, to avoid partisanship.”

Another condition of Biden is that there be no audience on the set, as he wants to avoid it becoming an “entertainment show” full of “strident supporters” of both parties who “consume valuable debate time with noisy shows of approval or boos.” ”, Dillon has asked, and has summarized the tone he wants for the debate: “As happened in the original debates in 1960, a television studio with only two candidates and the moderators” and “focused solely on the interests of the voters” . Finally, the campaign makes it clear that the debates must be between Biden and Trump, which leaves out the independent candidate Robert Kennedy Jr.

These television debates will be the first in which both Biden and Trump will participate this year, who during the primary period have avoided debating with opponents from their own parties. In the Democratic case, no primary debate has been held given the lack of competition against the president in office; in the Republican, all the alternative candidates to Trump fought in four debates between the end of last year and the beginning of 2024, until the tense face-to-face between the last two standing, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.