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Business News/ Politics / News/  US Presidential Elections 2024: Joe Biden and Donald Trump agree to two debates on June 27 and September 10
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US Presidential Elections 2024: Joe Biden and Donald Trump agree to two debates on June 27 and September 10

Democratic candidate and incumbent Joe Biden and Republic candidate and former US President Donald Trump have set dates for two debates but differ on rules and venues. Biden's team has also opted for direct negotiations over the traditional format.

Combination photo: US President Joe Biden says he won’t participate in the campaign debates sponsored by a nonpartisan commission, instead challenging Republican Donald Trump to a pair of debates. Biden said Wednesday that Trump lost two debates to him in 2020 and since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Biden proposes debating Trump twice. (AP)Premium
Combination photo: US President Joe Biden says he won’t participate in the campaign debates sponsored by a nonpartisan commission, instead challenging Republican Donald Trump to a pair of debates. Biden said Wednesday that Trump lost two debates to him in 2020 and since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Biden proposes debating Trump twice. (AP)

United States President and Democratic candidate Joe Biden and Republican rival and former US President Donald Trump have agreed to two debates on June 27 and September 10, as per a Reuters report. 

These debates are poised to be significant moments in the November 2024 race for the White House.

Biden affirmed his readiness on social media, saying, “As you said: anywhere, any time, any place." 

Trump responded by calling Biden “the worst debater" he has faced and confirmed his willingness to debate, posting, “I am Ready and Willing to Debate Crooked Joe at the two proposed times in June and September."

Debates are high-risk for both candidates, who face a tight race and low voter enthusiasm. Biden's team believes debates could highlight Trump's positions on contentious issues such as abortion

Conversely, Trump's team sees Biden as prone to verbal slip-ups, which could raise concerns about his age. Trump will be 78 by the time of the first debate, while Biden is 81.

CNN Hosts First Debate, ABC Second

CNN, a division of Warner Bros Discovery, announced that the first debate will be held in their Atlanta (Georgia) studio with no audience. It will be moderated by anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. Georgia is one of the key battleground states in November's election.

The first debate will occur after the June 15 conclusion of the Group of Seven summit in Italy and Trump's criminal trial in New York. 

The second debate will be hosted by ABC on September 10. 

Additionally, a vice presidential debate has been proposed for July, following the Republican National Convention (RNC), it added.

Campaign Demands for Debate

Biden has agreed to participate under strict rules to minimise interruptions, whereas Trump is pushing for more than two debates and prefers a large venue “for excitement purposes", as per the report.

Biden's proposal calls for direct negotiations between the campaigns over the debate rules, diverging from the traditional three fall debates.

Biden's campaign, aiming to improve poll numbers, is willing to take the risk of debates despite trailing Trump in key battleground states. Trump's campaign insists on debates occurring before early voting starts in some states and prefers a two-hour debate format with both candidates standing.

Biden's campaign has specified that only networks which hosted debates in the 2016 and 2020 primary cycles should host this year's debates. This includes CNN, Telemundo, CBS News, and ABC News.

Biden's campaign rejected the traditional debates organised by the Commission on Presidential Debates, citing issues with rule enforcement. Trump had also expressed interest in bypassing the commission, and the RNC announced in 2022 that it would leave the commission's debate system.

Biden's campaign chair, Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, emphasised that debates should benefit American voters, not serve as entertainment for a live audience. She confirmed that Biden will not participate in the three general-election debates sponsored by the commission on September 16, and October 1 and 9.

Biden's campaign is also pressing for a debate before early voting starts and excluding Robert F. Kennedy Jr. or other independent candidates.

Independent Candidate Participation

Meanwhile, independent US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claimed he will meet the criteria to participate in the CNN debate before the June 20 deadline. 

CNN requires candidates to be on enough state ballots to reach 270 electoral votes and to have at least 15 percent in four separate national polls, Reuters reported. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll showed only 13 percent support for Kennedy.

Kennedy accused Biden and Trump of trying to “exclude him from their debates, because they are afraid I would win."

(With inputs from Reuters)

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Published: 16 May 2024, 07:44 AM IST
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