Biden and Trump agree to presidential debates on June 27 and Sept. 10

Washington- President Biden and former President Donald Trump will face off in presidential debates on June 27 and September 10, with both White House candidates accepting invitations from CNN and ABC News to participate in the events after a flurry of activity Wednesday . .

Plans for the debates were quickly put into place after the campaign chairman said in a letter that he was willing to debate his Republican opponent twice before the November election. That kicked off a series of competing proposals and social media posts from the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees, culminating with the two debates scheduled for June and September within hours.

Mr. Biden then announced on social media that he had accepted an invitation to participate in a debate hosted by CNN on June 27 and urged Trump to join him.

“I received and accepted an invitation from CNN for a debate on June 27. Over to you, Donald. As you said: anywhere, anytime, anywhere,” Mr. Biden in his speech. job.

CNN then announced that it would host the debate between Mr. Biden and Trump at its Atlanta studios on June 27 at 9 p.m. ET. There will be no hearing “to ensure candidates can maximize the time allotted for debate,” CNN said.

CNN outlined five qualifying criteria for the debate. Applicants must:

  • Be constitutionally eligible for the office of president
  • File a nomination paper with the Federal Election Commission
  • Getting their name on enough ballots to reach the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency
  • Accept the rules and format of the debate
  • Receive at least 15% in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters that meet CNN’s standards.

Mr. Biden and Trump are the only two presidential candidates so far who qualify under these conditions. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who is running as an independent, is unlikely to be on stage due to the demands of polling and the number of states in which he is running. secure access to the ballot.

The CNN debate is expected to take place before the Republican and Democratic nominating conventions, when party delegates will choose their respective presidential candidates.

Mr. Biden then announced that he had received and accepted an invitation to a second debate hosted by ABC News on Tuesday, September 10. Trump quickly said he would attend as well. His campaign is also planning two additional debates in July and August.

Kennedy responded to the debates by accusing both candidates of “collusion to lock America in” in a rematch of the 2020 election and criticized them as unpopular.

“They are trying to exclude me from their debate because they are afraid I will win. Keeping viable candidates off the debate stage undermines democracy,” he said in a statement. social media post.

How the debates took place

In the Biden campaign’s letter sent earlier Wednesday, Jen O’Malley Dillon, chairwoman of the president’s re-election campaign, proposed a debate in late June, after the likely conclusion of Trump’s criminal trial continues in New York and Mr. Biden’s trip to the G7 summit in Italy. Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to allegedly conceal payments to an adult film star and has pleaded not guilty. The Biden campaign has proposed a second debate in early September.

Trump appeared to quickly agree to the Biden campaign’s suggested debate schedule for June and September, writing on social media that he was “ready and willing” to debate his Democratic opponent at both proposed times. But the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said he would “strongly recommend” more than two debates in a “very large room.”

“Just tell me when, I’ll be there,” Trump wrote.

In his own video shared on social media, the president urged his Republican opponent to take charge.

“Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020, and since then he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, my buddy. I’ll even do it twice. So let’s pick the dates, Donald, I hear you’re free on Wednesday,” Mr. Biden said. Trump’s criminal trial is not being held on Wednesday.

In addition to detailing Mr. Biden’s plans to take on Trump, O’Malley Dillon said the president would not participate in debates sponsored by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which has overseen presidential debates since 1988.

Instead, Mr. Biden would participate in debates organized by news organizations, O’Malley Dillon said. She cited what she said was the commission’s reluctance to enforce rules for candidates during the 2020 debates and the large public in attendance disrupting the events. During the 2020 presidential campaign, the first debate between Trump and Mr. Biden descended into chaos as Trump repeatedly interrupted and spoke about Mr. Biden and moderators struggled to regain control of the event.

Mr. Biden clinched the Democratic presidential nomination and Trump secured the Republican nomination in mid-March. stage a revenge of the 2020 competition for the White House.

The Commission on Presidential Debates said the sites it announced in November which will host three presidential debates this year are prepared for the events. The commission also declared itself ready to carry out its plan for the debates.

“The American public deserves substantive debates from the leading presidential and vice-presidential candidates,” he said in a statement. “The Non-Partisan (CPD) was established in 1987 specifically to ensure that such debates take place reliably and reach the widest television, radio and streaming audiences.”

The commission’s three presidential debates were scheduled to take place in September and October at universities in Texas, Virginia and Utah.

Biden debate conditions

Under the parameters set by the Biden campaign, the debates would have to be hosted by any broadcaster that oversaw a 2016 Republican primary debate in which Trump participated and a 2020 Democratic primary debate in which Mr. Biden took part. these terms are CBS News, ABC News, CNN and Telemundo. Telemundo and CNN hosted a Republican primary debate that Trump attended in 2016.

Asset shunned the Republican primary debates for the 2024 elections, but said he would take responsibility Mr. Biden “anytime, anywhere, anywhere.”

The debates, the Biden campaign continued, should be one-on-one, a condition that would keep Kennedy off the stage.

Keeping the debates between Mr. Biden and Trump allows “voters to compare the only two candidates with a statistical chance of winning in the electoral college – and not waste debate time on candidates with no prospect of becoming president,” wrote O’Malley Dillon.

The campaign said broadcast hosts should select moderators from their “regular staff, to avoid a ‘ringer’ or partisan”, and time limits should be set on replies and replies to ensure that time be distributed equitably between the two and to avoid a “spectacle of mutual interruption.” O’Malley Dillon said candidates’ microphones should only be active when it’s their turn to speak.

For the vice presidential debate, the Biden campaign suggested that the first event be held in late July after the Republican National Convention and follow the same parameters for presidential debates.

“As Donald Trump has stated that he will debate ‘any time, any place,’ we hope that both campaigns can quickly accept invitations to broadcast media debates on the above parameters,” he said. she declared. “Americans need a debate about issues, not a tedious debate about debates.”

Ron Klain, the former White House chief of staff who served Mr. Biden in various capacities for nearly 40 years, said he would once again help his former boss prepare for televised debates with Trump.

Klain resigned as White House chief of staff last year and Airbnb’s chief legal officer. He confirmed in a text message to CBS News that he would use his vacation time to help Mr. Biden prepare.

“Everyone has different ways of spending their holidays – this will be mine,” Klain said.

He previously helped Al Gore, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton prepare for their respective primary or general election debates with their opponents.

News of Klain’s vacation plans was first reported by The New York Times.

The terms of Trump’s debate

In their own proposal, Trump campaign senior advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles said the former president also accepted the Biden campaign’s suggestion of holding a debate in September but insisted on more than two events.

They suggested one debate per month in June, July, August and September, in addition to the vice-presidential debate. Trump hasn’t said who his running mate will be, although he is. should announce his vice presidential pick comes closer to the Republican National Convention, which begins July 15 in Milwaukee.

“Additional dates will allow voters to have maximum exposure to each candidate’s records and future visions,” LaCivita and Wiles wrote in a memo to O’Malley Dillon and the Biden campaign. “We believe the American people deserve more than what the Biden administration has to offer.”

Aaron Navarro and Jake Rosen contributed to this report.

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