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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Biden, Trump agree to debate on June 27 and Sept. 10

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

President Biden and former President Donald Trump will go head-to-head in presidential debates on June 27 and Sept. 10, with the two White House hopefuls accepting invitations from CNN and ABC News to participate in the events after a flurry of activity on Wednesday.

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Plans for the debates came together quickly after the president’s campaign 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 in the two debates being scheduled for June and September within a matter of hours.

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

“I’ve received and accepted an invitation from CNN for a debate on June 27th. Over to you, Donald. As you said: anywhere, any time, any place,” Mr. Biden said in his post.

CNN then announced it will host the debate between Mr. Biden and Trump at its Atlanta studios on June 27 at 9 p.m. ET. There will not be an audience “to ensure candidates may maximize the time allotted in the debate,” CNN said. Anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate, according to the network.

CNN and ABC News laid out five criteria for qualifying for their debates. The candidates must:

  • Be constitutionally eligible to serve as president
  • File a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission
  • Have their name appear on enough state ballots to reach the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency
  • Agree to the debate’s rules and format
  • Receive at least 15% in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters that meet CNN or ABC News standards.

Mr. Biden and Trump are the only two candidates seeking the presidency who qualify under those terms so far. It’s unlikely that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who is running as an independent, will be on the stage because of the polling requirement and number of states where he has secured access to the ballot.

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

Mr. Biden then announced that he had received and accepted an invitation to a second debate hosted by ABC News on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Trump quickly said he will also attend. His campaign is also pushing for two more debates in July and August.

Kennedy reacted to the debates by accusing the two candidates of “colluding to lock America” into a rematch of the 2020 election and criticized them as being unpopular.

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

How the debates came together

In the letter from the Biden campaign sent earlier Wednesday, Jen O’Malley Dillon, chair of the president’s reelection campaign, proposed one debate in late June, after the likely conclusion of Trump’s ongoing criminal trial in New York and Mr. Biden’s travel to the G7 Summit in Italy. Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to allegedly cover up payments to an adult film star and has pleaded not guilty. The Biden campaign proposed a second debate in early September.

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Trump seemed to swiftly accept the Biden campaign’s suggested debate schedule for June and September, writing on social media that he is “ready and willing” to debate his Democratic opponent at the two proposed times. But the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said he would “strongly recommend” more than two debates at a “very large venue.”

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

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

“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, pal. I’ll even do it twice. So let’s pick the dates, Donald. I hear you’re free on Wednesdays,” Mr. Biden said. Trump’s criminal trial does not convene on Wednesdays.