Biden and Trump agree in debates on June 27 and September

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden And Former President Donald Trump Wednesday agreed to hold two campaign debates — the first on June 27 Hosted by CNN and the second was hosted by ABC on Sept. 10 — setting the stage for their first presidential homecoming in less than a month.

A quick agreement on the timetable followed the Democratic Party’s announcement that he would not run in the fall Presidential debates Funded by an impartial commission that organized them for more than three decades. Biden’s campaign instead proposed that the media directly organize the debates Presumptive Democratic and Republican Candidates.

The debate is unusually early in the political calendar, with neither Biden nor Trump formally accepting their party’s nomination.

Hours later, Biden told CNN that he had accepted the call and added, “To you, Donald.” Insisting that he will debate Biden whenever and wherever, Trump said he will also be at Truth Social. After that, they agreed to a second debate on ABC.

“Trump says he’ll arrange his own transportation,” Biden wrote on X, making a jab at the perks of being in office. “I will also bring my plane. I plan to keep it for another four years.

The speed at which the matchups came together reflected how each one was Two unpopular candidates He thinks he can get the better of his opponent in a head-to-head confrontation. Trump and his team hope to fuel voters’ concerns about Biden’s age and qualifications, while Trump’s often incendiary rhetoric will remind voters why they voted him out of the White House four years ago.

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The presidential debates, always an important moment on the political calendar, may be especially important in a year when voters are struggling with their choices and expressing concerns about the candidates’ advanced ages — Biden is 81 and Trump is 77.

Openly on social media, the contestants traded barbs — each touting the success of their last face-off in 2020.

“Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020 and hasn’t been in a debate since,” Biden said in a post on X. “Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal.”

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Trump, for his part, called Biden “the worst debater I’ve ever met — he can’t string two sentences together!”

The June debate will cap off a busy and restless stretch, following a possible outcome Trump’s criminal hush money investigation in New YorkBiden’s foreign trips to France and Italy mark the end of his term on the Supreme Court and the expected start of two criminal trials for the president’s son, Hunter Biden.

CNN said the debate will take place in its Atlanta studios at 9 p.m. ET, a break from recent precedent with no viewers. The judges will be anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, according to CNN. ABC did not provide details on where its event will be held, but the network said it will be moderated by anchors David Muir and Lynsey Davis. Disagreements over moderators and rules were some of the questions that prompted the creation of the Commission on Presidential Debates in 1987.

The two campaigns and television networks have held informal talks about ways to avoid the commission’s grip on presidential debates following years of complaints and perceived slights, said two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Biden’s campaign proposed excluding third-party candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr, from discussions. According to debate commission rules, Kennedy or other third-party candidates are eligible if they have enough ballot access to receive 270 electoral votes and receive 15% or more of the vote in national polls.

Both CNN and ABC announced the same eligibility threshold, stating that candidates must achieve at least 15% of registered or likely voters in four separate national polls that meet their standards.

In response, Kennedy accused Biden and Trump of “trying to keep me out of their debate because they’re afraid I’ll win.” “Keeping potential candidates off the debate floor undermines democracy,” he said.

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The debates will be the first televised general election contests carried by separate networks. The 1960 debates, which helped demonstrate the media’s power to influence public opinion, were jointly hosted by the leading networks of the day. Before the commission was created in 1987, the 1976, 1980, and 1984 presidential debates were organized by the League of Women Voters.

Plans for the vice presidential debate have not yet been announced.

Trump has been pushing for more and earlier debates, arguing that voters should get a good look at both faces before early voting begins in September. He has too proposed a debate He is currently on trial outside a Manhattan court. He mocked Biden at some of his rallies with an empty lecture.

In a memo to Biden campaign chairman Jen O’Malley Dillon on Wednesday, Trump’s senior campaign advisers Chris Lacivita and Susie Wiles challenged Biden to agree to at least two more debates. and September, in addition to the vice presidential debate.

“Additional dates will allow voters to maximize exposure to each candidate’s records and future visions,” they wrote.

Trump later posted on Truth Social that he agreed to a third debate hosted by Fox.

“Please allow this fact to represent my acceptance of the Crooked Joe Biden debate on FoxNews. The date will be Wednesday, October 2nd. The hosts will be Bret Baier and Martha McCallum. Thanks, DJT!” He wrote.

O’Malley Dillon responded with a statement that Trump “has a long history of playing with controversy: complaining about the rules, breaking those rules, pulling out at the last minute or not showing up at all.”

“No more games. No more confusion, no more debate about debates. See Donald Trump June 27th in Atlanta – if he shows up,” he wrote.

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday morning, Trump raised his own doubts about whether Biden would show up and offered his own suggestions. He said the debates “had to go on for two hours” with both men standing, and he pushed for larger spaces.

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“It’s still exciting,” he said.

Biden’s campaign has long held grudges against the nonpartisan commission, accusing it of failing to apply its rules evenly during the 2020 Biden-Trump race — especially when it It did not enforce its COVID-19 testing rules on Trump and his entourage.

AP Washington Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports that President Biden and Donald Trump have apparently agreed to host a pair of debates.

O’Malley Dillon sent a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates on Wednesday saying Biden’s campaign objected to its proposed debate dates in the fall, which would come after some Americans have started voting, repeating a complaint voiced by the Trump campaign. He also expressed frustration over past violations of the rules and the commission’s insistence on holding debates in front of a live audience.

“The debates should be held for the benefit of the American electorate, to be watched on television and at home — not as entertainment for in-person audiences with rowdy or disruptive partisans and donors,” he wrote.

Little love was lost on the commission from Trump, who faced technical issues in his first debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 and was upset when the 2020 debate with Biden was canceled after the Republican came down with Covid-19. The Republican National Committee had already pledged not to work with the commission on the 2024 games.

The Trump campaign released a statement on May 1 that said of the commission’s proposed hearing schedule: “This is unacceptable.”

The commission said in a statement Wednesday, “The American people deserve substantive debate from the leading candidates for president and vice president.” Its aim, it said, is to “ensure that such discussions take place authentically and reach a wider television, radio and streaming audience”.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the 2024 elections https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.

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