May 26, 2024
Biden calls for presidential debates starting in June — and Trump agrees

Biden calls for presidential debates starting in June — and Trump agrees

President Biden Wednesday called for two high-profile presidential debates starting in June — and former President Trump agreed.

A feisty Biden issued a challenge to square off against Trump next month in an early morning video posted on social media.

“(Trump’s) acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal. I’ll even do it twice,” Biden said.

The president even included a dig at Trump over his ongoing Manhattan criminal trial, which is dark on Wednesdays.

“Let’s pick a date,” Biden said. “I hear you’re free on Wednesdays.”

Biden later said he had accepted an invitation from CNN for a debate on June 27. Trump did not immediately respond to that proposal.

President Joe Biden speaks at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies' 30th annual gala, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)
President Joe Biden speaks at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies’ 30th annual gala, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Trump, who says he is also eager to debate, wasted no time responding positively to his rival’s challenge.

“I am ready and willing to debate (Biden),” he wrote on his social media site. “Just tell me when, I’ll be there. “Let’s get ready to rumble.”

It remains to be seen if the two antagonistic campaigns can really reach an agreement on dates, places and formats.

Biden’s campaign wants the debates to be one-on-one clashes with a moderator held in a television studio, without a live crowd.

Trump countered by calling for them to be held in a “very large” venue, citing “excitement purposes.” He also called for more than two debates.

Former President Donald Trump returns to the courtroom after a lunch break during his trial at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Michael M. Santiago/Pool Photo via AP)
Former President Donald Trump returns to the courtroom after a lunch break during his trial at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Michael M. Santiago/Pool Photo via AP)

Neither candidate mentioned the possibility of independent candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. being included.

The campaigns have apparently both decided not to work with the Commission on Presidential Debates, the bipartisan group that has organized debates for the past several elections.

Neither Biden nor Trump even mentioned the commission, which had planned a slate of three presidential debates starting with a mid-September clash in San Marcos, Texas. The group also planned one vice-presidential debate.

Presidential debates have never been held before Labor Day, the traditional start of the fall campaign season, much less prior to the two parties’ summer conventions.

The Republican National Convention is set for mid-July in Milwaukee while Democrats will gather in August in Chicago.

The earlier debates would reflect the major changes to how and when Americans vote for president. Tens of millions of people are expected to cast ballots before Election Day on Nov. 5, either by mail or early in-person voting, with some states sending ballots to voters in early September.

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