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Biden challenges Trump to 2 presidential debates, Trump says he’s ‘ready and willing’

Written by on May 15, 2024

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday challenged Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, to participate in two 2024 presidential debates. The former president responded that he’s “ready and willing” to debate Biden.

“Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate,” Biden said in a video message his campaign posted to social media. “Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal.”

Biden announced through his campaign that he is bucking the decades-old tradition of fall meetings organized by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates — and instead called on Trump to join him for two televised presidential debates in June and September organized by news organizations.

Trump, who skipped all four Republican National Committee-sanctioned 2024 primary election debates and pulled out of one of his three debates with Biden in 2020, said in response that he is willing to debate Biden during the proposed dates, but said there should be more than two debates.

“I am Ready and Willing to Debate Crooked Joe at the two proposed times in June and September. I would strongly recommend more than two debates,” Trump posted on his social media platform.

He added, “Just tell me when, I’ll be there. ‘Let’s get ready to Rumble!!!'”

In a post on X Wednesday morning, Biden announced he accepted an invitation to debate on June 27 with CNN and challenged Trump to accept.

“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.”

The Biden campaign outlined some conditions for the debates. The campaign said that the first debate should be hosted by “any broadcast organization that hosted a Republican Primary debate in 2016 in which Donald Trump participated, and a Democratic primary debate in 2020 in which President Biden participated — so neither campaign can assert that the sponsoring organization is obviously unacceptable.”

Also, “the moderator(s) should be selected by the broadcast host from among their regular personnel, so as to avoid a ‘ringer’ or partisan.”

The Biden campaign said all debates should be 1:1 — meaning it would bar Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an independent candidate, from participating.

Addressing one of their cited issues with the Commission on Presidential Debates, the campaign says, “There should be firm time limits for answers, and alternate turns to speak — so that the time is evenly divided and we have an exchange of views, not a spectacle of mutual interruption,” and that a candidate’s microphone should only be on when it is their turn to speak.

Both the Trump and Biden campaigns has expressed concern with the organization of the debates by the Commission on Presidential Debates — one slated for September and two planned for October — saying that the scheduled debates don’t conclude until well after early voting has already started.

Earlier this month, the Commission on Presidential Debates pushed back, saying that, “as it always does, the CPD considered multiple factors in selecting debate dates in order to make them accessible by the American public,” including religious and federal holidays, early voting, and the dates on which individual states close their ballots.

On Sept. 16, the day of the first debate, Pennsylvania voters can receive, complete and return ballots at their county boards of elections, CPD notes. Minnesota is one of the first states to offer in-person early voting, and voters there can begin to cast ballots on Friday, Sept. 20.

Additionally, the Biden campaign proposed a vice-presidential debate in late July after the Republican National Convention.

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