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Biden proposes debating Trump in June and September, but names his own terms: NPR

President Biden visits the Oval Office from the Rose Garden on May 14.

Win McNamee/Getty Images


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Win McNamee/Getty Images


President Biden visits the Oval Office from the Rose Garden on May 14.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Biden has said he wants to debate former President Donald Trump twice this year – in June and November – but his campaign has said he will not participate in the traditional schedule and format established by the Commission nonpartisan on presidential debates and instead set its own terms.

Trump responded in a post on his Truth Social platform, saying he was “ready and willing” to debate Biden at both proposed times. The Republican National Committee announced in April 2022 that it would leave the Commission on Presidential Debates due to concerns about the debate schedule and accusations of bias.

Biden is willing to participate in two debates hosted by broadcasters, his campaign chair, Jen O’Malley Dillon, said in a letter spelling out Biden’s terms. O’Malley Dillon said the commission, which has held debates since 1988, is “out of step with changes in the structure of our elections and the interests of voters.”

The commission had already announced in November that there would be three debates in September and October. But O’Malley Dillon said his timeline started too late, after tens of millions of people cast ballots in early voting, and said the commission failed to enforce debate rules in 2020.

Biden’s campaign also objects to the public it describes as “loud or disruptive supporters and donors, who consume valuable debate time with loud shows of approval or mockery.”

“As was the case with the original televised debates in 1960, a television studio
with just the candidates and the moderators, it’s a better and more cost-effective way to do it,” O’Malley Dillon said. Other terms include opening microphones only when it’s the candidates’ turn to speak.

The Biden campaign is proposing a debate in late June after Biden returns from the G7 in Italy and when Trump’s trial in New York is likely over. The second debate should take place in early September, “early enough to influence an early vote,” she said. The vice presidential debate is expected to take place in late July, after the Republican National Convention, she said.

In his article on Truth Social, Trump said he recommended more than two debates “and, for excitement purposes, a very large venue, even though Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds.”

Biden’s campaign also rejected the idea of ​​including third-party or independent candidates in the debates, saying they “should be head-to-head, allowing voters to compare the only two candidates with a statistical chance of winning.” prevail in the Electoral College – not waste debate time on candidates with no prospect of becoming president. »

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