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Biden, Trump agree to June 27, Sept. 10 debates

In response to President Biden's proposal for two televised debates, Trump said: "Just tell me when, I’ll be there."
Election 2024 Biden Trump
Posted at 11:24 AM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 13:05:47-04

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to debate each other at least twice in the months before November's general election.

The two candidates agreed on Wednesday to a debate hosted by CNN on June 27. Later on Wednesday, ABC said the two candidates accepted an invitation to participate in a Sept. 10 debate. Details of the debates have not been announced.

The announcements came after the Biden campaign informed the Commission on Presidential Debates that the president would not participate in the commission's prescheduled debates. The Biden campaign suggested holding debates in June and September, with a vice presidential debate in July.

In response to President Biden, Trump said on Truth Social, "Just tell me when, I’ll be there."

"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 and, for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds - That’s only because he doesn’t get them," Trump wrote.

The Commission on Presidential Debates has hosted debates between the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees in every election cycle since 1988. The debates are generally scheduled about a year in advance. But both Republicans and Democrats have criticized the commission in recent years for how it chooses the dates and moderators for debates.

The Commission on Presidential Debates scheduled the first 2024 debate for Sept. 16. The Biden campaign proposed its first debate with Trump for late June, which it says would be after President Biden's trip to the G7 and after Trump's hush money trial ends.

Combination photo shows Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, left, and President Joe Biden.

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The Commission on Presidential Debates has shied away from holding debates earlier due to its criteria for being invited. The nonpartisan commission does not automatically invite major party nominees to participate in its debates. Instead, it requires candidates to appear on enough state ballots to secure 270 Electoral College votes and garner at least 15% in nationwide polls.

The group says three states accept ballot petitions through Sept. 6.

"The American public deserves substantive debates from the leading candidates for president and vice president," the Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement. "The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 specifically to ensure that such debates reliably take place and reach the widest television, radio and streaming audience. Our 2024 sites, all locations of higher learning, are prepared to host debates on dates chosen to accommodate early voters. We will continue to be ready to execute this plan."

The Biden campaign cited three reasons for dropping out of the Commission on Presidential Debates' forums. One is that the debates are held after some states begin early voting. A second is that the debates are "huge spectacles" that aren't "necessary or conducive to good debates." The campaign added that the commission struggled to enforce its own rules during the 2020 debates.

President Biden's campaign proposed allowing TV networks that hosted both a 2016 Republican and a 2020 Democratic primary debate to air the debates.