Biden Proposes Two Debates, Trump Eager to Participate

2024 Election Debates Take a New, Strategic Direction

by Zain ul Abedin
Biden Proposes Two Debates, Trump Eager to Participate
© Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Joe Biden has challenged Donald Trump to two presidential debates ahead of the 2024 election, breaking away from the traditional debates organized by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates. The former president, Trump, responded positively, expressing his readiness and suggesting more than the proposed two debates.

In a strategic move, Biden's campaign released a video on social media where Biden remarked, "Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hasn't shown up for a debate. Now he's acting like he wants to debate me again.

Well, make my day, pal." This bold call-out has set the stage for what could be a series of engaging and potentially pivotal debates. The debates are slated for June and September and are to be hosted by major news organizations, a shift from the usual format.

Trump, who notably skipped all primary debates under the Republican National Committee this election cycle and opted out of one in 2020, took to his social platform to accept the challenge. "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 declared, adding his trademark bravado, "Just tell me when, I'll be there. 'Let's get ready to Rumble!!!'" In response, Biden accepted a CNN invitation for a June 27 debate, throwing the ball in Trump's court with a tweet that echoed Trump's earlier challenge, "Over to you, Donald.

As you said: anywhere, any time, any place."

Debate Format Criteria

The Biden campaign also laid out specific criteria for the debate hosts and moderators to ensure neutrality and fairness. They suggested that the first debate be hosted by an organization that held a Republican primary debate in 2016, in which Trump participated, and a Democratic primary debate in 2020, in which Biden did.

Furthermore, they called for moderators to be chosen from among the regular staff of the hosting organization to avoid bias. In a significant change, the Biden campaign emphasized a 1:1 debate format, explicitly excluding independent candidate Robert F.

Kennedy, Jr., and proposing strict time limits and structured turns to prevent over-talking and ensure a balanced discussion. The debate over the debates extends beyond the candidates to the Commission on Presidential Debates itself, which both campaigns have criticized.

The Biden and Trump teams argue that the Commission's scheduled debates are too late in the election cycle, particularly concerning early voting schedules. This brewing controversy comes as the Commission on Presidential Debates recently defended its scheduling choices, aimed at maximizing accessibility and considering various factors like religious and federal holidays, and early voting periods.

As the first debate approaches, set for September 16 in Pennsylvania - a key battleground state - the political stakes are high, with early voting already beginning in some states. The Biden campaign has also proposed a vice-presidential debate post-Republican National Convention in late July, adding another layer to the pre-election drama.