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  /  News   /  Trump, Biden debate: Cut mics? No crowd? Key details still unknown

Trump, Biden debate: Cut mics? No crowd? Key details still unknown

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — It’s been nearly four years since their last onstage clash. Now, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are preparing to go face-to-face once again.

The debate dates are set for June and September.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on Wednesday agreed to hold two campaign debates — the first on June 27 hosted by CNN and the second on Sept. 10 hosted by ABC — setting the stage for their first presidential face-off to play out in just over a month.


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But plenty of details still need to be worked out. There are potential aspects of format and the possibility of cutting microphones. There are also questions of whether third-party contender Robert Kennedy Jr. will meet the requirements and how that could throw a wrench to both Biden’s and Trump’s performance.

The quick agreement on the timetable followed the Democrat’s announcement that he would not participate in fall presidential debates sponsored by the nonpartisan commission that has organized them for more than three decades. Biden’s campaign instead proposed that media outlets directly organize the debates between the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees.

The debate is so unusually early on the political calendar that neither Biden nor Trump will have formally accepted his party’s nomination.

Hours later, Biden said he had accepted an invitation from CNN, adding, “Over to you, Donald.” Trump, who had insisted he would debate Biden anytime and anyplace, said on Truth Social he’d be there, too, adding, “Let’s get ready to Rumble!!!” Soon after that, they agreed to the second debate on ABC.

“Trump says he’ll arrange his own transportation,” Biden wrote on X, working in a jab about the perks of incumbency. “I’ll bring my plane, too. I plan on keeping it for another four years.”


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The swiftness with which the matchups came together reflects how each of the two unpopular candidates thinks he can get the better of his opponent in a head-to-head showdown. Trump and his team are convinced the debates will exacerbate voters’ concerns about Biden’s age and competence, while Biden’s team believes Trump’s often-incendiary rhetoric will remind voters of why they voted him out of the White House four years ago.

On the vice presidential front, Kamala Harris has accepted an invitation from CBS News to debate former President Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick this summer, the Biden campaign said Thursday, as the Republican said he might wait until his party’s convention in July to announce his selection.

Harris’ team told the network she would debate in-studio on Tuesday, July 23, or Tuesday, August 13, and encouraged the Trump campaign to agree to one of the dates for his eventual vice presidential pick. The Trump campaign didn’t immediately comment on the debate invite.

Trump, in an interview with television station TMJ4 taped from New York, said there was “a pretty good chance” he would announce his vice presidential pick at the GOP convention in Milwaukee, which begins on July 15, rather than before.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.