Biden and Trump agree to TV duels

As of: May 16, 2024 7:56 a.m

Earlier than usual and on their own initiative – US President Biden and his challenger Trump have agreed to two TV debates before the election in November. The two had their first small exchange of blows without television cameras.

Neither of them has yet been officially named their own party’s presidential candidate – but incumbent US President Joe Biden and his Republican challenger Donald Trump have already agreed on two dates to compete against each other in the TV duel.

In exactly six weeks – on June 27th – the first duel will take place in front of television cameras, on CNN. According to the broadcaster, the debate will take place in the city of Atlanta in the “swing state” of Georgia, which is likely to be hotly contested in the November election. The second TV duel is scheduled to follow on September 10th and will be broadcast on ABC. There are still almost two months until the election date on November 5th.

TV debates start much earlier

This early encounter in a TV duel is unusual. It is only in July and August that Biden and Trump will be officially named their own party’s presidential candidate at the party conferences of Democrats and Republicans. However, Trump won the primary election in the race of possible candidates. Biden is virtually without competition. The appointment is therefore considered a mere formality.

What is also unusual is that the presidential candidates themselves set the dates for the TV duels. Because in the USA they are actually elected by a non-partisan commission – and have actually already been decided, as the dpa news agency reports. Accordingly, the committee planned debates on September 16th in the state of Texas, on October 1st in the state of Virginia and on October 9th in the state of Utah.

Mutual swipes

But that apparently takes too long for the two competitors Biden and Trump. According to media reports, the initiative for the early start of the TV duels should go back to Biden. “Make me happy, buddy. I’ll even do it twice,” the incumbent head of state addressed directly to his predecessor in the White House in a video message on the short message service X.

As a sidebar, Biden added that he had heard that Wednesday was Trump’s day off. An allusion to the ongoing trial against the Republican ex-president over alleged hush money payments to a former porn actress. Wednesday is the day without negotiations.

Probably no audience at the first duel

Trump’s response didn’t take long to arrive. He agreed to both dates via his own Internet service Truth Social and is said to have even suggested two further debates. However, the Biden team responded that the president had “clarified his conditions for two duels.”

Trump emphasized that he was “ready and willing.” “Let us prepare for battle,” the former president wrote. And he also couldn’t help but mock his competitor. He accused Biden of being afraid of crowds. The background: The debate on CNN will probably take place without an audience – according to reports from the dpa news agency, at the urging of Biden’s campaign team.

The broadcaster itself justified the decision by saying that it was intended to ensure “that the candidates can make optimal use of the time they are entitled to.” Trump himself had suggested a significantly larger venue with an audience. “Because of the tension,” Trump said.

The candidates for the vice presidency should also compete against each other in the TV duel. However, no date has been set for this yet. As in the 2020 election, Biden is going into the election campaign with Kamala Harris as his deputy. A candidate for the vice post at Trump’s side has not yet been determined.

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