“Fight” in sight: Biden and Trump agree to debate twice – 05/15/2024 at 10:07 p.m.

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Photo combination created on February 8, 2024: US President Joe Biden (L) during a campaign rally in Las Vegas (Nevada), February 4, 2024; Former US President Donald Trump (D), during a campaign event in Concord (New Hampshire), January 19, 2024 (AFP / SAUL LOEB)

Two highlights announced in an extremely tense presidential campaign: Joe Biden and Donald Trump agreed to debate twice, on June 27 and September 10.

In the morning, the American president was the first to challenge his predecessor.

“He says he wants to debate against me again. In that case, do me a favor, my guy. I’ll even do it twice,” said the 81-year-old Democrat, candidate in November for a second term, in a video message.

His 77-year-old Republican opponent, who had long been calling for a televised duel, immediately took up the gauntlet: “Tell me when, I’ll be there. Let’s go for the fight!!!”.

“An early debate gives Trump a rare opportunity to show himself to voters,” said Ken Miller, professor of political science at the University of Nevada. The Republican “couldn’t campaign in person” as he wanted due to the lawsuit in New York, and “he has much less money than Biden” to broadcast television ads.

The expert believes that on the Democratic president’s side, the hope is “to remind people of Trump’s character”, his “main handicap”. According to Ken Miller, in four years the Americans were able to “forget the incoherent statements and bellicose style” of the former president.

– CNN, ABC… and Fox? –

CNN will organize the debate on June 27, in Atlanta, Georgia (southeast), a much earlier date than usual. The channel specified that the exchange would take place without an audience, a formula that Joe Biden prefers.

The ABC channel will host the one on September 10.

Donald Trump then assured that he had accepted a third debate, on October 2 on Fox News, a channel popular with conservatives.

Joe Biden did not directly respond but his campaign suggested he would not participate.

The American president “clearly set his conditions for two debates and Donald Trump accepted these conditions. Small games are enough,” wrote the president of the campaign, Jen O’Malley Dillon, in a press release. “We’ll see Donald Trump on June 27 in Atlanta…if he shows up.”

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and current President Joe Biden (R) during the presidential debate moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace (C) during the 2020 campaign, in Cleveland, Ohio, USA -United, September 29, 2020 (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / SCOTT OLSON)

The Republican’s campaign team is calling for a total of four meetings: in June, July, August and September.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden, on the other hand, agree to reject the timetable set by the commission which is usually responsible for organizing these duels, and which had already set three dates starting at the end of September.

The presidential debates, if not deciding the outcome, are highlights of an American electoral campaign.

They will be particularly followed this year, as the election seems uncertain, and the hostility between the two men is strong.

These duels will also be a test of the intellectual vivacity and endurance of the candidates, the oldest to run for the White House in the history of the country.

– “Free on Wednesday” –

Republicans continue to attack Joe Biden over his moments of confusion and his gaffes, while Democrats denounce Donald Trump’s sometimes totally absurd outings.

In his video message, the Democrat joked: “Let’s choose the dates Donald. I heard you were free on Wednesday”, the only weekly break in the trial targeting his predecessor.

Donald Trump, multiple criminal defendants, is required to appear in New York for the rest of the week in connection with a case of concealed payments to a former porn actress.

However, the trial is expected to end before June 27, which is a Thursday.

type="image/webp">Restaurant patrons and passersby watch the broadcast of the first debate between former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign, in West Hollywood, California, September 29, 2020 ( GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / MARIO TAMA)
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Restaurant patrons and passersby watch the broadcast of the first debate between former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign, in West Hollywood, California, September 29, 2020 ( GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / MARIO TAMA)

Both CNN and ABC explained that to participate in the debate, candidates must achieve at least 15% of voting intentions in four separate national polls.

This threshold, barring any huge surprises, should exclude any candidate other than the Democratic president and his Republican predecessor.

In 2020, their first debate was perfectly chaotic, with Donald Trump almost systematically cutting off his exasperated opponent.

“Will you shut up, man?” Joe Biden told him.

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