Joe Biden and Donald Trump will meet for a TV debate in June

The American presidential candidates have agreed on a new timetable for the traditional television debates in the election year. Biden’s participation in the Bürgenstock summit is becoming increasingly unlikely.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump surprisingly quickly agreed on Wednesday to take part in two televised debates before Election Day on November 5th. The first TV duel between the two American presidential candidates is scheduled to take place on June 27th in Atlanta, Georgia, and will be organized by the news channel CNN. The second debate is scheduled for September 10th. The media company ABC, which belongs to the Disney Group, will be responsible for the implementation.

The two dates were suggested by a high-ranking campaign advisor to Biden. In a letter to the independent Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which has been responsible for organizing TV debates in presidential campaigns since 1987, Jen O’Malley Dillon canceled the traditional arrangement. The president decided to forego the commission’s help in organizing the television duels, wrote O’Malley Dillon.

No interest in the “spectacle in front of a large audience”

Their reasoning: After the experience he had in the 2020 election campaign, Biden is no longer interested in a “spectacle in front of a large audience”. The voter must be at the center of the television debate. That’s another reason why he doesn’t want to wait until autumn for the first TV duel.

The timing of June was not chosen by chance. After the end of the New York criminal trial against his Republican opponent, Biden wants to regain the upper hand in the presidential election campaign. His advisors hope that this could be achieved if the president once again puts Donald Trump at the center of his campaign.

In her letter, O’Malley Dillon also mentioned that Biden would return to Washington at the end of June “from his meeting with world leaders at the G-7 summit.” This aside is a further indication that the American President will probably not take part in the planned Ukraine summit at Bürgenstock. The Swiss conference is scheduled for June 15th and 16th, immediately after the G-7 meeting in Apulia (Italy). Presidents typically spend days preparing intensively for televised debates.

Biden to Trump: “Make my day”

The agreement between Biden and Trump came about in a series of online messages, short films and radio interviews. Biden kicked things off by challenging his opponent early in the morning. The president said in a video message that he had heard that, despite his defeat in the 2020 election campaign, Trump really wanted to debate him again. He would be happy to accept this offer, he said. Biden used the expression “Make my day” from a Clint Eastwood film. (Translated into German, the saying means something like: “Sweet my day.”)

Trump reacted immediately and wrote on his Internet service Truth Social that he would take part in the debates. He reiterated this commitment during a radio interview. Trump would like to debate more than twice, he later said.

Then the broadcaster CNN spoke up, suggesting a television studio in Atlanta as the venue. Both candidates gave their consent, although the rules of the TV discussion still have to be negotiated. However, CNN indicated that the independent third candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, was unlikely to qualify for the debate. A few minutes later, the ABC news department also announced a debate. It is still unclear who will moderate this duel. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash are in the starting blocks at CNN, the news channel reported.

The quick agreement suggests that at least preparatory work was going on behind the scenes. That’s actually not surprising: the debates, as frustrating as they may be for viewers, are a drag. Four years ago, around 73 million people in the USA watched the first duel between Biden and Trump.

By Editor

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