Major media organizations want Biden and Trump to debate

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“With the contours of the 2024 general election now coming into clear focus, we — the undersigned national news organizations — urge the presumptive presidential nominees to publicly commit to participating in general election debates before November’s election,” the letter, published on Sunday, reads.
Trump, who skipped all four Republican National Committee-sanctioned 2024 primary election debates, has enthusiastically urged Biden to participate in the three general debates scheduled for this fall.
“General election debates have a rich tradition in our American democracy, having played a vital role in every presidential election of the past 50 years, dating to 1976.
Biden has mostly avoided commenting publicly on engaging in debate with Trump.
“Well, if I were him, I’d want to debate me too,” Biden said earlier in March, after Trump challenged him to debate “anytime, anywhere, anyplace.”
Trump’s campaign is still lobbying hard for general election debates against Biden.
The two claimed Americans were “robbed of a true and robust” debate in 2020 because the debate commission accepted the Biden campaign’s wish amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It plans to hold a vice presidential debate on Sept. 25 at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.


Along with major wire, print, and radio organizations, the five major broadcast and cable news networks have written an open letter to presidential candidates urging them to publicly commit to participating in televised debates prior to the general election. ABC News is one of these groups.

The Associated Press, C-SPAN, NewsNation, Noticias Univision (Univision Network News), NPR, PBS NewsHour, USA TODAY, and CBS News, CNN, NBCUniversal News Group, and FOX News Media have all signed the letter in addition to ABC News.

“As the general election’s parameters become more apparent, we, the national news organizations that have signed this letter, implore the presumed presidential candidates to publicly pledge to take part in general election debates prior to November’s election,” the letter, which was made public on Sunday, states.

This unexpected action is taken during an election cycle in which both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have expressed skepticism toward the decades-old American campaign practice of debates.

Trump, who disregarded all four of the primary election debates sanctioned by the Republican National Committee in 2024, has strongly encouraged Biden to take part in the three general debates that are set for this autumn.

The biden campaign has voiced dissatisfaction with the Commission on Presidential Debates’ arrangement of these forums, implying that the impartial organization that has supported the gatherings since the 1980s has doubts about its capacity to conduct a “fair” discussion with Trump.

In our American democracy, general election debates have a long history. Since 1976, they have been an integral part of every presidential election during that time. The media organizations write, “Tens of millions of people watched the candidates debate side by side in a competition of ideas for the votes of American citizens in each of those elections.”.

“The extremely high stakes of this election are one thing that Americans can agree upon in this divisive time.”. With that context, there is just no replacement for the candidates presenting their visions for the future of our country to the American people and engaging in debate with one another,” the article concludes.

For the most part, Biden has refrained from making public remarks about debating Trump. When asked if he would make a commitment after his State of the Union speech in March, Biden told ABC News, “It depends on his behavior.”. “.

After Trump challenged Biden to a debate “anytime, anywhere, anyplace,” the former president remarked in March, “Well, if I were him, I’d want to debate me too.”. ****.

“He has no other tasks to complete,” Biden continued.

The longshot rivals of Joe Biden, who have the full support of the Democratic National Committee, insisted on holding no primary election debates this cycle. However, since the first modern debate took place in 1948, there has never been a situation in which an incumbent president took part in a primary debate—not even in the case of prominent primary opponents.

The Trump campaign is still putting a lot of effort into pushing for debates against Biden in the general election. Sent a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates on Thursday, the senior campaign advisers of the former president stated that voting is starting “earlier and earlier” and advocated for “much earlier” and “more” presidential debates than first suggested. ****.

Leading Trump campaign advisors Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles wrote in the letter, “Voting is beginning earlier and earlier, and as we saw in 2020, tens of millions of Americans had already voted by the time of the first debate.”.

In their letter, they included estimates of the number of votes that Americans would have probably cast by the current proposed dates, saying, “Specific to the Commission’s proposed 2024 calendar, it simply comes too late.”.

The two asserted that the debate commission granted the Biden campaign’s request during the coronavirus pandemic, depriving Americans of “a true and robust” debate in 2020.

There were just two debates in 2020 with Biden and Trump participating. Following the former president’s withdrawal, a third debate that was originally slated to take place in person was rescheduled as a virtual event due to COVID-19.

Subsequently, Trump launched an attack on the commission, declaring he would not abide by any of their recommendations to tighten regulations and prevent disruptions during the remaining debates.

In 2022, the Republican National Committee decided to withdraw from commission-sponsored debates and require candidates to swear an oath to abstain from them. Its stance has not been changed by the national party.

The commission has declared that September will be the date of the first debate. the second on October 16 at Texas State University. 1 at Virginia State University and October 3rd. 9 in Salt Lake City at The University of Utah. A vice presidential debate is scheduled for September. 25 at Pennsylvania’s Lafayette College.

–This report was assisted by SooRin Kim, Lalee Ibssa, Fritz Farrow, Libby Cathey, and Gabriella Abdul-Hakim from ABC News.

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