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Joe Biden (left) and Donald Trump
us presidential election

'Make my day, pal': Dates set for Biden v Trump presidential debates in June and September

Biden’s proposal would exclude third-party candidates like Robert F Kennedy Jr.

TWO DATES HAVE been set for debates between US President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump in June and September this year. 

The first debate will be held on 27 June and will be hosted by the broadcaster CNN. The second will take place on 10 September on ABC. 

Presumptive Republican nominee Trump, who is currently on trial in New York over hush money payments allegedly made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, has said he wants more debates and for them to be held soon. “Just tell me when, I’ll be there,” he said.

Trump is currently ahead of Biden in five key battleground states, Pennsylvania (3%), Arizona (7%), Michigan (7%), Georgia (10%) and Nevada (12%), according to recent polling.

The details of the format, ground rules and settings for the debates are yet to be hashed out between the Democrat and Republican camps. 

The Democratic sitting president announced in a video posted on social media today that he was ready to debate Trump twice in the run-up to the election in November this year. 

“Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020 and since then he hasn’t shown up for debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again,” Biden said.

“Well make my day, pal. I’ll even do it twice,” he said addressing Trump in the video.

The swiftly arranged schedule followed Biden’s announcement that he will not participate in autumn presidential debates sponsored by the non-partisan commission that has organised them for more than three decades.

Biden’s campaign instead proposed that media outlets directly organise the debates with the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees, with the first to be held in late June and the second in September before early voting begins.

Biden’s proposal would exclude third-party candidates like Robert F Kennedy Jr.

The presumptive Republican nominee, Trump, in a post on his Truth Social site, said he was “ready and willing to Debate” Biden at the proposed times.

Hours later, Biden said he accepted an invitation from CNN to a debate on 27 June, adding, “Over to you, Donald. As you said, anywhere, anytime, any place.”

Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to the June debate proposal.

There still appear to be significant differences on key questions of how to organise the debates, including agreeing on media partners, moderators, location and rules – some of the very questions that prompted the formation of the Commission on Presidential Debates in 1987.

Trump’s team did not immediately weigh in on the details of the Biden proposal, but Trump expressed his desire for a large, live audience.

“I would strongly recommend more than two debates and, for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds – that’s only because he doesn’t get them,” Trump said. 

Trump has been pushing for more debates and earlier debates, arguing voters should be able to see the two men face off well before early voting begins in September.

He has repeatedly said he will debate Biden “anytime, anywhere, any place,” even proposing the two men face off outside the Manhattan courthouse where he is currently on criminal trial in a hush money case.

With reporting from Press Association.

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