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Trump, Biden want to debate before election, but details vague

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President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he plans to debate former President Donald Trump twice before the November election, but the details have yet to be worked out.

Biden challenged Trump to debate in a video message posted Wednesday.

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

In the 14-second video posted on social media, Biden said he won both the debates in 2020 and that he was open to debate on Wednesday, the only day of the week Trump isn’t expected to be in a courtroom where he faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments to two women who said they had sexual encounters with Trump ahead of the 2016 election.

Trump quickly shot back on his social media platform.

“Crooked Joe Biden is the WORST debater I have ever faced – He can’t put two sentences together!” Trump wrote. “I am Ready and Willing to Debate Crooked Joe at the two proposed times in June and September.”

Trump said he wanted more debates and a 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,” Trump wrote. “That’s only because he doesn’t get them. Just tell me when, I’ll be there. ‘Let’s get ready to Rumble!!!"”

Biden’s campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the bipartisan commission that has conducted presidential debates since the late 1980s, that Biden wouldn’t participate in debates held by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Last November, the Commission on Presidential Debates set the schedule for three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate.

O’Malley Dillon said the commission’s dates were too late and would happen “after tens of millions of Americans will have already voted.”

“We are advising you now of this decision, months in advance of the dates you announced you are planning for, to enable you to avoid incurring further production, and other expenses on the assumption that the Democratic nominee, President Biden, will participate. For the reasons stated above, he will not,” O’Malley Dillon wrote in the letter, Politico reported.

Earlier this month, the commission defended its schedule.

“The first debate, scheduled for September 16, will be the earliest televised general election debate ever held. As it always does, the CPD considered multiple factors in selecting debate dates in order to make them accessible by the American public. These factors include religious and federal holidays, early voting, and the dates on which individual states close their ballots,” the commission wrote. “Equally importantly, federal law requires any general election debate sponsor to have pre-published, objective criteria by which to decide who qualifies to participate in the debates. Nomination by a major party is not sufficient in and of itself. The CPD’s 2024 Candidate Selection Criteria, published in November, 2023, include the requirement to appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have an arithmetic chance of winning the Electoral College. Three states do not close their ballots for independent candidates until September 6.”

Two years ago, Republican National Committee said it wouldn’t participate in debates held by the Commission on Presidential Debates.