Trump-Biden debates: Here’s what to know

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Trump-Biden debates: Here’s what to know

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The Big Story 

Trump-Biden debates: Here’s what to know 

President Biden and Donald Trump are scheduled to go head-to-head in two televised debates later this year ahead of a pivotal presidential election this fall, the details of which were hashed out on Wednesday in a matter of minutes

© Greg Nash

The repeat rivals are set to participate in two debates so far: One is set to be hosted by CNN in Atlanta on June 27 while a second is scheduled for Sept. 10, which will be hosted by ABC News.  


Biden had challenged the former president to debate him in a video on social platform X.


Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal,” Biden said in the video. 


“I’ll even do it twice. So let’s pick the dates, Donald. I hear you’re free on Wednesdays,” Biden quipped, referring to the mid-week hiatuses in Trump’s New York hush money trial.  


Trump responded on his Truth Social platform that he was willing to take the president on, and dubbed Biden “the WORST debate I have ever faced.” 


“I am Ready and Willing to Debate Crooked Joe at the two proposed times in June and September. 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. Just tell me when, I’ll be there. “Let’s get ready to Rumble!!!” Trump wrote. 


The debates to be hosted by CNN and ABC News were a blow to the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has already been planning several presidential and vice presidential debates for later this year. The commission said in a statement that “we will continue to be ready to execute this plan,” despite the two campaigns snubbing the commission.


The backdrop: While the two debates are sure to bring lots of eyeballs, it also comes as Biden is reeling from a slew of unflattering polls showing him continuing to trail Trump in key swing states. 


Polling from The New York Times and Siena College earlier this month found the former president leading Biden in five swing states alone. Biden’s campaign brushed off the recent polling in a statement, though the continual bad polling for the president is raising questions around whether he can change his trajectory before November. 


“The only consistency in recent public polls is inconsistency. These results need to be weighed against the 30-plus polls that show Biden up and gaining – which is exactly why drawing broad conclusions about the race based on results from one poll is a mistake. The reality is that many voters are not paying close attention to the election and have not started making up their minds — a dynamic also reflected in today’s poll. These voters will decide this election and only the Biden campaign is doing the work to win them over,” Biden pollster Geoff Garin said in a statement.


Essential Reads 

Key election stories and other recent campaign coverage:

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R) criticized fellow members of his party who have recently gone to former President Trump’s hush money trial in New York. “I think it’s a little demeaning to show up in front of a courthouse and — particularly one where we’re talking about an allegation of paying a porn star,” Romney said in a Wednesday video clip from Politico. Romney’s disapproving comments also follow reported similar words from fellow …

CNN anchor Chris Wallace said on Wednesday that not having an audience present for the CNN presidential debate between President Biden and former President Trump will make for a “cleaner” experience for the candidates and for the viewers watching at home. Biden and Trump reached an agreement Wednesday on two presidential debates which will set the major parties’ presumptive nominees in a head-to-head battle on national television. …

President Biden’s messaging about lowering the cost of prescription drugs through the Inflation Reduction Act is resonating with more people, but most voters overall are still unaware of some key provisions, according to a new poll from health policy research group KFF.  Lowering health costs has been a key reelection message for Biden, and he has touted passage of the IRA as a signature achievement. Awareness of the 2-year-old …

The Countdown 

Upcoming news themes and events we’re watching:

61 days until the Republican National Convention 
96 days until the Democratic National Convention 174 days until the 2024 general election 

In Other News 

Branch out with a different read from The Hill:

The Biden campaign rejected the prospect of adding debates with former President Trump beyond the two that the candidates already agreed to Wednesday after Trump’s campaign suggested holding additional debates this summer. “Donald Trump has a long history of playing games with debates: complaining about the rules, breaking those rules, pulling out at the last minute, or not showing up at all — which he’s done repeatedly …

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Wednesday announced he is launching a “Democrats for Hogan” initiative after winning the GOP nomination for his state’s hotly contested open Senate seat Tuesday night. “I am excited to launch Democrats for Hogan and have my good friend and former Democratic State Senator Bobby Zirkin on our team,” Hogan wrote in a post on X, attaching a video of Zirkin expressing his support for Hogan …

Around the Nation 

Local and state headlines regarding campaigns and elections:

GOP activists plan mass voter eligibility challenges with new Georgia law (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Once a wedge issue, abortion now a rallying cry for Biden, Democrats in Pennsylvania (90.5 WESA) 

What We’re Reading 

Election news we’ve flagged from other outlets:

Trump Taps Silicon Valley, DeSantis Donors in Campaign Cash Hunt (Bloomberg
Incumbent Brandon Scott prevails in Baltimore mayor’s race primary (The Associated Press

Elsewhere Today 

Key stories on The Hill right now:

The GOP plan to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress seeks to string together two seemingly unrelated probes — special counsel Robert Hur’s review of President Biden’s handling of classified records, and its own impeachment investigation. The back-to-back contempt hearings slated for Thursday in the House Judiciary … Read more

Credit card delinquencies are on the rise, as research from the New York Federal Reserve shows nearly a fifth of borrowers are “maxed-out.” According the new report, issued by the bank’s Center for Microeconomic Data, household debt rose by 1.1 percent, or $184 billion, in the first quarter of the year, bringing the total to $17.69 trillion. … Read more

What People Think 

Opinions related to campaigns and elections submitted to The Hill:

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