Major News Orgs Press Biden and Trump to Debate

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A dozen major news organizations shared a letter Sunday pressing President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump to meet on the debate stage.

“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 read.

Networks including ABC News, CBS News, CNN, NBCUniversal News Group and FOX News Media, as well as media outlets The Associated Press, C-SPAN, NewsNation, Noticias Univision (Univision Network News), NPR, PBS NewsHour and USA TODAY signed onto the letter.

“If there is one thing Americans can agree on during this polarized time, it is that the stakes of this election are exceptionally high. Amidst that backdrop, there is simply no substitute for the candidates debating with each other, and before the American people, their visions for the future of our nation,” the letter concluded.

Trump has recently called for debates against Biden to happen earlier and more frequently than in 2016 — although whether he actually will participate remains to be seen. “President Trump is willing to debate anytime, anyplace, and anywhere – and the time to start these debates is now,” Trump’s campaign said in a letter last week.

Trump declined to debate his opponents for the Republican nomination, forcing the Republican National Committee to host primary debates without him. In 2022, the RNC voted not to participate in debates hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates after Trump complained about the timing, format, and moderators. But now Trump seems to have changed his mind.


Biden has so far played coy about debates, telling ABC News in March that his participation in debates “depends on [Trump’s] behavior.” In 2020 when the two candidates debated, Trump spewed falsehoods, frequently interrupted, refused to condemn white supremacy and cast doubt on election integrity. He often steamrolled moderators, and his actions prompted Biden to let out an exasperated, “Would you shut up, man?” during a September face-off.

In response to Trump’s recent call to debate Biden “anytime, anywhere, any place,” the current president’s campaign pointed to a statement the president made in February: “If I were him, I’d want to debate me, too. He’s got nothing else to do.”

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