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Biden and Trump Debate

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 25 June 2024 > In the News

The two main candidates for the 2024 U.S. Presidential election will participate in a TV debate on 27 June, months earlier than in usual campaign years.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden aren’t even officially the Republican and Democratic candidates yet: that will happen when their parties hold their national conventions, from 15 July for the Republicans and from 19 August for the Democrats. But there has been no doubt in anyone’s mind for months that they will be the ones on the ballot on 5 November. Donald Trump defeated his few rivals early in the primary season and the Democratic primaries were a mere formality given that Biden had decided to run again.

Presidential debates remain one of the most-watched events on U.S. TV, not far behind the Superbowl. In another change from tradition, Thursday’s debate and a second one on 10 September will be hosted by TV channels CNN and then ABC News. Normally they are coordinated by the Commission on Presidential Debates, run by both main parties. But this year both candidates wanted to start the debates earlier.

It is a sign of the state of political debate in the U.S.A. that the candidates have had to agree to have their microphones muted when it isn’t their turn to speak. And the debate will take place with no studio audience. The two debates between the two men in 2020 featured Mr Trump constantly interrupting Mr Biden, and heckling from the audience.

Topics for Debate

The candidates are likely to face questions about the state of the economy and immigration policy, the top topics picked by voters in opinion polls.

Joe Biden, judging from new campaign ads this week, will try to attack Donald Trump over the different court cases he has lost or is facing. In February, in a civil case, he and his company were ordered to pay a $454 million penalty for lying about the value of the company. He has lodged an appeal. In May, in a criminal case, he was convicted of falsifying business records to cover up hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels. He is also indicted in three other criminal cases, none of which is likely to come to court before the election: two for trying to overturn the result of the 2020 election and one for illegally retaining classified documents taken from the White House at the end of his presidency.

Donald Trump is likely to counter about the court cases Biden’s son Hunter has lost or is facing. He faces prison time for lying about his drug use on an application for a gun permit, and will go on trial for tax evasion in September.

Trump will also continue the attacks he has been making for five years about Joe Biden being too old for the Presidency, despite Trump being only three years younger. Whichever is elected would be the oldest ever President at his inauguration in January, 81 for Biden, 78 for Trump.

Opinion polls have been showing the two candidates neck-and-neck. It will be interesting to see if Thursday’s debate affects that at all.

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