May 21, 2024

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The media invites debate on presidential candidates

The media invites debate on presidential candidates

(New York) Twelve media outlets on Sunday urged presumptive presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump to embrace the debates, calling it a “rich tradition” that has been part of every general election campaign since 1976.

Trump, who did not participate in the debates for the Republican nomination, has expressed his desire to face his rival in 2020, but the Democratic president has not debated him again.

Although invitations have not been officially issued, media outlets have reported that it is not too soon for each organization to publicly announce the three presidential forums and one vice presidential forum hosted by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

“If there's one thing Americans can agree on in this polarizing time, it's that the stakes in this election are exceptionally high,” the companies said in a joint statement. In this context, there is no alternative for the candidates to debate their vision for our nation's future among themselves and before the American people. »

ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, PBS, NBC, NPR and the Associated Press all signed the letter.

MM Biden and Trump debated twice in 2020. The third debate was canceled after then-President Trump contracted Covid-19 and did not want to debate remotely.

Photo by Patrick Semansky, Associated Press Archives

MM Biden and Trump debated twice in 2020.

Asked if he would engage in a debate with Trump on March 8, Mr. “It depends on his behavior,” Biden said. The incumbent president was visibly upset by his opponent during the first free debate of 2020, saying at one point: “Are you going to shut up? “.

In a letter last week, Trump campaign managers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita said, “We have already indicated that President Trump is open to debate whenever and wherever – now is the time to begin these discussions.

“Today's America certainly deserves it,” they cite the seven Illinois Senate debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in 1858.

The Republican National Committee voted in 2022 to no longer participate in forums sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The Trump Organization has not indicated compliance, but it has imposed certain conditions. Campaign managers said the commission chose an “outspoken anti-Trump moderator” in 2020 in then-Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and wanted assurances that the commission's actions would be fair and impartial.

The Trump Organization also wants to move up the schedule, saying many Americans will have already voted by September 16, 1.R October and October 9 are the dates of the three discussions fixed by the Commission.

Referring to the President's earlier statement, Mr. Biden's organization refused. There was no immediate response from the Trump Organization.

On Saturday, however, Trump attended a rally in northeastern Pennsylvania with two speakers on stage: one for him to deliver the speech and one for Mr. Trump to symbolize what he had said. Biden refused to debate him. On the second table was a sign: “Anytime. Anywhere”.

Photo by Evelyn Hochstein, Reuters

Trump attended a rally in northeastern Pennsylvania.

In the middle of his speech, Trump turned to his right, pointed to a second lecturer, and invited Joe Biden to debate the country going “in the wrong direction.”

C-SPAN, NewsNation and Univision also joined the letter calling for discussions. Only one newspaper, USA Today, added its voice. The Washington Post denied the member's request.

Broadcasters can certainly benefit from the interest that discussions can bring. Television news ratings are down sharply compared to the 2020 campaign, though other factors are at work, such as the pandemic, which boosted interest in news four years ago.

There has been no Democratic debate this presidential cycle, and Trump's refusal to participate in Republican forums has dampened the enthusiasm they have generated.

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