Spread the love

American media call for debate of presidential candidates

Photo: Jim Bourg Archives Associated Press Donald Trump (right), then President of the United States, and Joe Biden at the final debate of the 2020 US presidential election, in Nashville, October 22

David Bauder – Associated Press in New York

April 14, 2024

  • United States

Twelve media organizations on Sunday urged presumptive presidential nominees Joe Biden and Donald Trump to accept the debates, saying it is a “rich tradition” that is part of every general election campaign since 1976.

Even though Trump, who did not participate in the debates for the Republican nomination, has indicated his willingness to face his 2020 rival, the Democratic president has not committed to debating with him again.

Although the invitations have not been officially extended, media companies said it was not too early for each organization to publicly announce that it would participate in the three presidential forums and one vice-presidential forum organized by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

“If there is one thing Americans can agree on during this time of polarization, it is that the stakes in this election are exceptionally high,” the organizations said in a joint statement. In this context, nothing can replace the fact that candidates debate among themselves and in front of the American people their vision of the future of our nation. »

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

Mr. Biden and Trump debated twice in 2020. A third debate was canceled after Trump, then president, was infected with COVID-19 and did not want to debate remotely.

Also read

  • Analysis | The specter of an American presidential election without a televised debate
  • Chronicle | At the dawn of fascism in the United States ?
  • Analysis | A criminal trial as a political platform for Donald Trump

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

Trump campaign managers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita said in a letter last week that “we have already indicated that President Trump is prepared to debate anytime, anywhere – and the time has come to begin these debates.”

They cited the seven 1858 Illinois Senate debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, arguing that “the America of today certainly deserves as much.”

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 it will comply, but it has set certain conditions. Campaign managers said the commission selected a “blatantly anti-Trump moderator” in then-Fox News host Chris Wallace in 2020, and wanted assurance that the commission's proceedings were fair and impartial.

The Trump Organization also wants to move up the schedule, saying many Americans will have already voted by September 16, October 1 and October 9, the dates for the three debates set by the commission.

Mr. Biden’s organization declined to comment on the media companies’ letter, pointing to the president’s earlier statement. There was no immediate response from the Trump organization.

However, on Saturday, Trump attended a rally in northeastern Pennsylvania with two lecterns set up on the stage: one for him to deliver a speech, the other to symbolize that which he said was Mr. Biden's refusal to debate him. The second desk had a sign that read: “Any time. Anywhere. »

Midway through his speech, Trump turned to his right and pointed to the second lectern, inviting Joe Biden to debate while the country is going “in the wrong direction.”

C-SPAN, NewsNation and Univision also joined the letter calling for debates. Only one newspaper, USA Today, added its voice. The Washington Post declined a membership application.

Broadcasters could certainly benefit from the interest that debates can bring. Television news ratings are down sharply compared to the 2020 campaign, although other factors come into play, such as the pandemic, which increased interest in the news four years ago years.

There have been no Democratic debates this presidential cycle, and Trump's refusal to participate in Republican forums has reduced interest in them.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116