CNN Drops NEW Rules Ahead of First Trump-Biden Debate

CNN Drops NEW Rules Ahead of First Trump-Biden Debate

CNN has established new guidelines for the upcoming presidential debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, which may include a third-party candidate joining the stage.

Biden seems to have secured all his preferences for the debate, which Trump has accepted. According to CNN, the debate on June 15 will last 90 minutes and include two commercial breaks, during which candidates cannot interact with their staffs.

“Both candidates agreed to appear at a uniform podium, and their podium positions will be determined by a coin flip,” the network reported.

“Microphones will be muted throughout the debate except for the candidate whose turn it is to speak. While no props or pre-written notes will be allowed on the stage, candidates will be given a pen, a pad of paper and a bottle of water.

“Some aspects of the debate – including the absence of a studio audience – will be a departure from previous debates. But, as in the past, the moderators “will use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion,” the network added.

While it is unlikely, the network noted that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. might participate in the debate.

“All participating debaters must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidency and receive at least 15% in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters that meet CNN’s standards for reporting. Polls that meet those standards are those sponsored by CNN, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, Marquette University Law School, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times/Siena College, NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College, Quinnipiac University, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post,” the network outlined.

Kennedy has achieved 15 percent in three qualifying polls and is on the ballot in six states, giving him eligibility for 86 Electoral College votes.

In May, Trump agreed to a new debate format for the upcoming debate with Biden.

Usually, Trump prefers to stand during debates, but he agreed to sit at a table with Biden following a request from the 81-year-old president’s campaign, the New York Post reported.

“I hear now we’re sitting at tables. I don’t want to sit at a table,” Trump mentioned to John Catsimatidis and Rita Cosby during the “Cats & Cosby Show” on WABC 770 AM.

“I said, ‘No, let’s stand.’ But they want to sit at a table,” Trump said. “So we’ll be sitting at a table as opposed to doing it the way you should be, in my opinion, in a debate.”

Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, stated that he prefers to “walk out to a podium” and “stand for an hour and a half or two hours.”

“But they have [Biden] sitting at a table, so that’s not so good,” Trump commented, labeling the seated debate format as “one of the many” requests from Biden’s campaign, likely due to concerns about Biden’s mental and physical health.

“But I agree to their requests because I want to debate him,” Trump told Catsimatidis and Cosby, adding that he plans to address Biden’s handling of the chaotic and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 during the debate. “If [Biden] gets through the debate, they’ll say it was brilliant,” Trump further remarked.

The Trump and Biden campaigns have scheduled two debates, one hosted by CNN on June 27 and another by ABC News on September 10. It remains unclear if the seated format will be used for both debates. According to Biden's campaign request, there will be no live audience at either event.

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