Surprising Moderators Revealed for First Trump-Biden Debate

Surprising Moderators Revealed for First Trump-Biden Debate

As it prepares to host the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle, CNN is poised to take center stage. America's television screens will be illuminated with the highly anticipated matchup between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump in late June.

After exchanging rhetorical barbs from a distance, both contenders are now readying for a face-to-face meeting, setting the stage for what promises to be a historic 2024 election.

Scheduled for June 27, the two political heavyweights will engage in a face-to-face discussion at CNN’s Atlanta studios. This in-studio format does not allow for a live audience, promising an intimate and intense exchange.

According to Deadline, CNN confirmed Dana Bash and Jake Tapper as the moderators on Wednesday. This announcement follows Joe Biden’s bold invitation to his opponent, stating he was willing to debate "anywhere, any time, any place." Trump confidently accepted, claiming that Biden "can’t put two sentences together."

CNN is overseeing the first debate, but details on how other networks will cover the event or if a feed will be available for simulcasting remain unclear. ABC News, hosting the subsequent debate on September 10th, has already committed to broadcasting its coverage.

"Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal," Biden said in a video message shared Wednesday morning. "I’ll even do it twice. So let’s pick the dates, Donald. I hear you’re free on Wednesdays," Biden added, alluding to Trump’s New York trial.

During the 2015 Republican primary debate, Tapper had his first significant role as a debate moderator. He later moderated a crucial Republican debate in March 2016, one of the final debates of the primary season. CNN's lead political correspondent, Dana Bash, has covered presidential campaigns and Congress extensively. She has co-moderated several significant debates, including the 2020 Democratic primary debates, gaining notoriety for her incisive questions on topics like healthcare and economic policy. Tapper and Bash have occasionally co-moderated debates as well.

In 2020, three presidential debates were scheduled, each with a different moderator. The first debate was moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday on September 29, 2020, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The second debate was set for October 15, 2020, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, with Steve Scully of C-SPAN as the moderator. However, it was canceled following President Trump’s positive COVID-19 test and subsequent disputes about holding the debate virtually. Instead, both candidates held separate town hall meetings that night.

The final debate on October 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, was moderated by Kristen Welker, co-anchor of Weekend Today and NBC News White House correspondent.

The first debate of 2024 is scheduled shortly after Biden returns from a foreign trip to attend the G7 Summit, likely coinciding with the conclusion of Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan. The second debate in September would occur just before early voting begins in many states. The Biden-Harris campaign has also suggested a vice-presidential debate for July, following the formal nominations of both parties’ ticket mates.

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