Biden, Trump agree on rules for first election debate of 2024

By AFP
June 16, 2024
Combination picture showing former US president Donald Trump attending the Trump Organisation civil fraud trial, in New York State Supreme Court and US President Joe Biden participating in a meeting in the Oval Office.— AFP/File

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden and Donald Trump will face off in a 90-minute debate with mutable microphones, broadcaster CNN said Saturday, as it laid ground rules for the first in-person clash between the pair ahead of November´s election.

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The rules for the June 27 debate, which will have two hosts and no studio audience, were agreed by the Biden and Trump campaigns, according to CNN.

“Both candidates agreed to appear at a uniform podium, and their podium positions will be determined by a coin flip,” the channel said, adding that microphones “will be muted throughout the debate except for the candidate whose turn it is to speak.” No props or notes will be allowed on stage, with candidates only given a pen, pad of paper and a bottle of water, CNN said.

It said the debate, hosted in Atlanta, Georgia, will last 90 minutes with two commercial breaks -- during which campaign staff cannot interact with their candidate.

“Some aspects of the debate -- including the absence of a studio audience -- will be a departure from previous debates,” CNN said.

But, the network said, moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash -- both star news anchors for CNN -- “will use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion.”

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