Biden, Trump's first presidential debate: Here's what to expect

First presidential debate for US election is going to take place between US president and Republican candidate

By Web Desk
June 24, 2024
US President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump gesture during separate political gatherings. — Reuters/File

President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump are scheduled to face each other in their first presidential debate for the 2024 US general election on Thursday night in Atlanta.

This begins a new phase of the presidential race less than five months out from the Election Day on November 5, as the battle between the two candidates remains tough. Notably, both the politicians are going to face off each other in a debate after four years, reported NPR.


As the debate is taking place months earlier than usual and also with a new set of rules which the both candidates have agreed to, it breaks with traditional campaigning. These rules also include no live audience.

This is also the first debate in which either candidate has taken part in this campaign season. As Biden largely ran unopposed, Trump notably skipped the GOP primary debates.

When to watch the debate?

The debate is set to start at 9pm ET and will take place for 90 minutes. CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will be moderating the debate as it will occur at the network’s studios in Atlanta.

Most often in an event space on a college or university campus, presidential debates typically take place in front of a live audience. They are then coordinated by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).

What to expect from the debate?

Candidates are expected to speak on recent respective legal dramas. Interestingly, the debate is happening about a month after Trump was found guilty of 34 criminal charges in New York.

On the other hand, it is also followed by the conviction of Biden’s son Hunter on felony gun charges in Delaware in mid-June. He also faces a second federal trial in September for failing to pay his taxes.

For the upcoming face off, one of Biden’s strategies will be to attack the Republican rival on his legal troubles and character, as per the president’s campaign co-chair Mitch Landrieu.

Parallel to this, the Republican has forgone traditional debate preparations. He has instead been holding a series of meetings in recent weeks with US senators and advisors.

“He is thinking about how to translate these really, really important topics into a message that works,” said Republican Senator JD Vance about Trump’s debate strategy in an interview with Fox News earlier this week.

Additionally, Biden is expected to address concerns over his age as well as ability to serve a second term. He is the oldest sitting president in US history as he is 81 years old. He would exit from the office at the age of 86 if he is reelected.

As the president has had public slip-ups throughout his first term, Trump, who is 78, has consistently criticised Biden’s mental ability. The Republican candidate most recently speculated that he should take a cognitive test. During that similar speech, Trump incorrectly named the doctor who conducted his own cognitive exam while he was the president.