First Presidential Debate of 2024 General Election Will Feature Biden and Trump in Atlanta with Strict New Rules

First Presidential Debate of 2024 General Election Will Feature Biden and Trump in Atlanta with Strict New Rules

The host of the first presidential debate of the 2024 general election season has provided new details on the rules for what could be the most significant political event of the year, scheduled for less than two weeks away.

Biden and Trump to Face Off

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will meet for the first time since 2020 in Atlanta on June 27. Both candidates have agreed to appear at a uniform podium, with their positions to be determined by a coin flip.

Microphone Muting and Debate Props

In a new development since their last face-off, microphones will be muted throughout the debate except when it is a candidate’s turn to speak. Additionally, no props or pre-written notes will be allowed on stage. However, candidates will be provided with a pen, a pad of paper, and a bottle of water.

Reasons for Microphone Muting

The decision to mute microphones comes after the 2020 presidential debates, where Trump frequently spoke over Biden, leading to moderators stepping in with limited success.

Debate Details and Moderators

The debate in the battleground state of Georgia is the first of two presidential debates before the November election. The 90-minute event will include two commercial breaks during which Biden and Trump cannot interact with their staff. CNN has announced that anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate the debate. Their challenge will be to maintain order as both candidates have been hostile ahead of the event.

Moderators’ Role and Debate Conduct

Tapper and Bash will use all available tools to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion. The effectiveness of these measures remains to be seen, given the candidates’ contentious history.

Campaign Attacks and Debate Preparation

Trump and Biden have consistently attacked each other since the start of the campaign season. Trump has mocked Biden at rallies, even demanding drug tests before the debate. Biden has criticized Trump over his criminal charges and the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Third-Party Candidates’ Eligibility

While Biden and Trump are the presumptive nominees for their parties, third-party candidates appear unlikely to qualify for the debate stage. CNN requires candidates to be on enough state ballots to win 270 electoral votes and to have at least 15 percent in four separate national polls.

Independent Candidate Robert Kennedy Jr.

Independent candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. is expected to miss the debate stage. Although he is working to get on the ballot in all 50 states, he has only achieved this in a handful and is just shy of the necessary polling requirement.

Anticipation for the Debate

Both campaigns have been preparing for the highly anticipated event. Biden’s team has stated that the president is ready to challenge Trump on key issues, including abortion rights. Trump’s campaign has downplayed debate preparation, pointing to his extensive rally appearances.

Trump’s Debate Concerns

Trump has expressed concerns about the fairness of the debate, questioning CNN’s role as the host. His attacks on the debate and Biden’s performance might set low expectations for the president in Atlanta.

Future Debates

Both Biden and Trump campaigns agreed to the CNN debate last month. ABC News will host the second presidential debate in September.

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