Biden and Trump face off in two TV duels

Before the US presidential election in November, President Joe Biden and his rival Donald Trump want to compete against each other in two televised debates. Biden challenged Trump to two TV duels on Wednesday, and Trump immediately accepted the challenge. The US broadcaster CNN said the first debate would take place on June 27 in the city of Atlanta in the US state of Georgia. The two competitors also agreed on a second date on September 10.

He was “ready and willing,” the former president wrote on his online network Truth Social: “Let's prepare for battle!” Biden had recently proposed two TV duels to his predecessor: “Make me happy, buddy. I'll do it twice,” the president said in a video published on the online service X about the usual TV duels between the candidates before US presidential elections.

“Then let's choose the dates, Donald. I heard you have Wednesdays off,” Biden added. He was making a dig at the trial currently underway in New York against Trump for allegedly covering up a hush money payment to former porn actress Stormy Daniels. In the first criminal trial in history against a former US president, there is a break every Wednesday.

Trump accepted both dates – even though he said he wanted a larger venue with an audience. The right-wing populist accused his Democratic rival of being “afraid of crowds.”

CNN said the TV debate would take place in the station's studios in Atlanta in the “crucial, hotly contested state of Georgia.” The state in the southeast of the USA is a so-called swing state, where Democrats and Republicans often have very close races. The TV station ABC said it would host the debate on September 10, but did not provide any information about the venue.

Trump later proposed further debates: He said he had accepted an offer from the right-wing conservative television network Fox News, and his campaign team called for further debate dates in July and August. The Biden team, however, responded that the president had “made clear his conditions for two duels.”

Although Biden and Trump have not yet been formally nominated as their parties' presidential candidates for the November 5 election, their nomination is considered a mere formality. Trump has already won the Republican primaries by a landslide, although they are not yet over. Biden has no significant competition in the Democratic primaries, which are also still ongoing.

The Republicans will nominate their presidential candidate at a party convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in mid-July, and the Democratic nomination convention will follow in August in Chicago, Illinois. Before the 2020 election, which Trump lost to Biden, the two also had two TV debates.