US election: Biden and Trump agree on rules for TV duel

Turn off the microphone while the other person is speaking – and no cheat sheets: strict rules for a debate on television should be clarified beforehand.

US President Joe Biden and his challenger Donald Trump have agreed on the rules for their first televised debate before the election in November. During the 90-minute exchange at prime time on June 27 (June 28 German time), the microphone of the presidential candidate who is not currently speaking will remain muted.

Who will be on which side of the stage will be decided by a coin toss, as the broadcaster CNN further announced. Biden and Trump must speak freely, are not allowed to take cheat sheets to the lectern and are only given pens and notepads. They are also forbidden from contacting their campaign teams during the two commercial breaks.

The televised debate will unusually take place without a studio audience – Biden’s campaign team had insisted on this, while Trump had argued for a large event in front of a mass audience “for reasons of excitement”. Some of the conditions are different from previous TV debates, CNN admitted.

Next TV debate in September

However, the two moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash would “use all means at their disposal to ensure that the time limits are met and that the discussion is civilized.” Both Democrat Biden and his Republican predecessor Trump have agreed to the conditions. The broadcast will be from a studio in Atlanta, Georgia.

The next TV debate between the two rivals is planned for September and will be hosted by the television network ABC. Biden and Trump are not expected to be chosen as their parties’ official candidates until July and August at nominating conventions.

However, due to a lack of competition, there is no serious doubt that they will face each other in the race for the White House for a second time after 2020. The presidential election will take place on November 5.