US election: TV debate between Biden and Trump scheduled for end of June

Television debates in the US presidential election campaign are a traditional spectacle. There was actually already a schedule, but it has now been thrown out the window.

In the US presidential election campaign, the first TV debate between the Democratic incumbent Joe Biden and the Republican challenger Donald Trump has surprisingly been scheduled for the end of June. The television channel CNN announced that the duel would take place on the evening of June 27 (June 28 German time) in Atlanta, Georgia. Biden had recently proposed bringing the TV debates forward and starting next month – contrary to the plan of a responsible commission. Trump agreed.

Another TV debate between the two is planned for the evening of September 10 (September 11 German time). This will be hosted by the US television station ABC. Biden confirmed his participation in both rounds on the X platform, while Trump did so on the Truth Social platform, which he co-founded. Trump's campaign team also called for not just two, but four TV debates between Biden and Trump in a letter to the Biden campaign: in June, July, August and September.

It is unusual that the first televised debate is taking place in June. Biden and Trump are not expected to be chosen as their parties' official candidates until July and August at nominating conventions. In the USA, there is a bipartisan commission that is traditionally responsible for organizing televised debates between presidential candidates. This commission had already set dates for three TV debates last November: on September 16 in the state of Texas, on October 1 in the state of Virginia and on October 9 in the state of Utah.

Vice presidents to duel on September 25

The commission had also planned a debate between the two candidates for the vice-presidential office for September 25 in the state of Pennsylvania. Biden is once again running in the election with his deputy Kamala Harris. Trump has not yet announced who he wants at his side. It was initially unclear when the vice-presidential TV debate could take place.

With the new initiative, Biden and Trump are ignoring the commission's plans. At the insistence of Biden's campaign team, there will be no audience in the television studio for the debate at the end of June. CNN wrote that this was to ensure “that the candidates can make the most of the time allotted to them.” Trump had actually argued for choosing a very large venue “for reasons of suspense,” even though Biden is apparently afraid of crowds.

Independent US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, who is running against Biden and Trump in the election, complained on X that the two deliberately wanted to exclude him from the TV debates “because they are afraid that I might win.”