President Biden and former President Trump accept CNN debate invitation

May 15, 2024, 10:44 AM | Updated: May 16, 2024, 6:27 pm

President Joe Biden, left, and former President Donald Trump (right) have each accepted an invitati...

President Joe Biden, left, and former President Donald Trump (right) have each accepted an invitation from CNN to debate in June. The news came on the heels of another announcement, that Biden will not participate in a presidential debate scheduled in Utah. () (Right, May 14, 2024, Michael M. Santiago, Getty Images) (Left, May 8, Andrew Harnik, Getty Images)

(Left, May 8, Andrew Harnik, Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have accepted CNN’s invitation for a presidential debate in June. 

CNN will televise the presidential debate on June 27 according to the Associated Press. It will take place at CNN’s Atlanta studios, without an audience. The network has not provided additional details. 

President Biden will not participate in Commission on Presidential Debates events

The news came shortly after Biden’s campaign told the Commission on Presidential Debates that the president would not participate in three previously scheduled debates. The University of Utah was slated to host one of those debates.  

Related: A $6.5 million request and cancelation concerns: the presidential debate is coming to Utah

Are the other debates off? 

At the time of publication, it was unknown whether the previously scheduled debates would still happen. Jason Perry, the director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah joined Utah’s Morning News to weigh in. 

Read the first few minutes of the transcript below. 

Tim Hughes: We have this developing story this morning. The Biden campaign said the president will not participate in debates planned by the Presidential Debate Commission. That includes the one scheduled to be here at the University of Utah.

Amanda Dickson: Joining us live is the director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics Jason Perry. Jason, say it isn’t so!

Jason Perry: I know, I can’t believe it either. But yes, we got the news with everyone else this morning. We’re working through it. We’re disappointed in the news because we’ve been “all in” on the planning and we’ve been ready to go. So we’re working closely with the Commission on Presidential Debates.  We talked to them this morning. It was a surprise to them as well.

Reasons for canceling the debate

Hughes: What are the reasons the administration or the Biden campaign are giving?

Perry:  There’s a little bit of tension, along with a little bit of “show”, that goes along with these debates. But this Commissioner on Presidential Debates has been doing them independently since 1984. They were this independent group that was set up to try to take care of the disputes that come. (For example) there were disputes in 2020 about the COVID policies. There have been disputes about the audience participation. Sometimes the audience gets very riled up, to the point where it starts to impact the debate. And there’s also concerns about the moderators . These are things that debates always fight about to try to make sure they get the best possible position for themselves. But it’s really blown up this time.

Dickson: So the president agreed to the CNN debate and sort of said ‘over to you now’ to former president Trump. Why can’t that be part of the Commission on Presidential Debates?

Perry: I think it could. I think that’s maybe something the commission will try to negotiate … there are three presidential debates set by (the commission) and one vice presidential debate. It’s clear, based on conversations over the last couple of months from the candidates and what we saw this morning, that the whole thing is up for grabs right now. We have not been told that the debates are off by the Commission on Presidential Debates. I hope by the end of today or at least by the end of this week we have some pretty good clarity on what is possible.


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President Biden and former President Trump accept CNN debate invitation