Legacy news networks unite in urging Biden to finally agree to debate Trump

"We—the undersigned national news organizations—urge the presumptive presidential nominees to publicly commit to participating in general election debates before November's election."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
Major mainstream media news organizations have penned an open letter to presidential candidates urging them to participate in televised debates ahead of the general election, ABC News reports. President Donald Trump has repeatedly requested a debate from President Joe Biden, but Biden has not agreed to it.

The Trump campaign has issued multiple requests to the Biden campaign urging Biden to debate Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, but Biden has apparently not felt it necessary to do so. During the 2020 presidential election there were two debates between the two men.

The letter published on Sunday by ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, CNN, NBC Universal, NewsNation, USA Today, C-SPAN, Noticias Univision, NPR, PBS NewsHour, and the Associated Press reads: "With the contours of the 2024 general election now coming into clear focus, we—the undersigned national news organizations—urge the presumptive presidential nominees to publicly commit to participating in general election debates before November's election."

"General election debates have a rich tradition in our American democracy, having played a vital role in every presidential election of the past 50 years, dating to 1976. In each of those elections, tens of millions have tuned in to watch the candidates debating side by side, in a competition of ideas for the votes of American citizens," they wrote.

"If there is one thing Americans can agree on during this polarized time, it is that the stakes of this election are exceptionally high. Amidst that backdrop, there is simply no substitute for the candidates debating with each other, and before the American people, their visions for the future of our nation," the letter concludes.

There are three general election debates scheduled for this fall, but President Biden has not yet committed to participating in them.

On Thursday, Trump's senior campaign advisers wrote to the Commission on Presidential Debates, calling for "much earlier" and "more" presidential debates than were first suggested, stating that voting is starting much "earlier."

"Voting is beginning earlier and earlier, and as we saw in 2020, tens of millions of Americans had already voted by the time of the first debate," wrote Trump campaign advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles, according to ABC News. "Specific to the Commission's proposed 2024 calendar, it simply comes too late."

On Saturday, President Trump unveiled an empty podium next to him on stage at his rally in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, and challenged Biden to a debate.

"I'm calling on Crooked Joe Biden to debate. ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANYPLACE!" said Trump.

The Biden campaign has voiced dissatisfaction with the Commission on Presidential Debates' arrangement of the debate forums, implying that the impartial body that has supported the gatherings since the 1980s has doubts about its capacity to conduct a "fair" discussion with Trump.

In March, Biden told ABC News that debating Trump "depends on his behavior."
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