How the First Trump-Biden Debate Will Be Different from Any Since 1987

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President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set to go head-to-head in a debate on June 27.

This first presidential debate for the 2024 election will mark a significant shift from previous debates.

Here are three key differences in the upcoming Trump-Biden rematch debate compared to those since the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) began overseeing the process in 1987.

Absence of Commission on Presidential Debates

Due to previous issues between presidential campaigns that nearly halted debates, the nonpartisan CPD was formed. After almost four decades of managing these events, the Trump and Biden campaigns have chosen to bypass the commission.

CPD Co-Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf attributed the rejection of the CPD to White House communications adviser Anita Dunn. On Politico’s Deep Dive podcast, Fahrenkopf mentioned Dunn “hated” the commission, though he later told CBS News that he may have been too harsh.

Fahrenkopf warned that excluding the CPD could lead to the organization’s potential collapse and might disrupt the debates.

“There are a lot of things that have to be worked out,” he told CBS News’s The Takeout. “There’s a lot of questions … that aren’t, to my knowledge, worked out yet. That could prevent it from happening.”

Commercial breaks

Since the CPD began overseeing presidential debates, they have all been 90 minutes of uninterrupted discussion, without any commercial breaks. This year, CNN plans to change that format, as two individuals familiar with the matter told Variety.

Details about the commercials, such as their length and frequency, have not yet been revealed. Other networks broadcasting the debate will have the option to air their own ads during these breaks, rather than CNN’s.

Microphone cutoffs

A long-standing demand from Biden’s team — cutting off microphones if a candidate interrupts the other — was confirmed by First Lady Jill Biden on an episode of The View.

“They’ve built that in where they’re going to turn off those mics so that somebody can’t ramble or scream at somebody,” she said. “Not that my husband would be the one doing that. So that’s already been negotiated.”

This condition appears to be aimed at Trump, known for interrupting Biden during their 2020 debate.

Brady Knox
Brady Knox
Brady Knox is a breaking news reporter with a particular focus on Russia, Eastern Europe, and foreign affairs. Hailing from Pittsburgh, he graduated from Miami University in 2022 with a bachelor's degree in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian studies and political science.

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