Biden, Trump accept CNN debate rules, including mic muting

The first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle is right around the corner, and CNN announced Sunday that the campaigns of both President Biden and former President Trump have agreed to new debate rules.

CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will host the debate, which will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on June 27.

Both candidates agreed to appear at a uniform podium, and their podium positions will be determined by a coin flip, CNN said.

Microphones will be muted throughout the debate except when it’s that candidate’s turn to speak. Tapper and Bash will be able to “use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion.”

The 90-minute debate will include two commercial breaks, and campaign staff cannot interact with their candidate during the break, the network said.

Candidates will be given a pen, a pad of paper and a water bottle, but they cannot bring prewritten notes on stage.

There will be no studio audience, unlike debates in the past, CNN said.

Biden and Trump reached an agreement in mid-May to debate twice ahead of the election, the first time the candidates have gone head-to-head since a debate in 2020. Trump skipped the GOP primary debates this cycle and opted for campaign events instead.

Biden released a campaign video daring the former president to meet him for debates in June and September. Trump accepted the challenge, and the debates were scheduled before the end of the day.

The June debate is historically early in the general election calendar. The second debate will take place on Sept. 10 and will be hosted by ABC.

The Biden campaign proposed the June date because the president would have returned from the Group of Seven summit in Europe and Trump’s hush money trial would have concluded.

The first debate between Biden and Trump in September 2020 was a chaotic event. The former president regularly interrupted Biden and the moderator. The debate was marked by personal insults from both candidates, and at one point, Biden asked, “Will you shut up, man?”

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