Biden and Trump just killed off a decades-long tradition

  • The Commission on Presidential Debates has set the showdowns for 37 years.

  • But this year, Biden and Trump are doing their own thing.

  • The commission told BI it could still host its planned debates, but Biden and Trump seem to have had enough.

The non-partisan body that's set the locations, moderators, and formats for presidential debates for the past 37 years is suddenly looking obsolete.

Presumptive presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump went around the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to plan their own debate schedule — starting on June 27 with what will be the earliest general election debate in US history.

That showdown in Atlanta will be unprecedented in other ways. It's the first debate in decades without a studio audience, and appears set to run exclusively on CNN platforms as opposed to multiple major networks.

The CPD told Business Insider in a statement that it was established to ensure debates "reliably take place and reach the widest television, radio, and streaming audience."

"Our 2024 sites, all locations of higher learning, are prepared to host debates on dates chosen to accommodate early voters," the commission continued. "We will continue to be ready to execute this plan."

But Biden and Trump don't seem ready to keep the tradition alive.

In addition to the CNN debate that spurned the commission, the two also agreed to a September 10 debate on ABC, and the Trump campaign suggested two additional showdowns in July and August.

(The CPD traditionally holds three debates beginning in the fall — not four.)

The reworked schedule has materialized as both sides have blasted the CPD. The RNC pulled out of the organization in 2022, claiming it was biased, and the Biden campaign confirmed he would not participate in its scheduled debates this year.

In a letter, Biden campaign chair Jen O'Malley Dillon criticized the commission for "building huge spectacles with large audiences at great expense" and inviting "raucous or disruptive partisans and donors, who consume valuable debate time with noisy spectacles of approval or jeering."

It's a surprising fall from grace for an organization that has, until this cycle, largely worked without complaint from major party candidates — though third-party candidates have complained that the commission's rules box them out.

According to nonprofit tax information filed to the IRS in 2022, the CPD reported having over $7.6 million in assets.

Read the original article on Business Insider