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Stage Set For First Presidential Debate Between Biden And Trump


Washington DC: President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are all set to participate in the first presidential debate on Thursday in Atlanta.

Here’s All You Need To Know

  • No Audience: The debate will have no studio audience, depriving candidates of live support.
  • Microphone Rules: Candidates’ microphones will be disconnected when their speaking time is over.
  • Host: The debate will be hosted by CNN, aiming to avoid the chaos of the 2020 debates, as reported by AFP.

2020 Debates Context

  • Past Disruptions: In the 2020 debates, Trump frequently interrupted Biden, leading to a moment where Biden exclaimed, “Will you shut up, man.”
  • New Rules: To prevent similar disruptions, CNN has set new rules, which both campaigns have agreed to.

Debate Format:

  • Commercial Breaks: Two breaks will occur during the debate.
  • Moderators: Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate, ensuring a structured discussion.
  • Podium and Speaking Order: Biden, having won the coin toss, chose the podium on the viewer’s right. Trump will have the last word.
  • Themes: CNN has not disclosed the debate themes and will not fact-check candidates’ statements in real-time.
  • US President Joe Biden (file Image)

Expert Opinion:

  • Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania, stated that real-time fact-checking is risky and could disrupt the debate, potentially spreading more misinformation.

Debate Rules:

  • Restrictions: No pre-written notes or Teleprompters allowed. Candidates cannot consult with staff during breaks.
  • Former US President Donald Trump (File Image)

Oversight and Broadcasting:

  • Nonpartisan Commission: Both candidates bypassed the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, opting for a direct arrangement with CNN.
  • Broadcast Permissions: CNN allows rival channels to broadcast the debate under conditions, including displaying the CNN logo and no external commentary.
  • Fox News Coverage: Fox News, often critical of CNN, will provide pre-debate coverage with Jesse Watters and Sean Hannity.

Significance and Timing:

  • Campaign Impact: While significant, the debate is not expected to be a game-changer in the election.
  • Early Debate: This debate is notably early, occurring over four months before Election Day and before formal nominations by either party.
  • Future Debates: ABC News is set to host the second debate on September 10.

The debate will be a critical moment in the campaign, with both Biden and Trump preparing to present their cases to the American public under new, stricter guidelines aimed at fostering a more civil and informative debate.


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