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U.S. Elections

CNN announces new rules for first 2024 presidential debate

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The first presidential debate of 2024 is set for Thursday, June 27 at 9 p.m. and its host, CNN, has announced its rules. The 90-minute debate will have two commercial breaks and campaign staff will not be allowed to interact with their candidates during them.

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CNN said both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to appear at a uniform podium with their positions determined by a coin flip. 

Unlike previous debates, there will not be a live studio audience.

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Also new this year: no opening statements. Each candidate will have two minutes to answer questions, then one minute for rebuttals and responses to the rebuttals. 

If it is not a candidate’s turn to speak, his microphone will be muted. They also won’t be allowed to bring props or pre-written notes. 

The debate, which is one of two agreed upon by Biden and Trump, will be moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. The two politicians are also set to debate on ABC in September. 

By coming up with their own debate schedule, the 2024 presidential candidates have sidelined the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which has long worked to provide neutral rules and make sure debates are broadcast on all major networks. 

Former Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. could still qualify for the debate in two weeks. 

RFK Jr.’s name would have to appear on enough state ballots to reach the 270 electoral votes threshold to actually win the presidency, and he’d have to get at least 15% in four national polls. So far, he’s hit at least 15% on three qualifying polls and is on the ballot in six states, making him eligible for 89 electoral votes. 

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[KARAH RUCKER]

THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE OF 2024 IS LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY NOW – AND ITS HOST, CNN, IS ANNOUNCING ITS RULES.

THE 90-MINUTE DEBATE – WHICH IS SET FOR NEXT THURSDAY, JUNE 27 AT 9 PM – WILL HAVE TWO COMMERCIAL BREAKS, AND CAMPAIGN STAFF WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO INTERACT WITH THEIR CANDIDATES DURING THEM.

CNN SAYS BOTH PRESIDENT BIDEN AND FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP HAVE AGREED TO APPEAR AT A UNIFORM PODIUM WITH THEIR POSITIONS DETERMINED BY A COIN FLIP.

UNLIKE PREVIOUS DEBATES – THERE WILL NOT BE A LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE FOR THIS ONE.

ALSO NEW THIS YEAR… NO OPENING STATEMENTS. AND EACH CANDIDATE WILL HAVE TWO MINUTES TO ANSWER QUESTIONS… THEN ONE MINUTE FOR REBUTTALS AND RESPONSES TO THE REBUTTALS. 

 

IF IT IS NOT A CANDIDATE’S TURN TO SPEAK – HIS MICROPHONE WILL BE MUTED. 

THEY ALSO WON’T BE ALLOWED TO BRING PROPS OR PRE-WRITTEN NOTES. 

 

THE DEBATE – WHICH IS ONE OF TWO AGREED UPON BY THE PRESIDENT AND FORMER PRESIDENT – WILL BE MODERATED BY C-N-N ANCHORS JAKE TAPPER AND DANA (DAN-uh) BASH.

BIDEN AND TRUMP ARE ALSO SET TO DEBATE ON A-B-C IN SEPTEMBER.

BY COMING UP WITH THEIR OWN DEBATE SCHEDULE, THE 20-24 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES HAVE SIDELINED THE NON–PARTISAN COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES… WHICH HAS LONG WORKED TO PROVIDE NEUTRAL RULES AND MAKE SURE DEBATES ARE BROADCAST ON *ALL* MAJOR NETWORKS.

WE ALSO WANT TO NOTE FORMER DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE ROBERT F. KENNEDY JUNIOR *COULD* STILL QUALIFY FOR THE DEBATE IN TWO WEEKS.

HIS NAME WOULD HAVE TO APPEAR ON ENOUGH STATE BALLOTS TO REACH THE 270 ELECTORAL VOTE THRESHOLD TO ACTUALLY WIN THE PRESIDENCY *AND* GET AT LEAST 15 PERCENT IN FOUR NATIONAL POLLS.

SO FAR – HE’S HIT AT LEAST 15 PERCENT ON THREE QUALIFYING POLLS… AND IS ON THE BALLOT IN SIX STATES – MAKING HIM ELIGIBLE FOR 89 ELECTORAL VOTES.