Major US news outlets are urging Trump and Biden to commit to a debate

Twelve major national news organizations were written A letter Asking the presumptive presidential candidates on Sunday Joe Biden And Donald Trump Voters must agree to participate in televised general election debates before they go to the polls in November.

“If there's one thing Americans can agree on in this polarized time, it's that the stakes in this election are exceptionally high,” wrote the networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and PBS.

“Against that background, there is no substitute for candidates discussing with each other, and before the American people, their visions for the future of our nation,” the letter continued.

Noting that debates “have a rich tradition” in American democracy and have “played a central role in every presidential election” over the past half-century, the signatories urged candidates to “publicly express their support — and their willingness to participate.” The debates, scheduled by the Nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, currently have three contests scheduled in the months leading up to the election.

The unusual request comes as both candidates avoided debates during their respective primaries. Trump Publicly ignored Each of the debates hosted by the Republican National Committee cited Biden's double-digit lead during the campaign. He quietly refused A call to the debate platform from the primary opponents.

Although Trump has vociferously refused to share the stage with any fellow Republicans, he has spent months trying to get the president into public debate. At a rally earlier this month, he He joked Biden with empty lectern on stage. “This is for Joe Biden. I'm trying to get him to debate,” Trump said. “I'm trying to get Crooked Joe to debate. Anytime, anywhere. ” Thursday, Trump campaign officials Susie Wiles And Chris Lacivita sent a letter It requested the Commission on Presidential Debates hold more than the usual three contests.

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The current Democratic president is highly skeptical of sharing the stage with Trump. Asked by a reporter in March if he would participate in the debate, Biden said replied It “depends [Trump’s] behavior.”

Trump and Biden debated twice during the 2020 race (a third scheduled debate was canceled after then-President Trump contracted Covid-19). The Commission on Presidential Debates found the current presumptive GOP nominee's behavior during the first debate very disruptive introduced A mute button.

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