Joe Biden Finally Agrees to Presidential Debate, Donald Trump Issues Challenge Immediately

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Joe Biden Finally Agrees to Presidential Debate, Donald Trump Issues Challenge Immediately

After many weeks of dodging the issue, President Joe Biden said on Friday that he would be “happy to debate” former President Donald Trump ahead of the 2024 election. In response, Trump—currently in the midst of a series of legal battles in New York—issued an immediate challenge, calling his once-and-future campaign trail rival to face him as early as tonight.

Biden’s long-awaited commitment to a debate came during a phone interview with radio host Howard Stern.

“I don’t know if you’re going to debate your opponent,” Stern said, with Biden chiming in, “I am, somewhere, I don’t know when. I’m happy to debate him.”

These remarks represent a shift in Biden’s approach to engaging with Trump, as the president has previously been noncommittal about debating and said it would depend “on Trump’s behavior.”

Trump affiliates eagerly responded to Biden’s promise, with campaign advisor Chris LaCivita replying “OK, let’s set it up” in an X post.

Shortly after, Trump addressed the possible rematch on Truth Social.

“Crooked Joe Biden just announced that he’s willing to debate!” he declared. “Everyone knows he doesn’t really mean it, but in case he does, I say, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, ANYPLACE, an old expression used by Fighters.”

Trump proposed that the two candidates have a debate stage face-off as soon as possible, suggesting Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday evening in Michigan, where Trump has a rally scheduled for next week, or alternatively in New York City, where Biden has made a campaign stop and Trump is busy in court. The former president is currently embroiled in a criminal hush money trial that has prevented him from traveling freely.

Given the threat of arrest if he misses a day in court without prior approval, Trump even said that he would meet Biden at the courthouse itself.

“Let’s do the Debate at the Courthouse tonight – on National Television,” he said. “I’ll wait around!”

Last month, Trump, who breezed through the Republican primary contents without ever engaging his distant competitors, challenged Biden to a debate “ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANYPLACE,” even if the event is hosted by “the Corrupt DNC.”

During the 2020 election, Trump and Biden only debated twice. A third scheduled debate was canceled after Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 and refused to participate remotely. This marked the first time since 1996 that the major presidential candidates did not face off at least three times before the election.