'Make My Day, Pal': Joe Biden Challenges Donald Trump To A Presidential Debate

"Let's pick the dates, Donald. I hear you're free on Wednesdays," the president said, referring to the day of the week Trump is not in court for his criminal trial.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump agreed on Wednesday to meet for presidential debates in June and September, after Biden posted a video challenging the presumptive GOP nominee to square off and “make my day, pal.”

Their plans include a CNN debate on June 27 and an ABC debate on Sept. 10. Those are the only details on the events so far. Trump also suggested a third debate in October on Fox News, but Biden’s team said they only agreed to two.

“President Biden made his terms clear for two one-on-one debates, and Donald Trump accepted those terms. No more games. No more chaos, no more debate about debates,” said Jen O’Malley Dillon, chair of the 2024 Biden-Harris campaign.

Trump, in a post to Truth Social on Wednesday morning, said he was “ready and willing” to face off against Biden at least twice. “Let’s get ready to Rumble!!!” Trump wrote.

The two presumptive major-party nominees agreed on the dates themselves, circumventing the Commission on Presidential Debates. The nonpartisan commission, the group that normally handles organizing the events, had wanted to set them for after the start of early voting in the fall, which both campaigns objected to. Now, one of the debates is slated to happen before either Biden or Trump officially becomes their respective party’s presidential nominee at conventions over the summer.

Biden taunted Trump in a video posted on X: “Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020 and since then he hasn’t shown up to debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again,” Biden said, referring to their two fiery pandemic-era meetings, including one in Cleveland that sparked a COVID outbreak.

“I hear you’re free on Wednesdays,” Biden teased, referring to the day that Trump has off from his hush money trial in New York City. Trump’s legal troubles have prevented him from campaigning as intensely as he has in past elections.

In a matter of hours and with little back and forth on social media, the two candidates reached a quick consensus. But their posts underscored what’s expected to be a series of nasty meetings ahead of a bitterly contested election.

“I would strongly recommend more than two debates and, for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds – That’s only because he doesn’t get them,” Trump wrote.

Republican senators suggested that Biden asked for the debate because polls show Biden trailing Trump.

“They see that their numbers are not improving and their strategy of keeping Trump bottled up in courtrooms is not working for them,” Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.) told HuffPost.

Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a Trump critic who is retiring at the end of the year, says the debates should be “entertaining” and “informative.”

“Like the two old guys on the Muppets,” he said.

Trump refused one of the 2020 presidential debates when organizers announced it would be held virtually amid the pandemic, though he and Biden still faced each other twice prior to the last election. The former president also skipped the 2024 GOP primary debates.

But in recent months, Trump has been taunting Biden on the campaign trail, calling for more debates than usual and placing an empty lectern on the stage at his rallies to represent where Biden could stand.

Trump also suggested a presidential debate at the courthouse in New York City, where he is on trial for falsifying business records related to hush money paid to silence adult film star Stormy Daniels.

“Anytime, anyplace,” Trump said of debating Biden at a rally earlier this year.

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