Biden and Trump campaigns agree to mic muting, other rules for upcoming CNN debate

Donald Trump and Joe Biden participate in a presidential debate, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, in October 2020. CNN has released additional details on the parameters agreed upon by the Trump and Biden campaigns for the first presidential debate of the 2024 election.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden participate in a presidential debate, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, in October 2020. CNN has released additional details on the parameters agreed upon by the Trump and Biden campaigns for the first presidential debate of the 2024 election. (Jim Bourg, pool via CNN Newsource)


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ATLANTA — With less than two weeks until the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle, CNN has released additional details on the parameters agreed upon by the Trump and Biden campaigns.

The debate, which will be hosted by CNN's Jake Tapper and Dana Bash in Atlanta on June 27, will mark the first in-person showdown of the 2024 campaign between President Joe Biden and his predecessor, former President Donald Trump. Both candidates have accepted the network's invitation and agreed to accept the rules and format of the debate, as outlined in letters sent to the campaigns by the network in May.

The 90-minute debate will include two commercial breaks, according to the network, and campaign staff may not interact with their candidate during that time.

Both candidates agreed to appear at a uniform podium, and their podium positions will be determined by a coin flip.

Microphones will be muted throughout the debate except for the candidate whose turn it is to speak. While no props or pre-written notes will be allowed on the stage, candidates will be given a pen, a pad of paper and a bottle of water.

Some aspects of the debate — including the absence of a studio audience — will be a departure from previous debates. But, as in the past, the moderators "will use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion," according to the network.

In order to meet CNN's qualifications for the debate, candidates must satisfy the requirements outlined in Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution to serve as president. Both Biden and Trump meet those requirements, as do Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West and Jill Stein, who are running on non-major-party tickets.

Participants must also file a formal statement of candidacy to the Federal Election Commission. All five have done so.

All participating debaters must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidency and receive at least 15% in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters that meet CNN's standards for reporting. Polls that meet those standards are those sponsored by CNN, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, Marquette University Law School, Monmouth University, NBC News, the New York Times/Siena College, NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College, Quinnipiac University, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Though not impossible in Kennedy's case, it is less likely that candidates other than Biden and Trump will meet those requirements.

Kennedy has received at least 15% in three qualifying polls so far and is currently on the ballot in six states, making him currently eligible for 89 Electoral College votes.

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CNN Staff

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