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News Outlets Urge Trump and Biden to Commit to Presidential Debates

Mr. Trump has promised to debate and regularly taunts Mr. Biden for not following suit. But in 2020, Mr. Trump forced the cancellation of the second scheduled debate by pulling out at the last minute. Last year, Mr. Trump refused to debate his Republican primary opponents, and he has accused the debate commission of pro-Biden bias.

If no debate is held in 2024, it would break a streak that dates back to the Jimmy Carter-Gerald R. Ford election of 1976. Presidential debates remain America’s largest mass gathering outside of sports: In 2020, an average of 68 million people tuned in for the two Biden-Trump debates, significantly more than watched the party nominating conventions.

The news outlets’ plans to issue a joint statement were reported by The New York Times last week.

In addition to ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and Fox News, the following news organizations also endorsed the statement: The Associated Press, C-SPAN, NewsNation, NPR, PBS NewsHour, USA Today and Noticias Univision, the news division of the Spanish-language network.

(A spokesman for Newsmax volunteered to The Times last week that the right-leaning news channel was in agreement with the statement, although it is not an official signatory.)

The statement noted that dates and eligibility requirements for this year’s matchups were previously announced by the debate commission.


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