Trump Campaign Says It Wants Earlier and More Debates With Biden

April 11, 2024

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign on Thursday demanded debates be held earlier and more often this year, saying Trump is willing to debate President Joe Biden "anytime, anyplace, and anywhere."

"While the Commission on Presidential Debates has already announced three presidential debates and a vice-presidential debate to occur later this year, we are in favor of these debates beginning much earlier," Trump’s campaign managers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita wrote in a Thursday letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, according to Fox News. 

The letter noted the debates being pushed earlier would "ensure more Americans have a full chance to see the candidates before they start voting," referencing the fact that millions of Americans in 2020 had already cast their ballots before the first debate. 

"By the date of the first proposed debate, September 16, 2024, over 1 million Americans will have likely voted," the letter continued. "By the date of the second proposed debate, October 1, 2024, the number of Americans who will have likely cast a ballot will be over 3 million, an increase of 225 percent." 

The Trump campaign also asked the debate commission to schedule additional debates between Trump and Biden. "Former President Abraham Lincoln and former U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas held seven debates in their storied 1858 U.S. Senate battle in Illinois," Wiles and LaCivita wrote. "Certainly today’s America deserves as much."

"We have already indicated President Trump is willing to debate anytime, anyplace, and anywhere—and the time to start these debates is now," the letter said.

Biden has not yet committed to debating Trump. When asked last month whether he would debate the former president, Biden said, "It depends on his behavior." The incumbent also dismissed calls in February for debates with Trump, saying the former president "has got nothing else to do" and that "if I were him, I would want to debate me, too."