Biden proposes two presidential debates with Trump

Joe Biden has proposed two televised US presidential election debates, which rival Donald Trump quickly accepted.

The first is proposed for June 27 and the second would be in September.

The pair traded barbs on social media, with Trump saying: “Just tell me when. Let's get ready to rumble!!!”

Biden said his opponent was “free on Wednesday” – a reference to Trump's criminal trial, while Trump claimed his rival was the “worst debater” who “can't put two sentences together.”

But the president's proposals break with several traditions established over decades of presidential campaigning.

The debates would bypass the Presidential Debate Commission, which has planned the timing of these election-year confrontations since 1988 and had already set dates and locations for three debates in the fall.

According to American media, Biden's team wants two television debates to be held without a live audience – another break with tradition.

Candidates took turns answering the question from an agreed upon moderator from a major news network, and the non-speaking candidate's microphone was deactivated.

Jen O'Malley Dillon, Biden's campaign chairman, said raucous partisan crowds were not “conducive to good debates.” The first debate of 2020 between the two candidates was marred by frequent interruptions and crosstalk.

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