Bye-partisan! Trump will get the final word at next week’s first presidential debate

President Joe Biden will face his Republican rival on June 27 in Atlanta

Alex Woodward
Thursday 20 June 2024 19:30 BST
Comments
Lara Trump says the former president will accept the nomination even from prison

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

President Joe Biden won a coin toss ahead of next’s week presidential debate and chose where he will stand on the stage, instead of speaking last, when he squares off with Donald Trump.

That means Trump will now get the final word during closing statements at the first debate on CNN.

Biden and his campaign elected to stand on the right side of the stage instead of reserving a speaking slot. It’s unclear why the president viewed the speaking location as the most important decision.

CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will host the 90-minute debate from Atlanta that is set for 9pm ET on June 27. There will be no studio audience.

According to the network, there will be only two commercial breaks, and campaign staff will be blocked from interacting with Biden and Trump during that time. During the debate, microphones will be muted until their turn to speak.

CNN will host the first 2024 presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on June 27. It’s now been revealed that Trump will get the final comment.
CNN will host the first 2024 presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on June 27. It’s now been revealed that Trump will get the final comment. (AFP via Getty Images)

Props and pre-written statements won’t be allowed on the stage, but Biden and Trump can each bring a pad of paper and a bottle of water to their podiums.

The debate is the first of two scheduled debates between them. ABC is set to host another debate on September 10, roughly two months before Election Day.

The window for qualifying for next week’s debate closed at midnight on Wednesday with both men satisfying the network’s thresholds for state ballots and polling numbers. Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. failed to qualify under those guidelines, which Kennedy called “undemocratic, un-American, and cowardly” in a campaign statement.

Trump refused to debate his Republican rivals for the party’s nomination this year, and Trump and Biden have not debated against each other since the 2020 campaign.

In their final match-up in September 2020, Trump repeatedly talked over Biden and debate moderator Chris Wallace, who struggled to keep order on the stage.

“Folks, do you have any idea what this clown is doing?” Biden said at one point before he laughed out the phrase “will you shut up, man.”

Trump and Biden have not debated against each other since the 2020 campaign, but are set to square off next week.
Trump and Biden have not debated against each other since the 2020 campaign, but are set to square off next week. (REUTERS)

Trump also refused to denounce white supremacist violence and militia groups and called on the far-right Proud Boys gang to “stand back and stand by” – which quickly turned into the group’s slogan.

Trump’s final word at the June 27 debate will give him what he falsely claimed he was denied during his hush money trial in New York. The criminally convicted former president unloaded an all-caps rant on his Truth Social against what he called “corrupt” Manhattan prosecutors who delivered closing statements in his criminal trial, which is common practice.

“WHY CAN’T THE DEFENSE GO LAST? BIG ADVANTAGE, VERY UNFAIR. WITCH HUNT,” he wrote.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in