Trump Campaign Demands More Presidential Debates Sooner Ahead Of November - 'America Deserves As Much'

On Thursday, the campaign of 45th President Donald J. Trump argued that presidential debates must occur earlier in the election cycle and not later, given the prevalence of early voting and mail-in balloting. Team Trump also maintained that it was in the best interest of the American people to have more debates than the three currently scheduled, given the momentous nature of the 2024 election cycle.

Trump co-campaign managers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita sent a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, in which they said, "Voting is beginning earlier and earlier, and as we saw in 2020, tens of millions of Americans had already voted by the time of the first debate. Specific to the Commission's proposed 2024 calendar, it simply comes too late." The pair then speculate that nearly one million voters will have already cast their ballot by the time of the first debate, which will grow to 8.7 million by the time of the third scheduled presidential debate.

The pair also claimed that the Commission on Presidential Debates has exercised a clear bias against President Trump in the past. Trump's co-campaign managers write, "In 2020, the Commission ceded to the wishes of the Biden campaign on every front... Fairness in such a setting is paramount and the Commission must ensure that the 2024 Commission-sponsored debates are truly fair and conducted impartially." The pair then cited biased debate moderation, a plan to cut off Trump's microphone if he interrupted Biden, and the failure to reschedule a debate in light of Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis as reasons for their suspicion. The pair conclude by asking for even more debates than the three currently proposed, writing, "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. Certainly, today's America deserves as much."

The Biden campaign has every reason to be concerned about what a debate would do to Biden's already-collapsing campaign. The Real Clear Politics polling average has Donald Trump besting Joe Biden in nationwide polling in recent months, despite the fact that Republican presidential candidates can generally afford to underperform in the popular vote while still winning the election - as they did in 2000 and 2016. The potential for Republicans in 2024 is limitless if they effectively communicate their agenda and critique the Biden administration's 'America Last' policies, and a debate is the perfect outlet for Trump to do just that. 

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