Biden says he’s ‘happy to debate’ Trump

NEW YORK — President Joe Biden said Friday that he would gladly debate former President Donald Trump before voters hit the polls to choose the nation’s next president in November.

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In a radio interview with Howard Stern, Biden was asked whether he would debate Trump.

“I am, somewhere,” the president said. “I don’t know when, but I am happy to debate him.”

Earlier, Biden declined to commit to debating Trump, though he didn’t rule out the possibility.

“It depends on his behavior,” Biden told reporters last month.

Trump did not appear for any of the debates between Republican presidential hopefuls before he gained enough votes to become the party’s presumptive nominee. However, he has been pushing to faceoff with Biden.

“It is important, for the Good of our Country, that Joe Biden and I Debate Issues that are so vital to America, and the American People,” he wrote last month in a post on his Truth Social platform. “Therefore, I am calling for Debates, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANYPLACE!”

Earlier this month, 12 news organizations including C-SPAN, The Associated Press, CNN, PBS, NPR, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News and NBC News urged the presidential hopefuls to appear for a debate.

“General election debates have a rich tradition in our American democracy, having played a vital role in every presidential election of the past 50 years,” the group said in a joint statement.

“In each of those elections, tens of millions have tuned in to watch the candidates debating side by side, in a competition of ideas for the votes of American citizens.”

Earlier, the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the first presidential debate had been set to be held at Texas State University in San Marcos on Sept. 16. It was not immediately clear who might moderate the event.

Two other presidential debates were also announced for Oct. 1 at Virginia State University in Petersburg and Oct. 9 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. A vice presidential debate is also scheduled for Sept. 25 at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.

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