The first debate between Biden and Trump won't feature opening statements in what will be a stricter forum compared to 2020

  • CNN and The New York Times gave a glimpse at how Biden and Trump may face off in their first debate.

  • According to CNN, no pre-written statements or props will be permitted onstage.

  • The first debate is poised to be much more structured and less chaotic than in the past.

In 2020, the first presidential debate between then-President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden devolved into a political grudge match, filled with insults. Trump largely disregarded the intended format of the debate by constantly interrupting Biden.

During the debate, then-Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, a journalist with decades of experience, struggled to contain Trump's behavior toward Biden during the acrimonious interactions between the two candidates.

But the 2024 election debates between Biden and Trump are poised to be much more structured and less chaotic.

CNN, which will host the first debate on June 27 in Atlanta, reported on several key rules that the Biden and Trump campaigns agreed to ahead of the event: Staffers won't be allowed to consult with the candidates during two breaks set aside for the 90-minute debate. No pre-written statements or props will be permitted onstage. And microphones will be muted for both Biden and Trump when the opposing candidate is speaking.

The New York Times also reported that Biden and Trump will forgo opening statements, which are usually a hallmark of debates as candidates try to set the tone for their appearances. Flashing red lights will signal both men that there are five seconds remaining for them to speak during their respective responses.

According to The Times, CNN's debate rules laid out a blunt warning: "Moderators will use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion."

The network's Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will co-host the debate.

Biden and Trump are locked in a highly competitive rematch. The election could come down to a handful of votes in swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The president nearly swept the 2020 battleground states — with the notable exception of North Carolina — but he faces much more challenging headwinds this year as voters continue to express concerns about the economy and the Israel-Hamas war.

For Biden, a strong debate performance can only bolster his case for reelection, especially among the young and minority voters who are noncommittal toward his candidacy and may be considering Trump or independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., among others.

While the 81-year-old Biden has worked to address and move beyond questions about his age, it is a concern for many voters — and Trump has sought to question Biden's overall fitness for the presidency.

The debate will also be held just a few weeks before Trump, 78, is due for his sentencing in Manhattan. A jury in May convicted the former president on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to conceal a 2016 hush-money payment to the adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Read the original article on Business Insider