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Diane Rehm: On My Mind

WAMU 88.5

Diane Rehm’s weekly podcast features newsmakers, writers, artists and thinkers on the issues she cares about most: what’s going on in Washington, ideas that inform, and the latest on living well as we live longer.

Copyright WAMU 88.5 American University Radio - For Personal Use Only

Diane Rehm’s weekly podcast features newsmakers, writers, artists and thinkers on the issues she cares about most: what’s going on in Washington, ideas that inform, and the latest on living well as we live longer.

Copyright WAMU 88.5 American University Radio - For Personal Use Only

Will Trump And Biden Debate This Election? Does It Matter?

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May 3, 202437min 49sec

Will Biden and Trump take the stage?

Last week President Biden said he would be willing to debate Donald Trump ahead of this year’s election in November.

This came after months of back and forth between the candidates. Biden’s answers had been coy regarding a face off, citing the “behavior” of the former president. This was likely referencing Trump’s frequent interruptions and name calling in their 2020 meetings.

Meanwhile the GOP turned this reluctance into a campaign talking point, claiming Biden was afraid to face the former president and the American people.

If their commitments to share the stage fall through, this would be the first presidential campaign since 1976 without a debate. But with so many other methods available for candidates to reach potential voters, do debates even matter anymore?

“Candidates control so much of the campaign process with their ralies, ads and conventions,” says Mitchell McKinney, dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Akron and an expert on political communication. “We the votes deserve a moment when they are not in control, and debates provide that.”

McKinney joins Diane to talk about the past, present, and continued relevance of presidential debates.