Here are all the restrictions Biden's team demanded in their Trump debate offer

President Biden's team does not want former President Trump to be able to interrupt the president

By Anders Hagstrom Fox News
Published May 15, 2024 1:02pm EDT
Join Fox News for access to this content
You have reached your maximum number of articles. Log in or create an account FREE of charge to continue reading.
Please enter a valid email address.
By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News' Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive. To access the content, check your email and follow the instructions provided.

President Biden and former President Donald Trump on Wednesday made their plans to officially debate, but the offer from the Biden team came with several strings attached.

Trump gave Biden an open invitation to debate anytime, anywhere, and Biden rose to the challenge, telling Trump to "make my day" in a heavily edited video on social media. Alongside Biden's announcement came a letter from his campaign to the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), and that letter revealed a few critical limits that Biden's team was placing on any debate between him and Trump.

Here are each of the restrictions the Biden campaign is demanding.

No Audience

President Biden's team is demanding that there be no audience at any debate with former President Donald Trump. (Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images)

Biden's campaign heavily criticized the CPD for making debates "huge spectacles with large audiences" in its letter to the organization.

The new debates between Trump and Biden must take place in a television studio with just the candidates and the moderator present.

"The debates should be conducted for the benefit of the American voters, watching on television and at home — not as entertainment for an in-person audience with raucous or disruptive partisans and donors, who consume valuable debate time with noisy spectacles of approval or jeering. As was the case with the original televised debates in 1960, a television studio with just the candidates and moderators is a better, more cost-efficient way to proceed: focused solely on the interests of voters," Biden's campaign wrote.

No RFK Jr. or any other 3rd-party candidate

Former President Trump and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Eduardo Munoz/Andrew Lichtenstein)

Biden's campaign says the debate must be one versus one, with no third-party candidates allowed.

This is a critical demand because it excludes Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a long-shot independent candidate who has nevertheless made his presence known in polls. Not only that, but Kennedy has been shown to be more effective at leaching Democratic voters than Republican ones, making him an outsized threat to Biden.

"The debates should be one-on-one, allowing voters to compare the only two candidates with any statistical chance of prevailing in the Electoral College — and not squandering debate time on candidates with no prospect of becoming President," Biden's team wrote.

Kennedy condemned the requirement in a post on X, accusing both Trump and Biden of colluding to block him from the debate stage.

Limited news outlets

President Biden's debate demands limit which outlets can host a debate for the 2024 election. (Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Biden's demands limit the number of major news outlets that can host a 2024 presidential debate.

"It should be hosted by any broadcast organization that hosted a Republican Primary debate in 2016 in which Donald Trump participated, and a Democratic primary debate in 2020 in which President Biden participated — so neither campaign can assert that the sponsoring organization is obviously unacceptable: if both candidates have previously debated on their airwaves, then neither could object to such venue," the campaign wrote.

This rule set limits the networks that can host a debate to CNN, ABC, CBS or Telemundo.

Candidate mics must mute after time expires

A key provision in President Biden's debate demands is that the candidates' mics must only be active during the allotted time to speak. (Associated Press )

Biden's campaign blasted the CPD for allowing extensive crosstalk and interruptions during the 2020 debates between Trump and Biden.

They now demand that both candidates' microphones be muted once their allotted speaking time expires.

"There should be firm time limits for answers, and alternate turns to speak — so that the time is evenly divided and we have an exchange of views, not a spectacle of mutual interruption. A candidate’s microphone should only be active when it is his turn to speak, to promote adherence to the rules and orderly proceedings," the campaign wrote.

The letter to the CPD criticized the organization for being "unable or unwilling to enforce the rules in the 2020 debates."

"The result was far from — indeed entirely inconsistent with — the orderly and informative process the voters deserved in 2020 and should be able to expect in 2024," the letter continued.

Trump has accepted Biden's debate offer despite the restrictions, however, with the first encounter scheduled for June 27 to be hosted by CNN.

"I am Ready and Willing to Debate Crooked Joe at the two proposed times in June and September," Trump posted. "I would strongly recommend more than two debates and, for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds – That’s only because he doesn’t get them. Just tell me when, I’ll be there. ‘Let’s get ready to Rumble!!!’"

Anders Hagstrom is a reporter with Fox News Digital covering national politics and major breaking news events. Send tips to, or on Twitter: @Hagstrom_Anders.