Harris accepts CBS News’ vice presidential debate invitation

May 16, 2024
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The Biden campaign has accepted CBS News’ invitation to participate in a vice presidential debate this summer.

The Biden campaign says that either the proposed dates of Tuesday, July 23, or Tuesday, August 13 would be acceptable for Vice President Kamala Harris to debate. The Trump campaign has not yet publicly accepted the invitation. And former President Donald Trump has not yet named a running mate. 

“We look forward to the Trump campaign accepting one of these dates so that the full debate calendar for this campaign can be set,” Brian Fallon, campaign communications director for Harris, told reporters. 

CBS News confirmed that President Biden’s campaign accepted its offer to host a vice presidential debate and has extended the same offer to Trump’s campaign. 

Mr. Biden and Trump have agreed to presidential debates on June 27 and Sept. 3. Plans for the debates came together quickly after the president’s campaign said in a letter that he was willing to debate his Republican opponent twice before the November election. That kicked off a series of competing proposals and social media posts from the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees, culminating in the two debates being scheduled for June and September within a matter of hours.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, a potential running mate pick for Trump, alluded to potentially participating in a debate during an interview Wednesday night. 

“I hear there’s a debate in July. If you’re the guy moderating, maybe I’ll be talking to you. We’ll see what happens,” Scott told Newsmax.

Democratic strategists argued an earlier start date for the debates would help the Biden campaign establish the contrasts between the president and Trump in front of a wider audience and that it could offset some of the disadvantages Biden has in polling. 

“It’s important to start attacking [Trump] one-on-one early. We have all the advantages, so the earlier the better,” said Quentin James, president of The Collective PAC, a committee supporting Black candidates that has endorsed Mr. Biden. 

Melissa Quinn contributed to this report 

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