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Biden and Trump are ready to rumble at June debate. But it’s hardly a risk-free endeavor for either man

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden challenged former president Donald Trump to two debates with a few taunts and some social media sparring.

“I hear you’re free on Wednesdays,” the president said with a grin in a video clip, referencing the day each week when Mr Trump’s hush money trial is not in session in New York.

Trump responded in kind on his Truth Social social media platform and said he would be up for a debate.

“Crooked Joe Biden is the WORST debater I have ever faced – He can’t put two sentences together! Crooked is also the WORST President in the history of the United States, by far,” he said.

CNN had scheduled the first debate for June 10 and ABC will air the second debate on September 10.

The move upends the way presidental debates have been run for nearly 40 years. Since 1988, candidates have participated in debates run by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The decision also moves up the calendar for when people will have to pay attention, since debates usually happen from late September after both parties have held their conventions.

But Biden’s challenge, and Trump’s enthusiastic acceptance, reveals just how much both candidates need these debates in the short-term to convince an American public, weary of both men, that they are worthy of their vote.

For Biden, the reason to request the debates so early is obvious. Just this week, a New York Times/Siena College poll showed the president trailing Mr Trump in five out of six swing states.

As Inside Washington explained, the common refrain from Biden’s campaign whenever bad numbers come out is essentially, voters are not paying attention and once they realize the stakes of a Biden-Trump rematch, voters will “come home” and pick him. Polls also tend to

Read more on independent.co.uk