Joe Biden and Donald Trump Reunite 4 Years Later for Rematch: First 2024 Presidential Debate Live

Joe Biden and Donald Trump have reunited in Atlanta for an unprecedented presidential debate between two White House veterans

Published Time: 28.06.2024 - 04:31:19 Modified Time: 28.06.2024 - 04:31:19

Joe Biden and Donald Trump have reunited in Atlanta for an unprecedented presidential debate between two White House veterans.

CNN's Jake Tapper and Dana Bash were tapped to moderate the first debate of the 2024 election cycle, which runs from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 27, and is being streamed by all the major networks.

In a departure from the norm, the event will not feature a live studio audience.

Thursday's debate carries weighty stakes for both candidates. Biden, 81, and Trump, 78, boast near-identical poll numbers with only four months until Election Day — and amid a rematch between the oldest U.S. presidents in history, every on-stage gaffe will be perceived as an indictment of the offender's mental competency.

PEOPLE will be unpacking the debate highlights all throughout the evening. Follow along here for updates, insights and fact checks along the way.

After failing to meet CNN's debate requirement that participants reach at least 15% in four national voter polls, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will host a competing event on Thursday night.

In a statement, Kennedy's campaign called his exclusion from the debate "an act of collusion between two establishment parties," with the candidate saying, "Our last two presidents are restricting voters from choosing anyone other than themselves."

Kennedy's event — dubbed "The Real Debate" — will be moderated by libertarian television personality John Stossel and streamed on X from a studio in Los Angeles with a live audience, the campaign said.

On Friday, June 21, CNN flipped a coin to sort out a few final debate night details. Trump’s campaign chose “heads” and Biden’s campaign chose “tails.” It landed on tails.

As winner of the coin toss, the Biden campaign got to either decide where each candidate will stand, or the order of the closing statements. The campaign said that Biden would like to stand on the right side of the stage, which puts Trump on the left.

Trump’s campaign then got to choose who will deliver the final word on Thursday, and said that Trump would like to speak last.

CNN selected two of its leading political anchors, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, to moderate the first 2024 presidential debate. Tapper, 55, and Bash, 53, co-host the network’s Sunday morning political affairs show, The Situation R -


Tapper, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, also anchors The Lead with Jake Tapper on weekdays, and Bash, the network’s chief political correspondent, inherited hosting duties for Inside Politics from her ex-husband John King last year.

Each of them have moderated numerous primary debates for both parties, most recently co-moderating the 2024 Republican primary debate between Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis in January.

Tapper famously called the first 2020 presidential debate between Biden and Trump, hosted by Fox News, a “hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck” and “the worst debate I have ever seen.” Bash called the unruly event, which was full of interruptions, a “s---show.”

Shortly after former Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, crossed the aisle to endorse the Biden-Harris ticket on Wednesday, he appeared in the Georgia State Capitol to explain his decision.

“I tell you what, I am proud to stand up here today as a conservative Republican and endorsing Joe Biden for reelection to the president of the United States,” he said at Wednesday’s news conference, standing alongside former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (the state’s No. 2 Republican until 2023) and ex-Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn (who guarded a Capitol stairwell during the Jan. 6 riot).

Kinzinger was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his 2020 election subversion efforts. In a social media video first announcing his endorsement of Biden on Wednesday, he said that “while I certainly don’t agree with President Biden on everything, and I never thought I’d be endorsing a Democrat for president, I know that he will always protect the very thing that makes America the best country in the world: our democracy.”

The Biden and Trump campaigns agreed to a unique set of terms in May that dictated how CNN will run its 90-minute debate. Here’s what they signed off on:

President Biden, who spent the week in Camp David preparing for the debate with a panel of advisers, traveled from Maryland to Georgia on Thursday afternoon, arriving at the Dobbins Air Reserve Base shortly after 3 p.m. local time.

Former President Trump arrived in town later, at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, just before 5:30 p.m.

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