Biden to Howard Stern: Yes, I'll Debate Trump

He confirms debate plan in surprise interview
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2024 12:34 PM CDT
Biden Says He'll Debate Trump
President Biden delivers remarks at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum, Thursday, April 25, 2024, in Syracuse, NY.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

While Donald Trump was in court on Friday, President Biden was elsewhere in Manhattan, talking to Howard Stern. The president surprised the press corps with the unscheduled stop at the SiriusXM studio, where he told Stern that he'd be "happy" to debate Trump, the Guardian reports. "I am, somewhere. I don't know when," Biden told Stern when asked if he was going to debate Trump. This is the first time Biden has confirmed that he will debate his predecessor, who skipped all of the GOP primary debates but said in February that he wanted to debate Biden "immediately," reports CNN. Last month, Biden said it would depend on Trump's behavior.

In recent weeks, screens at Trump rallies have shown images of a Truth Social post with a Trump offer to debate Biden "anytime, anywhere, anyplace," and an empty lectern with those words remains on the stage while Trump speaks, the New York Times reports. The Commission on Presidential Debates has scheduled three debates in September and October in Virginia, Texas, and Utah, reports the AP. Earlier this month, the AP and five major networks issued an open letter urging Biden and Trump to confirm they would debate. "OK let's set it up," Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita said in a post on X after Biden's remarks.

The interview was the first time Stern has interviewed a sitting president, the Guardian notes. Politico reports that beyond the debate remarks, the interview "largely stuck to Biden's biography," with the president speaking about the death of his first wife and their daughter, and his suicidal thoughts in the aftermath. "You don't need to be crazy to commit suicide. If you've been to the top of the mountain, you think it's never going to be there again," he said. In a lighter moment, Biden laughed off the question when Stern asked him if, after becoming the most powerful person if the world, he went on Facebook to look up women who had rejected him in the past, the Hill reports. (More Election 2024 stories.)

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