RFK Jr. Is Feeling Left Out

Candidate accuses Biden, Trump of colluding to keep him out of debates
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2024 6:50 PM CDT
RFK Jr. Complains About Being Excluded From Debates
Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to supporters during a campaign stop, Monday, May 13, 2024, in Austin, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

There hasn't been a presidential debate with three candidates onstage since Ross Perot debated Bill Clinton and George HW Bush in 1992—and it doesn't look like there will be one in 2024. President Biden and Donald Trump have agreed to hold two debates, and independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is unlikely to meet the qualifications to take part, NBC News reports. He slammed Biden and Trump on Wednesday, accusing them of colluding against him.

  • HIs statement. "Presidents Trump and Biden are colluding to lock America into a head-to-head match-up that 70% say they do not want," Kennedy said in a post on X. "They are trying to exclude me from their debate because they are afraid I would win. Keeping viable candidates off the debate stage undermines democracy." He added: "If Americans are ever going to escape the hammerlock of the two-party system, now is the time to do it. These are the two most unpopular candidates in living memory."

  • Qualifications. Kennedy has met the 15% threshold in two of the four polls needed for the CNN and ABC debates. A bigger hurdle, however, could be the requirement for participants to have qualified for the ballot in enough states to potentially win a majority of Electoral College votes, Politico reports. Kennedy is unlikely to hit that target in time for CNN's June 27 debate. ABC has a similar requirement for its Sept. 10 debate. Kennedy has said he aims to be on the ballot in all 50 states, but his team has so far submitted formal requests in only six of them, reports Forbes.
  • CPD has similar guidelines. Biden and Trump have bypassed the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has had similar guidelines in place since 2000, when Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader complained about being excluded, reports NBC.
  • Biden plans to stick to two debates. The Biden campaign rejected suggestions that more debates could be added, the Hill reports. "President Biden made his terms clear for two one-on-one debates, and Donald Trump accepted those terms," said campaign Chair Jen O'Malley Dillon. "No more games. No more chaos, no more debate about debates." In a Truth Social post, Trump said he accepted "debating Crooked Joe Biden on FoxNews. The date will be Wednesday, October 2nd. The Hosts will be Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum."
(More Robert F. Kennedy Jr. stories.)

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