Harris Offers Debate Dates for Showdown With Trump Running Mate

(Bloomberg) -- Vice President Kamala Harris is willing to debate Republican Donald Trump’s choice for running mate on either July 23 or Aug. 13, President Joe Biden’s campaign said.

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The Thursday announcement comes a day after Trump quickly accepted Biden’s offer to participate in two presidential debates in June and September.

The campaigns broke from the schedule and terms laid out by the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which has controlled the affairs since 1988. Instead, Biden’s team requested the debates be held earlier — before early voting begins — and in a television studio without an audience, citing disruptions in previous presidential debates.

Biden’s team also asked that candidate’s microphones be cut off when it is not their time to speak, in order to prevent interruptions. His campaign said the vice presidential debate, which CBS News offered to host, would be held in accordance with the same guidelines.

It’s unclear if Trump’s team will accept the proposed venue or dates for the vice presidential contest, though the former president’s campaign aides have previously proposed a debate between the running mates. Trump has pushed for additional presidential debates beyond the pair offered by Biden, posting on social media Wednesday that he hoped Biden would join him in a third contest hosted by Fox News.

One wrinkle could be that Trump may not name a running mate until slightly before the Republican convention scheduled for mid-July in Milwaukee. That would give his vice presidential pick scant time to prepare before the first date proposed by the Biden campaign.

Candidates seeking Trump’s offer to run for vice president have amped up their campaign efforts in recent days.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum appeared alongside Trump at a recent rally in New Jersey and attended the president’s criminal trial in New York City earlier this week. J.D. Vance, a Republican senator from Ohio, also attended the trial, while Tim Scott, his Senate colleague from South Carolina, is slated to appear at an upcoming political event featuring high-dollar donors including Citadel’s Ken Griffin, Apollo’s Marc Rowan and Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman. Florida Senator Marco Rubio also attended a New York City fundraiser this week with Trump.

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