Trump Will Get the Last Word in the Debate, While Biden Picks His Podium - The World News

Trump Will Get the Last Word in the Debate, While Biden Picks His Podium

Former President Donald J. Trump will get the final word in CNN’s presidential debate next week, after losing a coin toss to President Biden’s campaign.

The coin flip gave Mr. Biden the option between picking which podium he wants or deciding the order of closing statements. Mr. Biden opted for the podium: he will appear on the right side of viewers’ screens.

In their two debates during the 2020 election, Mr. Biden appeared in the same position — to the left of Mr. Trump, and on viewers’ right.

Mr. Biden’s campaign did not immediately provide a comment about why he wanted to choose podium placement over speaking order, or why he prefers that placement.

During two vice-presidential debates in 2008 and 2012, Mr. Biden was in the opposite position, on the left side of viewers’ screens, and to the right of Sarah Palin, then Alaska’s Republican governor, and Paul Ryan, who later became House speaker.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump will be standing for the entire 90-minute debate, which will be begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time and will include two commercial breaks. The network’s rules bar them from interacting with campaign staff during those breaks.

Their microphones will only be turned on when it is their turn to speak, a condition that was sought by Mr. Biden’s team.

In their first debate in 2020, Mr. Biden uttered one of the more memorable lines after Mr. Trump repeatedly interrupted him. “Will you shut up, man?” he said.

There will be no in-person audience for next week’s debate, something Mr. Biden’s campaign had sought from the outset. As of Thursday, CNN confirmed that Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump would meet one-on-one, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the independent candidate, failing to meet the requirements for participation.

Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting.

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