Headline RoundupMay 17th, 2024

Will Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Participate in the Biden-Trump Debates?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is fighting to join the scheduled debates between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Can he get on the stage, and what impact will he have if he does participate?

Key Quotes: In a post on social media, Kennedy stated, “I’m happy to report that I will meet the criteria to participate in the CNN debate before the June 20 deadline. I look forward to holding Presidents Biden and Trump accountable for their records in Atlanta on June 27 to give Americans the debate they deserve.”

Criteria: Newsweek (Center bias) reported that to qualify for the debates, Kennedy must poll an average of at least 15% in four national polls and get on the ballots in enough states to acquire 270 electoral votes. Kennedy has hit 10% in some polls, but still has a way to go to reach the ballot criteria. Fox News (Right bias) reported the Biden campaign agreed to the debates on the  condition that third-party candidates are not permitted to participate. Kennedy deemed this to be an effort to “lock America into a head-to-head match-up that 70% say they do not want.”

Impact: An analysis in the Daily Beast (Left bias) determined that participating in the debates would “give Kennedy an unprecedented level of exposure and a patina of legitimacy in the eyes of undecided voters.” The article stated that Kennedy could “open a can of brain worms” for both Trump and Biden should he participate.

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