President Biden and Donald J. Trump have agreed to two debates, one on June 27 on CNN and one on Sept. 10 on ABC News, the first onstage clashes between the former president and his successor in more than three years.

While some of the details were still being hammered out, the agreement to the two debates, reached in a series of social-media posts Wednesday morning, raises the likelihood of the earliest general-election debate in modern history and immediately delivered a jolt of electricity to a campaign that had settled into something of a rut.

Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden believe firmly that if the American people get a look at their opponent on a debate stage they will be less likely to vote for them.

Mr. Biden opened the exchange on Wednesday by saying he was willing to debate Mr. Trump twice before the election, and as early as June, but on the condition that the arrangements bypassed the nonpartisan organization that has managed presidential debates since 1988.

Mr. Biden and his top aides want the debates to start much sooner than the dates proposed by the organization, the Commission on Presidential Debates, so voters can see the two candidates side by side well before early voting begins in September. They want the debate to occur inside a TV studio, with microphones that automatically cut off when a speaker’s time limit elapses.

And they want it to be just the two candidates and the moderator — without the raucous in-person audiences that Mr. Trump feeds on and without the participation of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. or other independent or third-party candidates.


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