The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Friday the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Belmont University in Nashville will host the 2020 presidential debates ahead of next November’s general election.
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The first general election presidential debate at the University of Notre Dame is set for Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, the second at the University of Michigan will be held on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, and the third and final at Belmont University is slated for Oct. 22, 2020.
A general election vice presidential debate will be held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.
The commission will announce additional details about the 2020 general election debates, including format and moderators, in 2020. All debates will start at 9:00pm ET and will run for 90 minutes without commercial interruption.
The nonpartisan nonprofit, which has sponsored all presidential and vice presidential debates in the general election since 1987, is charged with organizing debates for the general election contest between the major candidates for president.
Earlier this year, the commission announced six cities that submitted applications to be considered to host the 2020 presidential debates, including: Nashville, Tenn., Hartford, Conn., Omaha, Neb., Ann Arbor, Mich., Notre Dame, Ind., and Salt Lake City, Utah.
The presidential debates won’t take place until next year but in 2015, the details of the match-ups for the 2016 presidential election were announced in September, nearly a year before the first debate was slated to take place.
In 2016, there were three debates between now-President Donald Trump, then the Republican nominee, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then the Democratic nominee, in the chaotic and, at-times, unprecedented general election.
The first debate of the 2016 race was on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and was moderated by NBC News’ Lester Holt. The second debate, co-moderated by ABC News’ Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, was a town hall style event, with members of a selected audience having the opportunity to also ask the two candidates questions, on Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis. The final debate, on Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
In the first showdown, Trump, who has still not released his tax returns, said that he didn’t “mind releasing” them and said they would be released, but asserted he was “under a routine audit.”
He then pivoted to attacking his opponent’s use of a private email server while serving in her previous post as secretary of state during the Obama administration, saying, “I will release my tax returns against my lawyer’s wishes when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted.”
This second clash between Clinton and Trump came right on the heels of The Washington Post publishing audio of Trump bragging about groping women, caught on a hot mic in 2005 while talking to “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush, saying that as a “star… you can do anything… grab them by the p—-. You can do anything.”
At the debate, Trump said he wasn’t “proud of” what he said on the tape, but dismissed it as “locker room talk.”
Republicans almost universally condemned Trump’s comments, but many eventually ended up supporting him in November when he clinched the presidency.
During the final debate, less than a month before Election Day, Clinton was asked about allegations that the Clinton Foundation gave favors to certain donors when she was secretary of state, which she denied.
But one of the most notable moments came when Trump was asked if he would accept the final election results as legitimate, regardless of the outcome, and the president said, “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?”
Clinton blasted Trump’s comments, saying, “That is not the way our democracy works… We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them.”