Trump’s possible VP pick JD Vance to attend debate in Atlanta

Former President Trump previously said he would announce his pick for a running mate at or around the Republican National Convention in mid-July.

CLEVELAND — Thursday night, President Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump will face off in Atlanta for their first nationally televised debate since 2020.

Though the debate will not feature a live studio audience, the three politicians on the shortlist to become Trump’s vice president — U.S. Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum — are expected to be in Atlanta. 

The guidelines for the debate were clearly drawn by CNN, the news organization hosting the debate. The debate will last 90 minutes and the candidates’ microphones will be muted when the other candidate is talking. 

“Half of this, probably more than half of this, is practice,” said Dr. Nicole Kalaf-Hughes, an Associate Professor at Bowling Green State University. “This isn’t something you can do off the cuff, and so knowing where that time limit is and having that internal clock is gonna be a big part of it.” 

Kalaf-Hughes explains debates are most helpful when candidates are unknown to voters. With Trump and Biden established as dominant U.S. political figures, she says many Americans have likely already made up their minds. That shifts the focus to those undecided voters. 

Former President Trump previously said he would announce his VP pick at or around the Republican National Convention in mid-July. However, he’s now hinting the decision could be announced any day. 

Kalaf-Hughes explains the Trump campaign must strike a careful balance in making the decision.

“The risk is you want someone who is going to generate a lot of, like, exciting media attention, but not, at least in the eyes of the Trump campaign, historically, not steal the spotlight from Trump,” said Kalaf-Hughes.

Further elaborating, Kalaf-Hughes says the ideal vice presidential candidate is someone who could potentially win voters on the fringe without alienating Trump’s already established base. She says you want a candidate free from scandal who will unequivocally back Trump through an entire term. 

In 2016, Vance was outspoken in his disapproval of the former president. However, in recent years, Vance publicly flipped that position, endorsing Trump and standing fiercely beside him through his legal troubles.


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