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Musk agrees to host presidential debate involving RFK Jr on X – who then calls out Trump and Biden

Elon Musk says that he’ll host a presidential debate involving Robert F Kennedy Jr on X, formerly Twitter, ahead of the 2024 US elections in November – with the independent candidate calling on Joe Biden and Donald Trump to join.

The president, 81, and his 77-year-old predecessor have already agreed to take the stage on 27 June for a highly-anticipated debate on CNN. It marks the earliest-ever general election debate in a presidential race.

Mr Trump and Mr Biden have also agreed to partake ABC’s televised debate on 10 September. There is a common theme among the two prime-time broadcasts: Mr Kennedy Jr is currently not on the guest list.

X’s CEO, Mr Musk, started an online back-and-forth after asserting that Mr Kennedy Jr “should be in the debate”.

The 70-year-old courted the tech mogul, asking: “Will you host one?” Mr Musk replied: “Sure.” No further details have been announced.

Robert F Kennedy has been publicly speaking with Elon Musk about the debate on X
Robert F Kennedy has been publicly speaking with Elon Musk about the debate on X (AP)
X’s CEO, Elon Musk, started an online back-and-forth after asserting that RFK Jr “should be in the debate”. The 70-year-old courted the tech mogul, asking: “Will you host one?” Musk replied: “Sure.” No further details have been announced.
X’s CEO, Elon Musk, started an online back-and-forth after asserting that RFK Jr “should be in the debate”. The 70-year-old courted the tech mogul, asking: “Will you host one?” Musk replied: “Sure.” No further details have been announced. (X)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ car crash presidential campaign announcement on the platform in May last year seemingly hasn’t put off Mr Kennedy Jr from taking the virtual stage.

More than half a million X users tuned in to that glitchy livestream event hosted by Mr Musk, which caused the “melting” of the servers, according to co-host David Sacks.

Mr DeSantis’ announcement was ultimately delayed by 90 minutes and half the audience didn’t both to stick around.

On Thursday, Mr Kennedy Jr noted howoever that X was the right place for a debate to be held, claiming that its audience size is 100-fold that of CNN.

Mr Musk, once again responding concisely, writing on Thursday morning: “True.”

Now, the ‘We the People’ party leader, which he created in January this year, has called on Mr Trump and Mr Biden to join him on the social media debate.

“@realDonaldTrump, I know you’ve got the guts to do it. Do you want to call @POTUS or should I,?” Mr Kennedy Jr wrote on X on Wednesday. Neither have rsponded to the request.

While Mr Kennedy Jr hasn’t received an invite to the two debates set to be broadcast later this year, it may change if he meets the qualifying threshold for both ABC and CNN.

Rules state that he needs to attract 15 per cent support in four national polls. He currently has two of the four he needs garnering 16 per cent support in both CNN/SSRS and Quinnipiac University polls between 18 and 23 April.

Mr Kennedy Jr would also have to have ballot access in enough states to theoretically win 270 electoral votes – which he has not amassed.

Mr Trump and Mr Biden sparred on the debate stage during their race to the White House in 2020
Mr Trump and Mr Biden sparred on the debate stage during their race to the White House in 2020 (AP)

If the threshold was met, Mr Kennedy Jr would become the first third-party presidential candidate to join a debate since 1992, which saw independent businessman Ross Perot of Texas take on Republican George Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton.

The possibility of a third contender joining the debate has raised tensions in both parties’ camps.

Mr Trump told Mr Kennedy Jr, who is the nephew of America’s 35th president John F Kennedy, that he can’t just get in the debate for his name.

Mr Trump said he had “no problem” with Mr Kennedy Jr joining the debate. However, “Junior’ needs more than his name to get on the ‘stage!,’” he  wrote on his Truth Social platform.

In a memo earlier this month, Mr Biden’s campaign stipulated that the debates should be limited to just the president and the presumptive Republican nominee.


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