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A dozen national news organizations are calling on the presumptive presidential nominees to commit to debates ahead of the November election.

In a joint statement Sunday, the news outlets pressed the candidates, without naming President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump, to pledge their participation in the debates scheduled by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

“Though it is too early for invitations to be extended to any candidates, it is not too early for candidates who expect to meet the eligibility criteria to publicly state their support for — and their intention to participate in — the Commission’s debates planned for this fall,” the group of news organizations, including NBC News, said in a joint statement.

Biden and Trump have both won enough delegates to secure their nominations at the party conventions.

The news outlets cited the “exceptionally high” stakes of the election, adding “there is simply no substitute for the candidates debating with each other, and before the American people, their visions for the future of our nation.”

In addition to NBC News, other signatories included ABC News, The Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News, NewsNation, Noticias Univision, NPR, PBS NewsHour and USA Today.

The statement comes after Trump’s campaign last week called for more presidential debates, and for those contests to begin “much earlier” than the three scheduled by the commission for Sept. 16, Oct. 1 and Oct. 9.

The debates are slated to be held at Texas State University in San Marcos, followed by Virginia State University in Petersburg and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The commission has sponsored all presidential general election debates since 1988.

Biden hasn’t yet said whether he plans to debate Trump, and his aides recently told NBC News that the campaign won’t make a decision until later this year. Vice President Kamala Harris said in an NBC News interview last month that she hadn’t spoken to the president about the possibility of debating his predecessor, and at that time did not commit to a vice presidential debate.

Trump skipped all of the Republican primary debates this election cycle.

Biden and Trump debated each other in the 2020 campaign.



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