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Trump seeks debate with Biden in 2024 presidential race

Trump seeks debate with Biden in 2024 presidential race
Joe Biden, 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump speak during the first U.S. presidential debate hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Photographer: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Former President Donald Trump, who has refused to debate any of his rivals for the Republican nomination, on Monday said he wanted to debate U.S. President Joe Biden immediately.

By Nathan Layne

“I’d like to debate him now because we should debate. We should debate for the good of the country,” Trump said on a radio show hosted by conservative commentator Dan Bongino.

When asked by reporters during a trip to Las Vegas on Monday about Trump calling for a debate, Biden, a Democrat, said: “If I were him, I would want to debate me too. He’s got nothing to do.”

Although the overwhelming frontrunner in the Republican race to challenge Biden in the Nov. 5 election, Trump has yet to sew up the nomination and has turned down Republican rival Nikki Haley’s request that he debate her.

Trump’s comments reflect a desire to focus on a likely election matchup with Biden, who on Saturday won the South Carolina Democratic primary and is expected to win his party’s nomination.

Haley, a former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador under Trump, is running a distant second to Trump in opinion polls but has vowed to go on challenging him for the nomination.

Trump and Biden debated twice during the 2020 race. A third debate was canceled after Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and declined to participate in a virtual event. Traditionally, there are three presidential debates.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut, and Jarrett Renshaw in Las Vegas; Editing by Howard Goller and Stephen Coates)

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