POLITICS

Democrats prepare for fast-moving debate. Republicans prepare to send out stream of attacks.

We’re on the brink of the first Democratic debates of the 2020 elections, and Democrats and Republicans alike are getting ready. The candidates will be split between two nights, Wednesday and Thursday, June 26 and 27, and now we know the rules they'll face.

There won’t be opening statements—officially, though it might be worth setting up a drinking game based on which candidates try to shoehorn mini opening statements into their first answers. Candidates can give closing remarks, however. In between, they’ll have 60 seconds to answer a question and 30 seconds to answer a follow-up, with questions coming from Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow, and José Diaz-Balart.

While the Democratic candidates are getting ready to try to distinguish themselves from an enormous field in tiny snippets of time, the Republican National Committee will be preparing to unleash its opposition research and send out a stream of attacks on the candidates and policies. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel (she got rid of Romney to show her loyalty to Trump) told NBC News in a statement that “With the advantage of a fully equipped war room and rapid response team, our job is to fact-check Democrats’ bogus statements and expose the truth behind their radical agendas.” That fact-checking will doubtless bear a very … interesting relationship to actual facts.

The June 26 debate will include Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, and Elizabeth Warren. June 27 will include Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Bernie Sanders, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.

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