The Best President of My Adult Life Needs to Withdraw

New York Times Opinion

June 27, 2024, 4:00 p.m. ET

June 27, 2024, 4:00 p.m. ET

The CNN moderators get to ask the questions of President Biden and Donald Trump at Thursday night’s debate, but our Opinion writers have a few suggestions of their own.

Binyamin Appelbaum, editorial board member:
What steps would you take as president to increase housing production in the United States?

Charles Blow, Opinion columnist:
Mr. Trump, how would your policies on the war in Gaza differ from President Biden’s?

Michelle Cottle, Opinion writer:
What do both of you say to the significant bloc of voters who are not enthusiastic about their electoral choices this election, who want fresh blood and something/someone different?

Ross Douthat, Opinion columnist:
The last few years have seen an accelerating decline in birthrates all around the developed world. This is bad news for economic prosperity and also a national security challenge: If current trends continue, the population of a close American ally like South Korea could be cut in half by later in the 21st century. What, if anything, should be the U.S. government’s response to this mounting demographic challenge?

Maureen Dowd, Opinion columnist:
Mr. Trump, it’s been reported that you said Mike Pence should be hanged, due to his conduct on Jan 6. Do you still feel that way?

Mr. Biden, women are being stripped of their rights and you’re running against a felon, yet you’re having a hard time pulling even. Doesn’t that undermine your claim that you’re the best Democrat to beat Trump?

Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion columnist:
What was the biggest mistake you made in your four years as president that you absolutely will not repeat if elected again?

What will you do if you win to unite the country and persuade those who did not vote for you that they have nothing to fear from your presidency?

Patrick Healy, deputy Opinion editor:
Do you think inflation is getting better or getting worse for Americans?

What’s something that young voters in America should know about you that they might not know?

You’ve both been called fascists by some voters. What do you think about that word, and do you think your opponent is a fascist?

Paul Krugman, Opinion columnist:
Mr. Trump, why was your prediction that electing Biden would cause a stock market crash so wrong?

Nicholas Kristof, Opinion columnist:
One of the worst things that could unfold in the next administration would be a war with China, so how do you propose to navigate the fine line of deterring but not provoking China? If China blockaded Taiwan, would you order the U.S. Navy to break the blockade?

If China continues to pressure the Philippines in the South China Sea, would you dispatch ships to back the Philippines and confront China? And if we found ourselves losing a conventional war with China, would you reach for nuclear weapons?

Pamela Paul, Opinion columnist:
What would both of you tell the graduating seniors at Newtown High School about your plans on gun control?

Farah Stockman, editorial board member:
It’s been more than two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and Russia has put its entire economy on a war footing. The tide appeared to be turning against Ukraine, partly because of the Republicans’ decision to block aid for so long, thanks to opposition by Mr. Trump. How would you bring about an acceptable ending to the war?

Zeynep Tufekci, Opinion columnist:
Mr. Trump, you continue to deny the results of the 2020 election. If you don’t respect the will of the people, the bedrock of democracy, how can Americans trust that you will not abuse the vast powers of the presidency to benefit yourself?

President Biden, you got elected on promises to do better than President Trump on the coronavirus pandemic that started in China, and yet your administration seems to be doing too little to stop a potential new pandemic from emerging from the United States. An outbreak of the dangerous H5N1 bird flu virus among dairy cows in the United States is spreading to humans. How can you reassure the American people given this situation?

We invite readers to submit debate questions they would ask by using our comments section.