‘You’re the Worst Prez America Ever Had’: Biden to Trump in Debate
The first of the 3 debates saw Trump at his interrupting best, as the two candidates fought it out with each other.
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Video Producer: Hera Khan
From Trump incessantly interjecting Biden’s speech, to Biden calling Trump “a clown”, the first presidential debate on 30 September was marked by high drama as the 74-year-old president and the 77-year-old former vice president met in a socially-distanced arrangement in Cleveland.
In course of the 90 minutes, incumbent US President Donald Trump faced questions about his administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the US economy, race relations and his controversial personal conduct during the past four years.
The debate was categorised into five topics: ‘The Trump and Biden Records’, ‘The Supreme Court’, ‘COVID-19’, ‘Economy, Race and Violence in our Cities’ and ‘The Integrity of the Election’, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.
If you missed the key takeaways as the delegates devolved into chaos with President Trump talking over Biden's assigned two minutes, we've got you covered:
‘ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES’
The debate began with the issue of the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court to replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg – an issue that has been contested by Democrats, as Biden believes that the vacancy should not be filled ahead of the election.
"We won the election. Elections have consequences. We have the Senate, we have the White House, and we have a phenomenal nominee," said Trump.
"We won the election and we had the right to do it."
"The American people have a right to have a say in who the Supreme Court nominee is," Biden said. "They're not going to get that chance now because we're in the middle of the election already."
"We should wait and see what the outcome of this election is," Biden added, saying that he was "not opposed to the justice" as a person. "It's just not appropriate to do this before the election," Biden said.
“She thinks the Affordable Care Act is not constitutional,” Biden said referring to Barrett's previous "pro-life" writings, taking about what her appointment would mean for women’s healthcare and abortion rights in the US.
‘I AM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY’
“Your party wants to go socialist medicine,” Trump said to Biden.
“The party is me, right now,” Biden retorted. “I am the Democratic Party.”
During the first segment of the debate, Trump accused Biden of wanting to end private insurance, to which he responded it was "simply" not true.
“What I proposed is that we expand Obamacare, and we increase it,” Biden sad.
“One of the big debates we had with 23 of my colleagues trying to win the nomination that I won, were saying that Biden wanted to allow people to have private insurance still. They can, they do. They will under my proposal.”
‘IT'S CHINA'S FAULT, IT SHOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED’
"The president has no plan. He hasn't laid out anything. He knew all the way back in February how serious this crisis was," Biden criticised Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Americans.
"It's China's fault, it should have never happened," Trump said, adding that he has received praise from governors for doing a "phenomenal job".
"Many of your Democrat governors said President Trump did a phenomenal job," he said to Biden.
Looking straight into the camera, Joe Biden addressed the American electorate "Do you believe for a moment what he’s telling you, in light of all the lies, he’s told you about the whole issue relating to COVID,” Biden said. “He still hasn’t even acknowledged that he knew this was happening, knew how dangerous it was going to be back in February, and he didn’t even tell you.”
“A lot of people died and a lot more are going to die unless he gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker,” Biden said.
Trump chimed in, “Did you use the word, smart?”
“You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word smart with me. Don’t ever use that word,” Trump said. “Because you know what? There’s nothing smart about you, Joe.”
When Biden brought up Trump suggesting people could inject bleach to fight the virus, "That was said sarcastically, you know that," Trump replied.
Trump also made fun of Biden for his mask-wearing. “I don't wear a mask like (Biden), every time you see him, he's got a mask,” Trump said. “He could be speaking 200 feet away from it, and he shows up with the biggest mask I've seen.”
TRUMP'S $750 INCOME TAX
The moderator asked Trump to comment on a report in the New York Times which found that the president only paid $750 in income tax in 2016 and 2017.
"I paid millions of dollars in taxes. Millions of dollars in income tax," Trump said. He reiterated that his tax returns are currently under audit, and said, "As soon as it's finished, you'll see it."
TRUMP ATTACKS MEMORY OF BIDEN'S DECEASED SON, AND TAKES JIBE AT HUNTER BIDEN
When Biden criticised Trump over reports which said Trump described fallen American soldiers as “suckers” and “losers”, and mentioned his late son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015, after served in Iraq for a year, Trump responded by dismissing the memory of Biden’s son, saying, “I don’t know Beau; I know Hunter.”
The president then launched into attacks against Biden’s younger son, Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while Biden was in office, accusing him drug use and receiving money from the former mayor of Moscow.
Biden denied the above claim.
"This is not about my family or his family, this is about your family – the American people," Biden said, addressing the American electorate. "He doesn't want to talk about what you need."
‘TRUMP GENERATES RACIST HATRED,’ SAYS BIDEN
“This is a president who uses everything as a dog whistle to try to generate racist hatred, division,” Biden said. “This man has done virtually nothing” for Black Americans.
"I'm letting people out of jail now," Trump said. "You've treated the Black community about as bad as anybody in this country."
Moderator Chris Wallace questioned Trump on why he ended racial sensitivity trainings in the federal government that discussed things like white privilege.
"I ended it because it's racist," the president said. He said these trainings on things like critical race theory espoused "sick ideas."
"Really they were teaching people to hate our country," Trump said.
"The fact is that there is racial insensitivity, people have to be made aware of what other people feel like," Biden said, adding the country can "take this on and we can defeat racism."
‘[POLICE OFFICERS] NEED MORE ASSISTANCE’
Trump claimed that Biden supports defunding the police. Biden pushed back. "I'm totally opposed to defunding the police officers," Biden said. "They need more assistance."
"I've made it clear in my public statements that the violence should be prosecuted," Biden said, going further to state that Trump's volatile statements has made situations and protests worse. He said Trump "just pours gasoline on the fire."
"I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing," Trump said, in a counter about recent protests.
‘SAY IT. DO IT. SAY IT’
“Say it. Do it. Say it,” Biden urged, encouraging Trump to condemn White Supremacist groups. Trump refused to call out white supremacist groups that have allegedly incited violence at anti-police brutality demonstrations across the US.
“Sure, I’m willing to (tell them to stand down), but I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace,” Trump said.
“Who would you like me to condemn?” Trump asked Wallace. “Proud Boys — stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right wing problem," said Trump, never directly condemning the groups.
Pressed to answer if he believes humans contribute to climate change, Trump said, "I think a lot of things do but I think, to an extent, yes."
"I believe that we have to do everything we can to have immaculate, air, immaculate water," the president said, without addressing why he dropped out of the Paris accord.
Biden said his plan for climate change is about building for the future to reduce emissions. "There's so many things that we can do now to create thousands and thousands of jobs," he said, referring to jobs a green economy can create.
TRUMP IS ‘TRYING TO SCARE PEOPLE’ INTO NOT VOTING
Biden criticised Trump for promoting baseless claims that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud. He claimed the President is trying to discourage people from voting during the global pandemic.
"We're going to make sure that the people who want to vote in person are able to vote," Biden said. "This is all about trying to dissuade people from voting because he's trying to scare people into thinking that it's not going to be legitimate."
"He cannot stop you from being able to determine the outcome of the election," Biden continued.
"As far as the ballots are concerned, it's a disaster," retorted Trump. "This is going to be fraud like you've never seen."
"We might not know for months", said Trump, with reference to the outcome of the election. "I'm counting on them to look at the ballots, definitely," he said, talking of the US Supreme Court.
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