Sharp Biden hits Trump in even presidential debate

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A sharp-edged Joe Biden with well-prepared retorts came out to attack Donald Trump in the last presidential debate before the November 3 election. The Democratic candidate took advantage of the discussion on the pandemic to hit the president, impeccable in form but implacable in the background, and jumped to the jugular when the evening got into the mud of accusations of corruption. The Republican, more restrained than usual, defended himself without shrillness from the blows of the Democratic candidate, which improved his image after the chaos of the first meeting and brought him closer to the conservatives tired of the tension, but also made it clear that, without the noise, it loses part of its aura.

Trump and Biden met at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, 12 days after Day D to fight for the last undecided votes, to incite supporters who are not sure whether to go to the polls or demobilize their adversaries. Unlike the first crossing, this time the Democrat did not let the Republican escape from the biggest crisis hitting the country, the pandemic that has already claimed nearly 223,000 lives in the United States. “This is the same guy who said this was going to end by Easter, but we’re heading into a dark winter and he doesn’t have a plan,” he said.

The president replied that the virus was the responsibility of China, the country where the outbreak began and exposed his own contagion, for which he was hospitalized, to reduce the severity of the health crisis, insisting that “99% of people recover.” He assured that the vaccine would be ready in a matter of weeks. “He says people are learning to live with it, no, people are learning to die with it, many of you have an empty chair in the kitchen,” Biden replied.

The winner or loser of an electoral debate is decided based on expectations. In reality, the candidates compete against themselves. The 77-year-old Biden is not a good debater or a great speaker, but this Thursday he hit Trump well, spoke with more poise than at the first crossing and made no big mistakes. The 74-year-old Republican, a television creature, went from less to more throughout the night, especially when he began to label Biden, disparagingly, as a “politician” of clichés and set himself up as that alien man. Washington rules that he speaks to them with raw frankness, the aspect most valued by his followers.

Down from that mechanical bull in which he seems to be raised at times, Trump managed to convey his message in a more presidential way, something that his advisers had recommended after the virulent spectacle that the September debate became, and that may have reconciled him with some scared republican. But in front he also had an improved Biden. When he began to attack his rival for his son’s business, Hunter Biden, in Ukraine, what was promised the most turbulent chapter of the night, he failed to destabilize the contrary.

The son of the Democratic candidate was hired by a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, with a gold salary at the time when his father was vice president of the Obama Administration. The signing aroused suspicions and criticism, but neither the Ukrainian justice nor an investigation of the Republicans in Congress found any indication that this deal had influenced Washington’s policy towards Kiev in any way. Trump has nevertheless found a vein to pull to try to associate Biden with corruption, just as he did in 2016 with Hillary Clinton, whom he always called “Hillary the corrupt.”

Baseless, he accused Biden of collecting from China, Russia and Ukraine. “His son did not have a job in his life and as soon as he is vice president they hire him,” he criticized. “Your brother made millions of dollars, your other brother made a fortune, all through you, Joe. And they say that you took a part. You live very well in houses all over the place, ”he said, without details.

Biden then jumped on the president’s neck. “I have not received a penny from any foreign source in my entire life,” he said, adding: “You are the one who had a bank account in China. [dato publicado hace unos días por The New York Times]. “Second, I have submitted all my tax returns for 22 years and you have not submitted a single one. What are you hiding? Russia pays you a lot, China also pays you a lot through its businesses, ”he added, referring to the president’s hotel group, managed by his children.

Despite the scuffle, it was a completely different debate from the first, so bitter that it forced the next one to change the rules. This time, in each thematic block, the candidates could make their initial presentation, lasting two minutes, without interruption because the organizers turned off the microphone of the opponent. But then, in the questions and replies, there was also an orderly discussion, to which the Obama-era vice president seemed to arrive more prepared. As cliché as it may seem, if an undisputed winner were to be singled out, it would be the moderator, Kristen Welker, the NBC correspondent in the White House, who led the debate to that difficult balance between freshness and serene exchange.

Even so, the evening left phrases for history, as when the Republican said: “No one has done more for the black community than Donald Trump, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. [el presidente que terminó con la esclavitud]”. Biden scoffed shortly after. “This Abraham Lincoln we have here …”. In immigration, he took his hard version, the same from 2016, when the moderator asked him about the 545 children separated from their parents at the border they cannot reunite because they cannot find him. Trump replied that the coyotes are brought by “bad people” and denounced the arrival of “murderers and rapists.” Biden, for his part, promised a reform to regularize 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Impossible to measure the effect of tonight, there are few undecided voters and 47 million Americans who, in fact, have already voted early. The only certainty is that tonight in Tennessee, land of bourbon and music country, the world saw the last presidential debate of Donald Trump. Even if he won re-election, he could not run for a third term.

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