The two candidates entered the confrontation for different purposes. With a major lead in polls that has been steady for many months, Biden just had to keep from blundering. The goal has been met – even though at times he seemed about to confuse various things (for example, to say he supports the Green New Deal immediately after saying he disagrees with the policy plan), the former US vice president did not never major blunder.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, was to attack, and political analysts predicted before the debate that the incumbent president’s main strategy would be to annoy the Democratic candidate, trying to provoke a blunder on his part. They weren’t wrong. From the very first minutes, Trump began to interrupt Biden and throw all sorts of accusations at him. The dynamic gave rise to some memorable lines. Trump has questioned Biden’s intelligence, and the Democratic candidate has repeatedly called Trump a “clown.” “Can you shut up, man?” Biden asked, exasperated at one point. Chris Wallace, the Fox News reporter who moderated the debate, was forced to ask Trump several times not to interrupt Biden, a request that did not seem to materialize.
The difficult problem of the pandemic
In addition to attacking Biden, the Republican candidate also had a second mission: to defend his actions over the past four years, a period marked by deep crises, from anti-racism protests to his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. . In fact, when Chris Wallace announced that the discussion would move to the subject of the pandemic, Joe Biden smiled and said briefly to Trump: “Good luck with this.” The United States continues to rank first in the world both in terms of the number of cases of COVID-19 and in terms of the number of deaths caused by the virus.
Trump defended himself by saying that the measures he took prevented a higher number of deaths and suggested that Biden would have made things much worse if he was in his position. The Democratic candidate did not give him a direct answer, but looked around the room, asking viewers if they could really believe Trump. Polls show that most Americans disapprove of the way Trump handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American president insisted that he listened to the advice of the experts, and when the issue of the American president’s campaign meetings was raised, he responded by saying that all security measures are being taken, and Biden has meetings with a much smaller number of people just because they do not. he can gather as many supporters as he does.
The issue of taxes paid by Trump
On Sunday, the New York Times article about the meager income taxes paid by Trump seemed like a real blow – after many years, Americans finally saw the information that their president kept out of the public eye. In the debate, however, Biden failed to pose significant problems to Trump with this question. He offered a similar answer to the one in 2016 – that he paid many millions to the US state in the form of taxes and that his ability to avoid paying even higher amounts is not a problem: any businessman must know how to fantasize as much as the tax code can.
Biden tried to link the issue to tax reforms passed by Republicans. Even though he seemed to have found a good way to attack Trump on the subject, he said the president paid less federal fees than a teacher. However, the message was quickly lost in the wave of Trump’s remarks, and Biden did not insist.
The fate of the elections
The last part of the debate was devoted to the organization of the elections and, in particular, to the concerns – raised by both Republicans and Democrats, albeit for radically different reasons – that the elections would not be properly organized. Trump has begun listing a number of anecdotes that he says correspondence voting can be easily defrauded. “It will not end well,” the president said, stepping on the pedal again on the idea that Democrats are trying to steal the election with the help of postal voting fraud.
Biden limited himself to demanding that all votes be counted and to promising to respect the election result when a winner is chosen according to the procedures in force. He seemed to want to elaborate on the issues surrounding the election, but Trump interrupted him again, and Wallace announced the end of the debate.
In short, a debate in which no candidate seemed able to strike a decisive blow or dominate the discussion. It remains to be seen in the polls in the coming days what impact the confrontation has had – but it does not seem very likely that this chaotic debate will succeed in convincing too many voters undecided about the virtues of any of the candidates.