The face to face between the president and his rival was harsh and with few ideas. The democrat endured the president’s attacks.
With almost a month to go before the November 3 presidential election, Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden met for the first time Tuesday night in a debate with a chaotic climate of high tension, interruptions and harsh accusations, where the Democrat withstood the president’s attacks well.
“I did more in 47 months than you have in the last 47 years,” Trump shot Biden, who in turn accused him of being a “liar” in handling the pandemic, which left more than 200,000 dead. And on various issues, especially when he interrupted him, the Democrat called him a “clown.”
They were 90 minutes without advertising breaks, broadcast live from the Western Reserve University of Cleveland, in Ohio, a state that is always key to winning the election. The moderator was the journalist Chris Wallace, from the conservative Fox News network, who at times was also attacked by Trump.
The topics that had been scheduled for this debate, the first of three before the elections, were the past experiences of Trump and Biden, the Supreme Court, the coronavirus, the economy, the racial question and violence in cities, as well like the integrity of the elections. There were 15 minute blocks to discuss each issue and there were also crossover opportunities.
They entered the auditorium and they did not shake hands, according to Covid rulesbut they hardly looked at each other. They began by debating the Supreme Court and then medical policies.
Trump very quickly showed his strategy against Biden of painting him as a left-wing extremist. The Republican called his political rival a “socialist” and called him a chicanery: “In 47 years you didn’t do anything.”
“He is not in favor of health care for anyone who needs it,” Biden said. The democrat added minutes later: “Everyone knows that you are a liar.”
Then came the debate about the Covid, in a country with more than 200 thousand deaths from this disease. “Get off your golf course and give the funds it takes to save lives now,” fired the Democrat. “We are weeks away from a vaccine. You would never have done what we did, Joe,” Trump replied.
The president interrupted Biden several times and he was seen angry. The Democrat, on the other hand, remained calm and several times addressed the audience directly: he asked them to go and vote, he told them that the president was not taking care of them.
The economy was another time of strong crossovers. “He’s going to be the first president to leave the presidency with fewer jobs than he came in with,” Biden told him. “There is nothing intelligent about you,” Trump replied. in another section.
In a sensitive segment for Trump they touched on racial issues. “This man has done nothing,” Biden said. “It has been a disaster for the African American community,” he added.
Trump defended himself saying that he improved them economically and also integrated them into the educational system. At a key point in the evening, the moderator asked Trump if he was committed to condemning white supremacism, and the president avoided responding directly.
Faced with continued interruptions and mockery by Trump, despite Wallace’s attempts to have speaking times respected, Biden complained: “It’s difficult to talk to this clown, sorry, this person”.
Already irritated by the interruptions, Biden blurted out: “Are you going to shut up, man?”
At the end of the debate, the moderator asked both of them if they would agree to wait quietly for the election results, if the count was delayed or if there were legal disputes. “I will accept” the results, said former Vice President Biden. “If it is not me, I will recognize the result,” he added, while promising to be, in case of victory, “a president for the Democrats and the Republicans.”
Trump did not respond to this question, simply stating without evidence that voting by mail, which is anticipated important due to the COVID-19 pandemic, would favor “fraud.”