Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden battled viciously over Trump’s leadership on the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, and the integrity of November’s election in a disrupted first debate on Tuesday marked by personal insults, name-calling, and Trump’s repeated interruptions.
Moderator Chris Wallace never accepted control of the debate. The two White House contenders talked over each other and insults in a breathtaking political scuffle that made it hard for either to make a point.
Biden told Trump: “You’re the worst president America has ever had.” and later called Trump a “clown,” a “racist,” and “Putin’s puppy” in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“There’s nothing smart about you, Joe,” Trump said.
Late in the debate, Wallace himself plead the president to stop his interruptions.
“I think that the country would be better served if we allowed both people to speak with lesser interruptions. I’m requesting you, sir” Wallace said.
Trump replied: “Well, and him too.”
Wallace: “Well, frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting.” Trump: “But he does plenty.”
Biden has held a consistent lead over Trump in national opinion polls, even though surveys in the battleground states that will decide the election show a closer contest. It was hard to determine whether the debate would move the pointer.
Biden questioned Trump’s leadership on the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, saying Trump had take fright and failed to protect Americans because he was more concerned about the economy.
Biden said, “He panicked or he looked at the stock market”, he pushed states to open their economies and played down the threat of the pandemic.
Biden said, “A lot of people died and more are going to die aside from he gets a lot smarter and quicker.”
Trump opposes to Biden using the word “smart.”
Trump said, “You graduated with the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t use the word smart with me. Don’t use that word.”
“We have done a great job,” he defended his approach to the pandemic.
He said, “But I tell you, you could never have done the job we have done. You do not have it in your blood.”
With more than a million Americans already casting early ballots and time running out to change minds or influence the small flake of indecisive voters. The stakes were extensive as the two White House candidates took the stage five weeks before the Nov. 3 Election Day.
The two contenders did not shake hands as they entered the debate, sticking to protocols on social distancing because of the coronavirus.
Trump, who has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election, repeated his baseless allegations that mail-in voting would lead to fraud. Experts say fraud is extremely sparse.
Trump said he expected the Supreme Court should have to decide the election and “look at the ballots.” He advises his supporters to go and watch the balloting.
He said, “If I see tens of thousands of ballots being controlled, I can’t go along with that, They cheat.”
Biden desire Americans to make a plan to vote and assured voters that Trump would be gone if Biden wins. He said he would not declare victory until the results were validated.
He said, “If we get the votes, it’s going to be all over. He’s going to go.”
He said, “I’m concerned that any court might have to settle this,”
Trump defends court push
He said, “elections have consequences” and he had the right even with Democratic objections, Trump defended his effort to swiftly fill a U.S. Supreme Court seat.
Trump said in defense of his nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, “I will tell you very simply we won the election, elections have consequences.
We have the Senate and have the White House and we have an exceptional nominee respected by all.”
Biden said the seat should be filled after the election when it was clear who the president will be.
Biden said, “We should wait and see what the outcome of this election” and adding more that the conservative Supreme Court would jeopardize the ACA known as Obamacare.
Trump is moving quickly to fill Ginsburg’s seat in hopes of sticking a 6-3 conservative majority on the court.
Democrats have contented, Republicans are being deceitful for moving quickly to fill the seat given they had blocked Barack Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 2016.
Biden showed his 2019 tax returns and his campaign called on Trump who has come under fire for not showing his returns. He asked the same to do.
Biden took the step two days after the New York Times reported Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017
He paid none in 10 of the previous 15 years following years of reporting precipitous losses from business enterprises.
Trump seeks to keep his personal financial records secret.
Biden’s taxes showed that he and his wife Jill paid more than $346,000 in federal taxes and other payments for 2019 on an income of nearly $985,000 before seeking a refund of nearly $47,000 they said they had overpaid the government.
Trump said, “I paid millions of dollars in taxes and income tax.”