Last night, President Trump shared the stage with opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, for the first debate of the 2020 Presidential election. The event didn’t receive high ratings — primarily due to Trump’s constant cross-talk and antagonizing of Biden during his speaking times.
“Will you shut up, man?” Biden said to Trump at one point. “It’s hard to get any word in with this clown.”
The President kept talking over his opponent throughout the night. Even after a scolding from moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace over how Trump’s team agreed to a full two-minutes from each candidate without cross-talk, the President kept interrupting.
Biden tried, to the best of his ability, to focus his answers on the audience watching from home, often addressing them directly (when he could get a word in). One topic specifically that Biden was able to fully discuss was the current coronavirus pandemic.
“Two hundred thousand dead, as you said over 7 million infected in the United States,” Biden noted. “We, in fact, have 4% of the world’s population — 20% of the deaths. 40,000 people a day are contracting COVID. In addition to that, between 750 and 1,000 people a day — they’re dying.”
One major moment of the debate came when Trump declined to denounce white supremacy in general or in context of the current civil unrest happening in the nation. The quote that many are still reeling from, however, was a refusal from Trump to denounce the Proud Boys, a white supremacist group that has been labeled a terrorist organization. Instead, Trump said: “Proud Boys, stand down and stand by.”
“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. “This is a left-wing problem.”
Another headline-making exchange from the debate focused on Donald Trump’s recent admittance that there would not be a peaceful transition of power were he to lose the election. When asked about whether he would tell his supporters to remain calm until all votes were counted, Trump again pointed to ballot manipulation.
“If it’s a fair election, I am 100% on board,” Trump said. “But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that.”
Biden, answering the same question, reiterated how long it takes to count ballots from all citizens in the United States.
“Yes, here’s the deal: They count the ballots,” said Biden. “Some of these ballots, in some states, can’t even be opened until Election Day, and if there’s thousands of ballots, it’s going to take time to do it.”
While the candidates touched on a wide range of topics, there were no questions on LGBTQ+ issues. The next debate is set to take place on October 7th in Salt Lake City, UT between Vice President Mike Pence and Biden’s running mate Senator Kamala Harris. The next Presidential debate between Trump and Biden will take place in Miami, FL on October 15th.