Minute by minute, how was the tough first debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden

Photo: AFP

Minute by minute debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Election integrity

The last section of the debate focused on the legitimacy of the elections, and in particular on voting by mail, which will play a leading role given the reluctance of a large part of the electorate to vote in person due to the pandemic. Trump, who has assured on different occasions that they will be a source of fraud, reiterated the premise. “It will be a fraud like never before. This is not going to end well“, He said.

Biden, for his part, rejected the claims and called on the electorate to come out and vote en masse. “He is trying to scare them. Go vote. You will determine the outcome of the elections. Vote in the way that is easiest for you. He can’t stop them from doing it. You are in control and can decide if you want a change or four more years of these lies“.

Management and history

Both candidates had two minutes to explain why they should be elected. Trump said: “Nobody has done more than me. Despite the lie of impeachment, despite many other things. And he assured that a key aspect has been appointing three Supreme Court judges and hundreds of lower court judges. “By the end of my administration we will have appointed around 300 judges, a record,” he said.

Biden, for his part, used his time to criticize the current administration: “Now we are sicker, divided, we are weaker, more violent. When I was elected vice president, I inherited a recession, we fixed it. He caused a recession. I have dealt with (Vladimir) Putin, he is his pet. The way he talks about the troops is unacceptable. My son was in Iraq for a year, he was not a loser”, He expressed, referring to the article in The Atlantic, which attributed phrases of this nature to the President.

Racism and violence

Biden based his criticism of the president on two of the issues that have dominated the public conversation in the country in recent months: the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of security forces – George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among them – and the impact of the pandemic on the community.

“When Floyd was killed, there was a peaceful protest outside the White House. And what did he do? He came out of his bunker, had the army shoot tear gas to hold up a bible. The same bishop of the church said it was a disgrace. Everything he does creates divisions. It does not try to talk and calm social conflicts, made gasoline in all conflicts “ One in every 1,000 African-Americans has died as a result of the pandemic. If you do nothing, 1 in 500 will die. Everything he has done was disastrous for the African American community“, He said.

Trump, for his part, said he has more support among African Americans than any other Republican candidate before him, and accused Biden of avoiding speaking out in favor of the concept of “Law and Order” for “fear of losing the support of the left. radical”. “They have you eating out of their hand, you won’t even say you’re in favor of law and order“, He said.

Foto: REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Foto: REUTERS/Brian Snyder


The third segment of the debate was also marked by the impact of the pandemic. Biden used his time to emphasize that the president’s management prevents recovery, and indicated that he will be “the first president to leave the presidency with fewer jobs than when he arrived at it.” “Why do you want to open the economy? It cannot be fixed until the Covid-19 crisis is fixed. He has no intention of improving the situation, “he said. And I add: “My plan will create 7 million more jobs than he created in 4 years

Trump, meanwhile, once again emphasized his reluctance to impose new confinement measures. “This man wants to close the entire country, it is a new quarantine, he wants to destroy the country,” he said. And, referring to Biden’s decades of political career, he said: “In 47 months I have done more than what you have done in 47 years”.

Consulted by a report in The New York Times that revealed his tax returns – one of them, that he paid $ 750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 – Trump said that this was false and that he “paid millions.” Biden, for his part, challenged him to publish the documents, but Trump indicated that he will do so “when they are ready.”.

Photo: REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
Photo: REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst


Biden harshly criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic. “We have 4 percent of the world’s population and 20 percent of the deaths from Covid-19. That is because the President did not have any plan to fight the disease.

Trump, for his part, assured that “most governors have acknowledged that I did a phenomenal job“And said the former vice president had a poor handling of the H1N1 flu during his first term in the White House.

In another passage of the segment, Trump assured that Biden wants to “close” the country. “We had to do it at first because we didn’t know much about the disease. Now we know who is vulnerable. He wants to close everything. And if we do it, more people will be hurt if we do it. He wants to keep everything closed until after the elections, ”he said.

Asked if he did not believe that holding large rallies could cause massive infections, Trump defended himself by ensuring that they were held in open spaces. Being criticized by Biden about it – “is totally irresponsible“- he said he only did it because” no one would go to his rallies. “

Foto: Morry Gash/via REUTERS
Foto: Morry Gash/via REUTERS

The Vacancy in the Supreme Court

The first of the issues addressed was that of the vacancy in the Supreme Court opened by the death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There, Trump defended his decision to nominate Amy Coney Barret despite demands from Biden and the Democratic Party that the winner of the election be the one who chooses the candidate.

“Elections have consequences,” Trump said. And I add: “I was not elected for a term of three years, but one of four. I have the right to do it”.

Biden, for his part, said that “the American people have the right to decide when they vote for senators and the president.” “We should wait to see the result,” he added. Biden later criticized the judge for her positions opposed to the symbolic health legislation of the Barack Obama administration, known as Affordable Care Act. “What does that position mean for the seven million people who have been infected with Covid-19?”, He said.

Both candidates starred in the first counterpoint of the night to Chris Wallace’s question about whether Biden would be willing to increase the number of Supreme Court justices to emerge victorious. After Biden refused to respond, claiming that voters should express their opinion at the polls, Trump rebuked him: Why don’t you answer, Joe? the president said as Biden continued speaking. Before the interruption, Biden snapped: “Why don’t you shut up, man? He replied, to conclude:” This is not presidential “.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden debated for the first time in the framework of the campaign towards the presidential elections in the United States that will take place on November 3. The candidates face off in the city of Cleveland, in the state of Ohio, 35 days before the elections.

The event lasted an hour and a half and will begin at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern Time of the United States, -4 GMT). It is moderated by Fox News presenter, journalist Chris Wallace, and was divided into six themes. They are: Management and history; Supreme Court; the Covid-19 pandemic; Economy; Race and violence; and the integrity of the elections. Each of the segments lasted 15 minutes.

With the exception of a handful of guests per side and the presence of the media, the auditorium was empty due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first of the meetings between Hillary Clinton and Trump ahead of the 2016 elections recorded an all-time record with 84 million viewers, about a quarter of the total population of the country.

This is the second time that Wallace has moderated a debate of this caliber. The previous one took place precisely in 2016, and earned her criticism from Democrats and Republicans, and several accolades from colleagues, including the public validation of her work by the queen of the media in the United States, Oprah Winfrey.

The other two presidential debates are scheduled for October 15 and 22 in Miami, and in Nashville, Tennessee, respectively. Vice President Mike Pence will meet Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, on October 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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