By Sabrina Edwards
The first presidential debate could be dubbed the most unpresidential debate in American history. The moderator, Chris Wallace, struggled to keep the candidates focused on the topics presented and President Donald Trump from interrupting former Vice President Joe Biden.
Before the debate, the candidates agreed to having each segment lasting 15 minutes, with six segments, each candidate would have two minutes to respond to the questions asked, the remaining time would be spent discussing each other’s points. Wallace was not tasked with fact checking the two candidates. News outlets have taken it upon themselves to fact check the debate.
Both candidates throughout the debate started losing their cool. Trump went after Biden’s intelligence stating, “You graduated the lowest or almost the lowest in your class, don’t use the word smart with me.” He also brought up Biden’s son and the allegations against him involving Moscow. Biden called Trump a “clown,” “Putin’s puppy,” and told him to shut up.
The debate opened with Wallace questioning the two candidates about the Supreme Court, and whether Trump should be able to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
“We won the election and therefore we have the right to choose her,” repeated Trump.
Biden stated the presidential election has already started, with people already sending in their ballots, claiming that we should wait until the results come in. He also made it clear that he doesn’t oppose the justice as a person stating that, “She seems like a very fine person.”
Biden pointed out that Trump’s plans to change the health care system.
“The president has made it clear he wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said. “He’s been running on that, he ran on that, and he’s been governing on that.”
Biden claimed that getting rid of the ACA would be a downfall for women’s health and those with pre-existing conditions would be severely impacted. Biden proposed that we “expand Obamacare.”
During this segment, Trump injected multiple times, causing the mediator to sternly ask him to stop, to which Trump stated, “First of all, I guess I’m debating you not him.” Continuing on the topic of health care, Trump brought up the fact that his administration is making healthcare more affordable.
“I’ll give you an example, insulin, I’m getting it for so cheap it’s like water, so cheap,” said Trump.
The topic brought up next was coronavirus, and how both administrations would handle the virus in 2021. Biden brought up the fact that Trump didn’t announce the coronavirus right when the administration knew about it.
“Do you believe for a moment what he’s telling you, in light of all the lies, he’s told you about the whole issue relating to COVID,” Biden said, looking into the camera. “He still hasn’t even acknowledged that he knew this was happening, knew how dangerous it was going to be back in February, and he didn’t even tell you.”
Trump mentioned several times that the virus was China’s fault and that Biden wouldn’t have closed the borders, and would’ve caused more casualties.
“We got the gowns, we got the masks, we made the ventilators,” said Trump. “You wouldn’t have made ventilators. You could have never done the job that we did, you don’t have it in your blood.”
Trump also stated that he has been talking to multiple scientists and that they will have a vaccine “soon.” Wallace informed him that scientists stated there won’t be a vaccine until next year to which he replied that scientists can, “Go faster than that by a lot.”
With more than 200,000 COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S., Trump is still questioning the effectiveness of masks, while making fun of Biden for wearing one.
“I don’t wear a mask like (Biden), every time you see him, he’s got a mask,” Trump said. “He could be speaking 200 feet away from it, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve seen.”
In response, Biden urged Americans to keep wearing their masks, mentioning the Center for Disease Control director who is asking Americans to wear masks consistently until January.
Trump went on to defend the large rallies he’s hosting by stating, “People want to hear what I have to say.”
“So far, we have had no problem whatsoever. It’s outside that’s a big difference, according to the experts, and we do them outside. We have tremendous crowds,” Trump said, failing to mention the indoor rally he held recently.
Biden bit back calling him irresponsible, suggesting that he doesn’t care if the virus spreads at one of his rallies. Trump retorted with a remark about the size of Bidens rallies stating “If you could get the crowds, you would have done the same thing. But you can’t, nobody can.”
Next, Wallace posed a question about Trump’s taxes, asking Trump how much he paid in federal taxes during the years 2016 and 2017, questioning if he truly only paid $750 as reported by The New York Times earlier this week.
Trump stated that he has paid “millions of dollars” in taxes while also saying that he’s taken advantage of the tax loopholes for wealthy americans.
Trump then brought up Hunter Biden and the allegations that he acted corruptly in the Ukraine.
“This is not about my family or his family, this is about your family — the American people,” Biden said in response. “He doesn’t want to talk about what you need.”
The debate was then segwayed to the topic of race and racial injustice, the two were going back and forth about who would better handle the issues of race. Biden brought up Trump “coming out of his bunker” to tear gas protestors in front of the White House so he could walk to a nearby church for a photo-op. Trump brought up Biden’s role in passing the 1994 crime bill that led to significant increases in the incarceration of Black Americans.
Biden requested Trump condemn white supremicists, Trump side-stepped that and responded, ”Proud Boys – stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.”
On the topic of mail-in ballots, Wallace asked the two how they feel about them. Trump claimed that already there has been fraud with mail-in ballots.
“They’re sending millions of ballots all over the country,” Trump said. “There’s fraud. They found them in creeks, they found some with the name Trump – just the other day in a wastepaper basket. They’re being sent all over the place.”
Trump later claimed that Virginia mailmen are “selling the ballots” and other ballots are being “dumped in rivers.”
“I’m urging supporters to go into the poll and watch very carefully,” Trump said. “If it’s a fair election, I’m 100% on board. But If I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that.”
Biden agreed to “not declare victory” until the election if certified.
“This is all about trying to dissuade people from voting because he is trying to scare people into thinking that it is not going to be legitimate,” Biden said. “Show up and vote. You will determine the outcome of this election.”