Marked by angry interruptions and bitter accusations, the first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden erupted in contentious exchanges on Tuesday night over the coronavirus pandemic, job losses and how the Supreme Court will shape the future of the nation’s health care.
The two men frequently talked over each other with Trump interrupting, nearly shouting, so often that Biden eventually snapped at him, “Will you shut up, man?”
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Here are the top quotes and moments from the first presidential debate ahead of the US elections:
Lots of insults, lots of interruptions
Joe Biden: “You’re the worst president America has ever had.”
Donald Trump: “You could never have done the job we’ve done. You don’t have it in your blood.”
The tax debate
Biden on Trump: The tax code put him in a position that he pays less tax than a schoolteacher. He says he’s smart because he can take advantage of the tax code and he does take advantage of the tax. And that’s why I’m going to eliminate the Trump tax cuts and make sure that we invest in the people who, in fact, need to help people out there need help.
Trump replies: Why didn’t you guys do it over the last 25 years? Let me just say, Joe, I’ve done more in 47 months than you’ve done in 47 years.
“I’m the one that brought back football… people of Ohio are very proud of me,” Trump said. But he didn’t say when he will finally make his personal taxes public as he has long promised. Trump claimed he paid millions of dollars but didn’t specify the year.
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On Black community
Biden mockingly questioned: “This man, this man is a savior of African Americans? This man has done virtually nothing.” He further said that 1 in 1,000 African Americans has died because of the coronavirus, and if Trump doesn’t do something quickly, it will be 1 in 500.
Trump turned the discussion from Covid-19 to a crime bill passed in 1994 that Biden helped write and get passed that, among other things, increased the penalties for certain drug offenses.
Trump says “I’m letting people out of jail now,” and asserted that Biden had treated the Black community “about as bad as anybody in this country.”
Attack on family
Democrat Joe Biden evoked his son Beau Biden to criticise President Donald Trump for reportedly calling members of the American military who lost their lives “losers” and “suckers.”
Raising his voice at Tuesday night’s debate, Biden described his son as a hero. Beau Biden died of cancer in 2015.
Trump responded by pivoting to a familiar attack, on Biden’s other son, Hunter.
The president said, “I don’t know Beau. I know Hunter,” and accused Hunter Biden of having collected millions of dollars from overseas interests, including China, while working as a consultant during his father’s tenure as vice president.