Trump attacked Biden and interrupted him during his replies on each topic. The tech caused Biden to lose his train of thought on key points early in the debate, although he got more used to Trump’s attacks as the night wore on.
During a discussion of the New York Times’ explosive new reports that Trump had paid little or no federal income taxes for the past two decades, Biden had sought an argument of fairness and found that the average school teacher had more taxes paid as Trump, but the president derails him with his interruptions.
The dynamic emerged during the first sharp exchange on health care and continued throughout the debate.
“Donald, would you just be quiet a minute,”
“Everything he says here is a lie.”
Frustrated by the inability to carry a coherent thought, at one point he broke into Trump’s retort and said, “Are you going to shut up, man?”
When asked why voters should vote him over Trump, the former vice president said Trump had made the country “sick, poorer, more divided and more violent”.
“When I was vice president, we inherited a recession. I was asked to fix it. I did. We left him with a booming economy and he caused the recession,” Biden said. “In terms of being weaker – the fact of the matter is that I went through with (Russian President Vladimir Putin) and made it clear to him that we were not going to take any of his things.”
“He’s Putin’s puppy,” Biden said of Trump. “He refuses to tell Putin anything about the bonus on American soldiers’ heads -” when Trump interrupted him with an attack on his son Hunter.
Moderator Chris Wallace stepped in and said, “Mr. President. Your campaign agreed that both sides would receive two-minute responses. Continuously. Well, your side agreed. Why don’t you watch what your campaign agreed as the reason?” Rule.”
“He never keeps his word,” joked Biden.
The debate was divided into six topics, but many Americans who tuned in would have had a hard time clarifying the positions of both men as the debate centered on screaming, resentment, and crosstalking that sometimes made it impossible to do so follow what both men were talking about.
Trump entered the debate to change the race when he followed Biden but instead played off his basest instincts by continuing the attack from the start.
The president entered this first of three presidential debates in a far more vulnerable position than he did in his 2016 encounters with Hillary Clinton when he had no presidential act to defend and attempted to rattle the former secretary of state with frequent interruptions and by unwinding one-liners, including joke in a debate that if he had been in the White House he would be in jail. Many voters have already voted for Trump, giving him bad marks for his handling of the pandemic and tensions over racial relations and police violence this year.
On Tuesday he returned to this 2016 playbook.
As expected, Trump repeatedly insulted Biden for the first 30 minutes of the debate, interrupting him at a point where he was using the word wisely.
“Never use the word wisely on me,” Trump said. “You’re not smart, Joe.”
Trump’s appearance was a microcosm of his entire life and career: break all the rules and try to dominate every room and personal interaction with the Bulldozer personality.
A far more conventional politician, Biden looked nervous at first and tried hard to make his own points while Trump cut him off. He eventually found a moment to counterattack and blew up Trump for trying to get rid of Obamacare.
“He has no plan. The fact is, this man doesn’t know what he is talking about,” said Biden.
Trump’s strategies to overthrow the former vice president – including his unproven corruption allegations against Biden’s son Hunter, which he plans to bring Tuesday – have so far been less effective than the ones he unfolded against Clinton. The president may also have miscalculated by setting a low bar on Biden Tuesday night when he repeatedly questioned the former vice president’s mental acuity, calling him “mute as a stone”.
Biden rips Trump for his handling of the corona virus
When the conversation shifted to the pandemic, Biden criticized the president’s handling of the coronavirus, noting that more than 200,000 people have died and around 40,000 people are still getting Covid-19 every day.
“The president has no plan. He hasn’t set out anything,” said Biden.
Trump denied Biden’s comparisons with the number of cases in other countries, promising that a vaccine and life-saving treatments are just around the corner.
“It’s China’s fault. It should never have happened,” Trump said.
“We did a great job,” added Trump, accusing the “false news” of distorting his records of the virus.
He turned to Biden and said, “You have lost a lot more people.”
Biden urged Trump to get out of his bunker and “get out of the sand trap and your golf course” to bring Democrats and Republicans together to do what needs to be done to save lives.
Trying to deflect criticism that he rarely wears a mask, Trump has drawn thousands of people without social distancing to his rallies by claiming Biden can never attract the crowd he does. He also repeatedly accused Biden of trying to keep the country closed at the expense of businesses across the country.
“This guy is going to shut down the whole country and destroy the whole country,” Trump said when Biden laughed at the proposal.
Trump on the defensive over taxes
During an exchange in the New York Times about the new revelations about Trump’s tax returns – which showed the president hadn’t paid federal income taxes in 10 of the last 15 years – Biden found that Trump paid less taxes than most school teachers. But he took the opportunity to brief the president on his tax liabilities and questionable business records, as Trump largely evaded taxes by writing off his losses.
“You are the worst president America has ever had,” said Biden.
Trump denied the New York Times report by claiming he paid millions in taxes but also defended his approach of paying as little taxes as possible as an aspect of his keen business acumen.
Biden used the New York Times report to dismantle Trump’s claim to be a champion of the middle and working class in the swing states of the Midwest. The former vice president argued that Trump’s actions in the White House had primarily benefited him and his over-rich allies.
In a preemptive strike to use the tax return to his advantage, the Biden campaign released the former Vice President’s tax return for 2019 Tuesday, showing that he paid nearly $ 300,000 in federal income tax last year.
This is a game changing story and will be updated.