By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden were in a verbal war as they debated issues ranging from Trump’s leadership on the coronavirus outbreak to deadly riots, job losses, and how the Supreme Court will impact the nation’s future.
Angry interruptions and bitter accusations marked the most chaotic televised presidential debate in recent memory. The two rivals frequently talked over each other, prompting Biden to snap at him, “Will you shut up, man?”
At one point, when the two started shouting at one another, Biden cut through saying: “It is hard to get any word in with this clown–excuse me–this president.”
“Here’s the deal. We want to talk about families and ethics. I don’t want to do that,” Biden said, pointing to the Trump family. “His family–we can go on all night.”
Trump fired back, saying: “My family lost a fortune by helping us come work with government.”
“This is not about my family or his family its about your family,” Biden said, pointing to the camera. “He doesn’t want to talk about what you need, the American people, it’s about you. That’s who we’re talking about here.”
CALLING PRESIDENT “LIAR”
“The fact is that everything he’s said so far is simply a lie,” Biden said. “I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar.”
Trump and Biden arrived in Cleveland, hoping the debate hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, would energize their supporters. They compete for the slim slice of undecided voters who could make or break the election.
Amid the barrage of often harsh words directed at each other, moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News Network tried to clarify that one of them would be asked to lead a nation facing unrest.
Americans are both fearful and impatient about shootings in what Trump pointed out are mainly Democratic-controlled cities that killed and injured scores of people recently and the coronavirus pandemic. Authorities claim the epidemic has killed more than 200,000 fellow Americans and cost millions of jobs.
The president condemned Biden, saying the former vice president is not “smart.”
WHO IS SMARTER?
“You graduated the lowest in your class,” Trump said to Biden after he claimed the president should become “smart” with the coronavirus pandemic. “Don’t ever use the word smart with me,” Trump said. “Nothing smart about you, Joe.”
When asked about his mass campaign rallies amid the coronavirus outbreak, the president said that Biden doesn’t hold events because “nobody shows up to his events.”
“People want to hear what I have to say,” Trump added. He also said rallies were “safe and outside” and that there were no known coronavirus casualties following the gatherings attended by tens of thousands of people.
As the coronavirus rages, healthcare became a critical issue in the debate. Biden, told by Trump that he had adopted former Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders’ “socialized medicine” proposals, hit back: “Everybody here knows he’s a liar. You picked the wrong guy on the wrong night at the wrong time.”
He added: “… Folks, do you have any idea what this clown’s doing? I tell you that he is not for anybody needing healthcare.”
After Trump explained his health proposal, Biden also said: “He has no plan for healthcare. The fact is this man has no idea what he’s talking about.”
RACE RELATIONS TENSIONS
Tensions boiled over when they were asked about race relations in the United States after demonstrations over police abuse turned violent in recent months.
Biden, speaking of Trump: “This is a president who has used everything as a dog whistle to try to generate racist hatred, racist division.”
Trump hit back at Biden, citing Biden’s support for the 1994 crime bill: “You’ve treated the Black community about as bad as anybody in this country.”
Biden responded: “Yes, there’s a systemic injustice in this country in education and work and law enforcement and the way in which it is enforced.”
Trump countered that the top 10 cities and just about the top 40 cities are run by Democrats “in many cases, radical left.” And, “they’ve got you wrapped around their finger, Joe, to a point where you don’t want to say anything about law and order. And I’ll tell you what the people of this country want and demand law and order, and you’re afraid to even say it.”
Asked whether he was willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence, Trump said: “I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”
TAXES IN FOCUS
The debate also shifted to taxes. Trump vehemently denied The New York Times newspaper allegations that he paid just $750 in taxes in federal income tax in 2016, the year he won the U.S. presidential election.
Biden vowed to repeal the “Trump tax code,” and the president cut him off questioning why he didn’t propose a better tax plan during his “47 years” in Washington.
“Because you weren’t president screwing things up,” Biden said. “You’re the worst president America has ever had.”
Later, the conversation shifted to trade and foreign policy, with Biden slamming Trump on his trade deals with China.
“China ate your lunch,” Trump said, raising claims about the business history of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. “And no wonder your son goes in and takes out billions of dollars to manage, makes millions of dollars–while we’re at it, why did the mayor of Moscow’s wife give your son $3.5 million? What did he do with Burisma?”
NEW BIDEN REPORT
The president was referring to a newly-released report by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security Committee. It details Hunter Biden’s business dealings with China and his lucrative role on the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings board.
The report claims an investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden, Rosemont Seneca Thornton, “received $3.5 million in a wire transfer” from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow.
Biden fired back, calling the claims “totally discredited.”
Amid domestic and foreign turmoil, the U.S. Supreme Court is a beacon of legal tranquility, and it was an important theme during the debate.
Trump, asked whether Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a devote Catholic and conservative, should be nominated to the Supreme Court before the election, he said: “We won the election. Elections have consequences.”
“We have the Senate, and we have the White House, and we have a phenomenal nominee respected by all,” Trump added. “… I think that she (Barrett) will be outstanding. She will be as good as anybody who has ever served on that court. We won the election, and therefore we had the right to choose her.”
WAITING ON OUTCOME
Biden disagreed, saying: “We should wait, we should wait and see what the outcome of this election is.”
Climate change was also a theme raised during the often bitter exchanges between the two men.
Trump said: “I believe that we have to do everything we can to have immaculate air, immaculate water, and do whatever else we can that’s good.” He defended his decision to leave the Paris Climate Accord, which he views as a terrible and expensive deal for America.
Biden made clear what his priority would be if elected president: “The first thing I will do, I will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord.”
Pressed by Wallace to explain the spending needed to fund the Green New Deal, Biden said, “The fact is it’s going to create millions of good-paying jobs.”
Trump was quick to ask about Biden’s plan: “So, why didn’t you do it for 47 years?” referring yo his time in the Senate and politics.
ELECTION INTEGRITY DISCUSSED
At one point, while being interrupted by Trump, Biden said: “Will you shut up, man. This is so unpresidential. … Keep yapping, man.”
Moderator Wallace also told the president: “I think the country would be better served if we allowed both people to speak with fewer interruptions. I’m appealing to you, sir, to do that.”
Trump, referring to Biden, responded: “And him, too.” Wallace: “Well, frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting.”
Overshadowing the debate further were questions about whether both candidates would accept the outcome of the November 3 election after Trump expressed concern about possible massive fraud with mail-in ballots.
Biden encouraged mail-in voting by saying Trump does it, too. “He sits behind the Resolute Desk (in the White House) and sends his ballot to Florida.”
Biden looking directly into the camera, added: “He cannot stop you from being able to determine the outcome of that election. If I win, that will be accepted. If I lose, that will be accepted. If we get the votes, he’s going to go. He can’t stay in power.”
MORE VOTING UNCERTAINTY
Trump warned, however, that: “We may not know for months” who won. And he told Biden: “Don’t tell me about a free transition. This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen. This is not going to end well.”
Biden continued telling viewers: “You will determine the outcome of this election. Vote, vote, vote. If you’re able to vote early in your state, vote early. If you’re able to vote in person, vote in person – whatever way is the best way for you. Because he cannot stop you from being able to determine the outcome of this election.”
Confronted with the question of whether he would urge his supporters to stay calm and pledge not to declare victory until the election is certified, Trump said, “I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully.” And he warned: “If I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with it.
Biden said, “The fact is I will accept it and he will too. You know why? Because once the winner is declared after all the ballots are counted, all the votes are counted. That’ll be the end of it, that’ll be the end of it.”
After their heated exchanges, both rivals did not shake hands, officially in line with social distancing rules. Their wives flanked the two men after a debate that will be remembered as the most bitter debate in years.
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