The first debate between Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump drew criticism for their bickering and left most of us feeling despondent about the future. There were personal attacks on both sides with Biden saying Trump needed to “get smarter” about how he’s handling the coronavirus. Trump also attacked Biden’s intellect saying, “There’s nothing smart about you, Joe.” Trump was often corrected by moderator and Fox news anchor Chris Wallace for interrupting Biden which led Biden to take shots at him throughout saying, “It’s hard to get any word in with this clown, excuse me, this president.”
These comments clearly indicate that it was a no holds barred debate where both candidates came prepared to criticize and denounce each other. Read on to learn about five of the most memorable moments from the debate.
Trump failed to condemn white supremacists
One of Trump’s most quoted and condemned moments was when he told a far-right group the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”
“Who would you like me to condemn?” Trump asked Wallace. “Proud Boys — stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”
Chris Wallace: "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down…"
Trump: "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left." pic.twitter.com/4vrPocKzcu
— Axios (@axios) September 30, 2020
Biden told Trump, “Will you shut up, man?”
Healthcare was a major discussion topic with Trump calling Biden a “socialist” and accusing him of trying to end private health care. Biden refuted the comment saying he’d expand Obamacare and private insurance would remain. At one point, Trump interrupted Biden to which he responded by saying “will you shut up, man?” adding, “This is so unpresidential.”
As Pres. Trump repeatedly interrupts Joe Biden, Biden says, "Will you shut up, man?"
"That was really a productive segment, wasn't it?" Biden says sarcastically. "Keep yappin', man." https://t.co/5Bl4Ob3O2t #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/XvNahLC1Rm
— ABC News (@ABC) September 30, 2020
Trump refused to say he’d accept election results
Trump urged his supporters to remain vigilant alleging that 40 percent of ballots were lost: “They’re being sold. They’re being dumped in rivers.” Biden simply responded by saying there was no evidence of that and Trump did not have any proof of his claims. Trump refused to say that he would accept the results while Biden said he would.
Here's tonight's real headline:
Impeached U.S. President Donald J. Trump, behind in the polls, rages uncontrollably on stage in crucial first debate, refuses to pledge to accept election results.#Debate2020 #Vote #DumpTrump
— Steven (@walkinby87) September 30, 2020
Biden denounced Trump’s response to COVID-19
Biden was adamantly critical of Trump’s response to the coronavirus citing the death toll of more than 200,000 Americans who died. His comments were meant to sting with him telling Trump to “get out of your bunker and get out of the sand trap in your golf course” and mocking Trump’s advice to inject disinfectant to fight off the virus saying, “By the way, maybe you can inject some bleach in your arm.”
“He has been totally irresponsible in the way he has handled the social distancing, the people wearing masks — basically encouraging them not to. He’s a fool on this.”
Meanwhile, Trump kept referring to it as the “China plague” (a term he’s been criticized for using for its racist and xenophobic implications) and said Biden wouldn’t have supported travel restrictions (which was reported to not be true): “I closed it, and you said, ‘He’s xenophobic.’ You don’t believe we should have closed the country,” Trump said. Biden said, “A lot more are going to die unless he gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker.”
Trump denied paying $750 in taxes
Chris Wallace: "Is it true that you paid $750 in federal income taxes each of those two years?"
President Trump: "I paid millions of dollars in taxes…"
Joe Biden: "Show us your tax returns."#Debates2020 #debates pic.twitter.com/U7GbnCnKrD
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 30, 2020
As with any debate, there was a slew of topics that were discussed including the recent reveal that Trump paid $750 in taxes in 2016-17 which Trump denied. He did however acknowledge that he used the tax code to his benefit: “Like every private person, unless they’re stupid, they go through the laws and that’s what it is.” Biden responded by pointing out how he paid less in taxes than middle-class Americans like teachers. “He says he’s smart because he takes advantage of the tax code,” Biden said.