UNITED STATES—The first of three scheduled presidential debates was held on Tuesday, September 29 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. President Donald Trump faced off against Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Chris Wallace of Fox News moderated the debate which ran for 90 minutes without any commercial breaks divided into 15 -minute segments where issues pertaining to Trump and Biden’s records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in U.S. cities and the integrity of the election were discussed.
Wallace started the debated with appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as the first topic. Wallace noted that Trump believes that he has a right to appoint a Supreme Court Justice and Biden argued he did not.
President Trump reiterated what Wallace previously stated saying he is serving a four-year term and has the right to appoint a Supreme Court Justice. Biden answered President Trump choosing the Supreme Court Justice denies the American people their right to choose. Wallace asked Biden if he were POTUS, would he pack the Supreme Court, to which Biden refused to answer.
Trump said to Wallace, “I guess I’m debating you now instead of him. That’s okay, I would expect nothing less,” in reference to Biden not responding.
During the debate, both candidates spoke over one another several times.
“Why should the American people trust you over your opponent over the handling of this healthcare crisis [coronavirus],” Wallace asked Trump.
Biden called out Trump for not allowing Americans to go into Wuhan, China and see for themselves how bad it was. He argued Trump needed to “get out of his bunker and his sand trap and get the American people what they needed.”
When Biden attempted to tout his own intelligence, President Trump pointed out that Biden could not even remember where he graduated, and that he was one of the lowest in his class, saying, “don’t talk about smart to me.”
“I’ve done more in 47 months than you have done in 47 years,” Trump replied.
“I am the Democratic Party,” said Biden, which Wallace later asked if he called any mayors of cities where riots have transpired like Portland to which Biden replied, “I’m not in office.”
“No one has done more than what I have done in the last 3 and a half years. Unemployment at its lowest, we rebuilt our military, 300 federal judges, and hopefully three Supreme Court Justices,” said Trump when asked why Americans should choose him over his opponent.
Biden responding by arguing under President Trump, “We become weaker, sicker, and vile. We’re poor. More violent.” He then yelled at Trump about the military and all his son did in Iraq. He encouraged people to choose their voting method and get out and vote. Trump explained the difference between absentee ballots and mail-in ballots, the latter of which he called, “a disaster.”
The second debate is scheduled for Thursday, October 15.