CLEVELAND, Oh. — After weeks of attacks, campaigning, and posturing, President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden finally faced each other in the first (and possibly last) presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday night.
It was possibly the craziest and most chaotic debate I have ever seen in my life and it would not surprise me if the last two debates were canceled or massive changes are made moving forward. It was tough but I came up with some key moments this first debate.
Biden holds his own
The former Vice President did not have the best night on the debate stage and neither did Mr. Trump. Honestly, neither candidate “won” the debate. So why is Mr. Biden on my “winners” side? Because he is currently leading in the polls and in several swing states. Tonight’s debate will likely do very little to move the needle in President Trump’s direction.
Mr. Biden is the frontrunner in the race and has been for months. What Mr. Trump needed to do was appeal to the small pool of undecided voters. He needed to make a dent in the Democratic nominee’s support among seniors, African Americans, Latinos, and Independents. Judging by the post-debate comments, it appears he failed to do that, thus making Mr. Biden the winner of the debate.
While neither candidate won the debate, the former Vice President held his own against Mr. Trump’s scathing attacks and constant interruptions, a good sign for the Democrats if the final two debates happen.
“Will you shut up, man?” Biden said after Trump repeatedly talked over him. “This is so unpresidential.”
Trump vs. Chris Wallace
Yes, I know President Trump was debating Joe Biden but in the first 20-plus minutes, it appeared Mr. Trump was debating the moderator. Mr. Trump repeatedly interrupting a question from Wallace about why he was not released a health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
“If I may ask my question, sir,” Wallace asked following the interruption.
“First of all, I guess I’m debating you, not him,” Trump shot back. “I’m not surprised.”
Wallace had zero control of the debate from the minute it began and he became visibly upset with both men as the night wore on.
The fight over the Supreme Court
The very first question was about the Supreme Court and if the Senate should vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett or wait after the November election. To no one’s surprise, Mr. Biden says the seat should be filled by the winner of the next election while Mr. Trump wants it filled as soon as possible.
President Trump interrupted Mr. Biden’s answer repeatedly, causing the former Vice President to tell him bluntly to shut up.
“Will you shut up, man?” Biden said. “This is so unpresidential.”
The rest of the opening segment saw constant yelling, interruptions, and unintelligible jumble from both candidates and Wallace.
Trump avoids condemning white supremacists
Mr. Trump had two chances to publicly condemn white supremacists but failed to do so with the world watching this debate. He dodged calls from both Mr. Biden and Wallace, instead, he shifted to blaming recent violence on “Democrat cities” and would eventually say “Proud boys, stand back and stand by.”
Mr. Trump tried to shift focus to Antifa, calling it a “dangerous, radical group”. Mr. Biden shot back and pointed out that Antifa cannot be compared to white supremacists because it is a political ideology, not an organization. To make his point, the former Vice President pointed out that Mr. Trump’s own FBI Director Chris Wray made similar comments a few weeks ago.