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Trump, Biden debate a tumultuous, contentious affair

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Tuesday's presidential debate started out civil enough, with President Donald Trump striding deliberately to his lectern and Democrat Joe Biden nodding to his opponent and offering, “How you doing, man?”

But within 15 minutes, the interruptions and talking over one another had deteriorated to the point that Biden blurted out, “Will you shut up, man?”

At one point moderator Chris Wallace chided Trump for doing most of the interrupting.

UPDATE (AP) - President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are painting a very different picture of the reliability of the upcoming election.

Biden urged voters to cast their ballots and not be intimidated by Trump’s suggestions he might not accept a loss. Trump has been groundlessly casting doubt on the reliability of mail ballots and elections in general.

“Vote whatever way is the best way for you,” Biden said. “Because he will not be able to stop you from determining the outcome of this election.”

Biden agreed not to declare victory before the ballots are counted and to accept voters’ verdicts.

Trump continued to spread falsehoods about mail voting. He said falsely that his campaign’s poll watchers were improperly turned away at a Philadelphia early voting site Tuesday — the poll watchers had not yet been accredited to observe. He suggested widespread Democratic fraud because a handful of ballots were improperly thrown in the trash last week — but didn’t mention it occurred in a Republican-controlled elections office and was quickly reported to authorities.

Biden urged viewers not to worry about Trump’s scare tactics.

“I will accept it, and he will, too. You know why?” Biden said. “Because once the winner is declared once all the ballots are counted, that’ll be the end of it.”

UPDATE (AP) - Democrat Joe Biden evoked his son Beau Biden to criticize President Donald Trump for reportedly calling members of the American military who lost their lives "losers" and "suckers."

Raising his voice at Tuesday night's debate, Biden described his son as a hero. Beau Biden died of cancer in 2015.

Trump responded by pivoting to a familiar attack, on Biden's other son, Hunter.

The president said, "I don't know Beau. I know Hunter," and accused Hunter Biden of having collected millions of dollars from oversees interests, including China, while working as a consultant during his father's tenure as vice president. It echoed attacks the president made earlier in the debate in Cleveland, but have little basis in fact.

Trump also opened a new line of attack when he said Hunter Biden was dishonorably discharged from the military for cocaine use. Biden responded that his son wasn't dishonorably discharged.

He addressed viewers directly and said that, like a lot of Americans, Hunter had a drug problem but was "working on it" and had "fixed it."
Biden added "I'm proud of my son."

UPDATE (AP) - President Donald Trump danced around a question from moderator Chris Wallace about whether he was willing to condemn white supremacists and military groups.

"I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing," Trump responded. "I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace."
When pressed further, Trump said, "What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name?"

Finally, he said, "Proud Boys -- Stand back, stand by, but I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not right-wing problem….. This is a left-wing problem."

Trump infamously said there were good people "on both sides" after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to the death of a counterprotester.

UPDATE (AP) - President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden are making their pitches to win over Black voters in the coming election, with Biden mockingly questioning: "This man, this man is a savior of African Americans? This man has done virtually nothing."

Biden says that 1 in 1,000 African Americans has died because of the coronavirus, and if Trump doesn't do something quickly, it will be 1 in 500.
Trump turned the discussion from COVID-19 to a crime bill passed in 1994 that Biden helped write and get passed that, among other things, increased the penalties for certain drug offenses.

Trump says "I'm letting people out of jail now," and asserted that Biden had treated the Black community "about as bad as anybody in this country."

UPDATE (AP) - President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are sparring over Trump's handling of the coronavirus crisis, with Biden saying "a lot more people are going to die" unless Trump gets "smarter a lot faster."

Biden charged during Tuesday night's debate that Trump "has no plan" to deal with the virus and noted that the president praised Chinese President Xi Jinping's initial actions in dealing with the outbreak. Biden told Trump to "get out of your bunker and get out of the sand trap on your golf course" and bring Democrats and Republicans into the Oval Office to cut a deal on a coronavirus aid package.

Trump, in response, is offering a number of erroneous claims, charging falsely that Biden opposed shutting down travel to China and claiming that the U.S. is "weeks away" from producing a vaccine. He also said that Biden's handling of the H1N1 outbreak during the Obama administration was a "disaster," though the number of H1N1deaths in the U.S. was less than 1% of the deaths from the coronavirus.

Biden also noted that Trump misled the public on the severity of the virus and said that rather than owning up to the American people, the president "panicked or just looked at the stock market."

UPDATE (AP) - The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden has gotten off to a contentious start, breaking down after just a few moments with Trump interrupting Biden on several occasions and Biden calling the president a clown and a liar.

As the discussion about the Supreme Court quickly turned to COVID-19, Trump claimed without evidence that 2 million people would have died if Biden were president.

Moderator Chris Wallace pleaded with Trump, stating that COVID-19 would be discussed later in the day. He then asked Trump about whether he had a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, and the president said, "First of all, I guess I'm debating you, not him, but that's OK. I'm not surprised."

Biden laughed at Trump's jabs. But he also appeared to get upset at times, too.

"Here's the deal, the fact is that everything he's saying so far is simply a lie," Biden said. "I'm not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he's a liar."
Wallace asked Trump to let Biden finish. "Folks do you have any idea what this clown is doing?" Biden said.

CLEVELAND (AP) — President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden began the first presidential debate with heated exchanges over health care, the coronavirus and the future of the Supreme Court. Fitting for an edge in their bitter campaign, the two men frequently interrupted each other with angry interjections, with Biden eventually snapping at Trump “Will you shut up, man?” That was after the president badgered him over his refusal to comment on whether he would try to expand the Supreme Court in retaliation if Trump’s high court pick, Amy Coney Barrett, was confirmed to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

(AP) - President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are squaring off Tuesday night in their crucial first debate of the 2020 campaign. Right off the bat, they went after each other on Trump's Supreme Court nomination so close to the election and his health care plans that Biden says will destroy the Affordable Care Act. It's the most pivotal opportunity yet for the candidates to outline starkly different visions for a country facing multiple crises in an election year like no other. The nation is in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and cost millions of jobs and is facing an upheaval over racial justice that has brought protests and violence to a number of cities.

CLEVELAND (QMI) - The first debate of the 2020 presidential election is now underway in Cleveland, as President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden look to convince undecided voters.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace is moderating this first debate. Organizers said the plan is to cover each of these topics in 15 minute blocks: 

  • The Trump and Biden Records 
  • The Supreme Court
  • COVID-19
  • The Economy
  • Race and Violence in our Cities 
  • The Integrity of the Election

No handshakes nor opening statements were planned.

Biden currently has a lead on Trump in a majority of state polls. The latest average of all national polls have Biden leading Trump by about 7 percentage points.

President Donald Trump is seeking a second term. He was elected to the office in 2016.

Trump’s run for a second term was no surprise. He announced on February 27, 2018, that he would seek a second term. In early 2020, Trump filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. 

Trump touts the economy prior to the pandemic as one of his biggest accomplishments. He also counts among his achievements the 2017 Republican-backed tax Federal cut, seating many judges to Federal courts, and the signing of the Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

On the other hand, Trump’s first term was highlighted by several controversies.

One of those was the investigation into possible Russian collusion by independent counsel Robert Mueller and his eventual impeachment by the US House of Representatives late last year.   Trump has also been broadly criticized for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic this year, with more than 200,000 people dying in the US so far. During interviews with journalist Bob Woodward, Trump revealed he knew the severity of the virus early on and tried to downplay the situation. Recordings of the conversations were released to the media.

The most recent controversy regarding Trump was related to his personal taxes. The New York Times reported Trump paid no income taxes in 10 of the last 15 years.

Biden served as vice president under President Barack Obama from 2009 through 2017. Before that, he served as US Senator from Delaware for 36 years.

Biden announced his candidacy for the nation’s highest office on April 25, 2020. He defeated more than two dozen Democrats in the party’s primary. This is Biden’s third try for the White House, running unsuccessfully in 1988 and 2008.

Biden is running on promises to help America through the pandemic, rebuild the middle class and heal the nation’s divisions. He wants to repeal Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy and push for a $15/hr. minimum wage.   Biden has also proposed a new education plan that would help low-income area schools, assist teachers with student loans, and add more health professionals to schools.

A healthcare plan that would expand Obamacare subsidies was proposed by Biden last July. He said the plan would make private insurance policies available and more affordable. In addition, the plan would add a public option that people could buy into.   Biden has faced criticism from members of the GOP for his son's work overseas.  The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee recently released a report following an investigation into Hunter Biden's work in Ukraine during his father's time as vice president. The report, however, failed to prove any wrongdoing.

Two more presidential debates are on the 2020 schedule. 

The next debate will be held Oct. 15 in Miami, Florida, and will be moderated by C-SPAN host and political editor Steve Scully. 

The final debate is scheduled for Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee. It will be moderated by NBC News White House correspondent and anchor Kristen Welker.

Vice President Mike Pence and VP nominee Kamala Harris will faceoff in one debate, scheduled for Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This debate will be moderated by USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page.

Early voting has already begun in several states. The election will be held on Nov. 3.  The inauguration will follow next year on Jan. 20.  

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