Now that President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have their first debate wrapped and in the books, the analysis and reaction from observers continue on. As evidenced by the Tuesday night (Sept. 29) debate, the testy back and forth battle had several key moments and we examine five of them below.
Attempting to determine where to begin in breaking down the unwieldy and frankly chaotic debate is a tall task but there were plenty of standout moments depending on which side of the aisle one stands.
Fox News’ Chris Wallace served as the moderator for the affair and was manhandled by the bullying tactics and overtalk from Trump, who also used the same brazen tactics with Biden.
At several points, Biden, forgetting all decorum, told Trump to shut up. And there was even some emotion and fire from one-time Veep when it came to defending the honor of his son Hunter Biden and mentioned the service of his late son and Iraqi War veteran, Beau Biden.
1. Coronavirus…What Coronavirus
The first moment we’re unpacking is the president’s handling, or mishandling, of the coronavirus pandemic that still is very much a hindrance in the daily lives of most Americans. Whenever Biden made mention of the current administration’s approach to the pandemic, Trump kept putting the blame on his adversary as if he’s the one pulling the strings right now while also avoiding the elephant in the room.
At several intervals, Trump continued to say that the process of creating a vaccine for the virus was politicized and framed Biden as someone who would have bumbled the situation worse than he has, which we feel personally would be almost impossible to do.
2. Shut Up Or Put Up
Biden, using plain-speak and looking directly into the camera followed his talking points almost too close to the letter. There wasn’t much room for him to freestyle as Trump’s bluster and interruptions made it so Wallace had to call a flag on the play more than once. When Trump wouldn’t silence his complaints, Biden bluntly said “will you just shut up and stop yapping?”
Keeping that same energy, Biden called Trump both a clown and a racist while also throwing in a counterclaim of You’re the worst president America has ever had. Come on.” True things are true, some would wager.
3. Leave The Children Out Of It
Trump took on a cheap tactic of using the long-debunked rumors of Hunter Biden and the zany right-wing conspiracy claims that the family was in bed with Ukraine engaging in some shady energy deals. This might have played well with Trump’s base who blindly follow his lies and contradictions like the beat of a marching drum, but Biden wasn’t having any of it.
“This is not about my family or his family, this is about your family, the American people,” Biden said while earnestly aiming his eyes at the camera. “He doesn’t want to talk about what you need.”
Trump went lower and mentioned Hunter Biden’s past drug addictions, but Biden defended his son as a father should while making his rival look flustered and sweaty under the pressure.
4. About That Supreme Court Vacancy
It should go without saying that several important and longstanding laws are on the line, such as the Roe v. Wade decision, and the Affordable Care Act, a target of Trump’s since he officially entered office in 2017. With the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court has a vacancy and Trump, along with his cronies, are itching to place a young conservative justice that will push ideals important to their side and upend many of the liberal-leading measures that have been in place.
This would have been a good time to hear from Biden on his opposition to Trump rushing to fill the seat and instead wait until the presidential election is concluded, but he was continually interrupted and talked over to the point Wallace just lost control of the debate.
5. Danger At The Polls
As we noted in an earlier report, Trump isn’t being shy about galvanizing the troops so to speak to do his divisive bidding. After telling the Proud Boys group to “stand back and stand by” to carry out whatever sinister directive he has up his sleeve, it was chilling to witness Trump say that his side is keeping an eye on the voting process while trumpeting the myth of voter fraud that he’s apparently afraid of.
“I’m encouraging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” Trump said with almost no pushback from Wallace as Biden politely tried to interject before becoming a bit flustered. And while Wallace didn’t once check facts when Trump made claims over fraud at the polls, it was clear that Trump was sowing fears that mail-in ballots and other measures put in place for the November election could be rigged in favor of Biden.
From Twitter, we’ve collected a number of responses and reactions to the debate, listing them out below.
Joe Biden did NOT wear a wire to aid him in the debate, Lead Stories and PolitiFact confirm. The fact that crackpot Trump supporters are making that false claim just proves that Biden did much better than Trump in the debate.#Debates2020 https://t.co/O4PSp4AEhY— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) September 30, 2020
Now that I'm watching clips from the first debate in the morning light it occurs to me that Biden's patience in dealing with a man who if he'd acted that way in any other context would've been hit should get Biden a third of the way to sainthood as it was a miracle #Debates2020— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 30, 2020
Q: Do you find that concerning, the @POTUS’ refusal last night during the debate to condemn white supremacist groups?@TimScottSC: I think he misspoke. I think he should correct it. If he doesn't correct it, I guess he didn't misspeak.🙄#Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/PFYps4wHyl— Dena Grayson, MD, PhD (@DrDenaGrayson) September 30, 2020
Last nights debate was apropos... America is Joe Biden... The last four years our progress has been interrupted by an infantile, belligerent White Supremacist... #Debates2020— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) September 30, 2020
I don’t have bandwidth to hop the “OMG, Trump didn’t denounce white supremacy,” train with some of y’all. We’ve been telling y’all that man is a racist for years, but your refusal to interrogate your own deep-seated white supremacy blocked you from believing us. #Debates2020— Ashlee Marie Preston (@AshleeMPreston) September 30, 2020
There are so many female White House correspondents like @weijia, @Yamiche, @PaulaReidCBS and @kaitlancollins who go toe-to-toe with Trump and ask him tough but fair questions every day as part of their job.— Liddle’ Savage (@littledeekay) September 30, 2020
These are the women who should be moderating the #Debates2020.