Will You Shut Up, Man: Highlights from heated first 2020 Presidential Debate

BY CJ GIBSON

After an evening full of interruptions and cross talk, the first presidential debate of the 2020 election season is over.

Here are some main points to take from the 90-minute debate on Tuesday between Republican candidate, President Donald Trump, and Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden. The debate was moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.

THE SUPREME COURT

Trump: We won the election and therefore we have the right to choose [Amy Coney Barrett]… the Democrats, they wouldn’t even think about not doing it. The only difference is they’d try and do it faster.

Biden: We should wait and see what the outcome of this election is because that’s the only way the American people get to express their view is by who they elect as President and who they elect as Vice President.

HEALTHCARE

Biden: Now, what’s at stake here is the president’s made it clear, he wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act… He’s in the Supreme Court right now trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, which will strip 20 million people from having health insurance now, if it goes into court.

Trump: A President is elected for four years. We’re not elected for three years. I’m not elected for three years.

Trump: Your party wants to go socialist medicine and socialist healthcare.

Biden: The party is me. Right now, I am the Democratic Party.

Trump: If you were here, it wouldn’t be 200 [thousand deaths], it would be two million people because you were very late on the draw. 

Trump: Insulin, it was destroying families, destroying people, the cost. I’m getting it for so cheap it’s like water, you want to know the truth. So cheap… We’re going to allow our Governors now to go to other countries to buy drugs because when they paid just a tiny fraction of what we do.

Biden: Anyone who qualifies for Medicaid would automatically be enrolled in the public option. The vast majority of the American people would still not be in that option.

Trump: You just lost the left. You agreed with Bernie Sanders on a plan that you absolutely agreed to and under that plan, they call it socialized medicine.

Biden: He hasn’t lowered drug costs for anybody. He’s been promising a healthcare plan since he got elected. He has none, like almost everything else he talks about. He does not have a plan. He doesn’t have a plan. And the fact is this man doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

When Biden was asked if he was planning on packing the courts:

Biden: I’m not going to answer the question.

COVID-19

Biden: 40,000 people a day are contracting COVID. In addition to that, about between 750 and 1000 people a day are dying. When he was presented with that number, he said, “It is what it is.” Well, it is what it is because you are who you are. That’s why it is. The president has no plan.

Biden: You should get out of your bunker and get out of the sand trap in your golf course and go in the Oval Office and bring together the Democrats and Republicans and fund what needs to be done now to save lives.

Trump: It’s [COVID-19 is] China’s fault. It should have never happened.

Trump: If we would’ve listened to you, the country would have been left wide open, millions of people would have died, not 200,000.

Trump: Joe, you could never have done the job that we did. You don’t have it in your blood.

Biden: This is the same man who told you by Easter, this would be gone away. By the warm weather, it’d be gone. Miraculous, like a miracle. And by the way, maybe you could inject some bleach in your arm, and that would take care of it.

Biden: He still hasn’t even acknowledged that he knew this was happening, knew how dangerous it was going to be back in February, and he didn’t even tell you. 

Trump: Did you use the word smart? So you said you went to Delaware State, but you forgot the name of your college. You didn’t go to Delaware State. You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word smart with me. Don’t ever use that word.

Trump: I have a mask right here. I put a mask on when I think I need it.

Biden: He’s not worried about you. He’s not worried about the people out there.

Biden: He’s been totally irresponsible the way in which he has handled the social distancing and people wearing masks, basically encouraged them not to. He’s a fool on this.

Trump: If you could get the crowds [for Biden’s rallies], you would have done the same thing. But you can’t. Nobody cares.

ECONOMY

Trump: They think they’re hurting us by keeping them [the states] closed. They’re hurting people. People know what to do. They can social distance. They can wash their hands, they can wear masks. They can do whatever they want, but they’ve got to open these states up.

Trump: This guy will close down the whole country and destroy our country. Our country is coming back incredibly well, setting records as it does it. We don’t need somebody to come in and say, “Let’s shut it down.”

Biden: You can’t fix the economy until you fix the COVID crisis. And he has no intention of doing anything about making it better for you all at home in terms of your health and your safety.

Trump: I’m the one that brought back football.

Trump: I paid millions of dollars in taxes, millions of dollars of income tax.

Trump: I don’t want to pay tax.

Biden: He talks about these great trade deals. He talks about the art of the deal. China’s perfected the art of the steal.

Trump: China ate your lunch, Joe. And no wonder your son goes in and he takes out billions of dollars. He takes out billions of dollars to manage.

Biden: This is not about my family or his family. It’s about your family, the American people.

RACE & VIOLENCE

Biden: This is a president who has used everything as a dog whistle, to try to generate racist hatred, racist division.

Trump: The people of this country want and demand law and order and you’re afraid to even say it.

Biden: But look, the vast majority of police officers are good, decent, honorable men and women. They risk their lives every day to take care of us, but there are some bad apples. And when they occur, when they find them, they have to be sorted out. They have to be held accountable.

Biden: He wouldn’t know a suburb unless you took a wrong turn.

Biden: Look, what I support are the police having the opportunity to deal with the problems they face, and I’m totally opposed to defunding the police officers.

When asked to denounce white supremacist group, The Proud Boys:

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 because this is not a right-wing problem, this is a left-wing.”

Biden: With regard to being weaker, the fact is that I’ve gone head to head with Putin and made it clear to him we’re not going to take any of his stuff. He’s Putin’s puppy.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Trump: I believe that we have to do everything we can to have immaculate air, immaculate water and do whatever else we can that’s good.

Biden: We make up 15% of the world’s problem. But the rest of the world, we’ve got to get them to come along. That’s why we have to get back into the Paris Accord.

ELECTION INTEGRITY

Trump: They’re sending millions of ballots all over the country. There’s fraud. They found them in creeks. They found some, just happened to have the name Trump just the other day in a wastepaper basket.

Trump: I’m urging my supporters to go to the polls and watch very carefully, because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it.

Biden: No one has established at all that there is fraud related to mail-in ballots, that somehow it’s a fraudulent process.


As Wallace concluded the debate, “To be continued in more debates as we go on.” The following debates will take place on Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.

Who won? The answer may not be clear, but one thing is for certain: we’ll know the true winner after election day on Nov. 3.

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