U.S Presidential Debate Runs Into Ugly Display, A reported by Theguardian.com, The first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden deteriorated into an ugly display of contempt on Tuesday night, as the president relentlessly interrupted and attacked his Democratic rival during clashes over the coronavirus pandemic, race, the economy and the future of the supreme court.
Over the course of an extraordinarily combative and chaotic 90-minute performance, a fitting coda to what has been one of the nastiest presidential campaigns in recent memory, Trump interjected so frequently that Biden at one point lost his patience and snapped: “Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential.”
With just five weeks left until election day, Trump is trailing in national and battleground state polls. Amid accusations that he has mishandled the pandemic and damaging reports about his finances and past comments on the military, the debate was perhaps Trump’s best opportunity yet to shift the dynamics of the race, which has been remarkable steady throughout an exceptional turbulent summer.
Dominating the conversation appeared to be Trump’s central strategy, but he did on occasion return to the themes he has pressed on the campaign trail.
When Biden accused him of being the “worst president America has ever had”, Trump shot back that he had done “more in 47 months than you’ve done in 47 years”, an indictment of the former vice-president’s long career in Washington.
But even as Trump attempted to pin Biden, he trampled his own message with a stunning refusal to condemn white nationalism and commit to a peaceful transition of power.
Prompted by the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, to denounce white supremacist violence after two anti-racist activists were killed during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the president said “sure” and asked which group he should condemn. Biden named the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group.
“Proud Boys? Stand back and stand by,” Trump said, before blaming the violence on the left. Social media users who identify as members of the group immediately celebrated the remark.
Trump once again declined to honor the results of the election and continued to undermine the integrity of mail-in balloting, which is already under way in many states. Without evidence, he asserted that the process of voting by mail, which states have expanded in response to the pandemic, was rife with fraud.
According to Theguardian , the first U.S Presidential Debate took place in Cleveland, Ohio, against the backdrop of a nation in crisis: the pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 204,000 Americans and cost millions of jobs, while racial justice protests and climate-induced disasters demand urgent responses.
In a sign of the times, there was no public audience, handshakes were omitted, the podiums were staged a safe distance apart and empty seats separated the campaign staff and the candidate’s family members in attendance. In a striking contrast, Biden’s family and guests wore masks for the duration of the event, while the first lady, Melania Trump, and the rest of the president’s family removed theirs after being seated.
The debate opened with a question on the supreme court, about Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Trump defended his decision to advance the nomination just days after Ginsburg’s death and just weeks before election day.
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