Donald Trump causes chaos in election debate - 2020-09-30
A confident and combative Donald Trump wasted little time testing the limits of Joe Biden's patience Tuesday in a bitter, angry and chaotic war of words and recriminations during the first in-person confrontation of the 2020 presidential election. Within the first 15 minutes of the televised debate, hosted by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, Trump had picked fights with the exasperated moderator as well as Biden, who could only grin ruefully and shake his head in disbelief. Before long, Biden looked and sounded fed up as Trump, visibly in his element, needled him incessantly about his power to control the Democratic party and the influence of the "radical left."
"Will you shut up, man?" a frustrated Biden finally pleaded. "This is so unpresidential." The other 75 minutes didn't get much better. Throughout a night long on insults, short on substantive discussion and punctuated by all three men shouting over each other, Biden did his best to ignore his antagonist and address voters directly, speaking into the camera. "Everything he's saying so far is simply a lie," he said. "I'm not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he's a liar." But he wasn't always able to resist rising to Trump's bait.
"The fact of the matter is I beat Bernie Sanders. I beat him a whole hell of a lot," Biden said when the president called him a proxy for the progressive Vermont senator who challenged him for the nomination. "I'm here standing facing you, old buddy." On the subject of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden accused Trump of keeping to himself what he knew about the outbreak's potential severity. Within the first 15 minutes of the televised debate, hosted by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, Trump had picked fights with the exasperated moderator as well as Biden, who could only grin ruefully and shake his head in disbelief. #debates2020 "He knew all the way back in February how serious this crisis was. He knew it was a deadly disease," Biden said. "He's on tape is acknowledging he knew it. He said he didn't tell us or give people a warning of it because he didn't want to panic the American people. You don't panic, he panicked." Trump, as he often does, insisted that by closing U.S. borders to travellers from China, he prevented an even greater tragedy. "If we would have listened to you, the country would have been left wide open, millions of people would have died," he said. "It's China's fault. It should have never happened. They stopped it from going in. But it was China's fault." Any notion that Trump might use Tuesday's debate to broaden his base was quickly shattered.