President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will face off on Thursday evening in the final 2020 presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee.
NBC’s Kristen Welker will moderate the debate at Belmont University.
All times Eastern.
12:45 AM: AOC: No respect from Trump:
I wonder if Republicans understand how much they advertise their disrespect of women in debates when they consistently call women members of Congress by nicknames or first names while using titles & last names when referring to men of = stature.
Women notice. It conveys a lot.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 23, 2020
Vulnerable House Democrat that’s ran ads about her opposing a fracking ban, breaks with Biden after debate comments. #NM02 https://t.co/ghroWW6EVT
— aaron navarro (@aaronlarnavarro) October 23, 2020
Here’s one of the places Biden and I disagree. We must stand up for our oil and gas industry. We need an all-of-the-above energy approach that’s consumer friendly, values energy independence, and protects OK jobs. I'll keep fighting for that in Congress. https://t.co/9fIaZ8pyY1
— Kendra Horn (@HornForCongress) October 23, 2020
Biden was also asked after the debate about his answers tonight on fossil fuels. “We’re not going to get rid of fossil fuels,” he said. “We’re going to get rid of subsidies for fossil fuels.”
— Matt Viser (@mviser) October 23, 2020
The Trump campaign meanwhile is seizing on Biden's remarks:
“Shockingly, Joe Biden pledged to end the oil industry. You could see physically that Joe Biden realized he had made a grave error in what he said," said campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh.
— Ari Natter (@AriNatter) October 23, 2020
11:59 PM: CNN poll:
Results of the CNN instant poll of debate watchers: 53% say Biden won, 39% say Trump won. pic.twitter.com/AK4Fc99tez
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 23, 2020
CNN instant poll…
Biden 53, Trump 39
32D-31R party ID
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) October 23, 2020
BREAKING: Based on our snap poll of 772 likely voters who watched tonight's debate, 52% say Joe Biden won the debate overall. 39% say Donald Trump won tonight's debate, and 9% said it ended in a tie. pic.twitter.com/vViHx5gXfM
— US Politics Polls (@USPoliticsPoll) October 23, 2020
Three post-debate snap polls: Who the debate?
CNN: Biden 53, Trump 39
Data Progress: Biden 52, Trump 41
US Politics: Biden 52, Trump 39
And the unscientific CNN North Carolina "undecided voter" panel which with Biden 9, Trump 0, a Draw 2.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 23, 2020
SNAP POLL: Who voters think did a better job – or won – tonight’s #PresidentialDebate
Joe Biden – 54%
Donald Trump – 35%https://t.co/xW3GfYI3Vw #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/2s1cFAof9O
— YouGov America (@YouGovAmerica) October 23, 2020
11:30 PM: Trump vs. AOC +3:
On a call w/ reporters, Trump Comms Director Tim Murtaugh focuses on Biden's answer on fossil fuels, says, "you cannot be Joe from Scranton, who cares about American workers’ jobs…and have AOC writing your climate change policy at the same time, the two things are incongruous." pic.twitter.com/iw2o9pcT7P
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) October 23, 2020
Living in his head rent free is something.https://t.co/8wZi9JrRsE pic.twitter.com/Mimw04BOel
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) October 23, 2020
10:59 PM: RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel:
For ninety minutes, President Trump made a confident, commanding and compelling case for his re-election while taking Joe Biden to task for supporting radical policies that would raise taxes, destroy jobs and make our communities less safe.
After tonight’s debate, the choice between President Trump’s 47 months of delivering real results versus Joe Biden’s 47 years as a failed, career politician has never been clearer. In 35 days the American people are going to re-elect President Trump to a second-term along with Republicans up and down the ballot.
CNN’s Jake Tapper concedes President Trump got in “clean hits” on Joe Biden’s crime bill and being in politics for so long pic.twitter.com/RStQyBEH4E
— TV News HQ (@TVNewsHQ) October 23, 2020
10:45 PM: On CNN, Tapper says Trump has been lying about the Coronavirus from the beginning and did it again tonight on a host of COVID-19 issues. He says those lies won’t fool Americans who have been impacted by the Coronavirus.
Four people on stage at the end of the debate; the president is the only one not wearing a mask. https://t.co/o0D5IYWUmL #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/fMcpP2wRP5
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) October 23, 2020
Axelrod thinks Biden won because he is ahead and managed to came out of the debate with a draw.
Good news for the President? He did not hurt himself, unlike first debate. The bad news? He was ten points behind and did not help himself. Race not changed. A Republican had no reason to feel better had debate. Biden did not do a face plant. That is all he needed to do.
— Charlie Cook (@CharlieCookDC) October 23, 2020
10:42 PM: Trump immediately hits Biden on fracking after the debate:
Here you go @JoeBiden! pic.twitter.com/UBqPJT85Pt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2020
Joe Biden: "I never said I opposed fracking."
Pres. Trump: "You said it on tape."
"Show the tape! Put it on your website."
"I'll put it on."
"Put it on the website. The fact of the matter is, he's flat lying." https://t.co/VXBv1PU9iL #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/bFxii2Ovg0
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 23, 2020
10:37 PM: On CNN, Jake Tapper says Trump used “Breitbart/Fox lingo” to gin up his base, and regular voters had no idea what Trump was talking about.
.@jaketapper: Trump behaved “more like a regular person might…He didn’t light himself on fire.”
— Paul Farhi (@farhip) October 23, 2020
Biden on McConnell and COVID-19 relief bill: "The Republican Leader in the United State Senate said he can't pass it. He will not be able to pass it. He does not have Republican votes. Why ain't he (President Trump) talking to his Republican friends?" pic.twitter.com/sbq3XmL3Z2
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) October 23, 2020
10:34 PM: Welker asks both candidates what they would say to people who didn’t vote for them in their inaugural addresses.
Watch President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden answer the final #Debates2020 question: "At your inauguration, what will you say to Americans who did not vote for you?"
Full video: https://t.co/GMx4T2yMxi pic.twitter.com/6gvtiRT9nu
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 23, 2020
Trump says we have to make the country as successful before the plague came from China. Trump says we had the best unemployment numbers for all demographic groups and “the other side wanted to get together” and unify. Trump says success will bring us together and warns if Biden gets in you will have a depression the likes of which we have never seen and 401Ks will go to hell.
Biden says he will be an American president who will represent those who didn’t vote for him. He says he will choose hope and science over fiction while dealing with systemic racism and creating millions of clean-energy jobs.
Biden says what is on the ballot here is the character of the country. He says people have not been getting a fair shot the last four years under Trump and they will when he is president.
Joe Biden looks at his watch during the debate pic.twitter.com/qxThObra4G
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 23, 2020
Oh, man, I can’t believe Biden’s staff let him wear his watch on a debate stage. He just looked at it. Which never looks good.
— Roger Simon (@politicoroger) October 23, 2020
10:21 PM: Debate turns to climate change. Welker asks candidates how they would combat climate change and support job growth.
Trump talks about the trillion trees program. He says he loves the environment and talks about the lowest number in carbon emissions. Trump says he hasn’t heart Biden use the term because he is not sure if Biden knows what it means. Trump says look at China, Russia, India. He says those countries are “filthy.” Trump says he took the country out of the Paris Accord because he is not willing to sacrifice businesses and jobs because of the agreement. He says China doesn’t kick in until 2030 and Russia goes to a lower standard. Trump says his administration has done an incredible job on the environment without destroying industry.
Biden says global warming is an “existential threat” to humanity and we have a “moral obligation” to deal with it. Biden says we have 8-10 years until the point of no return and four more years of Trump will put us in a position where we will be in “real trouble.”
Biden talks about investing in charging stations on highways and retrofitting buildings and homes.
Trump says Democrats are running through hoops to appease AOC plus three and mocks Biden for wanting to retrofit buildings with small windows.
Trump says he knows more about wind than Biden. He says the country is energy independent. He says it kills all the birds and is intermittent. Trump says the fumes coming up to make the windmills is more than anything re: natural gas. Biden says find him a scientists who says that. Trump says it’s “all a pipe dream.”
Biden says he never said he wants to end fracking and Biden tells Trump to “show the tape.” Trump says he showed it last night and will show it again tomorrow. Biden says he is ruling out banning fracking because we need other industries to get to zero emissions by 2025.
Trump says he was against fracking until he got the nomination, went to Pennsylvania. Biden says he meant no fracking on federal land.
Joe Biden: "I would transition from the oil industry, yes."
Pres. Trump: "Oh. That's a big statement."
"It is a big statement." https://t.co/zkoTdi6727 #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/Eh24bXuDkh
— ABC News (@ABC) October 23, 2020
Biden says he will stop giving the oil industry federal subsidies and says he will transition from the oil industry when Trump asks if he wants to shut down the oil industry.
Biden says he is going to rejoin the Paris Accord and make them abide by the same standards. Trump says it will cost him $1 trillion.
10:17 PM: Welker presses Trump about tweeting white power and criticizing Black Lives Matter. Trump says the first time he heard about Black Lives Matter was when they were talking about frying pigs in a bacon. Trump says he is the least racist person in the room and says he doesn’t know what to say to his critics. He says it makes him sad because he got criminal justice reform done. Trump says he can’t see the audience because it is dark but he is the least racist person in the room.
Biden says “Abraham Lincoln” Trump is one of the most racist presidents we have had who pours gasoline on every fire. Biden says Trump is a dog whistle as big as a “fog horn.”
Trump says Biden has done nothing except for the Crime Bill that put black men in jail. Trump says if you look at the voting, “they remember.”
When asked why these families should vote for him, Biden says they passed a bill in the 80s punishing drug offenders and “it was a mistake.” Biden says people should not be going to jail for drug offenses and instead should be getting treatment.
Trump says it is “all talk, no action” with these politicians. Trump says Biden had eight years to get it done and is “all talk, no action.” “You got nothing done,” Trump says after Biden says 38,000 people got released from prison under the Obama-Biden administration.
Trump says Biden put tens of thousands of mostly black men in prison. Trump says Biden didn’t get anything done because he is all talk and no action. Biden blames the Republican Congress. Trump says sometimes you have to talk them into it like he did with his criminal justice reform.
10:16 PM: Biden says our character is on the ballot and says voters know who Trump is and voters know who Biden is.
Trump says if everything in the emails are true, Biden is a corrupt politician. Trump says don’t give him this stuff about how Biden is an “innocent baby.”
Biden’s response is this is all a Russian plan, citing national security officials who said what Trump is saying is a “bunch of garbage.”
Trump mocks Biden for saying the “laptop from hell” is “Russia, Russia, Russia.”
“You gotta be kidding me,” Trump says. “Here we go again with Russia, Russia,”
10:10 PM: Trump says he understands why he understands and then immediately says Biden did nothing in 47 years except pass the Crime Bill that was detrimental to black Americans.
“Nobody has done more for the black community than Donald Trump,” he says, adding “with the possible exception” of Abraham Lincoln.
Trump says Obama-Biden probably never wanted to criminal justice reform. Trump says he had to twist arms and “very liberal people” cried in his office and then campaigned against him two weeks later. Trump now talking about Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) opportunity zones. Trump now talks about permanent funding for HBCUs.
Biden claims Trump said the problem with the Crime Bill was there were not enough people in jail. He says Trump wanted the Central Park Five to get the death penalty.
10:08 PM: Debate turns to race in America and the “talk” that black families give their children regardless of class. Welker asks Biden if he understands why they give the talk. Biden says his daughter is a social worker and says he worked in African-American areas to learn about these issues. Biden says he never had to have the “talk” with his children but says black parents have to tell children not to wear hoodies and to put their hands on the wheel when pulled over because “there is institutional racism in America.”
"I'm the least racist person in this room," Pres. Trump says.
"Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we've had in modern history," Joe Biden sarcastically responds. https://t.co/q4oLFWkQjH #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/IEjId1uhev
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 23, 2020
Biden says Trump is the first president who has come along who doesn’t want more “inclusion.” He then talks about what he would do to help black Americans accumulate wealth if elected.
Biden says Trump is "one of the most racist presidents we've had in modern history"
"He pours fuel on every single racist fire…This guy is a dog whistle about as big as a foghorn" #Debates2020 https://t.co/g42rsvNqvb pic.twitter.com/M1QT8T47bx
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 23, 2020
10:07 PM: Welker doesn’t ask about cages but asks about the Obama administration’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform and deportations. Biden says those were two mistakes and says he will be “president” and not “vice president.”
Biden says he will send a bill to Congress for a pathway to citizenship for nearly all of the country’s illegal immigrants and the “DACA kids” will be certified to stay. “We owe them,” Trump says of DACA first responders.
“He did nothing except build cages to keep children in,” Trump says, pointing out Biden did nothing in eight years.
Trump rips Biden for not understanding catch-and-release policies. Trump says we would have to release murderers and rapists back into the country and less than one percent came back for court hearings.
“When you say they come back, they don’t come back, Joe. They never come back,” Trump says.
Trump says only illegal immigrants with the “lowest IQ” come back for the hearings.
"Only the really—I hate to say this—but those with the lowest IQ, they might come back," President Trump says during a discussion on immigration and 'catch and release' policy. #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/53YfSKIw3b
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 23, 2020
10:03 PM: Trump asked about reuniting 500+ illegal immigrant children who need to be reunited with their parents.
Trump says children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people who used to use them to get into the country illegally. Trump talks about the wall and says we want to let people in legally.
Trump reminds voters that the Obama administration was the one who built cages, which was the blockbuster story Breitbart News broke.
“They did it, we changed the policy,” Trump says. He asks Biden: “Who built the cages, Joe?”
Biden says Trump’s policy is “criminal” and the U.S. is a “laughingstock.”
9:59 PM: Debate turns to the minimum wage, and Biden says this is the right time to discuss a $15/hour federal minimum wage. Biden talks about this being the time to bail out businesses as well. Trump says Alabama is different from New York, which is different from Vermont, and it should be a state option.
Trump then says he would “consider it to extent” but not to a level that will put businesses out of business. Trump says in some places $15 is not so bad but in other places $15 will force business to fire employees.
Biden says there is no evidence businesses will go out of business if the minimum wage is raised. He says it is an “old saw.”
9:57 PM: Trump says people of color and others struggling have not gotten relief because Pelosi doesn’t want to approve it. Trump says this is why Republicans will take back the House. Trump says Pelosi thinks it will help Democrats politically.
Biden says Mitch McConnell doesn’t want to pass it. He says Democrats passed the HEROES Act over the summer and continues to blame Republicans for not doing anything. Biden says McConnell said “let ’em go bankrupt.” Trump says the bill would have bailed out badly run cities and states run by Democrats. Trump says it was a way to get money from “our people’s pockets” to people coming in illegally. Trump says this was a way of taking care of “them.”
9:50 PM: Biden says he will pass Bidencare–Obamacare plus the public option. He says he will reduce premiums and drug prices. Biden says he fought with so many other candidates on the in the primaries because he supports private insurance.
Biden says “there is no way” Trump can protect pre-existing conditions. Biden says Trump has never come up with a plan and says we will get the pre-existing conditions plan the same time we’ll get Trump’s non-existent infrastructure plan. Biden says Trump wants to take away health care from people who now have pre-existing conditions after being diagnosed with COVID.
Welker says what Biden says to people who think the public option will lead to government-run health care. Biden says it is ridiculous and says health care is not a privilege but a “right.” He says everyone should have a “right” to affordable health care.
Trump says “you’re going to have socialized medicine” and says Biden is misleading like he did about fracking before Trump bizarrely says he respects how Biden is dealing with the issue.
Biden says Bidencare will cost $750 billion over ten years. Biden says Trump keeps talking about it but hasn’t done a thing for anyone. Trump says when Biden is talking about the public option, he is talking about “socialized medicine” that will destroy Medicare. Biden says Trump is “confused.” Biden says he defeat others in the primary because they disagreed with him about socialized medicine.
Biden says Social Security will be bankrupt by 2023 under Trump’s plan while Trump says Biden tried to hurt Social Security years ago. Trump says the stock market will boom with him and will crash under Biden.
Biden says where he comes from the people don’t live off of the stock market, which Biden says is Trump’s only measurement of the economy. Biden asks what happens to the ordinary people. Trump says 401Ks are through the roof and says Biden doesn’t come from Scranton and Pennsylvanians understand that.
9:46 PM: Debate turns to health care. Welker says health care is at the center of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation fight. Welker asks Trump if the Supreme Court overturns Obamacare, what would he do if the Court overturns Obamacare.
Trump brags about “terminating the individual mandate,” where “you have to pay a fortune” for the privilege of buying bad health insurance. Trump says he could have gone the other route and made everyone unhappy but he told his people to run it as best as possible. Trump says he wants to “terminate it” and then says “pre-existing conditions will always stay.” Trump talks about a “brand new beautiful” healthcare plan and then rambles about how he thinks the GOP will win back the House. Trump says Biden is going to terminate the private healthcare plans of “successful” people. He says what Biden wants to do is basically socialized medicine. Trump claims he has done an “incredible job” on health care.
9:42 PM: Welker asks Trump about North Korea. Welker asks if North Korea’s development of ballistic missiles is a betrayal. Trump says Obama told him the biggest problem was with North Korea and hinted the two countries could go to war.
Trump says Kim is a “different kind of guy” and he probably thinks the same of him. Trump says instead of being in a war where millions of people will die, his friendship with Kim prevented war from breaking out.
After Trump talks about having a good relationship with Kim, Biden says we had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe. Trump says Obama-Biden left him a mess re: North Korea and the first three months were dangerous because they left him a mess.
9:39 PM: When asked if he would make China pay for the Coronavirus, Biden says he’ll make China play by the international rules.
Trump continues to hit Biden’s family for wanting to make millions from China and Biden insists it is “not true.”
Trump says China devalued their currency and says he charged them 25 percent on dumped steel so the country could have steel industry again.
Biden says Trump is bringing up this “malarkey” because Trump doesn’t want to talk about substantive issues. Biden says this isn’t about Trump’s family or his it is about middle-class families who are struggling right now and are in trouble.
Trump mocks Biden for a “typical political statement.” Trump says he is not a typical politician and that is why he got elected.
9:38 PM: Welker asks how voters can be assured he isn’t doing anything wrong if he has a bank account in China. Trump says the bank account was opened in 2013 and says he was thinking about doing a deal in China like “millions of other people” and decided he was not going to do it.
Trump says unlike Biden, who was vice president and did business, decided to run for president. Trump says there is a “big difference.” Trump says Biden’s family is like a “vacuum cleaner,” following Biden around and sucking up money.
9:35 PM: Trump says he was put through a phony witch hunt for three years and it started before he was elected. Trump says Mueller and 18 angry Democrats spent $48 million and went through everything and found nothing wrong. Trump says if he spent $1 million on Joe, he’ll find a lot wrong. Trump claims Biden’s brother made money in Iraq and it all goes through Joe. Trump says Biden has houses everywhere and lives very well.
Biden says “nothing was unethical” when Welker presses him. Biden uses impeachment testimony to show that he did nothing wrong. Biden says the person who got in trouble in Ukraine was Trump, who Biden says tried to bribe officials to say bad things about Biden.
Biden says the only one who has made money from China is Trump. Biden claims there is “no basis” for Trump’s claims and Hunter/Ukraine.
9:26 PM: Debate turns to election interference and last night’s news about Iran/Russia. Biden says “they will pay a price” if he is elected because they are interfering with American sovereignty. Biden says Trump’s own national security adviser told him that Trump’s “buddy” Giuliani is being used as a “Russian pawn.” Biden says Russia doesn’t want him to be elected because he knows them and they know him. Biden says he doesn’t know why Trump doesn’t take on Putin even after bounties.
Trump claims Biden’s family got $3.5 million from Russia and says he never got any money from Russia.
Biden: Russia wants "to make sure that I do not get elected the next president of the United States, because they know I know them, and they know me.” #debates2020
— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) October 23, 2020
Trump takes the time to hit Biden over emails, saying he owes Americans an explanation about raking in money. Trump says Biden has to “clean it up” and talk to the America people.
“I have not taken a penny from any foreign source in my life,” Biden says before saying Trump has a secret bank account in China and does business in China.
Biden says he has not taken money from a foreign country whatsoever. Biden says foreign countries like Russia and China are paying Trump a lot. Biden asks Trump to release his tax returns or stop talking about it. Biden asks Trump what he is hiding.
Trump claims he has “pre-paid” tens of millions of dollars and claims his taxes are still under audit. Trump says he wants to release his taxes and his $750 was a filing fee. Trump claims he doesn’t make money from Russia and says he thinks he’s the “big man” who is scheduled to get 10 percent in the emails.
Trump, when pressed on taxes, claims the IRS treats him worse than the Tea Party.
“Just show us,” Biden says. “Stop playing around.” Biden says Trump’s been saying the same gibberish for four years.
9:23 PM: Welker asks who Trump is listening to after calling Dr. Fauci a “disaster.” Trump claims Fauci said “this is not going to a problem” and wonders if Fauci is a Democrat. Trump says he is not knocking Fauci. Trump says nobody knew where it was coming from after Trump said it came from China.
Biden says think about what Trump knew in January and didn’t tell the American people. Biden says Trump went on record and said he knew how dangerous it was but didn’t tell Americans.
President Trump says in an answer about coronavirus, "We're learning to live with it."
Biden replies, "People are learning to die with it." #Debates2020 https://t.co/WcVdlrCez5 pic.twitter.com/3jaQzU6IBa
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 23, 2020
Biden says Americans don’t panic–“he panicked.” Biden rips Trump administration officials for signaling to Wall Street to short stocks before the public knew about the pandemic.
Trump says Biden takes money from Wall Street and says “deals are made” when Biden raises money. Trump says he doesn’t need money because he has plenty of money. Trump seems irritated that his campaign wasted so many millions and Biden has a huge cash-on-hand advantage going into the home stretch of the campaign to the point his campaign can buy World Series ads.
Biden says his average contribution is $43.
9:18 PM: Welker presses Biden on shutdowns and what he would say to people who think the economic damage and societal costs are worse than the shutdowns.
Biden says he is going to “shut down the virus and not the country.” He says it was Trump’s “ineptitude” that caused the country to shut down. Biden says the concerns are real and that is why Trump should not have been in a “sand trap” at his golf course and negotiate with Pelosi.
Biden says he hasn’t ruled out more shutdowns if the spread gets worse.
Trump says all Biden does is talk about shutdowns and Democrats running states like Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan are shut down so tight they are dying. Trump says his son Barron tested positive and “it just went away.”
Welker asks Trump what his message is to parents who worry sending kids to school will endanger them and teachers. Trump says his message is to open the country. Trump says people are committing suicide and there is depression, drugs, and tremendous abuse. Trump says the cure cannot be worse than the problem itself. Trump claims Biden will close it down if one person in the bureaucracy says close it down.
Biden says we can walk and chew gum at the same time. He says the country can open up with safety precautions, with testing and social-distancing guidelines. Biden tells teachers that not too many will die to “don’t worry about it.”
Trump says New York is a ghost town and says putting up plexiglass is expensive and not the answer.
Biden tells Trump to take a look at what New York has done to get the curve down. Biden says he is not looking at it in terms of blue states and red states like Trump. Biden says they are all Americans and we have to make sure everyone wears masks and businesses get the federal funds they need.
9:15 PM: Trump claims 99 percent of young people and 99 percent of people recover. He says we have to open up the nation or we won’t have a nation.
Biden says “people are learning to die with it” because of Trump’s incompetence. Biden rips Trump for not taking full responsibility.
Trump says he takes full responsibility and then blames China for sending the virus.
Biden rips Trump for saying it will go away by Easter and suggesting people inject disinfectants.
Trump suggests Biden called him “xenophobic” or “racist” for closing the border. Biden says it was in a different context.
9:10 PM: Welker presses Trump on whether he is guaranteeing a vaccine in weeks. Trump backs off the guarantee when pressed. Welker asks if his timeline is realistic and Trump claims his timeline will be “more accurate” than what the scientists have laid out.
Welker asks Biden about confidence in the vaccine. Biden says it has to be totally transparent. Biden says this is the same fellow who said this would go away by the spring and summer.
Biden predicts a “dark winter” and rips Trump for not having a clear plan.
Trump says he doesn’t think there will be a dark winter. Trump says Biden was “months behind” him and was a disaster with the H1N1 Swine Flu.
Biden says Trump is “xenophobic” not because he shut down travel from China weeks late. He rips Trump for praising China’s president Xi and saying how transparent Xi was. Biden says Trump did “virtually nothing” and then tells people not to worry after getting out of the hospital. Biden says there is not a serious scientist who says it will be over soon.
Trump says people can’t lock themselves in a basement like Biden. He says Biden probably has the ability to make money somehow, hinting that he will be attacking Biden later for Hunter’s laptop.
9:07 PM: Biden says 220,000 Americans are dead. Biden says anyone who is responsible for that many deaths “should not remain president of the United States of America.” He rips Trump for saying he is not responsible. Biden says there will be another 200,000 dead between now and the end of the year. Biden says 100,000 lives could be saved if people wore masks. He rips Trump for having no plan. Biden talks about rapid testing and national standards for how to open up schools and businesses so they can be safe. Biden says he will take care of this and end this and make sure we have a plan to combat the Coronavirus.
President Trump appears on stage sans mask, while Joe Biden arrives wearing one. #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/gaE42PPNlP
— The Hill (@thehill) October 23, 2020
9:05 PM: First question is for Trump on the Coronavirus and how he would lead the next phase.
Trump says it’s a worldwide pandemic and claims the “excess mortality rate is way down.” He says “we’re fighting it and we’re fighting it hard.” He claims there were spikes in Florida, Texas, and Arizona and now they are gone. He claims there are spikes in some other places and they will be gone too. Trump says from personal experience he got better and he had something that they gave him– a therapeutic they call it–and he says he is immune now. He says more and more people are getting better and talks about goggles, masks, and ventilators. Trump says “it’s going away” and “we’re rounding the turn.” Trump claims a vaccine will come within weeks.
9:03 PM: Welker welcomes everyone to the debate as Trump and Biden take the stage. Biden gets on stage with his mask before taking it off as he gets behind his podium. No mask for Trump.
Organizers have removed plexiglass dividers between the two podiums, a last minute change. @WRCB
— Michelle Heron (@MichelleWRCB) October 23, 2020
8:58 PM: Moderator Welker takes her seat, as the debate is about to begin.
Media defend Welker:
Fox's Hemmer defends NBC's Welker after Trump camp's "activist' accusation: "She's a reporter" https://t.co/hoKo9skgyX pic.twitter.com/q3e2WvrUyT
— The Hill (@thehill) October 23, 2020
Pres. Trump is already attacking debate moderator Kristen Welker.
“The president has repeatedly reserved his most below the belt attacks for particularly women journalists of color. We have seen this time and time again,” @CeciliaVega says. https://t.co/q0MD4RntYu #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/JAKUwNhwgH
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 23, 2020
“She is scrupulously fair, she works incredibly hard, she is always prepared, she always knows what she is talking about, you cannot push her around…”
@Maddow on colleague and tonight’s debate moderator @kwelkernbc.
— MSNBC Public Relations (@MSNBCPR) October 23, 2020
8:47 PM: Frank Fahrenkopf, the Commission’s co-chair, is now going over the ground rules for the debate.
8:40 PM: Janet Brown, the Commission’s Executive Director, making introductions.
Yup, John Daly and Kid Rock are in the audience for tonight's debate.
(📸 Getty Images) pic.twitter.com/v1loBKRQRT
— Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) October 23, 2020
UPDATE: The debate commission has removed the plexiglass barriers after their medical advisors (1) learned Trump and Biden tested negative for COVID today and (2) consulted w Dr. Fauci.
The medical team changed its recommendation, per CPD, and both campaigns have agreed. https://t.co/v2AmeQb64c
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 22, 2020
Story cited here.
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