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Trump’s and Biden’s biggest zingers from heated presidential debate

Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden faced off for the first time since 2020 on Thursday, delivering performances that will be remembered for years to come. Biden targeted the former president after a stumbling start, while Trump was more restrained than in 2020, partially due to moderator restraints. The two both got in […]

Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden faced off for the first time since 2020 on Thursday, delivering performances that will be remembered for years to come.

Biden targeted the former president after a stumbling start, while Trump was more restrained than in 2020, partially due to moderator restraints. The two both got in a number of memorable lines.

Here are the biggest zingers from the first 2024 presidential debate.


President Joe Biden, right, walks off stage as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump stands at the conclusion of a presidential debate hosted by CNN, Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Trump: ‘He did beat Medicare, he beat it to death’

Trump quickly seized on a gaffe from Biden, who accidentally said that he “finally beat Medicare.”

“What I’ve been able to do with the, with, with, with the COVID, excuse me…” Biden said early on in the debate, struggling to find his words. “With dealing with everything we have to do with, look, we finally beat Medicare.”

“Well he’s right, he did beat Medicare, he beat it to death,” Trump quipped.

The former president then continued to argue that Biden and the Democrats were destroying Medicare and Social Security through mass immigration.

Biden: ‘You’re the sucker’

Biden brought up a disputed story about Trump allegedly refusing to enter an American military cemetery and calling dead soldiers “suckers and losers” while visiting France, a story the Biden campaign has brought up repeatedly.

“He was standing with his four star general … and said, I don’t want to go in [the cemetery], because they’re a bunch of losers and suckers. My son was not a loser, was not a sucker. You’re the sucker. You’re the loser.”

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Trump vehemently denied the story, pointing to the testimonies of 19 others present at the supposed occasion who denied the story. He then demanded that Biden apologize. Biden refused and doubled down.

Trump: ‘I don’t know what he said’

Biden stumbled through an answer about immigration, laying out his plans for securing the border. Trump cast doubt on his mental acuity in response.

“I really don’t know what he said at the end of this, and I don’t think he knows what he said either,” Trump said.

Biden: ‘Morals of an alley cat’

Biden hit Trump on his civil suit with E. Jean Carroll and Manhattan hush money case, revolving around his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.

“How many billions of dollars do you own civil penalties for, for molesting a woman in public, for doing a whole range of things, of having sex with a porn star on the night while your wife was pregnant,” Biden said. “You have the morals on Alley Cat.”

“I didn’t have sex with a porn star,” Trump responded, going on to cast doubt on the veracity of the Manhattan case and District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Trump has always denied raping Carroll and having an affair with Daniels.

Trump: ‘He’s a very bad Palestinian’

When the debate came to the topic of the war in Gaza, Trump said Biden had mishandled the situation and should let Israel “finish the job.”

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“He said the only one who wants to keep going is Hamas. Actually, Israel is the one, and you should let them go and let them finish the job. He doesn’t want to do it,” Trump said. “He’s become like a Palestinian, but they don’t like him because he’s a very bad Palestinian. He’s a weak one.”

In response, Biden said that he’s “never heard so much foolishness.”

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