US President, Donald Trump and former Vice President, Joe Bidden held the first debate of the upcoming US Presidential elections, which was characterized by insults and interruptions. Both candidates covered topics like the state of the US economy, COVID-19, and other pressing national issues.
The debate was anchored by Fox News host, Chris Wallace during the early periods of the morning in Nigerian time, and lasted for about 90 minutes.
Reuters says the moderator failed to establish control of the debate, as Trump interrupted Biden nearly every time he spoke and accused the Democratic party of trying to steal the elections through mail-in ballots. Both candidates talked over each other and barely passed their points across.
Joe Biden, obviously irritated by Trump’s interruptions said at a point “Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential.”
The debate comes after months of racial protests in America, due to police killings of African Americans, notably George Floyd, which has also caused clashes between left-wing and right-wing Americans.
Trump said he is willing to bring measures to ensure peace, however, “This is not a right-wing problem. It is left-wing,”
He added that the mail-in ballots would be used to manipulate elections against him, and called it fraudulent. He also refused to comment if he would accept the results of the elections if he lost.
“If I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that. This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen.”
On the pandemic, Biden accused Trump of valuing the stock market more than American lives, due to the fact that the virus has killed over 200,000 Americans.
“He panicked or he looked at the stock market,” Biden said.
“You should get out of your bunker and get out of the sand trap and … the golf course and go in the Oval Office and (put) together Democrats and Republicans, and fund what needs to be done now to save lives.”
Trump replied that America has done a great job in its response.
On tax returns, Biden has recently published his 2019 tax returns and has urged for President Trump to do the same. This comes 2 days after the New York Times reported that Trump only paid $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017, and paid no income taxes in ten of the last 15 years.
Biden said Trump “pays less tax than a schoolteacher makes,” and Trump responded that he has paid millions in taxes before, but could not release until an audit has been conducted, citing tax laws that enabled businessmen to pay less.
“Like every other private person, unless they’re stupid, they go through the laws and that’s what it is,” he said.
On the US Supreme Court ruling to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after her death; Biden says the seat should be replaced after the election, after its clear who the President would be, citing that a stronger conservative supreme court would hurt the implementation of the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.
Trump said, “elections have consequences, I will tell you very simply that we won the election. We have the Senate and White House, and we have a phenomenal nominee respected by all.”
Over 1.3 million Americans have already voted through the early ballots, a few weeks before the November 3rd election.
More debates are scheduled in October, with VP Mike Pence and Kamala Harris squaring up for a debate next week.