The two Presidential candidates frequently interrupted each other with Joe Biden eventually snapping and saying: “Will you shut up, man?”
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, and Democratic presidential challenger, Joe Biden, engaged in the first US presidential debate before the election, with heated exchanges over COVID-19, race relations and election integrity.
The two options that the American public has to become the next President, frequently interrupted each other with frustrated interruptions, with Joe Biden eventually snapping at his opponent, saying: “Will you shut up, man?”
When the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic came up, the Democratic candidate questioned Donald Trump’s leadership, suggesting that he had panicked and failed to protect Americans because he was more concerned about the economy.
“He panicked or he looked at the stock market.”
“A lot of people died and a lot more are going to die unless he gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker.”
‘You’re the worst president America has ever had’
The President objected to Mr Biden using the word “smart”, arguing: “You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word smart with me. Don’t ever use that word.”
This comes after Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed billionaire, had reportedly paid only $750 in federal income taxes in the year that he was elected the President of the United States, according to a New York Times investigation that could potentially shake up the US presidential election.
The Republican President defended his approach on the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 people in the US.
“We’ve done a great job,” Mr Trump said. “But I tell you, Joe, you could never have done the job we’ve done. You don’t have it in your blood.”
As the conversation moved to race, Mr Biden accused the president of walking away from the American promise of equity for all and making a race-based appeal.
“This is a president who has used everything as a dog whistle to try to generate racist hatred, racist division,” he said.
Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News asked the president if he was “willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence”.
Mr Trump said: “I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right. … I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”
In recent months the United States has seen major protests throughout the nation, following the deaths of multiple unarmed black people at the hands of the police force.
The former vice president, Joe Biden, said that there is systemic racist injustice within the US, and while the vast majority of police officers in the country are “decent, honourable men and women”, but there are those who are “bad apples” and they have to be held accountable.
President Trump in turn claimed that Biden’s work on a federal crime bill had treated the African American population throughout the US “about as bad as anybody in this country”.
The 45th US President pivoted to his hardline focus onto those who are protesting racial injustice and systematic racism within government institutions and accused Joe Biden of being afraid to use the words “law and order” due to fear of alienating those on the left.
The presidential debate ended with a question from the moderator, who asked both candidates if they would “urge your supporters to stay calm during the vote counting period, not to engage in civil unrest and will you not declare victory until the election has been independently verified?”
This comes after a senior member of Germany’s ruling party of conservatives has delivered a warning on the future of transatlantic ties, saying that the re-election of Donald Trump in the U.S. election could endanger the alliance with Europe.
Donald Trump, who has so far refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power in the event that he loses the election, repeating his unfounded allegations that mail-in voting would lead to fraud.
He said he will tell his supporters “to go into the polls and watch very carefully because that’s what has to happen. I’m urging them to do it”.
Mr Biden replied: “Once the ballots are all counted, that’ll be the end of it. If it’s me, that’s fine. If it’s not me, I’ll support it.”