First 2020 US presidential debate President Trump and Joe Biden
NEWS PROVIDED BY MateFit Teatox Co Sep.30, 2020, 02:18 ET
ST. LOUIS, Sep.30, 2020 /MateFit/ -- The candidates were asked about the Supreme Court, economy, coronavirus pandemic, race and violence, their records and integrity of the election.
CNN holds candidates equally accountable by pointing out what's true and what's not. Our fact check team is reviewing the claims made by the candidates in tonight's debate.
President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden exchange arguments during the first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
From CNN's Maegan Vazquez
Tonight’s presidential debate made for a chaotic first foray between Joe Biden and Donald Trump since the start of the general election race.
Trump was intent on interrupting Biden on nearly every question and the former vice president wasn't above name-calling, calling the President a “clown” and telling him to “shut up.”
In case you missed tonight's debate, here are four key moments:
Trump addresses the New York Times report on his taxes
The President offered a simple defense for the low amount of income taxes he’s paid over the years: “I don’t want to pay tax.”
At the same time, however, Trump also insisted that he pays millions in taxes, contradicting the New York Times’ reporting, which indicated that he paid $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017.
Different realities on the coronavirus
Biden, citing the staggering coronavirus death toll and case number in the US, said, “The President has no plan. He hasn’t laid out anything.”
Trump, however, insisted that Biden “could not have done the job we did.”
The President also brought up his administration's plan to quickly distribute a coronavirus vaccine, but Biden questioned why Americans should trust someone who lies so frequently.
“This is the same man who told you by Easter this would be gone away. By the warm weather, it’d be gone — like a miracle. And by the way, maybe you could inject some bleach into your arm," Biden said.
Biden responds to Trump’s attacks on his son, Hunter
Reacting to Trump's repeated unfounded and false claims about Hunter Biden acting corruptly in Ukraine, the former vice president said, "This is not about my family or his family, this is about your family — the American people.”
“He doesn't want to talk about what you need,” Biden added.
At another point in the debate, Trump raised Hunter Biden's past issues with drug addiction.
"My son had a drug problem, but he's overcome it and I'm proud of him,” Biden responded.
Trump refuses to condemn white supremacists
Trump refused to explicitly call out white supremacists for inciting violence at anti-police brutality demonstrations across the country, saying during the debate that the violence wasn’t an issue caused by the right and telling one far-right group to “stand back and stand by.”
“Sure, I’m willing to (tell them to stand down), but I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace,” Trump said.
“Who would you like me to condemn?” Trump asked moderator Chris Wallace. “Proud Boys — stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. ... Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right wing problem(.)”
Fact check: Trump’s claim on Biden’s health care plan
From CNN's Tami Luhby
President Donald Trump tried to paint former vice president Joe Biden’s health care plan as the same as “Medicare for All,“which was promoted by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and would have shifted the nation’s health insurance to a single government-run program.
“You are going to extinguish 180 million people with their private health care that they are very happy with. You’re going to socialist medicine,” Trump said.
Fact check: Biden's claim about Trump's jobs record
From CNN's Anneken Tappe
Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that President Trump is “going to be the first President of the United States to leave office having fewer jobs in his administration than when he became President.”
Fact check: Trump claims Biden called African Americans "super predators"
From CNN's Andrew Kaczynski
In attacking Joe Biden for his advocacy of the 1994 crime bill, President Trump claimed that Biden had called African Americans “super predators.”
“He did a crime bill,” Trump said. “1994. Where you called them super predators. African Americans. Super predators. And they’ve never forgotten it. They’ve never forgotten it.”
Republicans Santorum and Jennings: Trump performed poorly at debate
From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury
Republicans Rick Santorum and Scott Jennings agreed that President Trump's antics took the conversation away from core GOP issues during tonight's debate and at times were offensive.
"If I was a Republican elected official, if I was someone running for office right now, I'd be pretty mad at him... He indulged himself," Santorum said.
Santorum added, that while he believes that Trump has a winning message and policy, and had an overall edge over Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during the debate, Trump's behavior overshadowed that.
"We can't win with a center-right campaign if we have someone who is as caustic as what the President is in this debate... Donald Trump's personality ran wild tonight," he said.
Jennings told CNN's Anderson Cooper that Trump's strategy of being on the offense turned into "just being offensive."
Jennings also slammed the President for not condemning white supremacists.
"He's going to have to speak for himself on this. He's going to have to clean this up. He has to clear it up. It's the wrong answer. It's always been the wrong answer. There is a clear right answer to these questions which is, 'Anyone that is committing violence, left, right, white, black, up, down, if you're in a city and you're committing violence and you're doing it in the name of white supremacy... you're all the same, you're hurting America. So, go home and stop it.' It's always been the right answer. It's always been that clear and the fact that he can't look into the camera and say it is a problem," Jennings said.
Fact check: Biden claims US trade deficits with China and Mexico increased under Trump
From CNN's Katie Lobosco
Former Vice President Joe Biden suggested that the United States currently has a higher trade deficit with both China and Mexico than it has had before.
Biden campaign expresses intent to participate in final two debates despite chaos
From CNN's Sarah Mucha
The Biden campaign broke its single hour fundraising record during the debate, raising $3.8 million between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., the campaign’s Kate Bedingfield announced on a post-debate press call.
Asked if they still believe it is worth debating President Trump given the chaos of tonight’s debate, the campaign expressed its intent for Biden to continue participating.
“We are going to the debates, yes,” Bedingfield said, committing to the final two presidential debates.
“Joe Biden's gonna show up,” said Bedingfield. “He's gonna continue speaking directly to the American people. The next debate is a town hall format where real voters are going to have the chance to engage the candidate. Biden obviously relishes any opportunity to talk directly to real voters, that’s something that he prioritizes doing on the campaign trail.”
She said that there will be “ongoing discussions with the commission" about "formats and rules," adding, "we think the opportunity for Biden's address the American people directly as is powerful." She did didn't provide any changes they are considering following tonight's debate.
Bedingfield argued that the debate did Trump a “disservice” and casted him as “weak.” She said she thinks the President came across as “somebody who believes that he is losing this race. I think that was readily apparent written all over his face.”
Asked if they'd had a chance to ask Biden how he felt and if he had expressed regret about any of the lines he threw at the President, Bedingfield replied, "He expressed regret that the President of the United States chooses to conduct himself this way on the national stage and on the international stage."
Here's what undecided voters thought of tonight
This is what undecided voters said about tonight's first presidential debate:
CNN Poll: 6 in 10 say Biden won the debate
From CNN's Jennifer Agiesta
Six in 10 debate watchers said former Vice President Joe Biden did the best job in tonight’s debate, just 28% say President Donald Trump did, according a CNN Poll of debate watchers conducted by SSRS.
In interviews with the same voters conducted before the debate, 56% said they expected Biden to do the better job while 43% expected that Trump would.
The post-debate result is about the same as the outcome of a post-debate poll in 2016 after the first debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton. In that poll, 62% thought Clinton won the debate, 27% said Trump did.
About two-thirds said Biden’s answers were more truthful than Trump’s (65% Biden to 29% Trump), and his attacks on the President were more frequently seen as fair. Overall, 69% called Biden’s attacks on Trump fair while just 32% said Trump’s attacks were fair.
The survey is designed to be representative of those registered voters who watched tonight’s debate; it does not represent the views of all Americans. The voters who watched the debate were more partisan than Americans as a whole, 35% identified as independents or non-partisans compared with around 40% in the general public, and the group of debate watchers was more Democratic than a typical survey of all adults, with 39% identifying as Democrats and 25% as Republicans.
The CNN post-debate poll was conducted by SSRS by telephone and includes interviews with 568 registered voters who watched the Sept. 29 debate. Results among debate-watchers have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 6.3 percentage points. Respondents were originally interviewed September 22-27 either by telephone or online, and indicated they planned to watch the debate and would be willing to be re-interviewed when it was over. Respondents initially reached online are members of the SSRS Opinion Panel, a nationally representative probability-based panel.
3 hr 1 min ago
Kamala Harris: Trump is "dog whistling through a bull horn"
From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris blasted President Trump for not condemning white supremacists during tonight's debate.
"Dog whistling through a bull horn is what he's doing," Harris told CNN's Jake Tapper.
Harris went on to say that the President has created policies that would end training against racial bias and contrasted the stark difference between Biden and Trump.
"On the one hand, Donald Trump continuously, throughout his campaign for president, throughout his presidency, spending full-time trying to sow hate and division, trying to get the American people to turn on each other.
On the other hand, a Joe Biden who speaks with a calm voice, respecting the dignity of all people, recognizing the kind of division that has taken place in our country because of Donald Trump and there with a genuine, genuine goal of unifying our country once, God-willing, he wins this election," the California senator said.
1 hr 35 min ago
Fact Check: Biden claims eliminating Affordable Care Act would take away health insurance for 20 million people
From CNN's Tami Luhby
Former Vice President Joe Biden turned a question about the Supreme Court into a defense of the Affordable Care Act, which was enacted while he was in office.
“He’s in the Supreme Court right now, trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, which will strip 20 million people from having insurance,” Biden said of President Trump’s support of a case coming up before the justices that could overturn the landmark health reform law.
Correction: An earlier version of this graphic incorrectly stated that Biden’s claim was misleading. The claim is true. Health care experts say this figure is roughly accurate. It is an estimate from the Obama administration as to how many people gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Kamala Harris: Biden will debate again
From CNN's Josiah Ryan
Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris batted down speculation that Joe Biden might decline to participate in future presidential debates, after President Trump derailed tonight's exchange with insults and interruptions.
"Joe Biden is never going to refuse to talk to the American people and have any opportunity that he can to talk directly to American families and speak about the issues, and speak the truth and address the facts of where we are now," she told CNN's Jake Tapper, when he asked if Biden would debate again.
Currently, Trump and Biden are slated to face off twice more before the election, once in Miami and once in Nashville.
When pressed by Tapper, Harris said she believed Americans benefited from the contrast clearly visible in the candidates' behavior on stage.
"Joe was trying to have a mature conversation," she said.
Harris continued: "Then on the other hand you had a Donald Trump who spent full time interrupting, bullying the moderator and lying to the American people."
"I do believe that the American people benefited from a clear contrast of what they've got right now but also what they they could get and what is possible," she added.
Fact check: Trump claimed “military people” died because of Biden's Senate record on healthcare
From CNN's Curt Devine
During a discussion on health care and insurance, President Trump claimed 308,000 “military people” died because Biden “couldn’t provide them proper health care.”
Fact check: Trump's claim on Hunter Biden receiving money from Russians
From CNN's Daniel Dale and Jeremy Herb
President Trump claimed that Biden’s son Hunter Biden got a $3.5 million payment from the wife of the former mayor of Moscow. “Why is it, just out of curiosity, the mayor of Moscow's wife gave your son $3.5 million?” Trump said.
Sheriff disputes Trump's claim of endorsement
From CNN’s Andy Rose
President Trump’s claim tonight that he is being supported by the sheriff in Portland was disputed by the sheriff himself.
In a tweet sent as the presidential debate was still going on, Multnomah County, Oregon, Sheriff Mike Reese said, “As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him.”
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office confirmed the tweet.
During a tense discussion about violent protests in Portland, Oregon, Trump said, “Portland – the sheriff just came out today and said, ‘I support President Trump.’”
Multnomah County includes the city of Portland, whose municipal government does not have a sheriff.
Fact check: Trump claims Biden called him xenophobic for travel restrictions
From CNN's Tara Subramaniam
Defending his response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump referenced the travel restrictions his administration imposed on foreign nationals who had been in China, then attacked Biden for remarks he had made the same day.
Addressing his opponent, Trump said, “I closed it, and you said, ‘He's xenophobic. He’s a racist and he’s xenophobic,’ because you didn't think I should have closed our country.”
3 hr 21 min ago
Van Jones: Trump failed to condemn white supremacists on the global stage, in front of my children
From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury
CNN's Van Jones slammed President Trump for not condemning white supremacists during the debate.
"Only three things happened for me tonight:
- Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacy.
- The President of the United States refused to condemn white supremacy.
- The commander-in-chief refused to condemn white supremacy on the global stage, in front of my children, in front of everybody's families and was given the opportunity multiple times."
Jones added that the President gave a "wink and a nod" to the Proud Boys, the white supremacist group.
Jones also said that Trump failed across the board during the chaotic debate.
"Everybody I know is either disgusted, sad or angry. I don't know a single person, even my Republican friends are disgusted," Jones said, "I don't know what he was doing up there, but there's not a single thing that he needed to do tonight that he did, except offend a lot of people."
See the moment:
Trump and Biden clash on election legitimacy: "This is not going to end well"
From CNN's Betsy Klein
President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden clashed Tuesday on the legitimacy of election results, with the President continuing blatant efforts to foster mistrust in mail-in ballots on the debate stage. Trump baselessly cast doubt on the outcome and Biden said he would abide by independent certification of the results.
Asked what they were prepared to do to reassure the American people that the next president will be the legitimate winner, the opponents offered starkly different responses.
Biden noted remarks from Trump’s acting Homeland Security Sec. Chad Wolf and FBI director Christopher Wray, asserting that “there is no evidence at all that mail-in ballots are a source of being manipulated and cheating.”
“This is all about trying to dissuade people from voting because he’s trying to scare people into thinking that it’s not going to be legitimate. Show up and vote. You will determine the outcome of this election. Vote, vote, vote,” Biden said.
In his response, Trump initially invoked his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, before going on to sow doubt in the 2020 results, calling ballots “a disaster,” drawing a distinction, as he often does, between solicited ballots, which he said are “okay,” and unsolicited ballots.
But voting-by-mail rarely results in fraud. And although Trump has tried to spin the two as fundamentally different before, absentee and mail-in voting are essentially the same, both subject to several degrees of verification.
“They’re sending millions of ballots all over the country. There’s fraud. They found them in creeks, they found some with the name Trump – just the other day in a wastepaper basket. They’re being sent all over the place,” Trump said, without evidence, later claiming that Virginia mailmen are “selling the ballots” and other ballots are being “dumped in rivers.”
“This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen,” Trump said. “This is a horrible thing for our country. This is not going to end well.”
Some context: Trump's insistence that an increase in mail-in voting this November will result in massive fraud is unfounded.
While rare instances of voter fraud from mail-in ballots do occur, it is nowhere near a widespread problem in the US election system.
Mail ballot fraud is exceedingly rare in part because states have systems and processes in place to prevent forgery, theft and voter fraud. These systems would apply to both absentee ballots and mail-in ballots for in-state voters.
Credit: By Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Kyle Blaine and Jessica Estepa, CNN Updated 2:18 a.m. ET, September 30, 2020