Trump dials it back, Biden defends son Hunter: Takeaways from the final presidential debate

Written by on October 23, 2020


The ultimate presidential debate had a completely completely different really feel than the primary one. Points took middle stage, however the mute button was additionally put into play. USA TODAY

After a primary debate that descended into chaos, the second and last debate between President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden was much less confrontational and extra civilized, partly due to a brand new rule – microphone muting – that dramatically reduce down on interruptions.

There have been nonetheless loads of flashes of anger and division throughout the 90-minute debate, particularly within the second half, however the session included extra substance and fewer insults.

Trump, specifically, was way more restrained than within the first debate, when he repeatedly talked over each Biden and the moderator, FOX News’ Chris Wallace. That efficiency led to a contemporary dip within the polls for the president.

This time, Trump dialed again his assaults – although he and Biden nonetheless tangled a lot – and the president even complimented the moderator, NBC Information’ Kristen Welker, regardless of attacking her earlier than the controversy. 

Reside updates: Second and final debate between Trump and Biden in Nashville

The extra subdued discussion board allowed for extra give and tackle the problems, which ranged from COVID-19 to racial justice to the minimal wage. On the latter,the Democratic candidate mentioned a rise was wanted to carry individuals out of poverty and the president argued it ought to be left for the states to resolve.

Listed here are 5 prime takeaways from the showdown.

Biden warns of ‘darkish winter,” Trump predicts COVID is ‘going away’

Trump and Biden sparred bitterly over the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump argued that his administration had saved lives and dealt with the disaster properly. He dismissed questions concerning the present spike in circumstances raging throughout the nation.

“We’re rounding the flip, We’re rounding the nook,” Trump mentioned. “It’s going away.”

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Biden blasted Trump for refusing to take accountability for 220,000 Individuals deaths and mentioned that ought to disqualify him from being president. He mentioned his administration would encourage everybody to put on masks, make investments in COVID-19 speedy testing, and create nationwide requirements to reopen colleges and different establishments.. 

“We’re about to enter a darkish winter… however he has no clear plan,” Biden added, disputing Trump’s rosy predictions {that a} vaccine can be prepared inside weeks. 

Trump mentioned he took “full accountability,” however then rapidly added: “It isn’t my fault that it got here right here. It is China’s fault.”

Candidates speak about race, Black Lives Matter

Welker turned the dialog to race relations, asking each candidates about how African American dad and mom should warn their kids about encounters with regulation enforcement.

In answering, Biden and Trump attacked every others’ information and touted themselves as the higher candidate for Black and Hispanic voters.   

Biden talked about his daughter, a social employee, andsaid his kids have by no means needed to fear about being mistreated by police as a result of they’re white.

“I by no means needed to inform my daughter if she’s pulled over to place each arms on prime of the wheel and do not attain for the glove field as a result of somebody could shoot you,” he mentioned.

Trump attacked Biden by mentioning how the then-senator supported the 1994 crime invoice that many blame for rising stringent sentencing legal guidelines. Trump mentioned he’s the “least racist individual within the room” and that he has executed extra for Black communities than any president since Abraham Lincoln, mentioning his administration’s profitable efforts to cross criminal-justice reform.

“You place tens of 1000’s of Black males in jail,” Trump mentioned.

The Trump marketing campaign has put some effort into courting Black male voters, a few of whom have felt ignored by the Democratic Occasion. About 13% of African American males supported Trump when he first ran in 2016.

Biden apologized for his function in passing the 1994 crime invoice and mentioned racial discrimination persists within the prison justice system. He mentioned he needs to deal with closing the wealth hole alongside strains of race, however took exception to Trump’s description of himself because the least racist individual within the room.

“Abraham Lincoln over right here is probably the most racist president we’ve ever had,” Biden mentioned sarcastically of Trump’s self-comparison to the president who helped finish slavery.

The moderator pressed Trump on his relationship with African Individuals, mentioning his criticism of Black athletes who converse out towards systemic racism; his description of the Black Lives Issues motion a “image of hate”; and his sharing white supremacist chants on-line.

Trump mentioned his criticisms of the Black Lives Matter motion had been based mostly on anti-police chants he heard on TV.

Biden responds to Trump’s assaults on Hunter: ‘Nothing was unethical’

Trump and Biden had been each placed on the spot over how they might deal with election interference, which in flip sparked a testy trade over their international entanglements.

Biden raised the problem first when he responded to a query about election interference by saying Trump’s private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was getting used as “a Russian pawn” and being fed misinformation about Biden’s son, Hunter, to sway the election in Trump’s favor.

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“I’ve not taken a penny from any international supply ever in my life,” Biden mentioned.

“Nothing was unethical,” Biden mentioned of Hunter Biden’s function on the board of the vitality firm Burisma. “My son has not made cash from China. The one man who has made cash from China was this man,” he mentioned, directing his feedback at Trump.

He mentioned Russia, Iran and different international locations would “pay a value” for interfering in American elections if he wins the presidency. “I don’t know why this president is unwilling to tackle Putin,” Biden mentioned.

Biden additionally tried to show the tables on Trump by mentioning his lodges and different companies are raking in cash from international pursuits and noting a New York Instances report that Trump has an undisclosed checking account in China.

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Reality examine: Claims that Hunter Biden received $3.5M from Russia are unproven, lack context​​​  

Trump didn’t dispute that he had a checking account in China.

“I’ve many banks accounts, they usually’re all listed they usually’re in every single place,” he mentioned.

He mentioned he’s been very powerful on Russia, noting his administration has imposed a collection of sanctions on Moscow – although a lot of these had been mandated by Congress.

He additionally made a collection of unsubstantiated claims about Biden’s household taking cash from Russia and China.  

A calmer Trump — at first

The primary debate between Trump and Biden descended right into a chaotic jumble as Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden and moderator Chris Wallace. However this debate had a unique tone initially, with the president displaying much less combativeness. 

Within the first 30 minutes, Trump pressed his argument that small enterprise house owners and the economic system can’t afford to shelter in place. However he nonetheless laced his remarks with derision.

“We will not lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does,” he mentioned. “He has the power to lock himself up. I don’t know, he’s clearly made some huge cash someplace however he has this factor about residing in a basement.”

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At one level Trump thanked NBC Information’ Kristen Welker – who he beforehand criticized as “horrible and unfair” – for her questions and dealing with of the controversy. He additionally stunned many observers when he mentioned he took “full accountability” for COVID-19’s dealing with.

“I take full accountability,” Trump mentioned. “It isn’t my fault that it got here right here. It is China’s fault. what, it isn’t Joe’s fault that it got here right here, both. It is China’s fault.”

Trump did present impatience as the controversy continued, nonetheless. After the 30-minute mark the president fought for time each time Biden made a remark criticizing his administration.

The previous vice chairman tried at numerous instances to goad Trump into interrupting, saying out one level the president was about to interrupt him whereas explaining his well being care plan.Trump held his tongue,although he didn’t look happy.

Trump dodges query on household separations

The American Civil Liberties Union mentioned in a court docket submitting that they’re unable to find the dad and mom of 545 children who had been among the many households separated on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017 and 2018.

When requested how he plans to reunite these households, Trump mentioned: “We’re making an attempt very exhausting, however plenty of these children come up with out the dad and mom. They arrive over via cartels and the coyotes,” he mentioned.

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About two-thirds of the greater than 1,000 dad and mom who had been separated from their kids had been deported again to Central America, in response to the submitting.

The president then insisted the Obama administration instituted the coverage and his administration carried it out. However the Trump administration carried out the “zero tolerance” coverage in 2018 that separated migrant kids and fogeys on the southern border. The administration later admitted that it really started separating households below a pilot program in 2017.

Conflict over North Korea 

The talk dipped briefly into international coverage, most notably in an trade on North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.

Biden blasted Trump for assembly thrice with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un – high-profile classes that haven’t yielded any concrete steps towards denuclearization.

“He’s legitimized North Korea,” Biden mentioned. “He is talked about his good buddy who’s a thug, a thug.”

Biden vs. Trump: A primer on where they differ, or don’t, on foreign policy 

Biden mentioned North Korea has “far more succesful missiles, capable of attain US territory far more simply than ever.”

Trump defended his conferences with Kim, saying “I’ve an excellent relationship with him … We’ve got a unique type of relationship.”

The president appeared to recommend he’s succeeded in coping with North Korea by avoiding a nuclear conflict that might have killed tens of millions of individuals.

“We’ve got an excellent relationship, and there is no conflict,” he mentioned.


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