Trump, Biden Trade Heated Attacks In Chaotic First Presidential Debate

Trump, Biden Trade Heated Attacks In Chaotic First Presidential Debate

Sept. 30, 2020, 8:29 a.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden exchanged heated attacks in a chaotic and fiery first televised debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday.

The two candidates entered the stage and smiled as moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News explained they would not shake hands.

Tension was palpable from the opening minutes, with the pair interrupting each other repeatedly, leading Biden to lash out at one point: "Will you shut up, man!"

"The fact is that everything he is saying so far is simply a lie. I'm not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he's a liar," Biden said.

Trump fired back at Biden, telling him: "There's nothing smart about you, Joe. Forty-seven years, you've done nothing."

On Trump's Supreme Court nominee

Republican President Donald Trump defended his quick push to try to fill a Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"I will tell you very simply we won the election, elections have consequences. We have the Senate and we have the White House and we have a phenomenal nominee respected by all," Trump said in defense of his nominee, conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Biden, talking over frequent interruptions from Trump, said the seat of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg should be filled after the November 3 election, when it was clear who the president would be.

"We should wait, we should wait and see what the outcome of this election is," Biden said, adding a more conservative Supreme Court would endanger the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.

On the COVID-19 response

Trump defended his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming the measures he's taken prevented more deaths from taking place, and suggesting Biden would have done a worse job.

"We've done a great job," 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."

Biden criticized Trump's decision to push for states to reopen their economies and played down the threat of the pandemic.

"He panicked or he looked at the stock market," Biden said. "You're the worst president America has ever had."

The clashes between the two candidates took place has the U.S. has reported over 200,000 deaths from COVID-19.

From various agencies

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