Jamari Stanton, Staff Writer
What was intended to be a productive exchange of policy changes and potential solutions quickly became a disappointing, disruption-ridden dispute reminiscent of toddlers on a playground. On Tuesday, September 29, the first of three presidential debates unfolded in Cleveland, Ohio.
CNN correspondents Chris Cuomo and Dana Bash agreed the debate was a “shit show” while CNN’s Jake Tapper described the debate as “a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a trainwreck.” Tapper went on to add, “It wasn’t a debate, it was a disgrace.”
President Trump disregarded the instructions he agreed to follow by repeatedly interrupting and talking over Democratic nominee Joe Biden and moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News. Trump disrespected the authority of the moderator and the organization of the debate, making the 90-minute dispute appear much longer.
There were four moments that defined the first presidential debate:
“Will you shut up, man?”
While offering a less than a desirable answer to Wallace’s question regarding packing the Supreme Court, Biden was repeatedly interrupted by Trump. The constant disruptions hindered Biden from effectively expressing his thoughts regarding the matter.
“Will you shut up, man?” Biden requested, clearly irritated by President Trump.
“It’s hard to get any word in with this clown,” Biden said. “Excuse me, this person.”
Trump shared Biden’s aggravation, most notably when Biden explained that Trump would need to get smarter to prevent many more deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Don’t ever use the word ‘smart’ with me,” Trump said. “Don’t ever use that word. Because you know what? There’s nothing smart about you, Joe.”
Biden held Trump personally responsible for the more than 200,000 American lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than taking accountability for the careless response, Trump accused China of producing the virus and insisted that millions of Americans would have died under Biden’s watch.
“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,” Biden said, highlighting Trump’s lies regarding the pandemic.
The President exhibited his disregard for safety and CDC reports, taunting Biden for wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines.
“When needed I wear masks… I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. Trump said.
Two days later, Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, tested positive for COVID-19. The President was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the nation’s premier health-care center for war heroes, Supreme Court justices, and senior government officials.
When questioned about the validity of the New York Times report that Trump paid only $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017, the President asserted that he paid millions of dollars in taxes and would release the tax returns when they are finished. Trump admitted that he sought out tax breaks like any business person, prompting Biden to vocalize his intentions to eliminate the Trump tax cuts.
Trump would not condemn White supremacists
Amid the growing racial tensions in the United States, Wallace and Biden repeatedly asked Trump to condemn White supremacists for attacking individuals at police brutality protests throughout the nation. Instead, Trump advised the Proud Boys, a white supremacist militia, to “stand back and stand by.” In doing so, President Trump overtly attempted to widen the nation’s racial divide when given a chance to encourage unity among American citizens.
“I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-win. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem,” Trump said.
According to Joe Biden, President Trump uses everything as “a dog whistle to try to generate racist hatred and division.” Trump’s failure to condemn White supremacists was an exemplary demonstration.