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Joe Biden, Donald Trump Face Off in Testy, First Presidential Debate

Joe Biden, Donald Trump Face Off in Testy, First Presidential Debate

Joe Biden, Donald Trump Face Off in Testy, First Presidential Debate

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump came face to face in Atlanta for what was a testy debate that saw the sitting president fumble at the outset as the former president shouted out insults at his opponent over dozens of topics, only for the president to lob insults right back at him, bringing up the numerous scandals and lawsuits that plague the former real estate mogul. 

The 81-year-old Biden’s multiple gaffes and stumbles in the first moments of the debate were surprising, given the fact that his advanced age and potentially declining cognitive ability have become the main argument for him not having a second term. At times, the president’s answers seemed to jump around in topics, miss words in his sentences and even fade out while completing an answer. 

While the 78-year-old Trump pounced on Biden again and again, about half an hour into the debate, the sitting president took the gloves off. He laid into Trump for being a felon, a new distinction, after his hush money trial ended in a guilty verdict; he then laid into him for his many other legal issues. It escalated with Trump’s reply, which was about Hunter Biden, who he called a criminal after Biden’s son was convicted of three felonies in a federal gun trial. Biden went for the jugular at that point for his alleged tryst with porn performer Stormy Daniels, mentioning Trump had the supposed affair while his wife was pregnant.

Trump then did what he spent plenty of Thursday night doing: denying the accusations against him and calling Biden the “worst president in the history of our country.” The denials came with many replies to Biden’s statements about his actions while president. One of the more egregious denials of the truth from Trump came when he said he never claimed there were “very fine people” on both sides of the deadly Charlottesville Protests in 2020. “He made up the Charlottesville story,” Trump says. That is just not true — did indeed say there were very fine people on both sides of the protests in Charlottesville.

As the insults flew back and forth, Biden seemed to gain his footing, arguing with facts and explaining his administration’s achievements. Trump responded at times with sound facts and reasonable — albeit usually shouted — arguments. Yet, the two got nasty with each other throughout the night. Here are some of the nastier moments: 

Trump called America’s exit from Afghanistan during the first year of Biden’s presidency, “the most embarrassing day in the history of our country’s life.”

Biden: “He didn’t deserve to be president at all….there’s a reason why 40 of his 40 top cabinet officers refused to endorse him. His own Vice President didn’t endorse him this time.

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Trump: “I don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence, and I don’t think he knows what he said either.”

Biden: “He could be a convicted felon as soon as he gets out of office. This man is a criminal.”

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