The first United States Presidential debate 2020 has taken place 1am GMT on Wednesday between the incumbent Donald J. Trump and the former Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Trump, who’s seeking second term in office was confronted to condemn the white supremacist and militia but he failed in hesitation to do so.
The debate moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News said since Trump has repeatedly criticized the vice president for not specifically calling out Antifa and other left-wing extremist groups, if himself will be willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia group and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as seen in Kenosha and in Portland.
“Sure, I’m willing to do that,” Trump responded.
“Are you prepared specifically to do it? Wallace asked him. “I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing not from the right wing,” he responded.
“But what are you saying? Wallace enquired. “I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace,” he responded.
“Well, do it, sir,” challenged by the moderator. Trump at this stage was clearly hesitant to call the name by asking the moderator, “What do you want to call them? Give me a name, give me a name, go ahead who do you want me to condemn?”
Wallace said to him the “White supremacist and white militia.”
In hesitation, the U.S president said, “Okay, 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 this is a left wing.”
Tax avoidance allegation
Mr. Trump was also confronted with the recent New York Times publications which revealed his tax avoidance in 2016. He insisted during the debate that he has paid millions of dollars of federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, contrary to the information that he paid 750, 000 dollars.
“Chris, let me just say something, that it was the tax laws. I don’t want to pay tax. Before I came here, I was a private developer, I was a private business people. Like every other private person, unless they’re stupid, they go through the laws, and that’s what it is.”
He blamed his predecessor who he said had passed a tax bill that gave them all these privileges for depreciation and for tax credits. “We build the building and we get tax credits, like the hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. Which by the way, was given to me by the Obama administration, if you can believe that? Now the man got fired right after that happened, but that’s-…”
But Joe Biden responded that the tax code that put Trump in a position that he pays less tax than on the money a school teacher makes is because of himself. “He says he’s smart because he can take advantage of the tax code. And he does take advantage of the tax code. That’s why I’m going to eliminate the Trump tax cuts. And I’m going to eliminate those tax cuts.”
The former U.S Vice President has challenged his opponent to show his tax returns but Trump reacted that, “I paid $38 million one year, I paid $27 million one year.”
Ending racial insensitive training
This month, the Trump administration has directed federal agencies to end racial sensitivity training that addresses white privilege or critical race theory. He was questioned about the move and his belief in the existence of systemic racism in this country.
“I ended it because it’s racist. I ended it because a lot of people were complaining that they were asked to do things that were absolutely insane. That is a radical revolution that was taking place in our military, in our schools, all over the place. And you know it, and so does everybody else. And he would know it.
“If you were a certain person, you had no status in life. It was sort of a reversal. And if you look at the people, we were paying people hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach very bad ideas and frankly, very sick ideas. And really, they were teaching people to hate our country and I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to allow that to happen. We have to go back to the core values of this country. They were teaching people that our country is a horrible place. It’s a racist place. And they were teaching people to hate our country. And I’m not going to allow that to happen.”
Unlike Trump, Biden admitted the fact of racial insensitivity in the American society. Hence, the need for racial sensitive training.
“People have to be made aware of what other people feel like, what insults them, what is demeaning to them. It is important people know. Many people don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings, but it makes a big difference. It makes a gigantic difference in the way a child is able to grow up and have a sense of self-esteem.”
He said it does exist that some folks look down their nose on people, look down on people who don’t have money, who belong to other faith, colour,
“In fact, we’re all Americans. The only way we’re going to bring this country together is bring everybody together. There’s nothing we cannot do, if we do it together. We can take this on and we can defeat racism in American.”
Paris Climate Accord
U.S and global partners including allies have reached Paris Climate Accord during the administration of former President Barack Obama which will see reduction of the greenhouse effect on the climate system. Trump pulled the country out of the agreement when he succeed the administration which Biden served as Vice President.
“I want crystal clean water and air. I want beautiful clean air. We have now the lowest carbon… If you look at our numbers right now, we are doing phenomenally. But I haven’t destroyed our businesses. Our businesses aren’t put out of commission. If you look at the Paris Accord, it was a disaster from our standpoint,” he defended his decision during the 90 minutes debate.
He claimed that American people are actually very happy about what’s going on because the businesses are doing well.
While the never-ending fire outbreaks in the United States is linked to climate change, Trump though indicates that lack of forest management is the greater contributor.
“As far as the fires are concerned, you need forest management. In addition to everything else, the forest floors are loaded up with trees, dead trees that are years old and they’re like tinder and leaves and everything else. You drop a cigarette in there the whole forest burns down. You’ve got to have forest management.
“Every year I get the call. California’s burning, California’s burning. If that was cleaned, if that were, if you had forest management, good forest management, you wouldn’t be getting those calls,” he said.
For Biden, the country suffers hurricanes, floods and rising seas due to global warming. U.S make up 15 percent of the world’s problem.
“We make up 15% of the world’s problem. But the rest of the world, we’ve got to get them to come along. That’s why we have to get back into the Paris Accord. And the first thing I will do, I will re-join the Paris Accord. I will join the Paris Accord because with us out of it, look what’s happening. It’s all falling apart.
Why Trump thinks he should be re-elected
According to him, there’s never been an administration or president who has done more than he has done in a period of three and a half years.
“And that’s despite the impeachment hoax and you so what happened today with Hillary Clinton, where it was a whole big con job. But despite going through all of these things where I had a fight, both flanks are behind me and above there has never been an administration that’s done what I’ve done. The greatest, before COVID came in the greatest economy in history, lowest unemployment numbers, everything was good. Everything was going.”
Why Biden thinks he should be elected
“Under this president, we become weaker, sicker, poor, more divided and more violent. When I was vice president, we inherited a recession. I was asked to fix it. I did. We left him a booming economy and he caused the recession,” he said.
Biden said with regard to being weaker, he has gone head to head with Putin and made it clear to him U.S is not going to take any of his stuff. He said Trump is Putin’s puppet.
He still refuses to even say anything to Putin about the bounty on the heads of American soldiers.
Trump fails to assure peaceful transition
This year’s election in the United States will see an extended period before the winner is declared and this duration will need calm from both political divides in handling their supporters. The moderator therefore challenged the candidates to find out their position.
Trump said, “I’m urging my supporters to go in to the polls and watch very carefully, because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it. As you know, today there was a big problem. In Philadelphia, they went in to watch. They’re called poll watchers, a very safe, very nice thing. They were thrown out. They weren’t allowed to watch. You know why? Because bad things happen in Philadelphia. Bad things. And I am urging my people. I hope it’s going to be a fair election. If it’s a fair election”.
Wallace: You’re urging them what?
Trump: I am 100% on board. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that. And I’ll tell you why-
Wallace: What does that mean, not go along-?
Trump: From a common sense.
Wallace: Does that mean you’re going to tell your people…?
Trump: I’ll tell you what it means.
Wallace: To take to the streets?
Trump: It means you have a fraudulent election. You’re sending out 80 million ballots.
Wallace: And what would you do about that?
Trump: They’re not equipped… These people aren’t equipped to handle it, number one. Number two, they cheat. They cheat. Hey, they found ballots in a wastepaper basket three days ago, and they all had the name military ballots. There were military. They all had the name Trump on them.
For Joe Biden, he assured that he will take the results in good fate.
“Yes. And here’s the deal. We count the ballots, as you pointed out. Some of these ballots in some states can’t even be opened until Election Day. And if there’s thousands of ballots, it’s going to take time to do it. And by the way, our military… They’ve been voting by ballots since the end of the Civil War, in effect. And that’s what’s going to happen. Why is it, for them, somehow not fraudulent? It’s the same process. It’s honest. No one has established at all that there is fraud related to mail-in ballots, that somehow, it’s a fraudulent process.
He has no idea what he’s talking about. Here’s the deal. The fact is, I will accept it, and he will too. You know why? Because once the winner is declared after all the ballots are counted, all the votes are counted, and that will be the end of it. That’ll be the end of it. And if it’s me, in fact, fine. If it’s not me, I’ll support the outcome. And I’ll be a president, not just for the Democrats. I’ll be a president for Democrats and Republicans. And this guy”.
Yet, Trump insisted that it has been established.
Biden has strongly criticized Trump over his mishandling of COVID-19 crisis. He said Trump actions to lift restrictions including reopening and non-respect for distancing and not progressive ideas. Even though Biden emphasizes that economy cannot do well without a healthy environment, Trump remained defiant that Biden’s call is to win a political score.
Meanwhile, according to Mitchell S. McKinney, PhD, Professor of Communications, University of Missouri, debate helps voters see a credible form of information.
“Now, that credibility that voters point to the debate message I think is driven largely by the fact that candidates are not in control of this message. Candidates show up without notes, without teleprompter, without their aids around them.
“They don’t know what questions are going to be put to them. And therefore, in that moment, voters see how they respond to a journalist question, how they respond to one another when they are attacked.”
Presidential debate started in the U.S in 1960 between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy and got restarted from 1976.