On Tuesday, Sept. 29, President Donald Trump faced one of the most direct interrogations to his presidency during the first scheduled presidential debate with Democratic nominee Vice President Joe Biden. With only 35 days until the election, national attention on how the two plan to handle the country's foremost issues is at its peak. While each presidential candidate had plenty to say about a range of topics leading up to the 2020 election, Trump apparently had a lot more to say — because he couldn't stop trying to interrupt Biden. In fact, it got so bad that barely 30 minutes into the debate, Biden was clearly fed up. Seriously, this video of Biden telling Trump to "keep yapping" at the first debate was the event in a nutshell, because it just kept going, and going, and going.
The entire night was marked by crosstalk, fighting, and loud arguments, — including with moderator Chris Wallace — and it started early. Less than 30 minutes into the debate, Biden lost his patience when Trump repeatedly interrupted the former vice president as he was urging the American people to go out and vote in November. Biden, when asked whether he would support ending the filibuster or packing the Supreme Court, responded: "The issue is, the American people should speak. You should go out and vote. You're in voting now. Vote, and let your senators know how strongly you feel." All the while, Trump tried to interrupt and speak over him. Eventually, Biden's frustration ended with him stating that Trump's behavior was unpresidential, saying "will you shut up, man?" followed with the comment: "Keep yapping, man."
It was just part and parcel of a debate characterized by bickering and interruptions, including with moderator Wallace. At one point, Trump and Wallace got into an argument of their own. "I guess I'm debating you, not him," Trump said.
The crosstalk made it difficult for the candidates to address topics such as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, electoral integrity, and social justice reform. While the president maintained that his response to the pandemic had been successful, Biden attacked the president for not being proactive enough in shielding American people from the economic fallout — "He doesn't have a plan," Biden said. He's never had a plan." As of Sept. 29, more than 200,000 Americans have died of the novel coronavirus, per The New York Times.
The two are facing off at a particularly divisive time — within the past week alone, Trump announced his nomination of conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and on Sept. 27 The New York Times released two decades worth of Trump's tax information. On Sept. 27, the Times reported how Trump has allegedly largely avoided paying income taxes in recent years by reporting the loss of “much more money than he made.” In a statement to Elite Daily, White House spokesperson Judd Deere called the story "fake news" and "a politically motivated hit piece full of inaccurate smears." The Times has said they reviewed Trump's original tax reports from a source who had legal access to them. Biden, for his part, had his own mic-drop moment when he asked Trump when he planned to release his tax returns.
If this first face-off is a forecast of the subsequent debates scheduled to air on Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, then viewers are in store for more tense moments as both Trump and Biden make their case for the presidency.