Joe Biden frames race as battle for character of US
Joe Biden and Donald Trump clashed on race relations,Trump portrayed himself as a champion of Black people,repeating his standard line that no president other than Abraham Lincoln has done more for Black AmericansUpdated: Oct 23, 2020, 14:58 IST
Democrat Joe Biden is framing the election as a battle over the character of the nation, a reiteration of one of his major campaign themes.
Speaking directly to the audience during Thursday night’s debate, Biden told them they’re familiar with both his and President Donald Trump’s character, their “reputations for honor” and “reputations for telling the truth.” He went on to declare that “our character is on the ballot.”
His comments came in response to Trump’s declaration that he ran because Biden and President Barack Obama “did a poor job.”
Trump responded that if his unfounded charges that Biden has received money from Russia and Ukraine are true, Biden himself is a “corrupt politician,” while Biden said the evidence for such allegations is a “Russian plant.”
Trump immediately dismissed Biden’s charges, declaring, “You have to be kidding me. Here we go again with Russia.”
Joe Biden and Donald Trump clashed on race relations, as the former Vice President called the current President “one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history.”
Biden said Trump “pours fuel on every racist fire” and noted that at his last debate the president wouldn’t condemn white supremacy and told an extremist group to “stand down and stand by.”
Trump portrayed himself as a champion of Black people. Repeating his standard line that no president other than Abraham Lincoln has done more for Black Americans, Trump accused Biden and former President Barack Obama of ignoring issues of racial justice.
Trump told Biden: “You’ve done nothing but the crime bill which put tens of thousands of Black men in jail.”
Biden said he’s been trying to change drug sentencing laws that disproportionately harmed African Americans and that the public knows his record.
Trump, touting criminal justice reform and opportunity zone bills he signed, said: “I am the least racist person in this room.”
Joe Biden invited the owners of a small Zimbabwean restaurant in North Carolina , Zweli and Leonardo Williams, to Thursday night’s debate to underscore the impact President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has had on average Americans.
The choice highlights the significance of North Carolina, a heavily contested battleground state that could help deliver Biden a win.
President Donald Trump defended his administration’s separation of immigrant children who remain away from their families following detentions along the US-Mexico border.
Trump said during Thursday’s debate that children are often brought across the border not by families but “by coyotes and lots of bad people.”
The American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) told a judge this week that there were still 545 children separated from their parents from 2018.
Trump said his administration had constructed more than 400 miles of his promised border barrier. He also said, “They built cages,” referring to Obama-era facilities depicted in media reports during the separations.
Joe Biden disputed Trump’s answer, saying kids “were ripped from” their families in 2018.
As he has done since the primary campaign, Biden defended the Obama administration’s immigration policy, admitting that it “took too long to get it right.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden also said he would push for a $15 per hour minimum wage and rejects the idea that it would hurt small businesses.
Biden said at Thursday’s debate: “There is no evidence that when you raise the minimum wage, businesses go out of business.”
President Donald Trump argued that the minimum wage should be left as an issue for the states to determine, “How are you helping your small businesses when you’re forcing wages? What’s going to happen, and what’s been proven to happen, is when you do that, these small businesses fire many of their employees.”
The two candidates were asked about where they stand on raising the federal minimum wage as part of their final debate Thursday night. The minimum wage is now $7.25 an hour. Proponents of increasing it say the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation, making it harder for workers to make ends meet.
Trump told moderator Kristen Welker on Thursday evening: “So far I respect very much the way you are handling this, I have to say.”
The praise for Welker comes after Trump attacked her on Twitter over the weekend.
She has “always been terrible and unfair, just like most of the Fake News reporters,” he tweeted at the time.
Trump has repeatedly fought with, belittled or denigrated members of the media during his tenure in office.
That included CBS New correspondent Lesley Stahl, with whom the president bickered repeatedly during an interview for “60 Minutes,” which he abruptly cut off.
Trump complained that the interview was unfair and released footage of it earlier Thursday.
Former Vice President Joe Biden said any country that interferes in American elections will pay a price if he’s elected, saying, “They are interfering with American sovereignty.”
The first debate between Trump and Biden deteriorated into bitter taunts and chaos after Trump repeatedly interrupted his opponent with angry and personal jabs.
In an effort to curtail interruptions this time, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that Trump and Biden would each have his microphone cut off while his rival delivered an opening two-minute answer to each of six debate topics.
Trump had been far more restrained during Thursday’s debate in Nashville, Tennessee.
In a contrast to the first debate, the two presidential contenders went more than 15 minutes before interrupting each other at Thursday night’s debate. Helped by a rule that switched off the microphone for the candidate who was not talking, the two traded sharp barbs and critiques, but at least kept their voices lowered.
Trump insisted he had done a good job with a worldwide pandemic and said the country needs to “learn to live with it.”
Biden shot back: “People are learning to die with it.”
Regardless, it was a markedly less bombastic opening than in the first debate, when Trump frequently interrupted and shouted over Biden. The president seemed fairly calm Thursday, talking about his own recent bout with the virus as an example of how the country can survive it.
The candidates took coronavirus tests Thursday, and both campaigns said they came back negative.
Hundreds of people were gathered on sidewalks outside the site of the final presidential debate to show their support for the candidates.
Cars honked and slowed down Thursday evening to check out the scene just outside Belmont University’s campus in Nashville, Tennessee.
Most of the attendees appeared to be wearing masks, though some proudly declared they would not while holding flags supporting President Donald Trump.
Julie Ford, who lives in Greenbrier, Tennessee, says she hopes the candidates spend more time talking about what they would do over the next four years.
She says, “I know what Donald Trump plans to do and I know what Joe Biden’s website plans to do.” But she says Biden “never gets questioned (on) what his future will look like.”
She says she travelled to Cleveland for the first debate to show her support for Trump.
The White House chief of staff said President Donald Trump has tested negative for the coronavirus ahead of Thursday night’s second and final presidential debate.
Mark Meadows said Trump was tested on-board Air Force One while en route to Nashville, Tennessee, and tested negative.
Biden’s campaign said Thursday that he, too, was tested Thursday and tested negative.
The test comes after Trump’s bout with the virus, which put him in the hospital for three nights.
Both campaigns had been required to certify that their candidates and VIP guests have tested negative ahead of the debates. But Trump and the White House have repeatedly refused to say whether Trump actually was tested before participating in the first.
Trump was diagnosed with the virus two days later.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he has tested negative for Covid-19 ahead of his debate with President Donald Trump.
Last week during a town hall style interview on MSNBC, Trump did not specify when he was asked when he had been tested before the Sept. 29 debate. The White House announced two days later Trump had tested positive. Trump spent three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before returning to the White House.
The White House was asked Thursday morning whether Trump had been tested, as Biden was, in preparation for the debate. It has not released an update.