Thursday, October 22, 2020

Live-blogging the last presidential debate of 2020

I'll be live-blogging the debate here. Keep reloading the post for more updates!

As always, I'm doing this without the benefit of a pause or rewind button, so the quotes I write down might not be word for word. But I'll try to keep them reasonably accurate, and might go back and make corrections later.

9:07 — The moderator, Kristen Welker, starts by asking them both to "speak one at a time" — not like last time.

9:08 — President Donald Trump lists states with "spikes" of Covid-19, but says the spikes are "gone" or will be soon. He also talks about how he had the coronavirus, but now: "I'm immune!" "We're rounding the corner. It's going away."

9:10 — Former Vice President Joe Biden's first statement: "220,000 Americans dead.… Anyone who's responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America." He holds up his mask and says wearing masks could save 100,000 lives. He wants "national standards" for reopening schools, businesses, etc.

9:13 — Trump seems to predict we'll have a vaccine by the end of the year (though I'll want to go back and check to make sure). Then Biden reminds us Trump made it sound like the pandemic would be over by Easter. Biden sounds an ominous note: "We're about to go into a dark winter."

9:16 — Trump mocks Biden: "He's got this thing about living in a basement! People can't do that.… I can't do that."

9:17 — Biden's comeback to Trump saying we're "learning to live it with it": "We're dying with it!" He brings up a poignant image of someone reaching their hand out to try to touch their spouse who's died.

9:18 — Biden in response to concerns that further shutdowns could be harmful for many Americans: "It's his ineptitude that caused the country to shut down in large part."

9:21 — Trump lists states with Democratic governors, including New York, and says those states are "dying" because of shutdowns. He especially says New York City — "my wonderful city" — is "a ghost town." He doesn't mention that New York City has been in the forefront of reopening schools, which doesn't seem to have led to a spike. Biden responds: "Take a look at what New York has done in turning the curve down."

9:25 — Trump on Dr. Fauci: "Anthony said don't wear a mask.… I think he's a Democrat." Trump always calls him "Anthony."

9:27 — Biden reminds us of Trump's comment to Bob Woodward that he downplayed the coronavirus so we wouldn't panic; "Americans don't panic. He panicked."

9:29 — New topic: Russia and Iran reportedly trying to interfere with our election. Biden says Russia is trying to make him lose the election "because they know I know them, and they know me."

9:32 — Trump attacks Biden: "You were getting a lot of money from Russia. They were paying you. They probably still are.… You were Vice President when this was happening." Biden defends himself: "I have not taken money from a foreign source ever in my life." And Biden counterattacks: Trump has "a secret bank account in China."

9:37 — Biden is asked if any of his son Hunter Biden's business relationships with other countries have been "inappropriate or unethical." "Nothing was unethical.… They investigated that — nobody said he did anything wrong in Ukraine." Biden says the one who got in trouble was Trump, for trying to "bribe" Ukraine.

9:43 — Biden whips out a prepared line: "He doesn't want to talk about the substantive issues. It's not about my family or his family. It's about your family … but that's the last thing he wants to talk about." Trump pounces on this, calling him a "typical politician" for pivoting away from the discussion to looking at the camera and speaking directly to the people. Both of them were clearly ready for this.

9:47 — Trump on meeting with the leader of North Korea: "Having a good relationship with other countries is a good thing!" Biden comes back: "We had a 'good relationship' with Hitler before he invaded Europe!" But Trump blames Obama and Biden for leaving us "a mess" on North Korea.

9:50 — Trump mentions the 180 Americans with private health insurance plans, and falsely says: "Joe Biden is going to terminate all of those policies." Biden clarifies: "I'm going to pass Obamacare with a public option. It'll be Bidencare! … The reason why I had such a fight with the 20 Democratic candidates is I support private insurance." But then Biden also lies by saying no one lost their private health insurance plan under Obamacare unless they wanted to. I'm surprised Biden would be so brazen as to repeat Obama's infamous lie: "If you like the plan you have you can keep it."

9:56 — Trump tries to scare us away from Biden: "He's talking about destroying your Medicare, and destroying your Social Security, and this whole country will come down!" Biden ridicules Trump for painting him as a radical left-winger: "He's a very confused guy! He thinks he's running against someone else! I'm Joe Biden!"

10:01 — Does Biden think this is the right time for the federal government to raise the minimum wage $15? Biden's answer seems to be yes because we can take care of the negative consequences by bailing out businesses. He falsely says there's no evidence that raising the minimum wage causes anyone to lose their jobs (in fact, the many studies on that are conflicting). Trump says: "It should be a state option. Alabama is different from New York." He says a $15 minimum wage could be fine in some places but would be "ruinous" in others.

10:05 — Asked about kids being separated from their parents, Trump talks about a lot of kids coming over with "coyotes," but says "we're trying very hard" to reunite them. Biden takes umbrage at that word: "They're not coyotes — they're parents.… Kids were ripped from their arms … and now we can't find the parents of 500 kids."

10:08 — They argue over "catch and release," and whether immigrants we release come back to court. Trump says "only the ones with really low IQs" would come back.

10:15 — They argue over who's been more of a criminal-justice reformer. Biden says: "He commuted 20 people's sentences. We commuted over 1,000."

10:17 — Trump says over and over to Biden: "I ran because of you." Biden tells us: "You know who I am, you know who he is.… You know our reputations for honor and telling the truth. The character of the country is on the ballot."

10:18 — A discussion of race somehow turns into a back-and-forth about Russia and a laptop computer.

10:19 — Trump: "The first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matters, they were chanting: 'Pigs in a blanket' — meaning police — 'fry 'em like bacon!'" Right after that, Trump claims: "I am the least racist person in this room."

10:25 — Trump says in a theatrically exaggerated way: "Look at China — how filthy it is! … Look at India — it's filthy!"

10:35 — Trump asks Biden: "Would you get rid of the oil industry?" Biden answers: "I would transition away from the oil industry." Trump seems taken aback: "That's a big statement!" Biden responds: "It is a big statement, because the oil industry pollutes." Trump tries to use Biden's answer against him: "Basically what he's saying is he's going to destroy the oil industry. Will you remember that, Texas?" I'm surprised Trump would openly admit he's worried about losing Texas!

10:38 — In Welker's farewell, she seems elated that the debate wasn't the train wreck it was last time!

And that's the last debate before we vote on November 3.


Fredrick said...

""I would transition away from the oil industry.""

So 120,000,000 cars and trucks will have to be replaced by 2035. I don't think he understands how much that will cost families or where all those batteries will be coming from.

rcommal said...

Well done, John.

— Regards, Lori