Fewer fireworks at final debate
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 10/22/20, 11:38 pm
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden had a more civil encounter on Thursday night at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., than at their last debate on Sept. 29. They interrupted each other less and stuck closer to their campaign talking points on healthcare, immigration, race, and climate change.
What were the highlights? When moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News opened the debate with a question about the coronavirus pandemic, Trump touted U.S. progress toward a vaccine and said the new wave of cases around the country would soon be gone. Biden blamed the president for COVID-19 deaths and said as president he would encourage people to wear a mask all the time. Biden also blamed Russia for the emergence of a hard drive with emails between his son Hunter and Ukrainian and Chinese businessmen, while Trump said the emails on the drive revealed the Bidens profited personally from the former vice president’s position. Welker pressed Trump on his immigration policy that led to children’s separation from their parents, but Trump said Biden and former President Barack Obama’s administration built cages to hold immigrants. On racial tensions, Biden defended the Obama administration’s work to help those with drug addictions. Trump praised the criminal justice reform bill he signed and said, “I am the least racist person in this room.”
Dig deeper: Read my report in The Stew on the reliability of polls ahead of the 2020 election.
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