NEW YORK – As US President Donald Trump took the Kovid-19 test before his first debate with Democrat Joe Biden on Thursday night, two people squared back, in a way, into several channels in town halls that televised their second showdown.
Biden, who appeared about 1,200 miles away, condemned the White House for handling the virus that killed 215,000 Americans, declaring it wrong to close an epidemic response office set up by the Obama administration. Trump, meanwhile, has been defensive and stressed that despite his own battle with the disease reaching a central stage, the country is turning a corner on the virus.
Less than two weeks after the COVID-19 diagnosis, Trump responded directly on the day of the Sept. 29 debate by saying, “Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.” Debate rules require that every candidate, using the system of honor, test the negative before the Cleveland event, but Trump spoke in circles when asked when he last tested the negative.
Two days later his positive test created an odd scenario on Thursday, which saw many spectators lose sight of candidates at once 19 days before election day. As another propaganda ritual was changed by the pandemic that rewrote the rules of society, this moment seemed appropriate for one race.
Presidential opponents have taken questions on different networks in different cities: Trump on NBC from Miami, Biden on ABC from Philadelphia. Trump withdrew plans for a presidential face-off scheduled for the first evening, after debate organizers said it would actually happen after Trump’s COVID-19 confirmation.
After the couple held a chaotic and combative first discussion late last month, the two candidates gave town halls a different look to present themselves to voters. The difference in the men’s tone was immediate and striking.
Trump Trump. He was loud and arguing, fighting the host, Savannah Guthrie, who refused to completely condemn the QAnon conspiracy group, testifying that he condemned white supremacy but complained about questioning – ultimately the first time he said he would respect the results of a fair election, but only on the likelihood of likening to the likeness of Sarasata.
“And then they said, ‘Do you agree to a peaceful transfer?'” And the answer was, “Yes, I do.” But I want it to be an honest election, and it will happen to everyone else. “
Meanwhile, Biden took a very different, smoother, approach to audience questions. The former vice president, who was having a hard time stuttering, spoke a little stuttering at the beginning of the show and at one point closed his eyes and slowed down his response to explain his words clearly. At some point his answers dropped.
Wearing a blue suit and holding a white cloth mask in one hand, the Democratic nominee also brought a small card of notes to the stage, alluding to it, promising to withdraw tax cuts for affluent Americans.
Doing so would save “see me … billion 92 billion,” he said.
The two men are due to occupy the same space for a second and final discussion in Nashville next week. But the cancellation of the debate on Thursday still resonated with both campaigns.
Trump and Biden fought in Cleveland on September 29, defined by the president’s constantly hectering his opponent, sending his support low and by its position on the calendar: two days before Trump announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Trump was hospitalized for three days, after which he recovered at the White House, and the Debate Commission moved to remote control their second debate – which the President immediately rejected.
Earlier Thursday, Trump appeared at a rally in North Carolina, stressing the challenge he faces in recent weeks as multiple polls show he is behind Biden nationally and in several swing states. Trump spent most of the week in defense, campaigning in states he won in 2016, in states such as North Carolina and Iowa, where he campaigned Wednesday.
Despite the polling, Trump was blamed for the “big, beautiful red wave” on election night before mentioning another of his major challenges: the cash crunch for the Biden campaign, which he announced was raising a record $ 383 million in September.
Lemir from New York reported. Associated Press Authors Bill Borough Additional Reporting on Wilmington, Delaware, and JK Miller and Alexandra Jaffrey in Washington.