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Tag: 2020 presidential debates

How Biden Wiped The Floor With Trump In Final Debate

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

In the second and final one-on-one presidential debate of the 2020 race, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden both turned in stronger performances than they had in their first, thanks in part to the impressive moderation of NBC News reporter Kristen Welker. Trump, perhaps because of new rules and advice he'd received, was much less inclined to interrupt Biden and marginally less combative. Biden, perhaps because he wasn't interrupted constantly, was able to get to many of his key talking point and directly connect with voters on matters that are important to them.

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Rebutting Accusations, Biden Asks Why Trump Is ‘Hiding’ Tax Returns

In Thursday night's debate, Donald Trump repeatedly leveled accusations of financial corruption at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, among them unverified claims of Biden's son Hunter receiving $3.5 million from the Russian government.

Biden categorically denied Trump's vague and unspecific claims that he has taken money from foreign entities.

"I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life," he said.

Biden immediately pointed out the hypocrisy of Trump's attacks, given Trump's ever-growing laundry list of financial scandals.

He noted the recent revelation that Trump paid more taxes to China than to the U.S. government in recent years — $188,561 between 2013 and 2015 in total.

Biden also noted that he himself has released 22 years of his tax returns and slammed Trump for his refusal to release his.

"What's going on here?" Biden demanded. "Why not release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption?"


JOE BIDEN: I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life. We learned this president paid 50 times the tax in China as a secret bank account with China, does business in China, and in fact is talking about me taking money. I've not taken a single penny from any country whatsoever, ever, number one.
Number two, this is a president, I have released all of my tax returns, 22 years, go look at them, 22 years of my tax returns. You have not released a single, solitary year of your tax returns. What are you hiding? Why are you unwilling?
The foreign countries are paying you a lot. Russia's paying you a lot. China's paying you a lot. And your hotels and all your businesses al around the country, all around the world, and China's building a new road ... to a golf course you have overseas. So what's going on here? Why not release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption?

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Trump Says Immigrant Children He Orphaned Are ’So Well Taken Care Of’

Donald Trump on Thursday night defended his administration's policy of separating immigrant children from their families with no way of reuniting them, claiming they are "so well taken care of."

Asked at the final presidential debate about the 545 detained immigrant kids taken forcibly from their parents at the southern U.S. border under his administration's zero-tolerance policy, whose families the Trump administration has been unable to locate, Trump first suggested without proof that some had been brought into the country by "coyotes."

Former Vice President Joe Biden quickly refuted that argument, noting that the kids in question had come over with their families before being separated by border officials.

"Let's talk about what we're talking about, what happened. Parents, their kids were ripped from their arms and separated. And now they cannot find over 500 sets of those parents and those kids are alone, nowhere to go," Biden noted. "It's criminal."

Trump then falsely claimed that the children were being kept in great facilities.

"I will say this. They went down. We brought reporters, everything. They are so well taken care of. They're in facilities were so clean and have gotten such good..." he bragged.


In reality, the Department Health and Human Services' own inspector general has documented widespread trauma among those children, many of whom have been held in facilities with histories of abuse and misconduct. A September 2019 investigation found "some separated children expressed acute grief that caused them to cry inconsolably."

A separate 2018 report by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general found that hundreds of children were also unlawfully detained for more than three days — often in cages, without beds or showers — and that the Border Patrol failed to even keep track of which of the nonverbal young kids were which.

Thursday night's question about the 545 separated children stemmed from a New York Times report published on Wednesday, which revealed that the Trump administration's poor record keeping had made it difficult to impossible to decipher the parents' whereabouts. And though in some cases, parents said they had left their children with friends after being deported, they only did so because they felt forced or were concerned for their children's safety if they came with them.

"The Trump administration had no plans to keep track of the families or ever reunite them and so that's why we're in the situation we're in now, to try to account for each family," Justice in Motion's Nan Schivone, who is working with other advocates to help find the parents, told the Times.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Is Trump Camp Complaining About Rules So They Can Ditch Final Debate?

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Donald Trump is claiming that he will still debate despite the rule change that will cut off the candidates' microphones while their opponent delivers his initial two-minute response to each of the debate's topics. But everything else Trump and his campaign are saying sounds like they're laying the groundwork to back out.

"I will participate," Trump told reporters Monday night. "But it's very unfair that they changed the topics and it's very unfair that again we have an anchor who's totally biased." At his Arizona rally Monday, Trump attacked moderator Kristen Welker as a "radical Democrat" and claimed she had "deleted her entire account," which is false. Trump's campaign manager, Bill Stepien, went further in his whining about the debate.

Stepien touted a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates as "Our letter to the BDC (Biden Debate Commission)." That letter came before the CPD announced that it would mute microphones for portions of the debate in response to Trump's constant interruptions at the first debate, though Stepien knew such a decision was likely coming, writing, "It is our understanding from media reports that you will soon be holding an internal meeting to discuss other possible rule changes, such as granting an unnamed person the ability to shut off a candidate's microphone. It is completely unacceptable for anyone to wield such power, and a decision to proceed with that change amounts to turning further editorial control of the debate over to the Commission which has already demonstrated its partiality to Biden."

Shooooot, here I thought it was generous to Trump that the microphones will only be cut to give each candidate two uninterrupted minutes, leaving Trump the remainder of each 15-minute debate segment to interrupt.

But what did Stepien mean by "other possible rule changes," you ask? What was the first rule change? Well, it wasn't one. Stepien wrote to strongly complain that "We write with great concern over the announced topics for what was always billed as the 'Foreign Policy Debate' in the series of events agreed to by both the Trump campaign and the Biden campaign many months ago." Welker's announced topics include "Fighting COVID-19, American families, Race in America, Climate Change, National Security, and Leadership," Stepien complained, using this as a launching pad to attack Biden on foreign policy.

Except this debate was never billed as a foreign policy debate. It's true that in past years, the third debate has sometimes focused on foreign policy, but here in 2020, the CPD's original announcement of debate formats and moderators said of the third debate, "The format for the debate will be identical to the first presidential debate," and the first debate "will be divided into six segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics to be selected by the moderator."

So even before the CPD finalized the decision to prevent Trump from interrupting for two minutes in each of six segments, so 12 minutes out of a 90-minute debate, Team Trump was falsely complaining that the debate was rigged. No wonder—as a Biden campaign spokesman noted, the Trump campaign is upset "because Donald Trump is afraid to face more questions about his disastrous Covid response."

Trump has lost one debate and backed out of one debate. If he goes into this one with the attitude he's showing now—attacking the moderator, attacking the topics, enraged that he can't interrupt for two entire minutes at a time—he's going to lose this one, badly, once again hurting his already weak reelection prospects. So which will it be? Back out and have that be the story, or alienate one of the largest audiences of the entire presidential campaign by showing what kind of person he is?

Commission Mandates Virtual Debate: Trump Quits, Biden Will Be There

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Moments after The Presidential Commission on Debates announced that "in order to protect the health and safety of all involved," the next presidential debate will be held virtually, candidate Joe Biden and COVID-19 patient Donald Trump's campaigns reacted.

Joe Biden's campaign said, "Vice President Biden looks forward to speaking directly to the American people and comparing his plan for bringing the country together and building back better with Donald Trump's failed leadership on the coronavirus."

And Trump's campaign? They're opting for another superspreader event:

That's not what debates are about or how they're done. Here are the facts: President Trump will have posted multiple negative tests prior to the debate, so there is no need for this unilateral declaration. The safety of all involved can easily be achieved without canceling a chance for voters to see both candidates go head to head. We'll pass on this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead."

No word on if those "posted multiple negative tests" will include one that proves that Trump hasn't been lying through his teeth since last Friday, and knowingly exposed Joe Biden to COVID-19 at the first presidential debate, along with those at his ensuing press events, fundraisers, campaign rallies, along with everyone at the White House.

Vowing To Join Miami Debate On Oct. 15, Trump May Remain Contagious

A day after he was released from Walter Reed Medical Center after being diagnosed with the coronavirus, Donald Trump pledged to take part in the next presidential debate.

"I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami. It will be great!" Trump tweeted.

As Jennifer Jacobs, White House reporter for Bloomberg News, pointed out, Trump would not yet be considered beyond the risk of being contagious and spreading the coronavirus by Oct. 15. "Trump says he's planning to debate in 9 days," Jacobs tweeted. "Dr. Conley said it would be 10 days plus or minus before it would be safe for the president to be out and about."

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WATCH: SNL Opener Features Baldwin, Carrey, And Rudolph In Presidential 'Debate'

Saturday Night Live's new season began last night, and the show's first "cold open" of fall 2020 harks back to that night so long ago -- at the beginning of the week -- when we watched the worst presidential debate in American history.

It begins with moderator Chris Wallace (Beck Bennett) asking President Trump (Alec Baldwin, of course) whether he has taken a Covid-19 test. "Scout's honor," he replies, fingers crossed. Following his dramatic entrance, Democratic nominee Joe Biden (Jim Carrey!) is mercilessly heckled by Trump and struggles to contain his fury. Until he doesn't, and unleashes the tirade that was bursting inside him.

Sen. Kamala Harris (Maya Rudolph) materializes onstage to take over, letting us know that "America needs a WAP – woman as president." But after "Momala" heads offstage for a martini, Biden finally finds a way to shut Trump up. And then he brings the sketch fully up to date.


Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.