On Tuesday night, America witnessed the most rancorous presidential debate in history, setting the tone for what is expected to be a bitterly contested Election Day — whose winner may not be apparent for days, weeks, or, as Donald Trump put it, “months.”
For 90 minutes, Trump interrupted Joe Biden so often that moderator Chris Wallace repeatedly tried and failed to rein in the sitting president of the United States. Biden, on the other hand, lost his cool several times, once even calling Trump a “clown.” The collective experience was like witnessing a demolition derby — not the ideal result for a forum that is supposed to be mostly about the future of the Republic.
Here’s a sample of the worst moments.
Right off the bat, Trump denied that an overwhelming number of Americans have preexisting conditions that could bar them from health insurance in the event that the Affordable Care Act’s protections are struck down by the Supreme Court if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed.
Biden, summoning Louis XIV, denied Trump’s charge that he favors the left’s Medicare for All proposal.
Less than 30 minutes in, Trump had used so much of his time attacking Biden instead of answering questions that Wallace admonished him for dodging.
Biden said more people would die in the coronavirus pandemic unless Trump “got smart,” which the self-proclaimed genius got touchy about. Trump then falsely accused Biden of forgetting his own college’s name.
During a segment about civic unrest, Wallace asked Trump to condemn white supremacists — which he most definitely did not do. In fact, he seemed to tell one group to get ready.
No wonder Biden snapped — and not for the last time.
You can understand why Wallace finally screamed at both of them.
Biden attacked Trump for reportedly calling dead U.S. soldiers “losers,” invoking his late son Beau’s service in Iraq.
The debate’s final segment about the integrity of the election ended with Trump undermining faith in the election itself, returning to false claims about voter fraud and raising the idea that the winner may not be known long after Election Day. No doubt Trump already believes he knows who will win either way.