By Harrison Arubu
U.S. President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday night clashed in the first presidential debate described by commentators as chaotic and messy.
The 90-minute encounter was characterised by frequent interruptions, mostly from Trump, and insults, with Biden calling the president a clown.
Fox News anchor and moderator of the night, Chris Wallace, had a hard time controlling both candidates, who talked over each other.
Trump of the Republican Party and Biden of the opposition Democratic Party squared off on the coronavirus pandemic, taxes, crime, the economy, climate change, election integrity, among others.
Here are some key moments of the encounter hosted by the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential”, Biden responded as Trump interrupted him while answering a question on the president’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Barrett.
During the COVID-19 segment, Trump told Biden to stop using the word “smart” because there was nothing smart about him.
“Did you use the word smart? So, you said you went to Delaware State (University) but you forgot the name of your college.
“You didn’t go to Delaware State (University). You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class.
“Don’t ever use the word smart with me because you know what, there is nothing smart about you”, Trump said.
As the debate got heated with Trump interrupting Biden, the moderator urged the president to allow his rival finish and then get the final word on the economy segment
“Biden responded: “No, it is hard to get any word in with this clown”.
One of the most remarkable moments was when the moderator asked the president if he was willing to condemn white supremacists and armed groups fueling violence in the country.
Trump said he was willing to do that, but quickly noted that the violence he had seen was from the left wing.
Challenged to condemn them, he insisted that the opposition was responsible for the violence protests across the country and not white supremacists.
Trump renewed his attacks on mail-in ballot, describing it as a disaster and adding that it would be a fraud on a scale never seen before.
Asked if he would refrain from declaring victory until the election results were officially announced, Trump said he would only “go along with that” if the exercise was credible.
Biden dismissed the president’s threat, saying there was nothing he could do once the results were announced and he lost. (NAN)