1st Trump-Biden Presidential Debate: A Recap

Sep 30, 2020

President Trump and Joe Biden faced off in the first general election debate Tuesday. The candidates fielded questions on the pandemic, race and violence in the U.S., and more. We tally up the night’s wins and losses.  


McKay Coppins, staff writer for The Atlantic. Author of “The Wilderness.” (@mckaycoppins)

Jane Coaston, senior politics reporter for Vox, with a focus on conservatism and the American right. (@cjane87)

Nick Castele, reporter for WCPN and WVIZ ideastream, Northeast Ohio’s public radio and television stations. He covers politics and government. (@NickCastele)

From The Reading List

New York Times: “With Cross Talk, Lies and Mockery, Trump Tramples Decorum in Debate With Biden” — “The first presidential debate between President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. unraveled into a rhetorical melee Tuesday, as Mr. Trump hectored and interrupted Mr. Biden nearly every time he spoke and the former vice president denounced the president as a ‘clown’ and told him to ‘shut up.'”

Ideastream: “Demonstrators March Outside Heavily Guarded Cleveland Presidential Debate” — “Carrying Black Lives Matter banners and calling for President Donald Trump’s defeat in November, more than 1,000 demonstrators gathered at Wade Lagoon and marched through Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood ahead of the first presidential debate of the 2020 general election.”

Vox: “The Trump campaign spent months portraying Biden as senile. That might be a mistake.” — “Donald Trump has made it very clear of what he thinks about Joe Biden. In his speeches, ‘Sleepy Joe’ Biden is barely coherent, a ‘dumb guy’ who ‘doesn’t know where the hell he is.’ In online advertising, the Trump campaign has repeatedly alleged that Biden is ‘too old and out of it” to be president.'”

The Guardian: “Moderator Chris Wallace criticized as Trump derails debate” — “The Fox News host Chris Wallace faced much criticism as he struggled to referee the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on Tuesday night.”

Reuters: “Chaos reigns in first Trump-Biden debate” — “Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden battled fiercely over Trump’s leadership on the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and the integrity of November’s election in a chaotic first debate on Tuesday marked by personal insults, name calling and Trump’s repeated interruptions.”

Washington Post: “First Trump-Biden meeting marked by constant interruptions by Trump” — “President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden met in the first of three scheduled debates, this one at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University and moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News.”

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