Don’t Want to Pay Tax, Says Trump as Biden Labels Him 'Clown', 'Worst President' America Ever Had
Former Vice President Joe Biden and US President Donald Trump. (AP Photo)
US Presidential Debate 2020 LIVE Updates: Joe Biden said that President Trump attempts to make everything into a racial “dog whistle” tonight, arguing that the President has “done virtually nothing” for African Americans during his time as president.
- Last Updated: September 30, 2020, 10:26 IST
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President Donald Trump on Wednesday offered a frank defence of himself at the United States presidential debate 2020 when questioned about new reporting on the minimal amount in income tax he has paid, saying, “I don’t want to pay tax". It was a defence that amounted to Trump saying the tax loopholes for wealthy Americans are there to exploit — even if, at the same time, he tried to claim he’s paid “millions of dollars” in taxes in the first years of his presidency.
It was a contradictory response, but one that seems to capture how Trump has sought to explain himself since The New York Times first reported details of his tax returns over the weekend. Trump has simultaneously sought to claim he was doing what everyone else was by avoiding taxes while also insisting he pays millions in taxes, which contradicts the Times reporting that he paid $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017. Somewhat surprisingly, Biden did not seem to grasp on to Trump’s answers for long, even though his campaign has made it a major issue over the past several days.
The face-off between Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden was fiery, to put it mildly, with the latter calling him a liar and telling him to "shut up" as the pair clashed in a bad-tempered start to their first televised debate. "The fact is that everything he is saying so far is simply a lie. I'm not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he's a liar," Biden said. Tension was palpable from the opening minutes, with the pair interrupting each other repeatedly, leading Biden to lash out at one point: "Will you shut up, man!"
Trump and Biden did not shake hands or wear masks as they entered their first White House debate, adhering to protocols on social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. The two candidates entered the stage at the same time and smiled as moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News explained they would not shake hands. "How you doing, man?" Biden said, extending his arms towards Trump. The 90-minute debate, with a limited and socially distanced in-person audience due to the pandemic, was held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. It was the first of three scheduled debates.
Biden said that President Trump attempts to make everything into a racial “dog whistle” tonight, arguing that the President has “done virtually nothing” for African Americans during his time as president. During a prolonged segment on race, the two fought over who would handle issues of race, culminating in Biden calling Trump a racist. Asked why he would be better at tackling issues of race, Biden attacked Trump for equivocating on the racist right-wing rally in Charlottesville in 2017 with the protests in response and the fact that protesters outside the White House were forcibly moved earlier this year so the President could walk to a nearby church.
Organisers said there were about 80 people in the audience, including the candidates’ family members, their guests, campaign staff, hosts, health and security officials and journalists. Trump's guests included first lady Melania Trump, sons Eric and Donald Jr., daughters Ivanka and Tiffany, and such allies as U.S. Representative Jim Jordan and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Biden's wife Jill sat in Biden's section.
With more than a million Americans already casting early ballots and time running out to change minds or influence the small sliver of undecided voters, the stakes were enormous as the two White House candidates took the stage five weeks before the November 3 election.
Biden, 77, has held a consistent lead over Trump, 74, in national opinion polls, although surveys in the battleground states that will decide the election show a closer contest.