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President Trump Plays Offense in First Presidential Debate

Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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by AMAC, Andrew Mangione
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debateThe highly anticipated first presidential debate took place in Cleveland last night. Despite the Biden campaign’s request for breaks every 30 minutes, Joe Biden managed to stay upright though not unaffected by President Trump’s verbal assaults. The President’s strategy to disrupt Biden was evident early on and worked in some instances as the former Vice President told Trump to “shut up” and resorted to name calling, referring to him as a “liar,” “racist,” and “clown.”

President Trump seemed to have two debate opponents last night as the FOX News moderator, Chris Wallace wore many hats. When Biden interrupted Trump and the two men were talking over each other, he acted much like a playground monitor. On occasion, he appeared to act as a Biden campaign surrogate when he did not provide the President opportunity for pushback to Biden’s perpetuation of a number of liberal narratives including, the President’s comments about “fine people” at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville in 2017 that were distorted by the media. He also allowed Biden to claim that Antifa does not exist without any follow-up questions regarding the destruction done by the group in American cities. Wallace also carried the water for liberals with his climate change questions. He argued with the President about his interruptions, even though Biden was retaliating with interruptions of his own throughout the night.

Trump landed some solid blows with his explanation of his authority to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and had some great one-liners that befuddled Biden, like telling him to not “ever use the word “smart” with me” when the former Vice President referred to his intelligence.  Biden, drawing on 47 years’ worth of debate experience, struck Clintonesque poses when he looked directly into the camera to somewhat dramatically address the television audience with vague platitudes. Biden did say confusing things last night like professing that the Green New Deal would pay for itself in time and then admitting that he didn’t support it — in the same sentence. He also said that America’s suburbs were being burned and flooded because of climate change and tornadoes were striking the Midwest due to global warming.

When Wallace asked the candidates if violence in American cities is a party issue, President Trump delivered an effective sound byte when he said, “Yes. Look at Chicago.” Biden also refused to answer questions regarding packing the Supreme Court and could not name any law enforcement agency that endorsed his candidacy when pressed by President Trump.

There was much arguing and disruption throughout this debate and it failed to deliver any substantive discussion on policy. Both men were on the attack and their dislike for each other dominated the evening.  Supporters of both Biden and President Trump are probably pleased with what they saw last night, but the debate did little to give those undecided voters the fundamental reasons they need to decide who to support in November. There are two more debates on the calendar which (hopefully) means two more opportunities for the public to compare and contrast these two men with very different visions for America.

Andrew Mangione is Senior Vice President for AMAC’s advocacy affiliate, AMAC Action. He leads AMAC’s grassroots efforts, represents AMAC’s membership in Washington, D.C., and helps chart the association’s policy course. He also serves as a national spokesperson.

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Richard
Richard
3 years ago

Most poorly-moderated debate I’ve ever seen. Every time Trump had Biden on the ropes, Chris Wallace interrupted and made him break the hold. Wallace’s bias was crystal clear for all to see.

gary w havener
gary w havener
3 years ago

My friends ALL believe that Trump would be far, far better off to act politely rather than sounding like this was a school yard argument. He gains nothing with that.

T K
T K
3 years ago

I think Trump won, but, I wish he wouldn’t have interrupted so much and I wish he used a bit of humor when appropriate, he’s great at it and it’s a memorable tactic. I realize Trump has to debate not only Biden but the moderator too. It’s not fair but Trump can handle it.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
3 years ago

Debate: Rigged with Wallace siding with Biden, Joe using earpiece & meds to do debate
Bias to the President, made to look “crazy”.
Rethink Debate 2
Total chaos, & Wallace aided fuel to the fire
Rethink moderators.
OR Have audience we on line submit questions LIVE vs moderators
Joe fed canned lines from campaign.
Cant memorize that stuff had to have earpiece.

Nancy Besson
Nancy Besson
3 years ago

I am going to vote for President Trump, no matter what. Biden didn’t answer questions and was immature in his name calling. However, I just read from Amac that President Trump’s interruptions were tactics, but I believe they werr too excessive. I turned off my TV, and I will not be watching the other two debates. Thank you, NAB

Cindy Cunniffe
Cindy Cunniffe
3 years ago

I was very disappointed in the behavior of both of the candidates. As a Christian, Trump is the only option in this election but considering our office of the presidency is the highest office we have, the antics were disgusting on both sides. The issues were not discussed to the degree they could have been and in my opinion this debate did nothing to help undecided voters. Sad is all I can say…….

Nancy Evans
Nancy Evans
3 years ago

Did anyone notice toward the end of the debate when President Trump actually was able to talk, Biden seemed like he was talking to someone. His head was bent down and his mouth moving. Praying?? or Coms? Interesting to me.

Phil Hammersley
Phil Hammersley
3 years ago

I dvr’d it and have only seen the first half so far. Trump came out swinging which was good! Wallace, who has shown disdain for Trump before, helped Biden several times. Why no question from Wallace why Joe waiting 90 days to condemn violence andrioting? Isn’t that an important topic?

Ed Kelly
Ed Kelly
3 years ago

A school yard argument at best. Trump didn’t need to act like a bully, he could have simply stated facts. The talking over each other was disruptive and made them both look like asses. Trump should stick to his accomplishments and draw a picture of America under 4 more years and stop trying to upset the old dog Biden.

Shirley
Shirley
3 years ago

I wish that our President has responded with facts rather than campaign rhetoric. Specifics. Didn’t think there was a ‘winner’. I do not like contentious speaking over each other, even though I understand that Mr Trump has to do that in order to speak at all most of the time.

Cecilia
Cecilia
3 years ago

I am a Trump supporter, but was a bit disappointed by the debate. Chris Wallace was so obviously pro-Biden. One remark I especially raised an eyebrow to was how he use the words “ram through” the nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice. Does that sound non-partisan? Many of his questions were accompanied by a personal opinion. I thought the host was supposed to be neutral. Chris Wallace was in no way neutral. I don’t blame Trump for getting angry because Wallace and all the other fake news networks were pro-Biden.

Shoe
Shoe
3 years ago

I don’t think any hearts or minds were changed last night. The only “undecided” voters are dead people in Chicago whose ballots won’t be completed until late on election night

patty
patty
3 years ago

trump missed a very important opportunity. he repeated all the same things from his rallies rather than providing the american people, especially those who are still undecided, solid solutions for our future. the next debate, should there be one, will likely have less viewers!

Dan W.
Dan W.
3 years ago

That was quite a spectacle. I doubt if any minds were changed except that some people may decide not to vote.

I don’t know if I want to see two more of these “debates”. Oh wait, I’m sure that I don’t.

Myrnam
Myrnam
3 years ago

Deciding on debate moderators must be Establishment, a person who will help fight the outsider and give the swamp a chance to continue as they have decided among themselves to run the country.
Chris Wallace showed who he favors with no attempt to be impartial. Freedom is on the ballot. Any citizen who has real knowledge of the alternatives will know that. I just hope we have not had so many years of relative freedom that we can’t even tell when it is under attack,

patty
patty
3 years ago

additionally, i’m just hoping this was a tactic by trump, and will establish a more powerful strategy for the next debate (should there be one).

General Patton
General Patton
3 years ago

Chris Wallace is a disgrace, like a “helicopter parent” trying to save Creepy Joe Biden from his foot and mouth disease.
TRUMP ate them both alive! The American people need a fighter like TRUMP to lead our country. MAGA 2020

Melody
Melody
3 years ago

Wallace was a horrible moderator! Candidates needed more time to respond. Wallace clearly sided with Biden. Biden really lacked understanding of the issues. Just an observation but it is sad to see Biden depend on his wife. He clearly should be enjoying retirement.

Jude
Jude
3 years ago

First of all, I am a pro-Trump supporter, so needless to say I have nothing good to say about Joe Biden/Kamala Harris, & I pray to God every night that they DO NOT get elected in November! I pray to God every night & sometimes in daytime too for Donald Trump TO BE re-elected in November! I do not agree with socialism, & let’s face it the Democrats have become a Socialist/ Communist party & they tell lies & make things up that are untrue! I do not want to see abortions of babies & especially do not want to see abortions of babies at term birth/or who are born alive! I was amazed last night during the debate how all of a sudden Joe Biden is not for the green new deal or whatever it’s called! He said something like he has his own Biden new deal, & that’s kind of scary, isn’t it! Woe for USA if Biden/Harris ticket wins the November election!

Kathleen Cunningham
Kathleen Cunningham
3 years ago

I got very tired of listening to both candidates shout at each other, and both were extremely rude to each other. I understand President Trump’s frustration, and anger at Biden pretending the Democrats are not at fault for the past 4 years, but I would hope in the future debates he remain calm, and simply outline his plans, telling the American people why they should vote for President Trump, not why they should not vote for Biden. He comes across so much better and Biden continues to look inept.

David Spade
David Spade
3 years ago

President Trump had to take on two opponents last night. Wallace was an impediment to a good debate. Wallace was doing a lot of blocking and tackling for the Democrats. He thinks pretty highly of himself. Biden was being fed information throughout the night as could be seen by the wire he was wearing. What about Biden’s support of the Green New Deal? He is for one of the most expensive government programs ever….and he does not have a clue. The people of America also need to know about his involvement and his son’s involvement in receiving money from China. He is disingenuous at best.

David Gonnella
David Gonnella
3 years ago

As a fervent Trump supporter I must give the following verdict on the debate: Biden lost, but Trump did not win.

The President’s answer to the early question about appointing a Supreme Court justice in an election year was a thing of beauty. Donald Trump gave a calm, reasoned and factual answer. Had he continued that way he would have won easily. His command of the facts was far better than Biden’s but he spoiled it with rude interruptions and name calling. When the two of them were talking at once no one could be heard. Trump should have let Biden speak, waited his turn and then demolished Biden’s lies with truth.

Of course, I am still voting for Trump. Unfortunately, I doubt that he persuaded those on the fence to come into his yard.

Lynda DeCarlo
Lynda DeCarlo
3 years ago

This was not a debate. It was a free for all. Badly moderated. Immature actions on both of the candidate’s parts. Why didn’t Trump denounce white supremacy groups? I turned it off and went to bed. This fiasco played right into the main stream medias hands. Disgusting

RJ from Arizona
RJ from Arizona
3 years ago

I stopped watching before the end. Neither candidate explained why I should vote for them.
Biden did the shuffle around several important questions. Typical politician. Hope the next debate is better.

West
West
3 years ago

The debate to me was horrible. Gave me a headache. Trump is a solid business man with many accomplishments without a doubt, but he was suckered into running his mouth off in defensed. His inability to be professional and calm was a negative black eye but we all know he has been this way. Trump does a remarkable job recalling the past but it needs to done in a firm yet professional manner. This over talking each other was bunk.

I wonder if they duped Biden as he was more coherent than we seen him in the past (Still incompetent). Even though he too was guilty of speaking while Trump was to speak uninterrupted, Trump was far worse…. Needs to arise above that.

Trump was spot on regarding the lack of usefulness of Biden 47 years of milking the federal government tit, corruption of his sons far east money laundering and involvement. But citizens re-electing such a candidate reveals dumbfounded citizens to make decisions as well… Just sayin, lots of bunk going on….

Kim
Kim
3 years ago

…and two more opportunities for President Trump to more calmly showcase his accomplishments over the past 4 years. I watched the debate, and must confess my disappointment that neither candidate presented his best case for votes. My first impression was that Biden had good makeup and that Trump looked stressed, tired, and defiant.

What a mess that was! I will vote for Trump, of course, but he needs to find better coaches (Giuliani and Christie, my brother said) and to be more respectful of the rules (“rule of law”, after all).

Biden gave several opportunities for a brisk rebuttal from the president, but the format of the debate didn’t allow it, or the conversation just dissolved into a series of unintelligible interruptions. We would have been better off without Chris Wallace there at all. Trump will appear to many as a bully and Biden as not too fast on his feet and stuck in the frozen stare (“Where do I go? What do I say?”).

Biden’s statement that he will raise corporate taxes, something about Trump being “antisemitic” (did I hear that right?) in reference to Charlottesville, his waffling on the New Green Deal, that Antifa is only “an idea”…calling Trump “the worst president America has ever had” and saying that this man “has done virtually nothing”…that climate change is causing flooding and burning in the suburbs…Oh my…!

But, hey, Biden has a plan for that! He has lots of plans! Ugh. “Plan” is now my least favorite word of the month.

I look forward to hearing the next debate, on October 15, but please, Mr. President, try to “look more presidential”. It could sway some votes, if the thoughts of this morning’s talk radio callers are any indication.

Bernard C
Bernard C
3 years ago

Chris Wallace is a left wing partisan and the wrong person to “moderate” a debate. “Moderating a debate” means to officiate not become one-sided! No surprise here, the left has taken over so many institutions that they have brought America to a breaking point. Wallace sided with Biden admonishing the President of the United States while allowing the has-been, Biden, to stumble, fall, name-calling, and interrupting the President at every turn. Chris Wallace is a hack failing to drill down on almost everything Biden proclaimed as facts while raping the President of the United States. President Trump was attacked from the moderator and Biden . Wallace is a smug partisan hack with an unimpressive stature as a man of integrity. If Americans choose this nincompoop, Biden, then I say we take back the country with any means possible. The left is full of yard cigars! MAGA!

Brenda Blunt
Brenda Blunt
3 years ago

Sounds like like an adult temper tantrum!!

susabella
susabella
3 years ago

Comments I have heard this morning indicate many are not inclined to vote for either of them. The “debate” was a disgrace, for Trump, for Chris Matthews especially, and a sad thing for Biden. I hope there will be no more debates between the “three” of them.

Rick J.
Rick J.
3 years ago

Not a great debate….I support President Trump…but I wish he would not be so quick to punch down.
Biden can make a fool out of himself. by just letting him ramble.

Fairfield 54
Fairfield 54
3 years ago

President Trump did an okay job. What he needs to do next time is hit Joe with the facts, and then step back and let Joe answer. Joe will trip over his own tongue. I know it is difficult to do for President Trump – but if he does he will win more voters over.

Sonja Moreau
Sonja Moreau
3 years ago

I think it’s an injustice to let either candidate know ahead of time what subjects or questions are going to be asked. That’s the purpose of a debate, to answer questions presented on an impromptu basis. To show the audience you can answer right away. The moderator last night did a lousy job. And I feel President Trump didn’t get the allotted time that he should of gotten. Also in a debate usually you get a chance to do a rebuttal to the specific question. President Trump was frustrated, I would be too, if I wasn’t permitted to explain my thought and be cut off. Name calling by Biden was disrespectful and unbecoming of a president. But that’s to be expected as the Democrats and the media have been playing hardball for over three years now. And President Trump is correct he is president until 01/20/21 for this term in office.

James
James
3 years ago

Chris Wallace has never impressed me – he leans to the left. I thought one question about Joe Biden’s history as a global grifter was in America’s best interest. A question of that nature would better reveal Joe’s character. Example: just one question about Hunter and his new found wealth and how it was obtained, no such questions were asked.

susabella
susabella
3 years ago

And after all this, you know that Kamala will actually be the president if Biden is elected. Have you heard her trying to answer questions? Good grief. She is entirely unprepared to do anything but cackle. What in the world were the Democrats thinking? Does being female and being black (sort of) mean you will be a great leader?

Bill
Bill
3 years ago

It was 2 (Biden and Wallace) against one ( Trump) last night. Wallace acted like the typical anti-Trump liberal media we have seen the past several years. Wallace protected Biden every time Biden looked uncomfortable or could not answer. Biden got away with lies and slander, but when Trump would begin to reply and clarify, Wallace would interfere. Wallace tried several “gotcha” questions for Trump, which exposed his bias, since he never did that to Biden. Biden was not genuine and acted like he was attempting to perform a script that he spent a long time practicing. He did not look too good. I’m not sure if we can blame the media or the Democratic party for the elder abuse they are putting Joe Biden through. Biden is too confused and should not be running for President! Trump 2020!

Charlotte A Mahin
Charlotte A Mahin
3 years ago

Very poor job by Chris Wallace. I knew he was not a lover of Trump but hoped he would be fair and he seemed to feel sorry for Biden. I also thought Biden was better prepped than Trump so the days he was “in the basement” worked for him. I think it was a draw. Trump was on offense but seemed very angry and even upset some of the time while Biden kept his cool but didn’t answer some of the questions at all.

Hdrydr
Hdrydr
3 years ago

Biden and Wallace had their asses handed to them by President Trump last night. They looked like 2 school children.

Morty Tupperman
Morty Tupperman
3 years ago

“…the former Vice President told Trump to “shut up” and resorted to name calling, referring to him as a “liar,” “racist,” and “clown.” Textbook left-wing rhetoric. I’m surprised Biden didn’t throw “stooges” in there somewhere.

Reiterating the lie that Atlantic magazine started about Trump calling fallen member of our armed services “losers and suckers” was even lower.

Then Biden presented his “plan” – Disaster City.

The only “losers and suckers” this November 3rd will be Biden-Harris supporters.

Ruth Pierce
Ruth Pierce
3 years ago

I turned the debate off after about 10 minutes of name calling, interrupting one another and Chris Wallace totally losing his control; he could not control the two candidates (President Trump and Joe Biden). Wallace kept calling Biden Mr. Vice President. Joe Biden is the FORMER V.P.; Mike Pence is the CURRENT one. Wallace seemed like a “Biden wannabe” and not an unbiased moderator. (I wonder if Mike Wallace is turning over in his grave!). It seemed to me to be a 2 against 1, President Trump being the scapegoat. I’m glad that there will be two more Presidential Debates and 1 Vice-Presidential debate.

Debra
Debra
3 years ago

I was most disappointed last night. It seems that our Prez will never get a fair shake from the media. Wallace sounded like a CNN commentator and at times was disrespectful to Trump and coddling of Biden. Yes, it was contentious and the animosity between the 2 men more than obvious….however, a substantive discussion was not achieved (or allowed). Biden spoke many lies last night and Trump was given little opportunity to call him out…..Wallace sure as heck wasn’t go to do that! There were 3 men debating: Biden and Wallace against Trump. And it was interesting to note that it was Biden who resorted to name calling when flustered by the truth!

JohnH
JohnH
3 years ago

This debate was painful to watch after a while, Trump & Biden did not pay any attention to the 2-minute rule. Neither would listen when Wallace asked them not to interrupt the other. I could not hear a lot of things cuz all three were talking at same time. The media said 85-million people watched the first Trump/Hillary debate in 2016, so will be interested in seeing audience on this 90-minutes of embarassment.

Ruth Stay
Ruth Stay
3 years ago

I am a Trumper, and was very disappointed by his actions last night. He had a chance to play by rules, and consistently overtalked, interrupted, and rambled. Very disappointed in his demeanor. Hope the next one is more professional. I know that President Trump is his own worst enemy when it comes to a filter between his brain and his mouth. Hope he gets that under control for 2 hours next time. Still voting for him; still have the signs in my yard, but can’t defend his actions last night.

Aaron P. Lopez Sr.
Aaron P. Lopez Sr.
3 years ago

I was embarrassed at the very display of disrespect for one another as candidates and the bias displayed by the moderator Wallace.
I thought to myself ” is this the very best candidates that we have to offer to run this country” ?
It was like watching dumb and dumber.
I’m a pro Trumper, because I sure hate the policies of the Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Green new deal ? Defunding police ? Getting counselors to defuse violence ? Are you freaking kidding me ???
If President Trump would just stand there and look presidential and not say anything Joe Biden would hang himself with all that rope.
Mr President, my advice, let the game come to you !!

bobby Romo
bobby Romo
3 years ago

Hate to be a party pooper but Biden is a clone. He and Hunter already executed. Biden had earpiece implanted in July. Wires showing on him last night and he even adjusted one. Think Hillary. I want to know who was on the other end of that earpiece. They’re using Biden to get votes and he will not be any president.

teresa
teresa
3 years ago

biden was a disgrace – lying right there several times on tv, his videos tell the story of what he proposes yet he just lied. wallace also was not fair, he allowed biden to finish his statements yet with Trump he cut him off and said ok we have to go to the next question. that’s why Trump had to interject when biden was speaking. wallace was also the worst in the first debate

GKP
GKP
3 years ago

The debate showed an old man (JOE BIDEN) and a very aggressive younger man PRESIDENT TRUMP) and a liberal mderator (CHRIS WALLACE). The moderator was pitiful at best and is a stone cold liberal loonie and hates TRUMP and it showed up again last night// When are we going to get a conservative moderator so Biden has to answer a question instead of lips flapping and again a tired old fart//When a question is asked it must be answered by both and not just TRUMP// questions never answered by Biden were green new deal/law and order/and supreme court picks to name a few//

perry morin
perry morin
3 years ago

what a joke for a president to act like he did !!!

Steve P
Steve P
3 years ago

No one won last night, but clearly America was the loser. As our leader, our president should have clear plans and simply convey them. American voters are smart enough to make the correct decision on election day. We’re back to not voting for who we want, but against who we don’t. How did we get to this point???

Steve
Steve
3 years ago

Even the directors were showing their bias. When President Trump was speaking, they would have a close-up of Biden grinning and shaking his head, as if to belittle what the president was saying. I quit watching at that point.

ROBERT KRUEGER
ROBERT KRUEGER
3 years ago

Like two little kids fighting. I have two Grand Daughters that act the same! Sisterly Love.

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
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