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Tense debate between a confident Trump and a confused Biden

Photo: Michael M. Santiago Getty Images via Agence France-Presse The debate, barring surprises, should not move the lines much, in a country where political polarization is extreme.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds – Agence France-Presse, Camille Camdessus – Agence France-Presse, Aurélia End – Agence France-Presse in Atlanta and Washington

Posted at 10:26 a.m. Updated at 11:02 p.m.

  • United States

Donald Trump chaining false assertions with aplomb, Joe Biden offensive in substance but very confused in form: the two American presidential candidates clashed over inflation, immigration and Ukraine during their first debate on Thursday.

“Inflation is killing our country,” said the 78-year-old former Republican president from the outset, extremely comfortable, repeating an argument he knows representative to the Americans, and assuring that his rival was doing a “bad job”, despite robust growth and good employment.

The 81-year-old Democrat, with an often hoarse voice in front of the CNN cameras, the channel organizing the debate, attacked a subject that he knows is delicate for the billionaire, accusing him of his “terrible” action against the right to abortion.< /p>

He also accused Donald Trump of “lying” by asserting that illegal immigration was causing crime to soar, before moving on to more personal ground.

The Democrat recalled that his opponent was a “convict”, after having been found guilty in a case of hidden payments to a former actress of X-rated films, and judged that he had the “moral sense of a depraved person”, treating him repeatedly called “whiny.”

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” replied the former president, indicted in several other cases, asserting that the justice system was “rigged”.

The Republican, who never conceded defeat in 2020, did not commit to unconditionally recognizing the verdict of the ballot boxes in November, assuring that he would accept it if the election was “fair and equitable”.

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Donald Trump, without going as far as the insults with which he peppers his campaign speeches, affirmed that his rival was “not cut out” to be president, and presented him as a weak leader.

“He has become like a Palestinian, but they don’t like him because he is a very bad Palestinian. A weak [Palestinian],” launched the Republican, in reference to Joe Biden’s policy in the face of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The war in Ukraine is not would never have happened if the United States had a “leader”, he also assured.

Polarization

Donald Trump challenged Joe Biden to take a “cognitive test,” boasting that he himself had taken two and “shine,” before praising his golf performances while his rival wore a mocking smile.

The former real estate developer multiplied the false assertions and exaggerations, without intervention from the two journalists of CNN hosting the evening.

The latter, in addition to asking questions, essentially ensured that everyone's speaking time was respected, cutting the microphone as soon as they had expired, which prevented untimely interruptions.

The two men, who frankly hate each other, did not shake hands when they arrived on the set of the CNN channel, in Atlanta, in the state of Georgia. According to a reporter briefly admitted to the set, they did not exchange a glance during the first commercial break.

The debate, barring surprises, should not cause much movement the lines, in a country where political polarization is extreme.

But the stakes are no less enormous: if one of the two candidates manages to seduce a few independent voters, this could be enough to give him the advantage in November, as the vote promises to be close.

To do this, Joe Biden must in particular reassure people about his vitality and health, and in this regard, his performance on Thursday is likely to be seen as a missed opportunity, even if he has gained in ease over the course of the debate.

“I don't understand a word he's saying, isn't that sad?,” said Hazel Reitz, 55, attending a screening of the debate organized by the Republican Party in San Francisco. She will nevertheless vote for the Democrat in November.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116