Vastavam Web: Marked by angry interruptions and bitter accusations, the first debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden erupted in contentious exchanges Tuesday night over the coronavirus pandemic, city violence, job losses and how the Supreme Court will shape the future of the nation’s health care.
In what was the most chaotic presidential debate in recent years, somehow fitting for what has been an extraordinarily ugly campaign, the two men frequently talked over each other with Trump interrupting, nearly shouting, so often that Biden eventually snapped at him, “Will you shut up, man?”
“The fact is that everything he’s said so far is simply a lie,” Biden said. “I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar.”
Trump and Biden arrived in Cleveland hoping the debate would energize their bases of support, even as they competed for the slim slice of undecided voters who could decide the election. It has been generations since two men asked to lead a nation facing such tumult, with Americans both fearful and impatient about the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 of their fellow citizens and cost millions of jobs.
Hours before the debate, Mr. Biden did just that, his 2019 tax return, showing he paid nearly $300,000 in federal taxes. The New York Times reported that the president paid $750 for 2016 and the same amount for 2017—and zero for years before that.
Mr. Biden has been trying to contrast his modest upbringing in Pennsylvania with Mr. Trump’s in New York, and during the debate he framed the election as “Scranton vs. Park Avenue,” an appeal to working class voters who helped elect Mr. Trump in 2016.
Mr. Trump has refused to release his returns, counter to decades of presidential precedence, saying he is under audit.