The first presidential debate quickly devolved into a chaotic mix of vicious personal attacks, repeated interruptions and unadulterated lies as Joe Biden squared off against Donald Trump on Tuesday night.
While there were a number of telling unfortunate moments sprinkled throughout what CNN’s Dana Bash called “a shit show,” one of the lowlights was when Trump refused to outright condemn “white supremacists” and militia groups.”
He also had some real kind words for the Proud Boys, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has recognized as a hate group.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left,” he said.
Ben Jealous, President of People For the American Way, openly condemned Trump’s “racial hatred and bigotry” and said the debate was further proof he’s not fit to be president.
“Tonight in Cleveland, Donald Trump stood on stage and lied and deflected for 90 minutes straight. He did not give the American people the truth about his disastrous handling of COVID-19, his scheme to destroy health care with his Supreme Court nominee, his part in stoking racial hatred and bigotry, or the economic hardships that tens of millions of Americans are facing because of his failed leadership,” Jealous said in a statement emailed to NewsOne. “Watching Trump tonight, we are all reminded that on his watch, 200,000 Americans have died of coronavirus, we still have 13 million people out of work, and racism and hostility have gained a new foothold in public discourse and in policymaking. Nothing Trump says in a debate can erase his incompetence, narcissism and corruption. Tonight was just more evidence that we need to support the Biden-Harris ticket to hand Trump his walking papers and lead us out of the mess he and his enablers have created.”
Biden came into the debate clinging to a slim polling lead of just two percentage points, according to the most recent Harvard CAPS-Harris survey.
“The poll shows the race closing to 2 points with likely voters and 4 points with leaners as the president showed improvement in the economy that dipped below double-digit unemployment and hit the theme of curbing unrest on which he gained,” Mark Harris, the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll director, said.
However, for what it’s worth, a collective average of polls released over the past week showed Biden was enjoying a lead of more than six percentage points over Trump with just 35 days left until the election.
Trump has managed to switch his campaign’s narrative from 2016’s role of voter suppressor to purportedly being the victim of voter suppression this time around with unsubstantiated claims of Democrats “rigging” the election.
Ahead of the debate, there was a growing curiosity over not if Trump was going to get personal with Biden, but how and when he would. The president was expected to attack Biden’s son, Hunter, over his work in Ukraine; claims of wrongdoing that have long been debunked. But as the world knows by now, the president is no friend to the truth and freely lets lies fly no matter the topic.
Trump has also been pushing an unproven claim that Biden was using first performance-enhancing drugs, then anti-anxiety drugs and challenged the Democratic nominee to take a drug test. Biden, of course, declined, leading Trump to disingenuously tweet, “I wonder why?”
While those allegations were far from fact, there was one report that was probably much closer to the truth: that Trump’s 2016 campaign tried to “deter” Black people from voting via the controversial big data company Cambridge Analytica.
Somewhat related, Trump’s former campaign manager for his re-election was also in the news for all the wrong reasons. Brad Parscale, who has since been demoted to an adviser for data and digital operations, previously targeted Black voters with “dark posts” to diminish Black voter turnout for Hillary Clinton while working as the Trump campaign’s social media director.
This is America.
‘Stand By’: Trump Refuses To Denounce White Supremacy As Debate vs. Biden Spirals Out Of Control was originally published on newsone.com