US president Donald Trump and his challenger Joe Biden have traded ‘un-presidential’ insults in one of the most chaotic and bitter White House debates in years on Tuesday (29).
Biden called the president a “clown” – twice. At one point, he apparently thought better of it.
Interrupted repeatedly by Trump, an exasperated Joe Biden resorted to insults and name-calling against an opponent who built his political career by coining belittling nicknames for his rivals.
“You’re the worst president America has ever had,” Biden said during a back-and-forth on taxes.
The insults featured heavily during a chaotic encounter in which Trump often talked over Biden and moderator Chris Wallace. Biden’s frustrations were frequently apparent.
Following the debate, election betting odds on Betfair Exchange, the operator of the world’s largest online betting bourse, showed Biden’s probability of winning at 60 per cent, up from 56 per cent before the debate. Trump has a 40 per cent probability of victory.
Biden, 77, has held a consistent lead over Trump, 74, in opinion polls, although surveys in the battleground states that will decide the election show a closer contest.
Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden in the Cleveland debate, the first ahead of the Nov. 3 vote, as the rival candidates traded barbs over Trump’s taxes, the economy, the coronavirus pandemic and the integrity of the election.
“Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential,” Biden said to Trump during a segment on the Supreme Court.
“The fact is this man doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Biden said during a discussion on healthcare.
“It’s hard to get any word in with this clown, excuse me, this person,” Biden during an exchange about taxes.
The former vice president called Trump a “racist” for banning racial-sensitivity training in his administration.
He called Trump “Putin’s puppy,” needling him for not confronting Russia about allegedly putting bounties on US soldiers. Trump tried to object, but was reprimanded by Wallace for speaking out of turn.
On Twitter and at campaign rallies, Trump has called Biden “Sleepy Joe,” an apparent dig at the 77-year-old Democrat’s vitality. He did not use the nickname on Tuesday.
The president brought up Biden’s son’s struggles with drugs and mocked his opponent’s academic performance at the University of Delaware, where according to the Washington Post, Biden graduated 506th in a class of 688.
“He was the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word smart with me,” Trump said. “Because you know what, there’s nothing smart about you, Joe.”
Biden said he was proud of his son Hunter for overcoming addiction.
Trump also suggested that Biden could not drum up enough interest to hold large in-person rallies, when Biden criticized him for flouting social-distancing rules at campaign events.
“If you could get the crowds, you would have done the same thing,” Trump said.