CLEVELAND / OSLO (Dagbladet): Last night Norwegian time, the first presidential debate before the election in November was held in the USA. The debate became very heated and chaotic.
After a brief introduction, the debate went straight to Trump’s new candidate to become Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett. The president nominated her on Saturday and has met with strong opposition from the Democrats. The debate quickly turned to health insurance and the corona pandemic.
“We won the election and therefore we have the right to choose her,” Trump said.
– We should wait and see the result of the election, Biden broke in.
Arguing with the debate leader
After just 12 minutes, Trump also started arguing with debate leader Chris Wallace about whether he should be allowed to complete his question about what Trump’s health plan is.
– Let me complete the question, said the debate leader from Fox News.
– I see that I have to debate you, not him. But it’s ok. I’m not surprised, Trump continued to Wallace while Biden laughed out loud.
Trump also continued to aggressively interrupt Biden and they ended up talking in each other’s mouths.
– I’m not here to fact check Trump. Everyone knows he’s a liar, Biden said.
Furthermore, Biden is allowed to talk about the coronavirus for two minutes without Trump breaking in. However, the president did not succeed.
“Wrong,” Trump said in the middle of Biden’s speech.
– Now we are weeks away from a vaccine. Fewer people die when they get sick. We have done a good job. No matter what you say to the media, they give you bad pressure. That’s the only thing we’ve done wrong, Trump interrupted.
– 200,000 people have died under Trump. What does it mean for them, if Obama’s health care reform disappears, Biden then asked.
“If you were here, two million people would die,” Trump replied.
– Shut up
The two presidential candidates also continued to question each other when it came to other issues.
When asked about the delay in political processes, Biden went straight to Trump’s throat.
– Can you shut up, man? in Biden.
But Trump continued to interrupt.
– Can you just be quiet for a second, Biden also said on a later occasion.
Debate leader Chris Wallace struggled a number of times to steer the debate. He repeatedly tried to ask Trump to be quiet, without success.
– Masks are not good
The debate continued on the use of masks during the corona pandemic.
– I do not wear a mask every time like him. Masks are not good, Trump said about wearing a face mask.
Biden responds with loud laughter, and says that you should wear masks.
Trump is then asked how much he has paid in federal taxes after the New York Times’ article on Trump’s tax returns showed that he only paid $ 750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017.
– I paid millions in taxes. I paid 38 million dollars one year and 27 million dollars the other year, says US President Donald Trump in the presidential debate.
– I paid millions, Trump replied when asked again: – How much did you pay in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017.
Biden broke in and said that he then had to present the papers, something he has not done despite promises to do so.
Accused Trump of being a racist
Joe Biden also accused President Donald Trump of being a racist during the debate when the topic was race and riots.
“This is a president who generates racist hatred, racial segregation,” Biden said.
Trump quickly struck back, saying that Biden was behind a law in the 1990s that harmed African Americans.
“I believe in law and order, but you do not,” Trump said.
Biden leads the polls
Before the presidential debate, a recent poll from ABC News and the Washington Post showed that Joe Biden now leads with 54 percent against Trump’s 44 percent.
Both President Trump and the challenger Biden landed Norwegian time in Cleveland on Tuesday night. Trump arrived in Cleveland with First Lady Melania Trump.
Biden came on his own alone, but wore a bandage, something the presidential couple did not have.
Publish tax returns
Just hours before the debate, Biden published his tax returns. The announcement comes just days after the New York Times published information from Trump’s tax returns for the past 20 years.
According to the newspaper, only Trump paid $ 750 in taxes in 2016, the year he was elected president. The following year, the first year he was president, he also paid only $ 750 in taxes.
750 US dollars is equivalent to about 7100 kroner, converted to today’s exchange rate.
Trump has referred to the tax revelations as “fake news”.
Refused to hand them over
At the same time as publishing his tax returns, he urged President Trump to do the same. Both as presidential candidate and later as president, Trump has refused to disclose his tax returns to the public.
Biden, for his part, is said to have paid 346,000 dollars – close to 3.3 million kroner in federal income tax last year. He states the income in 2019 at around NOK 9.3 million. Biden’s vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris has also published her latest tax return.