Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, candidates for the presidency of the United States, participated on Thursday night (15) in debates with voters on different TV stations, at the same time.
They should have faced off in a debate in Miami, Florida, canceled after President Trump contracted Covid-19 and refused to participate in an event in virtual format.
Trump answered voter questions for 60 minutes in an NBC News studio, with mediation by journalist Savannah Guthrie, while Biden spoke to the audience in Philadelphia for 90 minutes at ABC, brokered by George Stephanopoulos.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden still have a debate before the November 3 election, scheduled for October 22, in Nashville, Tennessee, with mediation by NBC News’ Kristen Welker.
See how each interview went
U.S. President Donald Trump and Republican candidate for re-election during an interview in Miami this Thursday (15) – Photo: Carlos Barria / Reuters
In the Miami interview, the current president and candidate for re-election reinforced that the government took the necessary steps to contain the new coronavirus by banning travelers from China from entering the U.S.in January, even under protest from Democrats.
Trump, however, did not answer why it did not take other measures to stop the contagions in February – month in which he was warned about the gravity of Covid-19, as revealed by the book by journalist Bob Woodward.
Asked about the use of masks, the Republican suggested that the Americans use them, if they wish, but then he gave an incorrect information: that 85% of the people who wear the item contract the coronavirus.
The president also said he was opposed to closing the country and said that New York has become a “ghost town” with people leaving because of the pandemic and the lockdown measures.
“The cure cannot be worse than the disease,” said Trump.
Regarding contracting Covid-19, the Republican stated that “don’t remember” when you got a positive test and said he “probably” passed exams on the day of the debate with Joe Biden – according to Trump, he was tested “almost every day”. He also said he had few symptoms of the coronavirus and that he no longer feels anything related to the disease.
- Racism and conspiracy
Trump denied he was running away from the issue of racism in the U.S. “I denounce white supremacists and I have been doing this for years,” he said. The Republican had been accused of not condemning racist groups during the debate with Biden.
The president also said that the party tried to pass through Congress a police reform project that would better prepare police officers to deal with the public and prevent events like the one that ended in George Floyd’s death. According to the Republican, Democrats barred the proposal.
Regarding QAnon, a conspiracy theory that believes Trump will save the United States from “satanist pedophiles” infiltrated in the government and among Democrats, the president said he knew nothing about the group that believes and disseminates this thesis. “I know they are very much against pedophilia,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump participates in an interview with NBC in Miami on Thursday (15) – Photo: Carlos Barria / Reuters
Trump again denied the New York Times report that said he failed to pay taxes in consecutive years, but ended up admitting that he owes money – the president did not say, however, to whom he owes.
“The numbers [apresentados pela reportagem] They’re wrong […] and represent a small percentage of my assets, “said the Republican.
- Abortion and appointment of conservative judge
Trump defended the choice of conservative Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court judge, but said he did not talk to her about sensitive issues, including abortion. The practice is allowed nationally in the US due to a 1970s court decision, which some ranks of the Republican Party advocate reversing.
The president didn’t say if he would do anything to reverse abortion laws, but defended that each state has the right to decide which best approach to the theme.
The President of the USA promised a quick recovery of the country after the shock caused by the start of the pandemic and said the results will come as early as November. Trump added that this positive data will arrive two days before the election, which, for the Republican, will generate a “red wave”, in reference to possible party voters.
At the end of the interview, Trump asked for votes when he said he did a “great job”. “Our economy is strong and we have jobs like never before,” he said, adding that the government “has rebuilt the armed forces and borders”.
- Transition of power in case you lose to Biden
Trump has admitted that he will accept a peaceful transfer of power if he loses to Biden. “But I want it to be an honest election,” he said, adding that “he strongly believes he will win the election”.
Moments earlier, he had suggested that the fairness of the vote was at risk when he was informed of “thousands of ballots in trash cans”. The interviewer then considered that the FBI director himself denied that there was substantial evidence of electoral fraud.
Joe Biden, Democratic candidate for president of the USA, wears a mask before the beginning of an interview with the ABC network on Thursday (15) – Photo: Tom Brenner / Reuters
Biden was asked if he would take and recommend a vaccine against Covid-19 shortly after its approval, as his runner-up candidate, Kamala Harris, said in a debate that she would not take the immunizer if she was appointed by Trump, but by scientists.
The Democrat said he clearly trusts the scientists and keeps in touch to find out about the polls, but he also doesn’t trust what the current president says, after all he says “crazy”, remembering the episode in which he suggested that people inject disinfectant against or coronavirus.
When asked if vaccination would become mandatory, Biden said that the population cannot even be forced to wear masks, and therefore knows that it would be impossible to attempt to launch a mandatory vaccination campaign.
The candidate, who has always been in favor of wearing masks, also recalled that “if 85% of people wore masks, you wouldn’t even need a lockdown”.
A young black man posed a question in a provocative tone, evoking a statement by which Biden already apologized, made in May, that blacks who had doubts about who to vote for ‘are not blacks’, asking what else would he have to say to these voters.
The former vice president responded by citing plans to expand funds for low-income schools and aid for financing for those who wish to buy their first home, as well as aid plans for black entrepreneurs, who currently have more difficulty obtaining funds. He also cited data on black universities and their position on reform of the justice system as points that would make him more attractive to these voters than Trump.
Interview with Joe Biden, Democratic candidate for president of the United States, in Philadelphia this Thursday (15) – Photo: Tom Brenner / Reuters
Asked by a Republican voter unwilling to vote for Trump over the Crimes Act she helped pass in 1994, and which many accuse of being unfavorable to minorities, especially blacks, Biden admitted to being wrong in supporting the law in general, but said that there are parts that are good and bad.
According to him, the banning of assault weapons was a positive aspect, but a negative point with which he does not agree was that he gave money to states to expand prison systems. In addition, he also does not think that people should go to prison for drug use, but that they should be referred for rehabilitation. “We have to decriminalize marijuana, change the system. From punishment to rehabilitation ”.
Regarding the police, Biden said he was in favor of significant national reform, which would bring it closer to the community.
“Most policemen don’t like bad policemen. We have to have transparency. If a police officer has to be charged, for example, it has to be a prosecutor from outside the community. Another thing is that the police need to work together with psychologists and social workers, ”he said.
Biden said that police officers are often called on for cases they are not prepared to handle, such as people with psychiatric problems that pose risks to themselves or others.
Speaking about the appointment of Judge Amy Barrett, the Democrat said he had “great concern for the LGBT community and because the president goes to the Supreme Court a month after the election to try to take Obamacare out of millions”.
According to him, the Constitution implies that citizens choose the composition of the Supreme Court according to who they choose for the Senate and the presidency – and the electoral process has already begun. That is why a judge could not be appointed at this time.
Once again asked if the number of judges would increase if elected, he again avoided answering directly, claiming that “if I answer the question directly, then all the focus will be on, ‘what Biden will do if he wins, instead of whether it is appropriate what is happening now’. And this is something that the president loves to do, which is to always take our eyes off the ball ”.
But he admitted that “I am open to considering what happens from what happens now”. Biden has promised, however, that he will give voters a concrete answer about what he will do before the November 3 elections.
When a voter mentioned the return of troops to the U.S. and the recent peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates as positive aspects of Trump’s foreign policy, Biden said he gave the president a little credit, but not much.
“We are more isolated than ever. ‘America first’ left America alone. You have Iran closer to having enough nuclear material to build a bomb. North Korea has more bombs and missiles available. Our allies in NATO are saying publicly that they cannot count on us “.
He also said that the United States no longer arouses much confidence around the world and that Trump “spoke to Putin six times and we don’t know what, and exchanged love letters with Kim Jong-un”.
A little discussed topic during the campaign was addressed by the mother of two girls, one of them transgender, who cited discriminatory policies from the Trump administration, which do not allow transgender people to enlist in the armed forces and even withdrew the word from government websites. She questioned what Biden would do to protect people like the girl.
“I would simply change the law. I would eliminate those executive orders,” said the Democrat, saying that there should be “zero discrimination” and that “there is no reason to suggest that his daughter should be denied any rights,” said Biden, “nothing that your other daughter has the right to be and do. None (right). Zero”.
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