Inside the Trump-Biden brawl

It’s safe to say the first debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was historic – in a way that left my jaw on the floor and my body craving a stiff drink once it was all over. 

It’s Ashley, let’s dive right in.

Was that a brawl or debate? 

The night voters were waiting for finally arrived: Trump went head-to-head with Biden on Tuesday night in their first debate of the general election. They shouted their views on who should appoint the next Supreme Court justice, their stances on health care and even brought each other’s families into the fray. Borrowing the words of CNN’s Jake Tapper: “That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck.”

An overwhelming number of you who joined our election text group had a simple request during the debate: More fact checks. Well, ask and you shall receive: 

  • You asked: Should mics have been cut? The Trump-Biden debate was marred by interruptions, and many of you suggested moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News should have had control over the microphones. Wallace struggled to rein in the candidates and admonished Trump for interrupting more frequently than Biden. “Will you shut up, man?” Biden told the president, delivering what is almost certain to be the most-quoted line of the night.
  • You asked: Did Trump really tell Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by”? Wallace asked Trump if he would tell white supremacist and militia groups to stand down – something Trump has been criticized for not doing. He didn’t do that Tuesday, either. He asked Wallace for a specific group, and when Biden mentioned the Proud Boys, Trump said, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”  Wednesday, Trump said he hadn’t been aware of the group, but “they need to stand down.” 
  • You asked: Did Biden wear a wire? Some said Biden’s performance was too good to be true. “Why was Joe Biden not fumbling his words?” a Facebook post read. “Joe Biden was wearing a wire.” We rate this claim as false. A high-resolution video shows what social media users speculated was a microphone on his wrist was probably a rosary.

Unsurprisingly, both sides quickly claimed victory after the tense debate. Last night, I asked our text group who YOU thought took the crown during the debate. A total of 72.7% of you declared the winner … Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

|USA Today

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