Donald Trump was combative and continually interrupted both Joe Biden and the debate moderator, appearing overly defensive and unwilling to engage in a real debate, much less honestly answer any difficult questions.
In case you missed the debate tonight, it’s difficult to find enough adjectives that would accurately describe what Dana Bush at CNN described as a “shitshow.”
President Trump spent the entire time interrupting, constantly trying to talk over both former vice president Biden and Chris Wallace, the debate moderator. The president gave an embarrassing performance, refusing to respect protocols and rules that his own campaign had agreed to.
The 90 minutes were filled with the president lying, maliciously attacking the son of the vice president and during a poignant moment, when directly asked by both Wallace and Joe Biden to condemn white supremacists, Trump mentioned the name of a neo-fascist, far-right group and said, ‘Stand back and stand by.”
It was the most horrifying moment in a night that already had me frightened thinking that this unstable and chaotic mess of a man is holding the codes to our nuclear arsenal. Trump’s core supporters may have been cheered by his remarks and frontal assault, but likely few others.
The much bigger problem for Trump tonight was that his tactics completely missed the mark with the voters he desperately needs to target – undecided voters. The president went into the debate tonight trailing Biden by wide margins in the national polls, including several key swing states that are must wins for Trump if he hopes to win in November.
Trump has tried to avoid allowing the election turn into a referendum on the coronavirus pandemic, but he couldn’t outrun that reality on the debate stage tonight.
As he has done repeatedly at White House press briefings and Fox News interviews, the president attempted to paint an unrealistically rosy picture of his administration’s performance in dealing with the pandemic while omitting key details and outright lying on his administration’s pandemic timeline.
“It is what it is because you are who you are,”
With those words, Biden summarized the president’s pandemic response, referring to Trump’s months of downplaying COVID-19 while he was recorded privately admitting that he understood how truly deadly it is.