Biden vs Trump: Key moments from US Presidential debate – Times of India

The first presidential debate of the 2024 election season took place, with Joe Biden and his Republican challenger, Donald Trump, facing off in an attempt to persuade undecided voters.
For Biden, the 81-year-old Democratic incumbent, the debate provided an opportunity to assure voters of his ability to lead the nation through various challenges. Trump, 78, sought to move past his recent felony conviction in New York and demonstrate to millions of viewers that he possesses the temperament to return to the White House.
The Atlanta debate marked several firsts, including the oldest pair of presidential candidates to ever face each other and CNN’s inaugural hosting of a general election presidential debate.
Here are key moments from the US presidential debate:

  • The two men, who make no secret of their disdain for each other, did not shake hands as they walked to their podiums at the start of the debate. Biden frequently referred to Trump as “this guy” during his remarks. The current president and his predecessor hadn’t spoken since their last debate weeks before the 2020 presidential election. Trump skipped Biden’s inauguration after leading an unprecedented and unsuccessful effort to overturn his loss that culminated in the January 6 Capitol insurrection by his supporters.
  • Biden, who received the first question, defended rising inflation since taking office, attributing it to the situation he inherited from Trump amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The president cleared his throat twice during his initial response, his voice sounding hoarse, while Trump smirked.
  • In the opening minutes of the debate, Biden experienced several verbal missteps, struggling with a raspy voice and halting delivery as he attempted to defend his economic record and criticize Trump. The 81-year-old seemed to lose his train of thought while addressing the national debt, referring to “billionaires” as “trillionaires” before correcting himself. While arguing for increased taxes on the wealthy, Biden paused for an extended, awkward moment, seemingly unable to complete his sentence before ending his thought incoherently.
  • During a tense exchange on the war in Ukraine, Biden warned that he believes Vladimir Putin is a “war criminal” who wants to re-establish part of the “old Soviet empire”. “Do you think he wants to stop there [Ukraine]?….what do you think happens to Poland, to Belarus, to those Nato countries?”
  • Biden also brought up a controversial moment from Trump’s presidency, in which he allegedly said that fallen US soldiers were “losers and suckers”. “My son was not a loser and not a sucker,” he said. “You’re the sucker. You’re the loser,” he added, addressing the former president. Trump responded that the quote was “made up” and he never said it.

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