Trump, Biden carry debate rancour on the road
President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden kept up their debate-stage sniping from the road and the rails on Wednesday, fighting for working-class voters in the Midwest while both parties – and the debate commission, too – sought to deal with the most chaotic presidential face-off in memory.
The debate raised fresh questions about Trump’s continued reluctance to condemn white supremacy, his questioning of the election’s legitimacy, and his unwillingness to respect debate ground rules his campaign had agreed to.
Some Democrats called on Biden to skip the next two debates.
Biden’s campaign confirmed that he would participate in the subsequent meetings as did Trump’s. But the Commission on Presidential Debates promised “additional structure ... to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues”.
Less than 12 hours after the wild debate concluded, Biden called Trump’s behaviour in the prime-time confrontation a “national embarrassment”. Biden balanced criticism of Trump with a call for national unity.
“If elected, I’m not going to be a Democratic president. I’m going to be an American president,” Biden said at the Cleveland train station.
While some Republicans feared that Trump’s debate performance was too aggressive, he gave himself high marks as he left Washington. He had spent much of the morning assailing Biden and debate moderator Chris Wallace on social media.
“It was an exciting evening. I see the ratings were very high, and it was good to be there,” Trump said.