Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Key moments from tonight’s debate

They passed on a handshake at the start, and from there, Biden and Trump went right to mixing it up on policy — and each other — in their first 2024 presidential debate on Thursday night.

Biden arrived with a raspy voice and spoke softly, the result, his campaign said, of a cold. Biden sometimes mumbled, got tongue-tied or lost his train of thought, a performance unlikely to calm anxiety among Democrats and many Americans about the 81-year-old president.

The 78-year-old Trump, as he often does, spoke with force but with plentiful falsehoods.

Here are some other key moments from their 90-minute debate

Here’s a look at some of the false claims made during Biden and Trump’s first debate


President Biden and former President Trump traded barbs and a variety of false and misleading information as they faced off in their first debate of the 2024 election.

Trump falsely represented the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as a relatively small number of people who were ushered in by police and misstated the strength of the economy during his administration.

Biden, who tends to lean more on exaggerations and embellishments rather than outright lies, misrepresented the cost of insulin and overstated what Trump said about using disinfectants to address COVID.

Here’s a look at the false and misleading claims by the two candidates

IN PHOTOS: America watches Biden and Trump debate


▶ Read more about how America watched the debate.

Biden campaign insists the president ‘started slow but finished strong’

The Biden campaign is insisting that the president “started slow but finished strong” as it tries to claim victory in the debate.

In a memo, Biden advisers argued that the Trump’s performance reminded independent voters “why they dislike him,” while suggesting that Biden improved as the night wore on.

Vice President Kamala Harris made similar suggestions in TV appearances after the debate.

Biden’s voice was particularly raspy in the debate’s early going, and he repeatedly cleared his throat throughout the night. But the president was also hard to understand in his closing statement, undermining suggestions that he made much improvement.

Trump’s supporters, by contrast, were giddy, arguing that Biden looked befuddled and confused and that their candidate was the clear winner.

Nikki Haley said Biden ‘will not be the Democrat nominee’

Former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is weighing in on Biden’s debate performance, repeating her campaign trail line that the Democratic president won’t ultimately be his party’s 2024 nominee.

Trump’s final competitor in the Republican primary, who dropped out in March, said on X after the debate, “Mark my words….Biden will not be the Democrat nominee.”

Haley repeatedly said during her own presidential campaign that Biden would not end up representing his party in this year’s election, making critiques of the president’s age and her perceptions of his stumbles in office.

Debate takeaways: Jan. 6, the low road and the border

Thursday’s presidential debate was a rerun that featured two candidates with a combined age of 159, but it went especially poorly for one of them, President Joe Biden.

The debate covered a wide range of topics and included a former president — Trump — not backing down from his vows to prosecute members of Congress and even the man he was debating. But the overarching theme was the difference between the candidates’ performance.

Here are some takeaways from the presidential face-off

Biden picks up Waffle House

A potential VP pick on who Trump will choose

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential Trump vice presidential pick, says he doesn’t know yet whom Trump will pick to join him on the Republican ticket.

“I don’t know the answer to that and no one’s told me that I am,” he said on CNN after the debate from the spin room. “But we’ll know who it is at some point during the next two weeks.”

Rubio said that he thinks there are eight or nine people who could do a good job in the role and that, “It really comes down to who the president thinks would do a good job.”

“That’s his decision to make,” he says.

Mr. Biden goes to Waffle House

Biden, and his wife, Jill, are on the way to a Waffle House restaurant to pick up food for the plane before they fly to Raleigh, North Carolina, for a postdebate rally later Friday, the White House says.

Harris continues to draw contrasts between Trump and Biden


Vice President Harris in an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow again acknowledges it was a slow start, “but I thought it was a strong finish.”

“What we had in Joe Biden is someone who wanted to have a debate based on facts, based on truths, and in Donald Trump, we have what we’ve come to expect, which is someone who is going to push lies and distract from the reality of the damage he has created and continues to create in our country,” Harris said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom says concern over Biden’s performance is ‘unhelpful’

Biden departs the watch party

More than 50 minutes after he arrived at his watch party, Joe Biden finally departed near midnight to whoops from an emptying hotel ballroom.

Biden shook hands and took pictures with many supporters along a rope line.

WATCH: Biden responds to his debate with Trump


President Joe Biden briefly appeared at a watch party in Atlanta after Thursday’s debate, greeting supporters and asking them to help beat former President Donald Trump in November.

Biden’s busy schedule

Biden has another packed day on Friday.

After he leaves Atlanta, Biden will touch down in Raleigh, North Carolina, to be in place for a post-debate campaign rally on Friday afternoon.

After that, he’ll head to New York and New Jersey for campaign fundraisers on Friday and Saturday.

Trump is ‘on offense’

WATCH: Presidential debate watch party viewers weigh in on Biden and Trump’s performances


Voters at presidential debate watch parties in Michigan and Las Vegas weighed in on their reactions to the debate. (AP video by Mike Householder and Ty ONeil)

CNN’s moderators didn’t do much moderating tonight

Harris says she thinks the choice is not the debate, but November

Harris seemed annoyed by the focus on Biden’s performance, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “I got that this is the after play for the debate, this conversation that I’m in, and I understand why everyone wants to talk about it.”

“But I think it’s also important to recognize that the choice in November between these two people that were on the debate stage involved extraordinary stakes. And there’s one person on that stage who has the endorsement of their vice president, and that’s Joe Biden. Mike Pence is nowhere to be found.”

When is the next presidential debate?

Wondering how the second debate might differ from tonight’s? You’re going to have to wait awhile.

Biden and Trump’s second debate is scheduled for Sept. 10 on ABC. The network hasn’t yet released details on the format.

Thursday’s faceoff was the earliest general election presidential debate ever. The second one is also early, and will be held more than six weeks before Election Day.

Civil rights organizations looked onto the debate with dismay

Trump and Biden used issues of race, immigration and crime to trade personal barbs that often distorted facts and sidestepped issues central to the concerns of many Black and Hispanic voters.

“As Black Americans face some of the most challenging obstacles of our time, we need candidates who are less focused on attacking each other and more focused on attacking the issues,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“There have been some comments here from Donald Trump that our members here have rejected outright,” said Juan Proaño, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Biden’s secret sauce

Shortly before the debate, Biden started selling cans of water labeled, “Dark Brandon’s Secret Sauce,” on his campaign website, mocking the suggestions from Trump and his advisors in the days leading up to the debate that Biden would appear firey and perhaps even use drugs to enhance his performance.

“The secret to a good debate performance? Staying hydrated,” Biden’s campaign website still read after the debate.

Harris weighs in on Biden’s performance

Vice President Kamala Harris is weighing in on the presidential debate.

“Listen, first of all, what we saw tonight is the president making a very clear contrast with Donald Trump on all the issues that matter to the American people,” she said.

“Yes there was a slow start but it was a strong finish.”

Asked if she’s concerned in wake of Biden’s debate performance, she repeated: “It was a slow start. That’s obvious to everyone.

“I’m not going to debate that point. I’m talking about the choice in November. I’m talking about one of the most important elections in our collective lifetime.”

Trump’s aides celebrating

Trump’s aides erupted into loud applause and cheers after he stepped off the debate stage, according to a video shared by an aide.

“President Trump emerges from the stage victorious,” political director James Blair wrote on X, the platform formerly called Twitter.

Trump’s aides are extremely happy about the former president’s performance Thursday night.

Chris LaCivita, Trump’s senior adviser, called it “the most lopsided win in debate history” and mocked the Biden campaign for saying the president had a cold. “I loved it, right? Classic.”

How will the two candidates tackle the high cost of child care?

The debate didn’t exactly clarify the important issue, even though Biden has put his support for child care at the forefront of his campaign.

When Trump was asked how he would lower the cost of child care, he ignored the question and went back to defending his decision to fire John Kelly as his chief of staff, who confirmed that Trump had made disparaging remarks about military veterans. He was given another chance to answer the question and instead pivoted to talking about Biden’s poll numbers.

Biden, in jumbled remarks, talked about child care in ways that were at times difficult to follow, even as the White House tries to make the case that Biden’s record investments in child care brought women back to the workforce.

When he was asked what he had to say to Black voters who were “disappointed he hadn’t made more progress” on closing racial disparities, he said, “We got to make sure we provide for child care costs … because when you provide those child care protections, you create economic growth because more people can be in the job market.”

Biden said his opponent has “done virtually nothing” on child care. “We should significantly increase the child care tax credit. We should significantly increase the availability of women and men, er, single parents to be able to go back to work.”

Rewatch the full debate

You can rewatch the full CNN presidential debate using the livestream below.

Biden says: ‘We’re going to beat this guy.’

Biden told supporters in his brief appearance after the debate: “Look we’re going to beat this guy. We need to beat this guy and I need you in order to beat him.”

“God love you all,” he said before stepping off the stage to greet some of those supporters.

Biden continued to work the crowd at his watch party in downtown Atlanta for more than 15 minutes after making a brief statement.

Biden’s surrogates rally behind the president

All of Biden’s top surrogates marched into the spin room en masse, creating a massive media scrum. One by one, they all gave their takes on Biden’s performance before entertaining shouted questions from the dozens of reporters gathered around them.

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom told reporters that he was proud of Biden. “Tonight I think Joe Biden not only asserted himself, he reminded people of his accomplishments and his vision for the future.”
  • Donald Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, told reporters that her uncle has “one policy position — to keep himself out of prison.” She called him a traitor to his country and noted that “the people who know him best can’t support him.”
  • Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia of California called the debate “a clear contrast between a good man that we believe in that is going to win reelection and a con man, a criminal and a traitor to this country.”

Biden focuses on Trump’s falsehoods

At his watch party, Biden is trying to focus on Trump’s falsehoods.

“I can’t think of one thing he said that is true,” the president told supporters.

In a postdebate statement, Biden’s campaign chair made no mention of the president’s uneven performance

“Tonight, President Biden presented a positive and winning vision for the future of America,” campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote, adding, “On the other side of the stage was Donald Trump, who offered a dark and backwards window into what America will look like if he steps foot back in the White House.”

Biden on stage with supporters after debate

President Joe Biden addressed a room full of supporters following the debate on Thursday.

Thanking them for their support, he said: “Let’s keep going. See you at the next one.”

Trump adviser Jason Miller said the former president delivered on the debate stage

On Biden’s performance and any talk of Democrats turning to another nominee, Miller said a move would be “structurally impossible.”

“Sorry, Democrats. You have your nominee,” Miller said.

‘He is the nominee of the Democratic Party’

Democrats are panicking and wish casting over what could have been following Biden’s uneven debate performance. But David Axelrod, the Democratic strategist who helped propel Barack Obama’s meteoric rise, says the only person who could replace Joe Biden as the party’s nominee is Joe Biden himself.

“He is the nominee of the Democratic Party. This isn’t the ‘60s,” Axelrod said. “Only he can decide.”

“This is a guy with a lot of pride who believes in himself” and probably thinks he had just one bad night,” Axelrod continued. The problem is “it’s one night that helped confirm peoples’ fears.”

Biden scheduled to address supporters

Biden has returned to the hotel where he spent much of the day to speak to supporters who are partying after they watched the broadcast of the debate.

Music is playing and people are dancing in a conference room decorated with Biden-Harris signs and images of Biden’s trademark aviator sunglasses.

While Trump and Biden debated, RFK Jr. stood alone in Los Angeles

Standing alone on a stage in Los Angeles, Kennedy opened his event, dubbed The Real Debate, by accusing CNN, host of the main contest, of colluding with the Republican and Democratic parties to keep him off.

“This is something that’s important for our democracy because Americans feel like the system is rigged,” Kennedy said during his opening remarks. “This is exactly the kind of merger of state and corporate power that I’m running to oppose.”

Aside from the livestreamed response to the debate, Kennedy has nothing on his public schedule for the coming weeks. Nor does his running mate, philanthropist Nicole Shanahan.

Democrats weighing in

Georgia state Rep. Billy Mitchell, a leading Democrat in the suburban Atlanta Democratic heartland of DeKalb County, said he thought Biden could overcome the performance.

“The bar was set so low by his opponent that he certainly exceeded that,” Mitchell said said at the Biden campaign watch party in downtown Atlanta. “The reality is we love Joe Biden because of where his heart is, despite if he looked like he had a cold here and there.”

Former Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro said in a post on X that, “Biden had a very low bar going into the debate and failed to clear even that bar. He seemed unprepared, lost, and not strong enough to parry effectively with Trump, who lies constantly.”

Trump won’t stop by the spin room

Trump is on his way back to his private plane as his aides and supporters gloat about his performance Thursday night.

He’s not planning to stop by the spin room, leaving that job to surrogates, which include several of his vice presidential short-listers.

As the debate came to a close, Trump supporter retired police officer Nick Glaub, of Ross, Ohio, watched with his feet kicked up onto a nearby performance stage, a can of Corona sitting on the table.

Glaub was pleased with Trump’s debate performance and said he noticed the lack of attack lines from Trump. “I just think he held his composure,” he said.

Chuck Thompson, a Trump supporter from Mason, Ohio, who came to the watch party decked in an American flag button-down shirt, was also happy with Trump’s debate performance, noting the difference in tone from Trump’s last debate against President Biden in 2020.

“He’s learned how to control his temper,” he said.

Trump aide says he won the debate “hands down”

Ramaswamy says Trump “hands down” won the decade and may have even swayed independent voters.

The former GOP hopeful says Trump showed more energy than Biden, whom he portrayed as vulnerable and unable potentially to finish his term, let alone win another.

Ramaswamy characterized Biden‘s ongoing presidency as a potential threat to national security for what he argued was showing weakness.

Fore more years? Biden and Trump take swings at each other’s golf skills

Trump and Biden bickered over how far they can hit a golf ball and their stamina on the course, with Trump bragging about trophies he’s won and Biden claiming he’s been a single-digit handicap.

Trump noted he recently won two championships at a golf course he owns. He then bashed Biden, claiming without evidence that the president can’t hit the ball 50 yards. Biden responded that, as vice president, he had a rather competitive six handicap — and again challenged Trump to a golf match, but only if his foe carried his bag of clubs himself.

“Think you can do it?” asked Biden, whose handicap is listed on the United States Golf Association’s website as 6.7, with the last update in July 2018. Trump’s handicap last updated in June 2021 is listed as 2.5.

Trump then sought to shut down the golf discussion. “Let’s not act like children,” Trump said.

“You are a child,” Biden retorted.

In golf, a handicap is a measure of a player’s skill. The lower the handicap, the better the player is.

Inside the spin room

Fifteen minutes after the debate ended, there were only Republicans talking to the press in the spin room.

There were at least seven high-profile Republican officials in the room, including Stefanik, Donalds, Ramaswamy and Whatey.

There were no Democrats.

After the debate ended

Trump walked straight off the stage alone after the debate.

Biden was joined by his wife Jill, who watched from a green room. They hugged and kissed and she held his hand and seemed to assist him down the stairs as they approached Bash and Tapper to greet the moderators before leaving.

Candidates on immigration

President Joe Biden has finally found some traction on an issue that has dogged much of his presidency – immigration – but he largely avoided it as Trump repeatedly hammered him with unsubstantiated claims that people were coming across the border from prisons and mental health institutions.

In his closing remarks, Biden discussed taxes, child-care credits, lead pipes and inflation but nothing about his recent measures on immigration. On Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said arrests for illegal border crossings plunged more than 40% since asylum processing was halted June 5.

The asylum halt infuriated some in his Democratic base, but Biden thrilled them two weeks later by saying he would ease the path to legal status for an estimated 500,000 spouses of U.S. citizens.

Trump, as expected, turned to a signature issue in his closing remarks, blaming Biden for “allowing millions and millions of people to pour in.”

Biden has departed the debate hall.

Biden’s closing statement

Biden began his closing statement with a voice that was even scratchier than earlier and was at times hard to understand. He said of his administration, “We’ve made significant progress from the debacle that was left by President Trump in his last term.”

Trump, Putin and Kim Jong Un

Biden gave a nonsensical answer on abortion

Abortion is one of the most important issues for Democrats in this year’s election. The president mischaracterized Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion.

When asked if he supports some restrictions on abortion Biden said he, “supports Roe v. Wade, which had three trimesters. The first time is between a woman and a doctor. Second time is between a doctor and an extreme situation. A third time is between the doctor, I mean, between the women and the state.”

He added that he thought doctors, not politicians, should make decisions about “women’s health.”

“We’re living in hell,” Trump said about the state of the country in his closing remarks. “You talk about Charlottesville, this is 100 times, Charlottesville a thousand times the whole country is exploding because of you, because they don’t respect you,” Trump said to Biden, equating the state of the country with the neo-Nazi rally and counterprotests that shocked the nation at the start of Trump’s term.

After the debate, Biden was greeted on stage by his wife, Jill. Trump walked off alone.

Debate ends

That’s a wrap on the first presidential debate.

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#BidenTrump #presidential #debate #Highlights #fact #check #reactions

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