President Donald Trump and Joe Biden blasted each other over the economy, handling of the coronavirus and the Supreme Court on Tuesday night, in a fiery and at-times personal first presidential debate.
Frequently talking over each other in their first of three debates, Trump and Biden began by sparring over the Supreme Court and the president’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Biden warned that the Affordable Care Act could be overturned by the high court, and charged that Trump “has no plan” for health care. Trump defended his nomination of Barrett by saying, “We won the election and therefore we have the right to choose her.”
On stage at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Trump charged that Biden would “close down the whole country” to halt the spread of the coronavirus and claimed that his administration had built the “greatest economy in history.” Trump blamed the damage to the U.S. economy from the virus on China, as he frequently has in recent months.
The first face-off between the two was marked by occasional personal barbs, such as Trump saying “There’s nothing smart about you, Joe,” and Biden telling Trump, “Will you shut up, man?”
U.S. stock futures YM00, +0.55% rose slightly during the debate.