The first debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic on Tues. Sept. 29 was filled with interruptions and personal jabs. Amid the coronavirus pandemic and protests for racial justice across the country, Biden attacked Trump’s handling of the virus and accused him of generating “racist hatred”.
The president refused to condemn white supremacists telling the group, Proud Boys, to “stand back, stand by” and stating that there was a left, not right-wing problem. Trump also refused to honor the results of the election, falsely claiming mail ballots could be “manipulated”.
Foreign officials and journalists also commented on the quarreling, with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen writing on Facebook, “An election debate in the States last night, where interruptions and quarrels were allowed to fill up way too much. Fortunately, this is not the case in Denmark. And I never hope it will be like that. The harsh words polarize and split.”
Editor of China’s Global Times, Hu Xijin wrote in the paper’s microblog, that the “chaos, interruptions, personal attacks and insults” on display were a reflection of America’s “overarching division, anxiety and the accelerating erosion of the system’s original advantages.”
Editor-at-large of newspaper, The Australian, Paul Keller called the debate,“spiteful, chaotic, abusive, often out-of-control brawling encounter with both candidates revealing their contempt for each other.”