The second and final presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden started on the evening of Oct. 22, 2020.
Both the candidates were hardly cordial in their final encounter before the Election Day and seemed to have taken to heart the largely negative public response to their vicious first showing.
There was more urgency and less fury detected in the 90-minutes conversation in Nashville on Thursday night, only twelve days prior to the election.
Kristen Welker of NBC News, the moderator, very much maintained a tight lid on the Republican president and the Democratic nominee. She peppered them with questions about the economy, the coronavirus outbreak, and foreign meddling in the election, as well as the contestant’s finances.
Compared with the first presidential face-off, which mostly featured furious crosstalk and personal offenses, the final debate was a near staid affair. However, despite the vibrant delivery, not any of the candidates pulled punches, and the volume began to enlarge later in the evening.
“He does not want to talk about the substantive problems,” Biden spoke at a point after one lengthy exchange with Trump. Each of the candidates appeared shouting accusations at the other about the wealth they had allegedly earned.
“It is not about his family and my family. It is about your family,” Biden spoke right into the camera.
“That is a typical political stance,” Trump responded, “Let’s get off China’s topic. Come on, Joe, you can do better.”
Here are key moments from the final presidential debate between Trump and Biden
1) Comparisons were made over handling of coronavirus outbreak
Biden warned that the country is led for a “dark winter” as it remains grappling with the virus. Trump, in his part, maintained he had taken appropriate actions to respond to the outbreak.
When asked about how he could lift American’s confidence to take a vaccine if and when it arrives, Biden replied he would “make sure it’s completely transparent.”
“Trump has no clear plan as we’re about to go into a dark winter,” Biden said, adding that “there’s no lively prospect that there will be a vaccine available for a large portion of the U.S. public until the middle of the next year.”
President pushed back, saying, “I don’t believe we’re going to enter a dark winter at all. We’ve learned, studied, and understand the virus, and now we’re on our way to reopen the country.”
He also took his earlier shot of the night at Biden, mentioning that the former vice president opposed him over banning travel from China.
“Now he’s claiming, ‘Oh, I should have moved quicker. But he did not move quicker. He was many months behind me,” Trump said.
2) Personal finances were targeted
As the second presidential debate proceeded, Trump claimed Biden generates funds from China, Russia, and Ukraine, an accusation the former vice president firmly rejected before mocking the Republican president for being unsuccessful in releasing his income tax returns and for keeping a bank account in China.
“Joe received $3.5 million from Russia that came through Putin (Russian leader) as he was friendly enough with the Moscow’s mayor,” Trump claimed and added, “I never got any money from Russia.”
“The Russian Federation was paying you a lot of money, and they possibly still are,” the President said. “I think you owe a justification to the American people.”
“I have not ever taken a penny from any foreign source in my life,” Biden replied.
“We learned this president has businesses in China, has a stealthy bank account in China, and is talking about me receiving money? I have not taken a penny from any of the country whatsoever,” Biden spoke to the moderator and a small number of the audience sitting in the hall.
“No. 2 … I presented all my tax returns– 22 years, go and look at them. You haven’t disclosed a single solitary year of your tax return. What are you hiding? Why are you unwilling,” Biden said.
Trump then replied as he has for years that his tax returns are under audit by IRS, so he cannot release them.
3) Obamacare possibly be Bidencare
A moment in the final presidential debate came when Biden expressed that one of his moves would be to “pass Obamacare with a more public option: Bidencare.” But he also notified that it could happen if Supreme Court rules the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.
Biden described that public option in his plan would mean “if you qualify for Medicaid and you don’t have the means in your state to get Medicaid, you’re automatically enrolled.
In addition, the Democrat said his plan would cut premiums and grant Medicare the opportunity to negotiate drug prices with insurance corporations.
Biden also declined Trump’s calling his health-care scheme “socialized medicine.”
The President said, “I would like to terminate Obamacare, present a brand new beautiful health care.”
“I will come up with better health care, protect people with preexisting illnesses,” Trump said.
Biden reacted and attacked the president for not having any proper health-care plan, despite saying that he would reveal it.
“There is no likelihood he can care for preexisting conditions. None. Zero chance,” Biden said. “You just cannot do it in the air.”
4) Sparring over nationwide minimum wage
Trump and Biden differed on the question about “what should be minimum wage nationwide?”
The up-to-date minimum wage is $7.45 per hour, and Trump said that it should be left to the states. Biden called for a countrywide $15 minimum wage.
“An increase in wages would not help small businesses,” President Trump argued during the debate.
“It should be a state choice. New York is different from Alabama. Alabama is different from Vermont. Every state is different. We have to support our small businesses,” Trump said.
The question of whether increasing the minimum wage leads to macro-level unemployment is still fiercely pondered by economists.
Welker, the moderator, pressed Trump on his past suggestion that he would consider upraising the minimum wage.
“I would consider it to an extent,” Trump answered. “But not to the point that will put all small businesses out of business. It should be a state choice. Different places are all different. In some places, $15 isn’t so bad. Other places, $15, is good.”
Biden interfered, saying that “these people are doing two jobs because one job is below poverty.”
“People are receiving $6 or $7 for an hour. They deserve a minimum wage of at least $15. Anything under that puts you below the poverty level.”
“There is no proof that when you raise the minimum wage, small businesses go out of business,” Biden added.