With weeks to go before the US presidential election, President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden went head-to-head in what is widely being touted as one of the worst presidential debates in history by social media users, politicians and political commentators alike.
The chaotic 90-minute event was punctuated by constant interruptions, squabbles between the two candidates and desperate pleas from Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, the debate’s moderator, to maintain decorum. Irked by Trump’s repeated interjections, a visibly irritated Biden at one point retorted, “Will you just shut up, man?”
As the debate wore on, reactions from leading lawmakers and election experts began pouring in on social media.
Here are some top reactions:
Condemning Trump’s refusal to denounce white supremacists during the first debate, former Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren painted a bleak picture of what she called “Donald Trump’s America”, accusing the US President of fanning the flames of racism and using state violence against Americans exercising their rights.
Trump’s Democratic contender from the 2016 election Hilary Clinton said that the debate reaffirmed her faith in Biden’s abilities and experience.
Former Vice-President Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris, too, slammed Trump for his performance during the debate. “Tonight, America was presented with a choice: a leader who offers a clear path forward vs. an angry, interrupting bully,” Senator Harris tweeted.
We are in the battle for the soul of our nation, and the choice in this election was made crystal clear during tonight’s debate. Donate right now to help @JoeBiden and me defeat Trump. https://t.co/LPKuo85v56
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 30, 2020
Meanwhile, some conservatives, Republican lawmakers, and members of the Trump campaign lashed out at the debate’s moderator Chris Wallace, accusing him of being biased against the US President. Several of these posts were retweeted from the official handle of President Trump.
Biden has repeatedly failed to answer legitimate questions that American voters should know the answers to before voting while Trump takes every interview in the world
Chris Wallace had the opportunity tonight to get more information to the American voter on Biden and he failed
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 30, 2020
If you still can't figure out why the American public doesn't trust the media… just rewatch Chris Wallace's performance tonight…
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) September 30, 2020
Tonight, Joe Biden made it clear that if he’s elected he’s prepared to perpetually lockdown the American people, shut the economy down again, and make sure schools stay closed. That statement alone makes it worth fighting every day between now and November 3rd.
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) September 30, 2020
American political sociologist Larry Diamond called the debate the worst in US history. He accused Trump of having no respect for rules or for democracy. “It was repulsive to watch this bullying spectacle. An angry, authoritarian President who won’t commit to accept the election results,” his tweet read.
This was the worst presidential debate in US history another indication that Trump respects no rules and has no civility or respect for democracy. It was repulsive to watch this bullying spectacle. An angry, authoritarian President who won’t commit to accept the election results.
— LarryDiamond (@LarryDiamond) September 30, 2020
CNN anchor John Avlon called the event a “disaster”, largely blaming Trump’s performance in the debate.
Presidential debates are supposed to illuminate, create clear contrasts and show the strength of our democracy.
That debate was a was a disaster overwhelmingly because of President Trump‘s performance.
It shows the fundamental lack of respect he has for the democratic process.
— John Avlon (@JohnAvlon) September 30, 2020
Several social media users, including author Stephen King, also called for Trump’s mic to be switched off when he interrupts Biden.
Cut his mike when he interrupts.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 30, 2020
free idea: mute the mics when they're not supposed to be talking have we learned nothing from Zoom
— Jen Ortiz (@jenortiznyc) September 30, 2020
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