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Politics Biden slams Trump's debate showing as 'national embarrassment,' presses commission for changes

22:15  30 september  2020
22:15  30 september  2020 Source:   nbcnews.com

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Hours after wrapping up a chaotic and acrimonious debate against President Donald Trump, Joe Biden said the president's performance was “a national embarrassment,” and suggested the commission that runs the debates find a way to force him to play by the rules at the next two.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie © Provided by NBC News

Biden, during a stop on a campaign train tour of northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, addressed the previous night’s slugfest, criticizing Trump for having attacked him, his family, and the moderator — Fox News’ Chris Wallace — “constantly.”

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And he expressed a desire for the Commission on Presidential Debates to take action to ensure the melee doesn’t repeat in the next two presidential debates — slated for Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.

“I just hope there’s a way in which the debate commission can control the ability of us to answer the question without interruptions,” Biden said, responding to a question from a reporter during a stop in Alliance, Ohio, over whether he wanted to see any changes in how the next two debates are conducted.

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“My hope is that they’re able to literally say the question gets asked to Trump; he has the microphone, he gets two minutes to answer the question; no one else has the microphone. And then I don’t know what the actual rules are going to be, literally, but that to me seems to make some sense,” he added.

Biden said Trump’s chaotic approach Tuesday night proved that he had “tried everything to distract, everything possible,” but that “it just didn’t work.”

Moments later, the commission issued a statement indicating it would add measures to prevent a similar debacle from occurring again.

Biden, meanwhile, ripped Trump for “the way he conducted himself” as a “national embarrassment,” citing not only his frequent and bombastic interruptions, but his refusal to condemn the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group. Trump, asked during the debate to condemn the group, instead said that they should “stand back and stand by” — a statement that the extremist group with ties to white nationalism took as a rallying cry.

Biden offered a different message to the group Wednesday.

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“Cease and desist,” he said, calling Trump’s comments about the group a “dog whistle to white supremacy.”

Biden’s stop in Alliance, an industrial town of about 20,000 in northeastern Ohio, was the Democratic nominee’s first on a multi-stop train tour Wednesday that was slated to also take him to Pittsburgh and several other towns and cities in western Pennsylvania.

He used the stop in Alliance to tout his “Build Back Better” economic proposals, which he said were designed to help working class people and unions, and repeatedly hit Trump for failing to understand the area’s economic struggles.

“Does your president have any idea or understand what you’re going through?” Biden said. “And if he does, does he care about it?”

“Or does he just ignore you, lie to you,” Biden added.

He specifically cited Trump’s promises that a struggling General Motors factory in nearby Lordstown, Ohio, would stay open on his watch and his urging of people to stay in the area and not put their homes up for sale. The factory closed anyway in 2019 and while the pre-coronavirus pandemic national unemployment rate shrank to a historically low 3.5 percent that year, it was nearly double that in northeastern Ohio.

Biden said Trump “broke his promise” and that “he forgot,” about “forgotten America,” before pivoting to his own populist pitch of touting himself as someone from a similar working class area of Scranton, Pennsylvania — not Park Avenue.

His tour through the region came just one week after NBC News reported on the state of the race in Ohio, with several current and former lawmakers, political strategists and other political experts pointing out that Biden had offered myriad policies that might actually benefit the residents of the region, but that he hadn't effectively reached voters there.

According to the latest RealClearPolitics polling average, Biden holds a narrow lead over Trump in Ohio, 49 percent to 45.7 percent. The slight advantage in a state that national Democrats feared was out of reach has Democratic lawmakers and strategists imploring Biden to work even harder to break through and mobilize people to go to the polls, especially in several counties in northeastern Ohio that used to be Democratic strongholds — but that flipped decisively to fuel Trump's victory in 2016.

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They bickered on who should appoint the next Supreme Court justice, their stances on health care and even brought each other’s families into the fray. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News struggled to rein in the candidates and at times admonished Trump as interrupting more frequently than Biden. © Mario Tama, Getty Images A server wears a face shield and face-covering as people sit to watch a broadcast of the first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

usr: 1
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