•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Live town halls: Trump dodges question on masks, Biden talks about mandating they be worn

03:50  16 october  2020
03:50  16 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Second presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump canceled

  Second presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump canceled Both campaigns have agreed to appear at the third and final presidential debate, a podium format set for Nashville on Oct. 22, the source said.The bipartisan commission, under intense criticism from the Trump campaign, announced the decision in a statement late Friday, saying the campaigns of both Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden "each now has announced alternate plans" for Oct. 15, the date of the debate.

During tonight’s town halls , Trump and Biden will likely both be asked about the coronavirus relief negotiations, which have hit yet another roadblock. Trump and Biden hold dueling town halls in place of debate. Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.

Biden slams Trump 's coronavirus response. Youtube. In answering a question from a Democrat about what Biden also said he'd encourage governors to implement mask mandates in their states He's done interviews with both Biden and Trump this year, including a town hall with Trump just about a

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will host their own town hall even tonight. Following here for updated coverage. Refresh this article for updated coverage.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and moderator George Stephanopoulos arrive for an ABC News town hall event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on October 15, 2020. © JIM WATSON, AFP via Getty Images Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and moderator George Stephanopoulos arrive for an ABC News town hall event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on October 15, 2020.

Trump dodges question on wearing a mask

Asked about whether contracting the virus changed his opinion about wearing a mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, the president said: "No, I was good with it but I've heard many different stories of masks."

Fact check: Joe Biden called 'forces of intolerance,' not Trump supporters, the 'dregs of society'

  Fact check: Joe Biden called 'forces of intolerance,' not Trump supporters, the 'dregs of society' Accounts linked to President Donald Trump and his family claim that Joe Biden called Trump supporters the "dregs of society." In reality, he said that about "forces of intolerance."A campaign account, Trump War Room, claimed on Twitter that the remark was in reference to "Trump supporters.

Trump criticizes Biden at town hall for not issuing a national mask mandate — but Biden as a candidate has no authority to do so. Trump leveled the attack after being asked by a voter during an ABC News town hall why he had not supported universal mask - wearing .

Trump and Biden Town Halls : What to Watch For. President Trump and Joe Biden will appear at separate, nationally Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday said they were limiting the distribution of, or simply blocking, a report in The New York Post that made unverified claims about Mr. Biden .

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Trump has repeatedly flouted his own health experts by refusing to wear a mask in public. After he left Walter Reed Medical Center, where he was hospitalized for COVID-19, the president ripped off his mask upon his return to the White House last week. He continues to insist that wearing a mask is a personal choice even as health officials have said it's a critical safety protocol to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Guthrie pressed Trump on the issue, noting that his task force cites the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which says that if everyone wore a mask it could cut the death rate in half. More than 215,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 so far.

Savannah Guthrie, George Stephanopoulos draw praise, hate after Trump-Biden town halls

  Savannah Guthrie, George Stephanopoulos draw praise, hate after Trump-Biden town halls Here's what Van Jones, Al Roker, Megyn Kelly and others thought of Trump's and Biden's performances -- as well as that of the moderators on stage."Well that happened," MSNBC's Rachel Maddow said. "That was a strange replacement for what was otherwise supposed to be the second presidential debate of this general election season.

Biden responds to Trump on masks : 'He's a fool'. I would insist that everybody out in public be wearing that mask . Pressed if he'd use federal power to mandate wearing a mask in public, Biden responded, "Yes, I would.

President Donald Trump will participate in a town hall with NBC News on Thursday night, setting up a competing television event with Joe Biden in lieu of a presidential debate in which voters would have seen both presidential candidates engage with each other and discuss issues head-to-head.

"You have other places that say lots of other things,' Trump said, before conceding: "I'm fine with it. I have no problem."

Courtney Subramanian

Trump defends coronavirus response

Trump defended his early response to the coronavirus pandemic in response to a question from a woman in the studio audience.

The woman, who described herself as an independent voter, noted that journalist Bob Woodward reported in his new book “Rage” that Trump said he knew in February that the virus was airborne and deadlier than the flu. If true, she asked, why didn’t he do more than order a ban on travel from China?

“I appreciate the question and respect the question,” Trump said, arguing that he acted responsibly by imposing the travel ban even before experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci thought it was necessary.

Trump said he didn’t sound the alarm about the virus because “I don’t want to panic this country.”

The week in polls: Trump erases Biden's bounce in Florida, Biden gains in Georgia

  The week in polls: Trump erases Biden's bounce in Florida, Biden gains in Georgia In the Senate, a poll found Doug Jones may not be doomed after all. And another found Lindsey Graham's race may not be as tight as believed.They have found Biden still holding a commanding lead nationally (though down slightly from last week) and leading in 10 of 12 swing states. But Trump regained a slight polling average lead in Ohio and ate a big chunk out of Biden's leads in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. Trump also erased Biden's gains in Florida from last week, which some Democrats had hoped signaled their nominee was pulling away in the crucial Sunshine State.

NBC says Trump 's town hall will still go ahead as scheduled this evening following backlash from more than 100 actors, producers and writers who blasted the decision to hold the event at the same time as a Joe Biden town hall on ABC. In a Thursday statement

Thursday's town hall came after yet another week when Trump has politicized his management of the pandemic and undermined government advice on mask Biden also took on Trump 's argument that mask wearing and local shutdowns recommended by health experts to suppress the virus are an

“I don’t want to go out and say, ‘Everybody’s going to die!’” he said.

Michael Collins

Trump varies response for Guthrie vs voters

President Trump is having a confrontational evening with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie.

Trump has argued that “you always do this” when confronted with a tough question on white supremacy. Trump at one point sarcastically called Guthrie “so cute.”

But his tone for voters? Far different.

“I appreciate the question and respect the question,” Trump said at one point to one of the early audience questions.

“Thank you, great question,” he said later.

— John Fritze

Biden would encourage state, cities to mandate masks

Biden said he wouldn’t – and couldn’t – issue a national mandate that everyone must wear a mask or face a fine.

“But you can go to every governor and get them all in a room, all 50 of them, as president, and say ‘ask people to wear the mask.’ Everybody knows (they work).”

“And if they don’t?” Stephanopoulos asked him.

“Then I’d go to every mayor. I’d go to every council,” he said. “And I’d go to every local official and say ‘mandate the mask. Say this is what you have to do when you're out. Make sure you encourage it being done’.”

Fact-checking Trump's massively dishonest weekend: The President made at least 66 separate false or misleading claims in three days

  Fact-checking Trump's massively dishonest weekend: The President made at least 66 separate false or misleading claims in three days President Donald Trump's dishonesty is getting worse. © Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images US President Donald Trump gestures during a rally at Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville, Wisconsin on October 17, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) Trump has been reliably deceptive for his entire presidency, filling his speeches and tweets with lies and other false statements.

RELATED: Trump Will Participate in Election Town Hall Set to Air at Same Time as Biden 's Own Town Hall . On scheduling, the source said that there were few options for dates and Thursday had already been set aside by Trump because of the now-canceled second debate.

President Donald Trump likes to think of himself as a tough guy. He likes other tough guys. Masks , in the President's world, are not the sort of thing a tough guy wears .

Biden said Trump’s dismissal of masks is being taken seriously by too many people.

“The words of a president matter. Absolutely no matter whether they're good, bad or indifferent they matter,” he said. And when a president doesn't wear a mask or makes fun of folks like me when I was wearing a mask for a long time. Then you know people say well, it mustn’t be that important.”

Ledyard King

Biden tries to bridge the distance in near-empty hall

The coronavirus hampers the top feature of a town hall, the chance for the candidate to interact with voters.

A camera pan of the audience at the beginning of the ABC event showed many empty seats.

Biden did his best to reach across the distance and connect with those asking questions.

“Don’t jump,” Biden said when a Democrat from Pennsylvania rose from the back of the hall to ask his question. “You look like you’re way up there.”

When Anthony, a Republican from Pennsylvania, asked Biden about his plan to reverse some of Trump’s tax cuts, Biden turned in his chair, his arm draped over the back, to talk to the voter.

As Biden argued that the economic recovery would be stronger under his plan, he said taxpayers in the middle and on the bottom are losing income under Trump.

“Your income is coming down. You're not getting a raise,” Biden said, before interrupting himself. “I don’t know what you do. I hope you get a raise. Hope you're a billionaire.”

Kristen Welker: 5 things to know about the moderator of Thursday's presidential debate

  Kristen Welker: 5 things to know about the moderator of Thursday's presidential debate Kristen Welker has been criticized by President Trump as "terrible & unfair." Get to know the White House correspondent ahead of the last debate.The NBC News White House correspondent and "Weekend Today" co-anchor will moderate the debate at Belmont University in Nashville (9 EDT/6 PDT). The second presidential debate was axed after Trump declined to participate virtually, following his COVID-19 diagnosis. Instead, he and Biden held dueling town halls , and the former vice president beat Trump in the Nielsen ratings.

— Maureen Groppe

Biden defends tax hikes to grow economy

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden defended his proposal to overturn President Donald Trump’s tax cuts for corporations and wealthier Americans because the funding would generate more economic activity.

Biden has proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and overturn the individual tax cuts from 2017 for all Americans earning more than $400,000. A Republican voter named Anthony asked why that wouldn’t hurt the economy, after 30 million workers have already filed for unemployment during the recession.

But Biden said Moody’s, which analyzes economic plans, projected his proposals to spend on manufacturing, infrastructure and clean energy would create 18.6 million new jobs, which would be 7 million more than projected under Trump.

“When you allow people to get back in the game and have a job, everything moves,” Biden said.

Bart Jansen

Guthrie: 'You're not someone's crazy uncle'

Savannah Guthrie pressed the president on his penchant for tweets that spread disinformation, including one post in which he retweeted a conspiracy theory that Joe Biden orchestrated a cover-up that included the Navy SEAL Team Six faking the death of terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

"That was a retweet, and I do a lot of retweets," Trump said in defending his tweet.

Guthrie shot back that he is the president and "not like someone's crazy uncle."

Courtney Subramanian

Biden backs a vaccine mandate but says a president can’t enforce

Democratic nominee Joe Biden said he would like to make a vaccine to treat the coronavirus mandatory but acknowledged there’s no way to force people to take it once it is available.

4 winners and 5 losers from the last Biden-Trump debate

  4 winners and 5 losers from the last Biden-Trump debate Joe Biden was a winner — as was moderator Kristen Welker.The first debate was a chaotic disaster thanks to Trump’s constant interruptions; the second one didn’t happen because Trump refused to agree to debate virtually while he had Covid-19 (they had dueling town halls instead). This time around, better moderation and the handy use of a mute button allowed both candidates to express their thoughts — leading to a mix of actual substantive policy exchanges and less-than-coherent mudslinging about families and personal finance.

“It depends on the state of the nature of the vaccine, when it comes out and how it’s being distributed,” Biden said. “But I think we should think about making it mandatory.”

Moderator George Stephanopoulos asked how he could enforce that.

“Well, you couldn’t. That’s the problem," Biden said.

Biden compared the situation to not being able to mandate facemasks but that a president can ask governors and mayors to require their residents to wear masks.

Biden was asked by a voter whether, like vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, he would decline on taking a vaccine pushed by Trump.

Biden said that if scientists agree that a vaccine is ready that he would take it “and I would encourage everybody to take it.” He added what’s important now is to have a plan to distribute a vaccine.

Joey Garrison

Trump on white supremacy: ‘You always do this’

Trump delivered a scathing and combative response to a question on whether he would denounce white supremacy.

“You always do this,” Trump told moderator Savannah Guthrie. “I denounce white supremacy. What’s your next question?”

Guthrie pressed the question after Trump did not directly denounce white supremacy at the first presidential debate last month. She also asked Trump about the conspiracy theory group QAnon, some members of which Trump has retweeted.

“I know nothing about it,” Trump said, pivoting to violence among groups on the left. “I know about Antifa and I know about the radical left…I know how they’re burning down cities.”

John Fritze

The Donald Trump-Joe Biden town halls: What else is on TV?

Donald Trump and Joe Biden aren't just competing against each other for television ratings – they're also facing other regular television programming.

While NBC broadcasts the Trump town hall and ABC carries the Biden town hall, CBS features episodes of "Big Brother" and "Sheldon;" Fox has a baseball playoff game between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Debate transcript: Trump, Biden final presidential debate moderated by Kristen Welker

  Debate transcript: Trump, Biden final presidential debate moderated by Kristen Welker Here is the full transcript of the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, moderated by Kristen Welker in Nashville on Oct. 22, 2020. Headers have been added for ease of reading. © Mario Tama, Getty Images People are pictured watching the final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at The Abbey in West Hollywood, California. [0:00] Welker: A very good evening to both of you. This debate will cover six major topics.

Cable channels are carrying a smattering of movies, sporting events, news programs, and old television shows. Viewers also have streaming services as options to the Trump and Biden political talk.

It will be interesting to see whether the presidential candidates outdraw regular TV programming – and who wins their head-to-head match-up in terms of ratings.

David Jackson

Stephanopoulos being an active moderator

Although the questions are coming from audience members, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos is not sitting idly by.

In the first question alone, Stephanopoulos followed up twice. When Biden started describing what he’d said about the coronavirus from the beginning, Stephanopoulos pointed out Biden hadn’t called for social distancing from the start. Biden agreed, saying that came later, when the science became clearer about how the virus spreads. At that point, Biden said, he stopped doing big meetings and wore a mask.

Stephanopoulos also pressed Biden on his statement that he would follow the scientists, saying scientists don’t always agree among themselves – and they may also clash with economists.

“You can contain the pandemic by being rational,” Biden said. “You could open businesses and schools if in fact you provide them the guidance that they need as well as the money to be able to do it.”

Maureen Groppe

Biden: Americans don’t panic. He panicked

The first question to Democratic nominee Joe Biden at his town hall on ABC News asked what he would have done differently from President Donald Trump in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and what would he do if elected.

Biden said Trump denied the seriousness of the virus for months, but that he urged greater precautions such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

“Americans don’t panic,” said Biden, who was seated in a white chair at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, in response to a question from Nick Feden, a Democrat. “He panicked.”

Biden said schools and businesses could have reopened if Trump had created a national policy for testing and tracing the infected, and providing protective equipment to schools and funding for businesses.

“It is the presidential responsibility to lead,” Biden said.

Bart Jansen

Trump: ‘I can’t be in a basement’

Trump dodged a question on whether he should have known better than to hold a Rose Garden event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett without wearing a mask.

Trump said he’s tested often and that he has no problem with wearing a mask. But, “I’m president,” he said. “I have to see people. I can’t be in a basement … I have to be out.”

Thirteen people at that Rose Garden event have tested positive for coronavirus. But Trump questioned if that is where he contacted the virus.

Michael Collins

Trump says he doesn't remember if he tested day of the debate

When pressed about when he last tested negative for COVID-19, which the White House has refused to say, Trump, said he didn't remember because he's "tested all the time."

"I test quite a bit," he told Gutherie.

Trump refused to say if he tested the day of the debate but said he was tested the day before and was "in great shape."

When asked again whether he tested on the day of the debate, Trump said: "Possibly, I did. Possibly, I didn’t."

The president also said he is not tested for the coronavirus daily.

Courtney Subramanian

COVID comes up immediately

On one network, President Trump was being questioned about how much he was tested for COVID in the time he eventually tested positive. On another network, Biden was offering his opinion on how Trump responded to the pandemic.

The town halls got underway Thursday night with each candidate making their case on how to respond to the pandemic Trump said he, as president, can't hide from people. Biden said Trump lied about the dangers of the virus.

Trump, Biden town halls underway

President Donald Trump's town hall on NBC is underway.

"This is not how things were supposed to go tonight," TODAY host Savannah Guthrie started off her remarks.

Trump's first question: Any lingering symptoms from his bout with COVID-19?

"Nothing whatsoever," Trump said.

John Fritze

Biden town hall to last 30 minutes longer than Trump's

President Donald Trump boasted today at a campaign rally in North Carolina that he agreed to tonight’s town hall because it amounted to a “free hour on television."

But that’s 30 minutes less of free television than his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden will get.

Trump’s town hall on ABC from Miami and Biden’s town hall on NBC from Philadelphia begins at the same time, 8 p.m. EDT. But the Trump town hall is slated to end after 60 minutes, while the Biden town hall goes for 90 minutes.

That should be enough time for Trump to find a television to check in on the Democratic nominee if he chooses.

Joey Garrison

Town halls a warm-up for next debate

Consider Thursday’s dueling town halls a warm-up -- not just for viewers but also the candidates.

President Donald Trump has taken only one on-the-record question from a non-conservative personality since receiving his COVID-19 diagnosis on Oct. 2 – a question about tariffs. Biden hasn’t held a formal press conference since early September, though he often takes questions on the trail.

The last time either Trump or Biden took a series of probing questions in a highly viewed setting was at their last debate, on Sept. 29. Since then Trump fell ill and recovered from coronavirus, his Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett has worked through her confirmation hearings, an apparent new surge of virus cases has started plaguing several states and talks with Capitol Hill over an economic stimulus have appeared promising and then died too many times to count.

Not only does that add weight to Thursday’s town halls, it also means both candidates will be able to road test messages new and old before the main event: Next week’s final presidential debate in Nashville.

John Fritze

Trump and Biden offer up their own event tonight

Their face-to-face debate canceled, President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will instead hold dueling town halls Thursday on competing television networks.

NBC announced Wednesday it will host a Trump town hall at 8 p.m. EDT on Thursday – the same time at which ABC will be hosting a similar event with Biden in Philadelphia.

The Trump event will be in Miami, which was supposed to be the site of a second debate between the two candidates. That showdown was canceled after Trump refused to participate once it was moved to a virtual format because of his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Election updates: Trump deemed 'safe' to return to public engagements, won't say if he's tested negative

Trump works the refs ahead of town hall

President Donald Trump began ripping into the NBC town hall he will take part in Thursday hours before he arrived to field his first question.

“I’m being set up tonight,” Trump told supporters at a rally in North Carolina.

Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will participate in dueling network town halls Thursday, with the former vice president appearing on ABC. Both kick-off at 8 p.m. EDT. The appearances are happening in lieu of a scheduled debate that was canceled after Trump balked at switching to a virtual format.

After slamming NBC and its parent company as “the worst,” Trump went after the event’s moderator, "TODAY" anchor Savannah Guthrie.

“She’s always lovely, isn’t she?” Trump said.

In airing his grievances, Trump was hitting on a theme he has frequently sounded on the trail: That he gets tougher questions from reporters than Biden. Never raised in his analysis is the notion that he faces additional scrutiny because he is the president.

Trump described the event as a setup to his supporters but then offered a clue about why he would agree to appear. Down in battleground state polling and fundraising, Trump signaled that the NBC event may be more valuable for his campaign than not.

“We get a free hour on television,” he said.

John Fritze

Trump applauds ‘flawless’ Barrett

Trump praised Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s performance at her confirmation hearing this week, telling supporters in North Carolina on Thursday that she was “flawless.

During an airport campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, Trump lauded Barrett as “a great intellect” and boasted that she was “toying” with Democrats who grilled her during her hearing.

Trump’s rally in North Carolina – a key battleground in the Nov. 3 election – is his first stop on a two-day campaign swing that also will take him to Ocala, Florida, and Macon, Georgia.

It was also Trump’s fourth rally in as many days as he tries to close the gap with Biden. Biden has consistently maintained an edge over Trump in national polls and in some key battleground states, including North Carolina.

Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 3 percentage points in North Carolina in 2016, but polls show a close race in the state this year. Biden holds a 3.3 percentage point lead over Trump in the Tar Heel State in the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

– Michael Collins

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Live town halls: Trump dodges question on masks, Biden talks about mandating they be worn

Debate transcript: Trump, Biden final presidential debate moderated by Kristen Welker .
Here is the full transcript of the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, moderated by Kristen Welker in Nashville on Oct. 22, 2020. Headers have been added for ease of reading. © Mario Tama, Getty Images People are pictured watching the final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at The Abbey in West Hollywood, California. [0:00] Welker: A very good evening to both of you. This debate will cover six major topics.

usr: 1
This is interesting!