2020 presidential debates
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President Trump on Tuesday told Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden he needed to “shut [him] down” as he defended his national reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He wants to shut down this country. And I want to keep it open,” Trump said as Biden tried to jump in.
“Wait a minute, Joe. Let me shut you down for a second,” Trump said over the interruption at the first presidential debate.
The moment was cheered online by Trump’s supporters including White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who tweeted from her personal account it showed Trump “DOMINATING!!!”
It was one of many pointed exchanges in the debate.
Before the witty knock-down, Biden complained aloud about Trump, “Will he just shush for a moment?” and told the commander in chief during a different exchange, “Shut up, man!”
Trump accused Biden of wanting to impose another lockdown if he becomes president — referring to Biden saying last month he would seek to re-impose harsh restrictions if scientists advised it.
Debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News asked Biden about his relative reluctance to reopen the economy and schools.
“Because he doesn’t have a plan. If I were running it, I would know what the plan is. You’ve got to provide these businesses the ability to have the money to be able to reopen with the PPE as well as with sanitation they need,” Biden said.
Trump interrupted: “Tell it to Nancy Pelosi,” the speaker of the House, with whom Senate Republicans are locked in a standoff over a new COVID-19 relief package — with Senate Democrats this month blocking GOP legislation with unemployment funds.
“Tell it to Nancy Pelosi and Schumer, crying Chuck,” Trump said.
“They have a plan. He won’t even meet with them,” Biden said.
Trump said it was appropriate to reopen the country because “we learned a lot” about the novel virus and about who was most vulnerable.
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