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Analysis and Highlights from the Trump vs Biden Live Presidential Debate

Photo Credit: CNN Youtube

President Joe Biden’s performance at the debate appeared uncertain and hesitant, while his Republican opponent Donald Trump aggressively attacked him with numerous unsubstantiated claims. The debate, held on Thursday, showcased the two oldest presidential candidates in history exchanging personal insults as they sparred over issues ranging from abortion and immigration to their economic policies and even their golf skills. Despite attempts by Biden’s allies to downplay his shaky start due to a reported cold, his lackluster showing rattled fellow Democrats and raised concerns among voters about his ability to effectively serve another term at 81 years old.

Vice President Kamala Harris, reflecting on Biden’s performance during a CNN interview after the debate, acknowledged his slow start but urged voters to assess both candidates based on their records in office rather than just the night’s events. Biden, sounding hoarse at times, stumbled through his responses early on but gained momentum midway through the debate when he criticized Trump over legal issues involving hush money payments. In return, Trump brought up legal troubles faced by Biden’s son, Hunter, and questioned the lack of endorsements from many of Trump’s former cabinet members.

Throughout the debate, Trump repeated familiar false claims, including allegations of a crime wave among migrants and Democrats’ support for infanticide, while also asserting his victory in the 2020 election. Both candidates faced scrutiny over their fitness for office, with Biden confronting questions about his age and sharpness and Trump contending with ongoing legal challenges and divisive rhetoric.

The debate, broadcasted on CNN ninety minutes earlier than traditional presidential debates, featured new rules such as no live audience and automated microphone controls to prevent interruptions, a stark contrast to their tumultuous 2020 debate. Despite their longstanding mutual animosity, neither Biden nor Trump acknowledged each other before or after the debate, instead trading insults and criticisms throughout the night.

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