- Trump and Biden clash in a mostly civil debate.
- Trump stays on message and remains composed throughout.
- Biden's several errors will appear in campaign ads.
The final debate of the 2020 election was a huge change from the raucous and barely controlled initial confrontation.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden learned the public disapproval lesson of their first meeting. Interruptions were minimal, response times were short and the directions of the moderator Kristen Welker were generally followed.
The six topics, COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security, leadership were covered in 15 minute segments with each candidate given an uninterrupted two minutes to speak.
As he said he would, Mr. Trump brought up the recent charges that Biden's son Hunter traded on his father's office to enrich himself and the Biden family.
Mr. Biden challenged the president to release his tax returns and said the president was responsible for the 200,000 COVID deaths in the US.
The quality of the exchanges and the informative value was high. Each candidate performed well, though in comparison to the first debate Trump showed much greater range.
Most of the back and forth challenges moved to Trump's initiative. His persona was considerably different, restrained, focused and in command of facts and recall.
In that difference Mr. Trump probably helped himself more with his modulated performance than Mr. Biden who was unchanged from his earlier appearances.
Mr. Biden also committed a number of errors that will certainly appear in Trump campaign ads in the next twelve days.
Primary was his statement that “I would transition from the oil industry.” When combined with his previous promises to end fracking, which in the debate he denied ever saying, but exist in several videos, the impact could be costly in close states like Pennsylvania where the oil industry has brought prosperity to many communicates.
He also claimed that the laptop subpoenaed by the FBI last year in a money-laundering investigation and now at the center of the corruption accusations swirling around his son Hunter and himself, was a Russian plant. The FBI and the Director of National Intelligence, the head of all 17 US intelligence agencies, John Ratcliffe have said that it is not, clearly implying that the computer and the information on it, belong to Hunter Biden.
Finally in an exchange over Obamacare, Mr. Biden claimed that no one lost their health insurance because of the bill, an assertion debunked many times.
Mr. Trump committed no errors and was forceful in pursuing Biden, at several points asking him direct questions to which the former Vice-President had no response.
But with so few undecided voters and so little time left will President Trump's superior performance matter?
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