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President Trump seemed determined to rattle former Vice President Joe Biden at Tuesday’s presidential debate, repeatedly talking over him and leading Biden to shoot back, “Will you shut up, man?”
Trump began his assault on Biden during the former vice president’s answer to moderator Chris Wallace’s question about his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Biden turned the question to the future of the Affordable Care Act, which will come before the court shortly. Barrett could provide the decisive vote to strike it down during the pandemic. Trump quickly began talking over him, violating the pre-debate agreement that each candidate would have the floor for two minutes.
“Mr. President, Mr. President, as a moderator, we’re going to talk about COVID in the next segment. But go ahead,” Wallace said, ceding the floor to Biden, so that he could finish his answer.
“The point is, the president is against Roe v. Wade. That’s on the ballot as well in the court, in the court. And so that’s also at stake, right now, and so the election is all—”
“You don’t know it’s on the ballot,” Trump interrupted again. “Why is it on the ballot?”
“Because you—” Biden began, before Trump cut him off.
“Why is it on the ballot?” Trump continued, talking over Biden. “It’s not on the ballot. I don’t think so. There’s nothing happening there.”
“Donald, would you just be quiet for a minute?” Biden asked.
“And you don’t know her view on Roe v. Wade,” Trump said.
Barrett has not publicly said how she would vote should a challenge to the historic Supreme Court decision on abortion reach the court. As a candidate in 2016, Trump promised to appoint justices who would overturn the decision.
When Biden was asked about his plan to expand the Affordable Care Act with a public option, Trump pounced again, refusing to let Biden finish a sentence.
“The fact is, everything he is saying is simply a lie. I’m not here to call out his lies, everybody knows he’s a liar,” Biden said finally.
“But you agree—” Trump interrupted. “You’re the liar, you graduated last in your class, not first in your class.”
Biden’s response to the remark was to laugh, and Wallace told Trump, “Mr. President, can you let him finish, sir?”
“He doesn’t know how to do that,” Biden quipped.
“You’d be surprised,” Trump said, cutting Biden off again.
The cross-talk grew more contentious, until Biden said, “Folks, do you have any idea what this clown’s doing?”
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