NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WROC) — It was debate night for President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
They squared off in Nashville in their final face-to-face confrontation before the election. It’s one of the last high-profile opportunities for the trailing president to change the trajectory of an increasingly contentious campaign.
Stick with News 8 WROC for live updates, analysis, clips, and more.
The Latest: Trump and Biden spar over coronavirus — politely
Joe Biden and Donald Trump are clashing on race relations, as the former vice president calls the current president “one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history.”
Biden said Trump “pours fuel on every racist fire” and noted that at his last debate the president wouldn’t condemn white supremacy and told an extremist group to “stand down and stand by.”
Trump portrayed himself as a champion of Black people. Repeating his standard line that no president has done more for Black Americans than anyone other than Abraham Lincoln, Trump accused Biden and former President Barack Obama of ignoring issues of racial justice.
Trump told Biden: “You’ve done nothing but the crime bill which put tens of thousands of Black men in jail.”
Biden said he’s been trying to change drug sentencing laws that disproportionately harmed African Americans and that the public knows his record.
Trump, touting criminal justice reform and opportunity zone bills he signed, said: “I am the least racist person in this room.”
President Donald Trump is defending his administration’s separation of immigrant children who remain away from their families following detentions along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump said during Thursday’s debate that children are often brought across the border not by families but “by coyotes and lots of bad people.”
The American Civil Liberties Union told a judge this week that there were still 545 children separated from their parents from 2018.
Trump said his administration had constructed more than 400 miles of his promised border barrier. He also said, “They built cages,” referring to Obama-era facilities depicted in media reports during the separations.
Joe Biden disputed Trump’s answer, saying kids “were ripped from” their families in 2018.
As he has done since the primary campaign, Biden defended the Obama administration’s immigration policy, admitting that it “took too long to get it right.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden says he would push for a $15-per-hour minimum wage and rejects the idea that it would hurt small businesses.
Biden said at Thursday’s debate: “There is no evidence that when you raise the minimum wage, businesses go out of business.”
President Donald Trump argued that the minimum wage should be left as an issue for the states to determine. He says, “How are you helping your small businesses when you’re forcing wages? What’s going to happen, and what’s been proven to happen, is when you do that, these small businesses fire many of their employees.”
The two candidates were asked about where they stand on raising the federal minimum wage as part of their final debate Thursday night. The minimum wage is now $7.25 an hour. Proponents of increasing it say the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation, making it harder for workers to make ends meet.
President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are blaming each other and each other’s political parties for the failure to provide a new round of coronavirus aid relief.
Trump blamed Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even as Pelosi continues to negotiate a deal with Trump’s emissary, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The Republican president suggested Pelosi doesn’t want to do anything that would help him.
Biden asked Trump why he isn’t talking to his “Republican friends” about a deal.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s Republican leader, has told his fellow Republicans that he warned the White House against striking a trillion-dollar relief deal with Pelosi before the Nov. 3 election.
Biden raised his voice as he reminded viewers of Thursday’s presidential debate that the Democratic-controlled House passed a relief bill months ago. It was ignored by the GOP-led Senate.
President Donald Trump is offering rare praise to a member of the media: the moderator of the final presidential debate.
Trump told moderator Kristen Welker on Thursday evening: “So far I respect very much the way you are handling this, I have to say.”
The praise for Welker comes after Trump attacked her on Twitter over the weekend.
She has “always been terrible and unfair, just like most of the Fake News reporters,” he tweeted at the time.
Trump has repeatedly fought with, belittled or denigrated members of the media during his tenure in office.
That included CBS New correspondent Lesley Stahl, with whom the president bickered repeatedly during an interview for “60 Minutes,” which he abruptly cut off.
Trump complained that the interview was unfair and released footage of it earlier Thursday.
Joe Biden says his son did nothing inappropriate while working for a company in Ukraine and notes President Donald Trump was the one who got impeached for dealings with that country.
During the final presidential debate Thursday night, Trump noted that the former vice president’s son Hunter Biden drew a large salary from a Ukrainian firm. Joe Biden responded that the accusation had been investigated repeatedly and did not link him to any wrongdoing. Biden also noted that the president was impeached for attempting to pressure the president of Ukraine to find potentially damaging information on the Bidens.
He then attempted to turn the question into an attack on Trump, focusing on a recent report in The New York Times that Trump has a bank account in that country.
Trump responded, “I have many bank accounts and they’re all listed and they’re all over the place.” He said that the Chinese account in question was opened in 2015 and closed in 2017, “I believe,” even though it actually appears to still be open.
Joe Biden and Donald Trump are arguing over their tax returns.
Responding to unfounded allegations from Trump during Thursday night’s debate that he’s received funds from Russian sources, Biden noted that he’s released 22 years of taxes, which he says show “I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life.”
Pointing his finger at Trump, Biden asked: “What are you hiding?” He told Trump to “release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption.”
Trump responded that he would like to release his returns “as soon as we can” but reiterated his excuse that he’s under audit, a claim he’s made since he first ran for president in 2016. The president is not actually barred from releasing the documents while they’re under audit.
Trump also responded to the news that he paid just $750 in taxes in 2017, claiming that he was told he “prepaid tens of millions of dollars,” and that the $750 he paid was a “filing fee.”
But Biden again called on Trump to release proof. “Show us,” Biden said. “Stop playing around.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden says any country that interferes in American elections will pay a price if he’s elected, saying, “They are interfering with American sovereignty.”
U.S. officials have reported that Russian hackers have targeted the networks of dozens of state and local governments in the United States in recent days, stealing data from at least two servers. Officials are also accusing Iran of being behind a flurry of emails sent to Democratic voters in multiple battleground states that appeared to be aimed at intimidating them into voting for President Donald Trump.
Trump says that nobody has been tougher on Russia through sanctions and pushing for increased military spending by NATO.
The two candidates took questions in their final debate on how they would deter foreign interference in American elections.
The final presidential debate is off without a hitch, with President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden not talking over each other — at least so far.
The first debate between Trump and Biden deteriorated into bitter taunts and chaos after Trump repeatedly interrupted his opponent with angry — and personal — jabs.
In an effort to curtail interruptions this time, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that Trump and Biden would each have his microphone cut off while his rival delivered an opening two-minute answer to each of six debate topics.
Trump have been far more restrained during Thursday’s debate in Nashville, Tennessee.
President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are sparring over the coronavirus pandemic — but doing so relatively politely.
In a contrast to the first debate, the two presidential contenders went more than 15 minutes before interrupting each other at Thursday night’s debate. Helped by a rule that switched off the microphone for the candidate who was not talking, the two traded sharp barbs and critiques, but at least kept their voices lowered.
Trump insisted he had done a good job with a worldwide pandemic and said the country needs to “learn to live with it.”
Biden shot back: “People are learning to die with it.”
Regardless, it was a markedly less bombastic opening than in the first debate, when Trump frequently interrupted and shouted over Biden. The president seemed fairly calm Thursday, talking about his own recent bout with the virus as an example of how the country can survive it.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are meeting for their final debate Thursday night in Nashville, Tennessee.
— High stakes for Trump, Biden heading into final debate
— Viewers’ Guide: After chaotic 1st debate, Trump, Biden try again
— Trump posts unedited ’60 Minutes’ interview before it airs
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
The second and final presidential debate of the 2020 election has begun.
President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are facing off Thursday night in Nashville, Tennessee, more than three weeks after their first debate.
A lot has happened since then: Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus and spent three days in the hospital.
Organizers initially planned to separate the candidates with plexiglass barriers but removed them hours before the debate began. The candidates took coronavirus tests Thursday, and both campaigns said they came back negative.
The first debate was so raucous that changes were enacted to make the next one more orderly. There’s a mute button this time that will be controlled by a representative of the Commission on Presidential Debates. It will ensure that each candidate has two full minutes uninterrupted to deliver opening answers on six major topics.
Hundreds of people are gathering on sidewalks outside the site of the final presidential debate to show their support for the candidates.
Cars honked and slowed down Thursday evening to check out the scene just outside Belmont University’s campus in Nashville, Tennessee.
Most of the attendees appeared to be wearing masks, though some proudly declared they would not while holding flags supporting President Donald Trump.
Julie Ford, who lives in Greenbrier, Tennessee, says she hopes the candidates spend more time talking about what they would do over the next four years.
She says, “I know what Donald Trump plans to do and I know what Joe Biden’s website plans to do.” But she says Biden “never gets questioned (on) what his future will look like.”
She says she traveled to Cleveland for the first debate to show her support for Trump.
The Trump administration is dangling the prospects of executive action or legislation to help about 20,000 salaried, nonunion retirees of the Delphi Corporation get their full pension benefits after an unsuccessful court fight.
The retirees live mostly in critical swing states in the Midwest, most notably Ohio and Michigan.
Their fight goes back to 2009. That’s when their pensions were terminated as part of a taxpayer-funded bailout of General Motors. They lost up to 70% of their retirement benefits when trusteeship was transferred to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
President Donald Trump issued a memorandum directing three Cabinet secretaries to review the pension cuts and report back within 90 days on action that can be taken to address lost benefits.
The White House chief of staff says President Donald Trump has tested negative for the coronavirus ahead of Thursday night’s second and final presidential debate.
Mark Meadows says Trump was tested onboard Air Force One while en route to Nashville, Tennessee, and tested negative.
Biden’s campaign said Thursday that he, too, was tested Thursday and tested negative.
The test comes after Trump’s bout with the virus, which put him in the hospital for three nights.
Both campaigns had been required to certify that their candidates and VIP guests have tested negative ahead of the debates. But Trump and the White House have repeatedly refused to say whether Trump actually was tested before participating in the first.
Trump was diagnosed with the virus two days later.
Joe Biden is bringing the owners of a small North Carolina restaurant to Thursday night’s debate to underscore the impact President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has had on average Americans.
Zweli and Leonardo Williams are set to attend the debate in Nashville, Tennessee. Campaign adviser Symone Sanders said on a press call Thursday that they are “two of the many small-business owners who have felt the economic impact of this administration’s failed response” to the pandemic.
The choice highlights the significance of North Carolina, a heavily contested battleground state that could help deliver Biden a win.
Sanders also said that the “debate is a test of presidential temperament” and that regardless of whether Trump comes “for a serious discussion of this record and plans for the future, or more antics and distraction” like the first debate, Biden “will be prepared either way.”
President Donald Trump plans to cast his ballot in person on Saturday, taking advantage of Florida’s early voting period.
The White House says the president will vote in West Palm Beach, a short drive from his Mar-a-Lago private club and, as of 2019, his official residence. The club is located in the town of Palm Beach, which doesn’t have any early voting locations.
Trump moved his residence to Florida a year ago from New York, citing his frustration with New York’s political leadership. He also hoped it would give him a boost in the critical battleground state. His path to another term in the White House is virtually nonexistent without a repeat victory in Florida.
President Donald Trump says “it will be so good” if the Supreme Court puts an end to the Obama-era health law when the justices hear challenges to the Affordable Care Act next month.
Trump made the comment in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that’s set to air Sunday night. The president posted the full, unedited interview on Facebook on Thursday.
Democrats argue that Republicans are counting on the Senate confirmation of Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court to be the death knell of the law, which is also called “Obamacare.”
Republicans have bristled at the Democrats’ claim about what could happen if the appeals court judge joins the high court.
With Barrett on the path to confirmation in the coming days, Trump is signaling that he’s confident that court’s expected swing to the right portends the demise of the health law.
Trump says in the interview: “I think it’ll end” and “I hope that they’ll end it.”
The interview taped earlier this week. The White House posted it on social media after Trump complained he hadn’t been treated fairly by CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl.
President Donald Trump has posted his full, unedited interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Facebook ahead of the show’s Sunday air date.
The footage shows Trump growing increasingly prickly as anchor Lesley Stahl presses him on the coronavirus pandemic, his slipping support with suburban women and other issues.
Trump tweeted with the Facebook link: “Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS.” And he again preemptively criticized the moderator of Thursday’s final presidential debate.
The “60 Minutes” interview starts on a tense footing as Stahl asks the Republican president, “Are you ready for some tough questions?” It only grows more testy.
Trump complains, “That’s no way to talk.” He later comments, “You’re so negative.”
Trump faces Democrat Joe Biden in the debate on Thursday night in Nashville, Tennessee.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he has tested negative for COVID-19 ahead of his debate with President Donald Trump.
Biden made the comments to reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday before flying to Nashville, Tennessee, where he’s scheduled to participate in the second debate with the Republican president, the final scheduled meeting of the two candidates before the Nov. 3 election. Biden says he underwent the coronavirus testing on Thursday.
Last week during a town hall-style interview on MSNBC, Trump did not specify when he was asked when he had been tested before the Sept. 29 debate. The White House announced two days later Trump had tested positive. Trump spent three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before returning to the White House.
The White House was asked Thursday morning whether Trump had been tested, as Biden was, in preparation for the debate. It has not released an update.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won’t rule out studying the addition of members to the U.S. Supreme Court as part of a commission he plans to name to look at court reforms if he’s elected.
During an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” recorded Monday but not yet aired, Biden was asked by anchor Norah O’Donnell if the commission would study whether to pack the court. Biden says the commission’s charge would “go well beyond packing.”
Biden said last week he was “not a fan” of the idea of adding justices to the court to balance it ideologically. He said he would answer the question of whether he planned to support it before the final presidential debate, scheduled for Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee.
Questions of whether Biden would support court-packing have emerged since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Sept. 18 and the Republican-controlled Senate’s move forward with Judiciary Committee hearings on President Donald Trump’s nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, before the Nov. 3 election.