Sep 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden rebukes Trump for attacking Hunter Biden's drug problem

President Trump attacked Joe Biden's son Hunter at the first presidential debate on Tuesday for being discharged from the military after failing a drug test for cocaine. Biden responded by saying that his son had a drug problem like many people and that he's proud of him for overcoming it.

Why it matters: Trump launched several attacks on Hunter Biden as part of a strategy to force the Democratic nominee to lose his cool. Biden largely avoided taking the bait, and at one point turned to the audience and said, "This is not about my family or his family. It's about your family. American people. He doesn't want to talk about what you need."

The exchange:

BIDEN: "The nation can't stay divided. We can't be this way. Speaking of my son, the way you talk about the military, the way you talk about them being losers and being just being suckers. My son was in Iraq. He spent a year there. He got the Bronze Star. He got the Conspicuous Service Medal. He was not a loser. He was a patriot. And the people left behind there were heroes. And I resent --"
TRUMP: "Are you talking about Hunter? 
BIDEN: "I'm talking about my son Beau Biden."
TRUMP: "I don't know Beau. I know Hunter. Hunter got thrown out of the military. He was thrown out, dishonorably discharged for cocaine use. And he didn't have a job until you were vice president."
BIDEN: "None of that is true."
TRUMP: "Once you became vice president, he made a fortune in Ukraine and China and Moscow and various other places. And he didn't have a job."
BIDEN: "That is simply not true. My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people you know at home, had a drug problem. He's overtaken it. He's fixed it. He's worked on it. And I'm proud of him."
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