Joe Biden told reporters on Wednesday that his message to all white supremacist groups is to "cease and desist. That’s not who we are. This is not who we are as Americans."

Driving the news: President Trump was asked specifically about the far-right group Proud Boys at the debate Tuesday night, and rather than condemning them, the president said, "Proud Boys: Stand back and standby."

Why it matters: Trump is facing intense backlash for the comments after an otherwise chaotic debate night, including from some Republicans who are urging him to clarify what he meant.

What they're saying: "My message to the Proud Boys and every other white supremacist organization is: Cease and desist. That’s not who we are. This is not who we are as Americans," Biden said Wednesday.

  • "The American people will decide who the next president of the United States will be. Period. So, I’m urging the American people to go out and vote, show up. ... If, in fact, we win this election this president will stand down. The American people will not stand for it."

The big picture: Biden said Trump's performance at the debate was a "national embarrassment," and that he understands why some undecided voters who watched would be "turned off" to politics.

Go deeper: Tim Scott says Trump "misspoke" when he told Proud Boys to "stand by"

Go deeper

SurveyMonkey poll: Trump improves, but not enough

Trump and Biden during the final debate. Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

President Trump's final debate performance exceeded Americans' expectations, but it wasn't enough to shift the dynamics that left him trailing Joe Biden across most measures, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

What they're saying: "Liar" was the word used most by debate watchers to describe Trump's performance, followed by "lies," "strong," "presidential" and "childish." "Presidential" was the word used most to describe Biden's performance, followed by "liar," "weak," "expected" and "honest."

Oct 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

63 million people watched final presidential debate

Photo Illustration: Pavlo Conchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

63 million viewers tuned into the final debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday evening, according to Nielsen ratings. The event drew 13% fewer viewers than the first presidential debate in late September.

Why it matters: The more measured matchup may have proven to be less exciting than the chaotic first debate.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 23, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Biden looks to stem oil "transition" furor amid GOP attacks

Former Vice President Joe Biden. ANGELA WEISS / Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign is looking to blunt attacks in response to his comments in Thursday night's debate about a "transition from the oil industry," as Republicans look to make the remarks a liability in the closing days of the race.

Driving the news: Biden campaign spokesperson Bill Russo, in comments circulated to reporters Friday afternoon, said the former VP "would not get rid of fossil fuels," but wants to end subsidies.