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This debate was like the country: Everybody’s talking. Nobody’s listening. Nothing is learned. It’s a mess.
Why it matters: Honestly, who the hell knows?
Joe Biden netted $3.8 million in fund-raising in one hour as the presidential debate with President Trump aired Tuesday night, his campaign confirmed in an email.
Why it matters: The amount raised on the Democratic donation-processing site ActBlue from 10-11 p.m. is the campaign's biggest fund-raising total in one hour on record. The money poured in during a fiery debate punctuated by interruptions and hallmarked by name-calling.
Former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum, a frequent defender of President Trump, said on CNN that Trump declined to explicitly condemn white supremacists when asked to at Tuesday's debate because he doesn't like to "say something bad about people who support him."
Why it matters: Trump has been criticized repeatedly throughout his tenure for his reticence to condemn right-wing violence, instead opting — as he did at the debate — to divert attention to Antifa and left-wing violence. Trump said on Tuesday that the far-right Proud Boys should "stand back and stand by" — a comment that the group is now seizing on as a dog whistle on online message boards.
The first presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden in Cleveland on Tuesday night was a shouting match, punctuated by interruptions and hallmarked by name-calling.
Why it matters: If Trump aimed to make the debate as chaotic as possible with a torrent of disruptions, he succeeded. Pundits struggled to make sense of what they saw, and it's tough to imagine that the American people were able to either.
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 family. It's about your family. American people. He doesn't want to talk about what you need.."
Faced with constant interruptions and shouting from President Trump, moderator Chris Wallace failed to maintain control over the 2020 campaign's first general election presidential debate.
Why it matters: The hectic nature of the first debate caused an instant debate over how the remaining debates could be conducted for the 2020 campaign.
Asked to condemn white supremacist violence at the first presidential debate on Tuesday, President Trump said the far-right Proud Boys group should "stand back and stand by," before immediately arguing that violence in the U.S. "is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem."
Why it matters: Trump has repeatedly been accused of failing to condemn white nationalism and right-wing violence, despite the FBI's assessment that it's the most significant domestic terrorism threat that the country faces. The president has frequently associated antifa and the left-wing violence that has afflicted some U.S. cities with Biden, despite his condemnation of violent protests.
Joe Biden attacked President Trump at the presidential debate on Tuesday for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, accusing him of panicking and failing to prepare for the crisis when he was warned about it in February.
The big picture: "It is what it is because you are who you are," Biden said, alluding to an answer Trump gave in an interview with "Axios on HBO" when asked about the 150,000+ death toll from the coronavirus. Trump responded by claiming that Biden would not have shut down travel from China in the early days of the pandemic, and he defended his administration's mass production of ventilators and protective equipment.
Responding to President Trump's insistence that the Democratic Party "wants to go socialist medicine," Joe Biden said at the presidential debate on Tuesday: "I am the Democratic Party."
Why it matters: Trump has repeatedly claimed that the Democratic nominee is not in control of his party and that he will be "dominated" by progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Unlike other candidates who Biden ran against in the Democratic primary, he does not support Medicare for All or abolishing private health insurance.