Consternation and mobilization. In the aftermath of the first chaotic and heated televised debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, America was indignant in chorus by the remarks of the American president who, on Tuesday evening, bluntly called on a neofascist organization to “be ready” after having refused to condemn the rise of white supremacist movements in the United States.
All day, the self-proclaimed billionaire’s campaign team has sought to minimize the comment by talking about a slip of the tongue. “He said ‘back off’ [et non pas d’être prêt]. His tongue forked, ”claimed his son Donald Trump junior on CBS Wednesday morning. “He is the first to condemn” the far right, he added.
“He doesn’t need that kind of militia,” White House communications director Alyssa Farah told Fox News while assuring that the president “totally condemns white supremacists.”
The militia in question, named during the debate by the president, welcomed this presidential appeal by responding present on the Telegram network. “Get up and ready, sir,” she wrote.
To say that the Proud Boys are galvanized by [ce commentaire] is an understatement, “summed up Megan Squire, an online extremism specialist at the University of Elon in North Carolina, interviewed by NBC. “They were pro-Trump before that cry, and they’re over the moon now. Their fantasy is to fight [le mouvement antiraciste] and that’s what the president apparently asked them to do. “
“Please vote! “
After having condemned the remarks of the American president in the wake of the televised debate, Joe Biden added a layer Wednesday by describing the behavior of his rival of “national shame” during the debate. “The president behaved as he has always done,” he said during a visit to Ohio where he was campaigning on Wednesday, qualifying the president’s comment to a small right-wing group. radical “wake-up call for all Americans”.
“My message to the Proud Boys and all other white supremacist groups is to give up and not to do it,” he added. “It doesn’t represent us. That’s not who we are as Americans. “
On Twitter, basketball player James LeBron, openly opposed to Donald Trump and one of America’s most beloved sportsmen, summed up his affliction in a pithy phrase: “Please vote! “
Feed the ambiguity
At the end of the day, Donald Trump said he did not know the group of white supremacists, however, mentioned the day before the debate. “All I can say is they have to back off and let the law enforcement do their job,” he told reporters from the White House garden, thus maintaining the usual ambiguity about its connections with white American racist and supremacist movements.
In 2017, the president had assured that there were “good people in both camps”, after a demonstration of the identity right in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the wake of the removal of a monument in memory of the Confederates and of the American slave past.
In the Senate chamber, Democratic Minority Leader Charles Shumer quoted Macbeth by Shakespeare to qualify Donald Trump’s performance in the debate as “a tale told by an idiot, full of noise and fury and meaning nothing.”
“How are you embarrassed that President Trump represents your party,” he asked fellow Republicans? How can you support anyone who behaves this way? Do you see the same person as us? “
After the Cleveland debate on Tuesday, the two presidential candidates are preparing to cross swords again on October 15 and 22. The presidential debates committee on Wednesday announced its intention to revise the rules to avoid Tuesday night’s cacophony.
“Yesterday’s debate showed that additional structure needed to be added to the format of the debates to ensure a more orderly discussion,” the COP acknowledged in a statement.
Organizers could cut the candidate’s microphone when it is not his speaking time.
It was annoyance over the abrasive tone of Tuesday’s meeting and the violence of the comments that seemed to have won, according to a poll conducted by CBS, rallying 66% of viewers polled after the debate.
With Agence France-Presse