The hour of face-to-face has come. Donald Trump and Joe Biden arrived in Cleveland (Ohio) on Tuesday for their first debate in an electric atmosphere 35 days before the US presidential election. “He’s ready!” Said a senior official with the Trump campaign team aboard Air Force One shortly before the President’s landing, followed less than two hours later by his Democratic rival.
A few hours before the arrival on stage of the two septuagenarian candidates, their teams accused each other of spreading erroneous information to destabilize the opposing camp. Covid-19 requires, no handshake is planned during this duel which will begin at 9:00 p.m. local in front of a small audience but tens of millions of Americans behind their screens.
Joe Biden publishes tax slips hours before debate
The former Democratic vice-president made public during the day his tax sheets for the year 2019, a blow directly addressed to the tenant of the White House, weakened by explosive revelations on his tax situation and his debt. A few hours before the debate, Joe Biden’s team adds a new salvo by promising one thing: the truth.
The Trump team implied that Joe Biden, whose mental and physical health she regularly questions, could use … an earpiece during the evening. “Of course he’s not wearing a headset and we never asked for breaks” during the debate that was supposed to last 90 minutes, said Kate Bedingfield, a manager of Biden’s team, as quoted by a Washington Post reporter. .
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These insinuations were also categorically swept aside by the Democratic camp, which for its part assured that the president’s team had asked the moderator of the debate Chris Wallace not to mention the number of deaths from the Covid (more than 205,000 in the United States) . This claim was itself called a “lie” by Tim Murtaugh, communications director for Team Trump.
Donald Trump left behind in the polls
If their impact on the American presidential ballot often remains limited, these debates are highlights of the electoral campaign, since the first televised tête-à-tête organized 60 years ago, in Chicago, between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Distanced in the polls for many weeks, Donald Trump is hoping for a good evening – or a spectacular misstep from his Democratic opponent – to revive.
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A new Washington Post-ABC News poll published on Tuesday gives him a strong defeat in the state of Pennsylvania, which he won in 2016. As the November 3 poll approaches, he fears becoming the first president not to fail. have been re-elected for more than a quarter of a century (defeat of George HW Bush to Bill Clinton in 1992). The Covid-19, the Supreme Court, the economy, racial issues, the balance sheets of the two candidates as well as “the integrity of the ballot” will be among the subjects on the menu. But the little phrases and body language of the two men will be scrutinized carefully.
Joe Biden and Donald Tump, exact opposites
“He doesn’t even know he’s alive …”: for weeks, the White House tenant has openly mocked the one he calls “Sleepy Joe”, the presenting as a puppet manipulated by the “radical left”. Everything separates the two septuagenarian candidates. Donald Trump showed up once, in 2016, and created the biggest surprise in modern political history.
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Entered politics half a century ago, Joe Biden, senator then vice-president, hopes that his third attempt for the White House (he had already run for the Democratic primaries in 1988 and 2008) will be the right one.