Presidential Debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio
September 29, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) and
President Donald Trump (R)
Chris Wallace (Fox News)
WALLACE: Good evening from the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic. I’m Chris Wallace of Fox News and I welcome you to the first of the 2020 presidential debates between President Donald J. Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. This debate is sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The Commission has designed the format, six roughly 15-minute segments with two-minute answers from each candidate to the first question, then open discussion for the rest of each segment. Both campaigns have agreed to these rules. For the record, I decided the topics and the questions in each topic. I can assure you none of the questions has been shared with the Commission or the two candidates.
This debate is being conducted under health and safety protocols designed by the Cleveland Clinic, which is serving as the health security advisor to the Commission for all four debates. As a precaution, both campaigns have agreed the candidates will not shake hands at the beginning of tonight’s debate. The audience here in the hall has promised to remain silent. No cheers, no boos, or other interruptions so we, and more importantly you, can focus on what the candidates have to say. No noise except right now, as we welcome the Republican nominee, President Trump, and the Democratic nominee Vice President Biden.
BIDEN: How you doing, man?
TRUMP: How are you doing?
BIDEN: I’m well.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, a lot of people have been waiting for this night, so let’s get going. Our first subject is the Supreme Court. President Trump, you nominated Amy Coney Barrett over the weekend to succeed the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Court. You say the Constitution is clear about your obligation and the Senate’s to consider a nominee to the Court. Vice President Biden, you say that this is an effort by the President and Republicans to jam through on an appointment in what you call an abuse of power. My first question to both of you tonight, why are you right in the argument you make and your opponent wrong? And where do you think a Justice Barrett would take the court? President Trump, in this first segment, you go first. Two minutes.
TRUMP: Thank you very much, Chris. I will tell you very simply. We won the election. Elections have consequences. We have the Senate, we have the White House, and we have a phenomenal nominee respected by all. Top, top academic, good in every way. Good in every way. In fact, some of her biggest endorsers are very liberal people from Notre Dame and other places. So I think she’s going to be fantastic. We have plenty of time. Even if we did it after the election itself. I have a lot of time after the election, as you know. So I think that she will be outstanding. She’s going to be as good as anybody that has served on that court. We really feel that. We have a professor at Notre Dame, highly respected by all, said she’s the single greatest student he’s ever had. He’s been a professor for a long time at a great school.
And we won the election and therefore we have the right to choose her, and very few people knowingly would say otherwise. And by the way, the Democrats, they wouldn’t even think about not doing it. The only difference is they’d try and do it faster. There’s no way they would give it up. They had Merrick Garland, but the problem is they didn’t have the election so they were stopped. And probably that would happen in reverse, also. Definitely would happen in reverse. So we won the election and we have the right to do it, Chris.
WALLACE: President Trump, thank you. Same question to you, Vice President Biden. You have two minutes.
BIDEN: Well, first of all, thank you for doing this and looking forward to this, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Thank you, Joe.
BIDEN: The American people have a right to have a say in who the Supreme Court nominee is and that say occurs when they vote for United States Senators and when they vote for the President of United States. They’re not going to get that chance now because we’re in the middle of an election already. The election has already started. Tens of thousands of people already voted and so the thing that should happen is we should wait. We should wait and see what the outcome of this election is because that’s the only way the American people get to express their view is by who they elect as President and who they elect as Vice President.
Now, what’s at stake here is the President’s made it clear, he wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. He’s been running on that, he ran on that and he’s been governing on that. He’s in the Supreme Court right now trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, which will strip 20 million people from having health insurance now, if it goes into court. And the justice, I’m not opposed to the justice, she seems like a very fine person. But she’s written, before she went in the bench, which is her right, that she thinks that the Affordable Care Act is not Constitutional. The other thing that’s on the court, and if it’s struck down, what happens? Women’s rights are fundamentally changed. Once again, a woman could pay more money because she has a pre-existing condition of pregnancy. They’re able to charge women more for the same exact procedure a man gets.
And that ended when we, in fact, passed the Affordable Care Act, and there’s a hundred million people who have pre-existing conditions and they’ll be taken away as well. Those pre-existing conditions, insurance companies are going to love this. And so it’s just not appropriate to do this before this election. If he wins the election and the Senate is Republican, then he goes forward. If not, we should wait until February.
TRUMP: There aren’t a hundred million people with pre-existing conditions. As far as a say is concerned, the people already had their say. Okay, Justice Ginsburg said very powerfully, very strongly, at some point 10 years ago or so, she said a President and the Senate is elected for a period of time, but a President is elected for four years. We’re not elected for three years. I’m not elected for three years. So we have the Senate, we have a President-
BIDEN: He’s elected to the next election.
TRUMP: During that period of time, during that period of time, we have an opening. I’m not elected for three years. I’m elected for four years. Joe, the hundred million people is totally wrong. I don’t know where you got that number. The bigger problem that you have is that you’re going to extinguish 180 million people with their private health care, that they’re very happy with.
BIDEN: That’s simply not true.
TRUMP: Well, you’re certainly going to socialist. You’re going to socialist medicine-
WALLACE: Gentlemen, we’re now into open discussion.
BIDEN: Open discussion.
WALLACE: Open discussion, yes, I agree. Go ahead, Vice President.
BIDEN: Number one, he knows what I proposed. What I proposed is that we expand Obamacare and we increase it. We do not wipe any. And one of the big debates we had with 23 of my colleagues trying to win the nomination that I won, were saying that Biden wanted to allow people to have private insurance still. They can. They do. They will under my proposal.
TRUMP: That’s not what you’ve said and it’s not what your party is saying.
BIDEN: That is simply a lie.
TRUMP: Your party doesn’t say it. Your party wants to go socialist medicine and socialist healthcare.
BIDEN: The party is me. Right now, I am the Democratic Party.
TRUMP: And they’re going to dominate you, Joe. You know that.
BIDEN: I am the Democratic Party right now.
TRUMP: Not according to Harris.
BIDEN: The platform of the Democratic Party is what I, in fact, approved of, what I approved of. Now, here’s the deal. The deal is that it’s going to wipe out pre-existing conditions. And, by the way, the 200,000 people that have died on his watch, how many of those have survived? Well, there’s seven million people that contracted COVID. What does it mean for them going forward if you strike down the Affordable Care Act?
TRUMP: Joe, you’ve had 308,000 military people dying because you couldn’t provide them proper healthcare in the military. So don’t tell me about this.
BIDEN: I’m happy to talk about this.
TRUMP: And if you were here, it wouldn’t be 200, it would be two million people because you were very late on the draw. You didn’t want me to ban China, which was heavily infected. You didn’t want me to ban Europe.
WALLACE: All right, gentlemen, Mr. President.
TRUMP: You would have been much later, Joe, much later.
WALLACE: Mr. President.
TRUMP: We’re talking about two million people.
BIDEN: You’re not going to be able to shut him up.
WALLACE: Mr. President, as the moderator, we are going to talk about COVID in the next segment. But go ahead.
BIDEN: Let me finish. The point is that the President also is opposed to Roe V. Wade. That’s on the ballot as well and the court, in the court, and so that’s also at stake right now. And so the election is all-
TRUMP: You don’t know what’s on the ballot. Why is it on the ballot? Why is it on the ballot? It’s not on the ballot.
BIDEN: It’s on the ballot in the court.
TRUMP: I don’t think so.
BIDEN: In the court.
TRUMP: There’s nothing happening there.
BIDEN: Donald would you just be quiet for a minute.
TRUMP: You don’t know her view on Roe V. Wade? You don’t know her view.
WALLACE: Well, all right. All right. Let’s talk. We’ve got a lot to unpack here, gentlemen. We’ve got a lot of time. On healthcare, and then we’ll come back to Roe V. Wade.
BIDEN: All right.
WALLACE: Mr. President, the Supreme Court will hear a case a week after the election in which the Trump Administration, along with 18 state Attorney Generals are seeking to overturn Obamacare, to end Obamacare.
TRUMP: That’s right.
WALLACE: You have spent the last week-
TRUMP: Because they want to give good healthcare.
WALLACE: If I may ask my question, sir.
BIDEN: Good healthcare.
WALLACE: Over the last four years, you have promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, but you have never in these four years come up with a plan, a comprehensive plan, to replace Obamacare.
TRUMP: Yes, I have. Of course, I have. The individual mandate.
WALLACE: [crosstalk] when I finish I’m going to give an opportunity-
TRUMP: Excuse me. I got rid of the individual mandate, which was a big chunk of Obamacare.
WALLACE: That’s not a comprehensive place.
TRUMP: That is absolutely a big thing. That was the worst part of Obamacare.
WALLACE: I didn’t ask, sir.
TRUMP: Chris, that was the worst part of Obamacare.
WALLACE: You’re debating him not me. Let me ask my question.
TRUMP: Well, I’ll ask Joe. The individual mandate was the most unpopular aspect of Obamacare.
WALLACE: Mr. President.
TRUMP: I got rid of it. And we will protect people.
WALLACE: Mr. President, I’m the moderator of this debate and I would like you to let me ask my question and then you can answer.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
WALLACE: You, in the course of these four years, have never come up with a comprehensive plan to replace Obamacare, and just this last Thursday you signed a largely symbolic Executive Order to protect people with pre-existing conditions five days before this debate. So my question, sir, is what is the Trump healthcare plan?
TRUMP: Well, first of all, I guess I’m debating you, not him, but that’s okay. I’m not surprised. Let me just tell you something. There’s nothing symbolic. I’m cutting drug prices. I’m going with Favored Nations, which no President has the courage to do because you’re going against big pharma. Drug prices will be coming down 80 or 90%. You could have done it during your 47-year period in government, but you didn’t do it. Nobody’s done it. So we’re cutting healthcare.
WALLACE: What about pre-existing conditions?
TRUMP: All of the things that we’ve done.
BIDEN: He has not done healthcare.
TRUMP: I’ll give you an example. Insulin, it was destroying families, destroying people, the cost. I’m getting it for so cheap it’s like water, you want to know the truth. So cheap. Take a look at all of the drugs that what we’re doing. Prescription drug prices, we’re going to allow our Governors now to go to other countries to buy drugs because when they paid just a tiny fraction of what we do.
WALLACE: Okay, like I say, this is open discussion.
TRUMP: This is big stuff.
WALLACE: Sir, you’ll be happy. I’m about to pick up on one of your points to ask the Vice President, which is, he points out that you would like to add a public option to Obamacare.
WALLACE: And the argument that he makes and other Republicans make is that that is going to end private insurance.
BIDEN: It is not.
WALLACE: If I start asking the question.
TRUMP: That’s not what your party says, by the way.
WALLACE: And it will end private insurance and create a government takeover of healthcare.
BIDEN: It does not. It’s only for those people who are so poor they qualify for Medicaid they can get that free in most States, except Governors who want to deny people who are poor Medicaid. Anyone who qualifies for Medicaid would automatically be enrolled in the public option. The vast majority of the American people would still not be in that option. Number one. Number two.
TRUMP: Joe, you agreed with Bernie Sanders, who’s far left, on the manifesto, we call it. And that gives you socialized medicine.
BIDEN: Look, hey.
TRUMP: Are you saying you didn’t agree?
BIDEN: I’m not going to listen to him. The fact of the matter is I beat Bernie Sanders.
TRUMP: Not by much.
BIDEN: I beat him by a whole hell of a lot.
TRUMP: Not by much.
BIDEN: I’m here standing facing you, old buddy.
TRUMP: If Pocahontas would have left two days early you would have lost every primary.
BIDEN: All he knows how to do-
TRUMP: On Super Tuesday, you got very lucky.
BIDEN: Look he’s the deal. I got very lucky. I’m going to get very lucky tonight as well.
TRUMP: With what?
BIDEN: And tonight I’m going to make sure.
TRUMP: With what?
BIDEN: Because here’s the deal, here’s the deal. The fact is that everything he’s saying so far is simply a lie. I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar.
TRUMP: But you agree. Joe, you’re the liar. You graduated last in your class not first in your class.
BIDEN: God, I want to make sure-
WALLACE: Mr. President, can you let him finish, sir?
BIDEN: No, he doesn’t know how to do that.
TRUMP: You’d be surprised. You’d be surprised. Go ahead, Joe.
BIDEN: The wrong guy, the wrong night, at the wrong time.
TRUMP: Listen, you agreed with Bernie Sanders and the manifesto.
BIDEN: There is no manifesto, number one.
WALLACE: Please let him speak, Mr. President.
BIDEN: Number two.
TRUMP: He just lost the left.
BIDEN: Number two.
TRUMP: You just lost the left. You agreed with Bernie Sanders on a plan that you absolutely agreed to and under that plan [crosstalk], they call it socialized medicine.
WALLACE: Mr. President.
BIDEN: I’ll tell you what, he is not for any help for people needing healthcare.
TRUMP: Who is, Bernie?
BIDEN: Because he, in fact, already has cost 10 million people their healthcare that they had from their employers because of his recession. Number one. Number two, there are 20 million people getting healthcare through Obamacare now that he wants to take it away. He won’t ever look you in the eye and say that’s what he wants to do. Take it away.
TRUMP: No, I want to give them better healthcare at a much lower price, because Obamacare is no good.
BIDEN: He doesn’t know how. He doesn’t know how to do that.
TRUMP: I’ve already fixed it.
BIDEN: He has never offered a plan.
TRUMP: We’ve already fixed it to an extent. Obamacare, as you might know but probably don’t, Obamacare is no good.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, you realize if you’re both speaking at the same time. Let the President. Go ahead, sir.
TRUMP: Obamacare is no good. We made it better and I had a choice to make very early on. We took away the individual mandate. We guaranteed pre-existing conditions, but took away the individual mandate. Listen, this is the way it is. And that destroyed … They shouldn’t even call it Obamacare, then I had a choice to make, do I let my people run it really well or badly? If I run it badly, they’ll probably blame him, but they’ll blame me. But more importantly, I want to help people. Okay. I said, “You’ve got to run it so well.” And I just had a meeting with them. They said the problem is, no matter how well you run Obamacare, it’s a disaster. It’s too expensive. Premiums are too high, that it doesn’t work. So we do want to get rid of it. Chris, we want to get rid of that and give something that’s cheaper and better.
WALLACE: I understand that, sir. But I have to give you roughly equal time.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
WALLACE: Please let the Vice President talk, sir.
BIDEN: He has no plan for healthcare.
TRUMP: Of course, we do.
BIDEN: He sends out wishful thinking. He has Executive Orders that have no power. He hasn’t lowered drug costs for anybody. He’s been promising a healthcare plan since he got elected. He has none, like almost everything else he talks about. He does not have a plan. He doesn’t have a plan. And the fact is this man doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
WALLACE: All right, I have one final question for you.
WALLACE: Mr. Vice President, if Senate Republicans, we were talking originally about the Supreme Court here, if Senate Republicans go ahead and confirm Justice Barrett there has been talk about ending the filibuster or even packing the court, adding to the nine justices there. You call this a distraction by the President. But, in fact, it wasn’t brought up by the President. It was brought up by some of your Democratic colleagues in the Congress. So my question to you is, you have refused in the past to talk about it, are you willing to tell the American people tonight whether or not you will support either ending the filibuster or packing the court?
BIDEN: Whatever position I take on that, that’ll become the issue. The issue is the American people should speak. You should go out and vote. You’re voting now. Vote and let your Senators know how strongly you feel.
TRUMP: Are you going to pack the court?
BIDEN: Vote now.
TRUMP: Are you going to pack the court?
BIDEN: Make sure you, in fact, let people know, your Senators.
TRUMP: He doesn’t want to answer the question.
BIDEN: I’m not going to answer the question.
TRUMP: Why wouldn’t you answer that question? You want to put a lot of new Supreme Court Justices. Radical left.
BIDEN: Will you shut up, man?
TRUMP: Listen, who is on your list, Joe? Who’s on your list?
WALLACE: Gentlemen, I think we’ve ended this-
BIDEN: This is so un-Presidential.
TRUMP: He’s going to pack the court. He is not going to give a list.
WALLACE: We have ended the segment. We’re going to move on to the second segment.
BIDEN: That was really a productive segment, wasn’t it? Keep yapping, man.
TRUMP: The people understand, Joe.
BIDEN: They sure do.
TRUMP: 47 years, you’ve done nothing. They understand.
WALLACE: All right, the second subject is COVID-19, which is an awfully serious subject. So let’s try to be serious about it. We have had more than seven million cases of coronavirus in the United States and more than 200,000 people have died. Even after we produce a vaccine, experts say that it could be months or even years before we come back to anything approaching normal. My question for both of you is, based on what you have said and done so far, and what you have said you would do starting in 2021, why should the American people trust you more than your opponent to deal with this public health crisis going forward? In this case, the question goes to you first, sir. Two minutes, uninterrupted.
BIDEN: Good luck. 200,000 dead. As you said, over seven million infected in the United States. We, in fact, have 4% of the world’s population, 20% of the deaths. 40,000 people a day are contracting COVID. In addition to that, about between 750 and 1000 people a day are dying. When he was presented with that number, he said, “It is what it is.” Well, it is what it is because you are who you are. That’s why it is. The President has no plan. He hasn’t laid out anything. He knew all the way back in February how serious this crisis was. He knew it was a deadly disease. What did he do? He’s on tape as acknowledging he knew it. He said he didn’t tell us or give people a warning of it because he didn’t want to panic the American people. You don’t panic. He panicked. In addition to that, what did he do?
BIDEN: He went in and we were insisting that the people we had in the ground in China should be able to go to Wuhan and determine for themselves how dangerous this was. He did not even ask Xi to do that.
BIDEN: He told us what a great job Xi was doing. He said we owe him a debt of gratitude for being so transparent with us. And what did he do then? He then did nothing. He waited and waited and waited. He still doesn’t have a plan.
WALLACE: Sir, it’s his two minutes.
TRUMP: It’s so wrong.
BIDEN: I laid out back in March, exactly what we should be doing. And I laid out again in July, what we should be doing. We should be providing all the protective gear possible. We should be providing the money the House has passed in order to be able to go out and get people the help they need to keep their businesses open. Open schools cost a lot of money. You should get out of your bunker and get out of the sand trap in your golf course and go in the Oval Office and bring together the Democrats and Republicans and fund what needs to be done now to save lives.
TRUMP: So, if we would have listened to you.
WALLACE: Wait, wait. You have two minutes, sir.
TRUMP: If we would’ve listened to you, the country would have been left wide open, millions of people would have died, not 200,000. And one person is too much. It’s China’s fault. It should have never happened. They stopped it from going in, but it was China’s fault. And, by the way, when you talk about numbers, you don’t know how many people died in China. You don’t know how many people died in Russia. You don’t know how many people died in India. They don’t exactly give you a straight count, just so you understand. But if you look at what we’ve done, I closed it and you said, “He’s xenophobic. He’s a racist and he’s xenophobic,” because you didn’t think I should have closed our country. Wait a minute.
WALLACE: Sir, it’s his two minutes.
TRUMP: You didn’t think we should have closed our country because you thought it was terrible. You wouldn’t have closed it for another two months. By my doing it early, in fact, Dr. Fauci said, “President Trump saved thousands of lives.” Many of your Democrat Governors said, “President Trump did a phenomenal job.” We worked with the Governor. Oh really, go take a look. The Governors said I did a phenomenal job. Most of them said that. In fact, people that would not be necessarily on my side said that, “President Trump did a phenomenal job.” We did. We got the gowns. We got the masks. We made the ventilators. You wouldn’t have made ventilators. And now we’re weeks away from a vaccine. We’re doing therapeutics already. Fewer people are dying when they get sick. Far fewer people are dying. We’ve done a great job.
TRUMP: The only thing I haven’t done a good job, and that’s because of the fake news, no matter what you say to them, they give you a bad press on it. It’s just fake news. They give you good press, they give me bad press because that’s the way it is, unfortunately. But let me just say something. I don’t care. I’ve gotten used to it. But I’ll tell you, Joe, you could never have done the job that we did. You don’t have it in your blood. You could’ve never done that, Joe.
BIDEN: I know how to do the job. I know how to get the job done.
TRUMP: Well, you didn’t do very well in Swine Flu. H1-N1, you were a disaster. Your own Chief of Staff said you were a disaster.
BIDEN: 14,000 people died, not 200,000.
TRUMP: A far less lethal disease, by the way.
WALLACE: Sir, you made a point. Let him answer it.
BIDEN: And there was no one … We didn’t shut down the economy. This is his economy he shut down. The reason it’s shut down is because, look, you folks at home. How many of you got up this morning and had an empty chair at the kitchen table because someone died of COVID? How many of you are in a situation where you lost your mom or dad and you couldn’t even speak to them, you had a nurse holding a phone up so you could in fact say goodbye?
TRUMP: We would have lost far more people, far more people. You would have been months late. You’re months behind me, Joe.
BIDEN: His own CDC Director says we could lose as many as another 200,000 people between now and the end of the year. And he said, if we just wear a mask, we can save half those numbers. Just a mask. And by the way, in terms of the whole notion of a vaccine, we’re for a vaccine, but I don’t trust him at all. Nor do you. I know you don’t. What we trust is a scientist.
TRUMP: You don’t trust Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer?
WALLACE: Okay, gentlemen, gentlemen. Let me move on to questions about the future because you both have touched on two of the questions I’m going to ask. Focusing on the future first, President Trump, you have repeatedly either contradicted or been at odds with some of your governments own top scientists. The week before last, the Head of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Redfield said it would be summer before the vaccine would become generally available to the public. You said that he was confused and mistaken. Those were your two words. But Dr. Slaoui, the head of your Operation Warp Speed, has said exactly the same thing. Are they both wrong?
TRUMP: Well, I’ve spoken to the companies and we can have it a lot sooner. It’s a very political thing because people like this would rather make it political than save lives.
TRUMP: It is a very political thing. I’ve spoken to Pfizer, I’ve spoken to all of the people that you have to speak to, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and others. They can go faster than that by a lot. It’s become very political because the left… Or I don’t know if I call them left, I don’t know what I call them.
WALLACE: So you’re suggesting that the head of your Operation Warp Speed, Dr. Slaoui-
TRUMP: I disagree with him. No, I disagree with both of them. And he didn’t say that. He said it could be there, but it could also be much sooner. I had him in my office two days ago.
WALLACE: He talked about the summer, sir, before it’s generally available, just like Dr. Redfield.
TRUMP: Because he said it’s a possibility that we’ll have the answer before November 1st. It could also be after that.
WALLACE: I’m talking about when it’s generally available, not-
TRUMP: Well, we’re going to deliver it right away. We have the military all set up. Logistically, they’re all set up. We have our military that delivers soldiers and they can do 200,000 a day. They’re going to be delivering-
BIDEN: This is the same man who told you-
TRUMP: It’s all set up.
BIDEN: … by Easter, this would be gone away. By the warm weather, it’d be gone. Miraculous, like a miracle. And by the way, maybe you could inject some bleach in your arm, and that would take care of it. This is the same man.
TRUMP: That was said sarcastically, and you know that. That was said sarcastically.
BIDEN: So here’s the deal. This man is talking about a vaccine. Every serious company is talking about maybe having a vaccine done by the end of the year, but the distribution of that vaccine will not occur until sometime beginning of the middle of next year to get it out, if we get the vaccine. And pray God we will. Pray God we will.
WALLACE: Mr. Vice President, I want to pick up-
TRUMP: You’ll have the vaccine sooner than that.
WALLACE: I want to pick up on this question though. You say the public can trust the scientists, but they can’t trust President Trump. In fact, you said that again tonight. Your running mate, Senator Harris, goes further, saying that public health experts quote, “Will be muzzled, will be suppressed.” Given the fact that polls already show that people are concerned about the vaccine and are reluctant to take it, are you and your running mate, Senator Harris, contributing to that fear?
BIDEN: No more than the question you just asked him. You pointed out he puts pressure and disagrees with his own scientists.
WALLACE: But you’re saying you can’t-
BIDEN: Everybody knows-
WALLACE: Or Senator Harris is saying you can’t trust the scientist.
BIDEN: Well, no, no. You can trust the scientist. She didn’t say that. You can trust the-
WALLACE: She said that public health experts quote, “Will be muzzled, will be suppressed.”
BIDEN: Yes. Well, that’s what he’s going to try to do, but there’s thousands of scientists out there, like here at this great hospital that don’t work for him. Their job doesn’t depend on him. They’re the people… And by the way-
TRUMP: We spoke to the scientists that are in charge-
BIDEN: By the way-
TRUMP: … they will have the vaccine very soon.
WALLACE: Let him finish.
BIDEN: Do you believe for a moment what he’s telling you in light of all the lies he’s told you about the whole issue relating to COVID? He still hasn’t even acknowledged that he knew this was happening, knew how dangerous it was going to be back in February, and he didn’t even tell you. He’s on record as saying it. He panicked or he just looked at the stock market. One of the two. Because guess what? A lot of people died and a lot more are going to die unless he gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker-
WALLACE: Mr. President?
TRUMP: Did you use the word smart? So you said you went to Delaware State, but you forgot the name of your college. You didn’t go to Delaware State. You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word smart with me. Don’t ever use that word.
BIDEN: Oh, give me a break.
TRUMP: Because you know what? There’s nothing smart about you, Joe. 47 years you’ve done nothing.
BIDEN: Well, let’s have this debate-
TRUMP: Let me just tell you something, Joe. If you would have had the charge of what I was put through, I had to close the greatest economy in the history of our country. And by the way, now it’s being built again and it’s going up fast.
WALLACE: We’ll get to the economy in the next segment, sir.
TRUMP: It’s going up fast. I look forward to talking about it.
WALLACE: Okay. When it comes to how the virus has been handled so far, the two of you have taken very different approaches, and this is going to affect how the virus is handled going forward by whichever of you ends up becoming the next president. I want to quickly go through several of those. Reopenings. Vice President Biden, you have been much more reluctant than President Trump about reopening the economy and schools. Why, sir?
BIDEN: Because he doesn’t have a plan. If I were running it, I’d know what the plan is. You’ve got to provide these businesses the ability to have the money to be able to reopen with the PPE, as well as with the sanitation they need. You have to provide them classic-
TRUMP: Tell that to Nancy Pelosi.
BIDEN: Will he just shush for a minute?
TRUMP: Tell that to Nancy Pelosi, and Schumer [crosstalk] Chuck.
BIDEN: Nancy Pelosi and Schumer, they have a plan. He won’t even meet with them. The Republicans won’t meet in the Senate. He sits in his golf course. Well, I mean, literally, think about it. Think about it.
TRUMP: You probably play more than I do, Joe.
WALLACE: What about this question of reopenings and the fact-
TRUMP: Well, he wants to shut down this country and I want to keep it open, and we did a great thing by shutting it down-
BIDEN: You just admitted you’d shut it down.
TRUMP: Wait a minute, Joe. Let me shut you down for a second, Joe, just for one second. He wants to shut down the country. We just went through it. We had to, because we didn’t know anything about the disease. Now we’ve found that elderly people with heart problems and diabetes and different problems are very, very vulnerable. We learned a lot. Young children aren’t, even younger people aren’t. We’ve learned a lot, but he wants to shut it down. More people will be hurt by continuing. If you look at Pennsylvania, if you look at certain states that have been shut down, they have Democrat governors, all, one of the reasons they shut down is because they want to keep it shut down until after the election on November 3rd.
WALLACE: All right. I want to move onto another-
TRUMP: Because it’s a political thing.
WALLACE: I want to move onto another subject.
BIDEN: I got to respond to that.
WALLACE: I want to move-
TRUMP: But those states-
WALLACE: Gentlemen, I want to move onto another subject.
TRUMP: Those states are not doing well that are shut down right now.
BIDEN: I got to respond to that.
TRUMP: He wants to shut down the whole country.
WALLACE: President Trump, you have begun to increasingly question the effectiveness of masks as a disease preventer. And in fact, recently you have cited the issue of waiters touching their masks and touching plates. Are you questioning the efficacy of masks?
TRUMP: No, I think masks are okay. You have to understand, if you look… I mean, I have a mask right here. I put a mask on when I think I need it. Tonight, as an example, everybody’s had a test and you’ve had social distancing and all of the things that you have to, but I wear masks-
BIDEN: Just like your rally.
TRUMP: … when needed. When needed, I wear masks.
WALLACE: Okay. Let me ask-
TRUMP: I don’t wear a mask like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from him and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen. I will say this-
WALLACE: Vice President Biden, go ahead, sir.
BIDEN: Look, the way to open businesses is give them the wherewithal to be able to open. We provided money, the-
WALLACE: But I was asking you, sir, about masks.
BIDEN: Well, masks make a big difference. His own head of the CDC said if we just wore masks between now, if everybody wore a mask and social distanced between now and January, we’d probably save up to 100,000 lives. It matters. It matters.
TRUMP: And they’ve also said the opposite. They’ve also said-
BIDEN: No serious person has said the opposite. No serious person.
WALLACE: Okay. I want to ask you-
TRUMP: Dr. Fauci. Dr. Fauci said the opposite.
BIDEN: He did not say the opposite.
WALLACE: I want to ask you, we’ve got a little more than a minute left in this segment.
TRUMP: He said very strongly, “Masks are not good.” Then he changed his mind. He said, “Masks are good.”
WALLACE: I want to ask-
TRUMP: I’m okay with masks. I’m not fighting masks.
WALLACE: I want to ask you both about one last subject because your different approaches has even affected the way that you have campaigned. President Trump, you’re holding large rallies with crowds packed together, thousands of people.
WALLACE: Outside. Yes, sir. Agreed. Vice President Biden, you are holding much smaller events with-
TRUMP: Because nobody will show up.
WALLACE: … people with masks.
TRUMP: Well, it’s true. Nobody shows up to his rallies.
WALLACE: All right. In any case, why you holding the big rallies? Why you not? You go first, sir.
TRUMP: Because people want to hear what I have to say. I mean-
WALLACE: But are not worried about us spreading disease?
TRUMP: … I’ve done a great job as a president, and I’ll have 25, 35,000 people show up at airports. We use airports and hangers and we have a lot of people-
WALLACE: Are you not worried about the disease issues, sir?
TRUMP: Well, so far we have had no problem whatsoever. It’s outside. That’s a big difference according to the experts. We do them outside, we have tremendous crowds, as you see, and literally on 24 hours notice. And Joe does the circles and has three people someplace.
BIDEN: By the way, did you see one of the last big rallies he had? A reporter came up to him to ask him a question, he said, “No, no, no. Stand back, put on your mask, put on a mask. Have you been tested? I’m way far away from those other people.” That’s what he said, “I’m going to be okay.” He’s not worried about you. He’s not worried about the people out there [crosstalk].
TRUMP: We’ve had no negative effect.
BIDEN: No negative effect. Come on.
TRUMP: We’ve had no negative effect, and we’ve had 35, 40,000 people at these rallies.
WALLACE: All right. Do you want to just quickly finish up? Because I want to move on to our next-
BIDEN: Yes, I would. He’s been totally irresponsible the way in which he has handled the social distancing and people wearing masks, basically encouraged them not to. He’s a fool on this.
TRUMP: If you could get the crowds, you would have done the same thing. But you can’t. Nobody cares.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, can we move on to the-
TRUMP: Nobody cares.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, can we move on to the economy?
WALLACE: The economy is, I think it’s fair to say, recovering faster than expected from the shutdown-
TRUMP: Much faster.
WALLACE: … in the second quarter. The unemployment rate fell to 8.4% last month. The Federal Reserve says the hit to growth, which is going to be there, is not going to be nearly as big as they had expected. President Trump, you say we are in a V-shaped recovery. Vice President Biden, you say it’s more of a K-shape. What difference does that mean to the American people in terms of the economy? President Trump, in this segment you go first.
TRUMP: So we built the greatest economy in history. We closed it down because of the China plague. When the plague came in, we closed it down, which was very hard psychologically to do. He didn’t think we should close it down and he was wrong. Again, two million people would be dead now instead of… Still, 204,000 people is too much. One person is too much. Should have never happened from China. But what happened is we closed it down and now we’re reopening and we’re doing record business. We had 10.4 million people in a four-month period that we’ve put back into the workforce. That’s a record the likes of which nobody’s ever seen before. And he wants to close down the… He will shut it down again. He will destroy this country.
TRUMP: A lot of people, between drugs and alcohol and depression, when you start shutting it down, you take a look at what’s happening at some of your Democrat-run states where they have these tough shutdowns. And I’m telling you it’s because they don’t want to open it. One of them came out last week, you saw that, “Oh, we’re going to open up on November 9th.” Why November 9th? Because it’s after the election. They think they’re hurting us by keeping them closed. They’re hurting people. People know what to do. They can social distance. They can wash their hands, they can wear masks. They can do whatever they want, but they got to open these states up.
TRUMP: When you look at North Carolina, when you look, and these governors are under siege, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and a couple of others, you got to open these states up. It’s not fair. You’re talking about almost it’s like being in prison. And you look at what’s going on with divorce, look at what’s going on with alcoholism and drugs. It’s a very, very sad thing. And he’ll close down the whole country. This guy will close down the whole country and destroy our country. Our country is coming back incredibly well, setting records as it does it. We don’t need somebody to come in and say, “Let’s shut it down.”
WALLACE: All right. Your two minutes, sir. We’re now moved to you. As I said, posing the question, the president says it’s a V-shape recovery, you say it’s a K-shaped recovery. What’s the difference?
BIDEN: The difference is millionaires and billionaires like him in the middle of the COVID crisis have done very well. Billionaires have made another $300 billion because of his profligate tax proposal, and he only focused on the market. But you folks at home, you folks living in Scranton and Claymont and all the small towns and working class towns in America, how well are you doing? This guy paid a total of $750 in taxes.
TRUMP: That’s wrong.
WALLACE: Sir, wait. No. Sir-
WALLACE: Yeah, I understand. You’ve agreed to the two minutes, so please let him have it.
BIDEN: Do I get my time back? The fact is that he has in fact, worked on this in a way that he’s going to be the first president of the United States to leave office, having fewer jobs in his administration than when he became president. Fewer jobs than when he became president. First one in American history.
BIDEN: Secondly, the people who have lost their jobs are those people who have been on the front lines. Those people who have been saving our lives, those people who have been out there dying. People who’ve been putting themselves in the way to make sure that we could all try to make it. And the idea that he is insisting that we go forward and open when you have almost half the states in America with a significant increase in COVID deaths and COVID cases in the United States of America, and he wants to open it up more. Why is he want to open it up? Why doesn’t he take care of the… You can’t fix the economy until you fix the COVID crisis. And he has no intention of doing anything about making it better for you all at home in terms of your health and your safety.
BIDEN: Schools. Why aren’t schools open? Because it costs a lot of money to open them safely. They were going to give, his Administration going to give the teachers and school students masks, and then they decided no, couldn’t do that because it’s not a national emergency. Not a national emergency. They’ve done nothing to help small businesses. Nothing. They’re closing. One in six is now gone. He ought to get on the job and take care of the needs of the American people so we can open safely.
WALLACE: All right. Your time is up, sir. We are going to get to-
TRUMP: I have to respond to that.
WALLACE: Well, you both had two minutes, sir.
TRUMP: Excuse me, he made a statement.
WALLACE: And so did you.
TRUMP: No, people want their schools open. They don’t want to be shut down. They don’t want their state shut down. They want their restaurants. I look at New York. It’s so sad what’s happening in New York. It’s almost like a ghost town, and I’m not sure it can ever recover what they’ve done to New York. People want their places open. They want to get back to their lives.
BIDEN: People want to be safe.
TRUMP: They’ll be careful, but they want their schools open.
BIDEN: People want to be safe.
TRUMP: I’m the one that brought back football. By the way, I brought back Big Ten football. It was me and I’m very happy to do it-
WALLACE: All right. Let’s-
TRUMP: … and people of Ohio are very proud of me. And you know how I found out? When [crosstalk].
WALLACE: Gentlemen, we’re going to get to your economic plans going forward in a moment, but first, Mr. President, as you well know, there’s a new report that in 2016, the year you were elected president, and 2017, your first year as president, that you paid $750 a year in federal income tax each of those years. I know that you pay a lot of other taxes, but I’m asking you this specific question. Is it true that you paid $750 in federal income taxes each of those two years?
TRUMP: I paid millions of dollars in taxes, millions of dollars of income tax. And let me just tell you, there was a story in one of the papers that paid-
BIDEN: Show us your tax returns.
TRUMP: I paid $38 million one year, I paid $27 million one year.
BIDEN: Show us your tax returns.
TRUMP: You’ll see it as soon as it’s finished, you’ll see it. You know, if you wanted to, go to the Board of Elections. There’s 118 page or so report that says everything I have, every bank I have, I’m totally under leveraged because the assets are extremely good, and I built a great company.
WALLACE: Sir, I’m asking you a specific question, which is-
TRUMP: But let me tell you-
WALLACE: I understand all of that.
BIDEN: Release your tax return.
WALLACE: I understand all of that-
TRUMP: Let me-
WALLACE: No, Mr. President, I’m asking you a question. Will you tell us how much you paid in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017?
TRUMP: Millions of dollars.
WALLACE: You paid millions of dollars in-
TRUMP: Millions of dollars, yes.
WALLACE: So not 750?
TRUMP: Millions of dollars. And you’ll get to see it. And you’ll get to see it.
TRUMP: But let me just tell you-
BIDEN: In [crosstalk]?
TRUMP: Chris, let me just say something, that it was the tax laws. I don’t want to pay tax. Before I came here, I was a private developer, I was a private business people. Like every other private person, unless they’re stupid, they go through the laws, and that’s what it is. He passed a tax bill that gave us all these privileges for depreciation and for tax credits. We built the building and we get tax credits, like the hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. Which by the way, was given to me by the Obama Administration, if you can believe that. Now the man got fired right after that happened, but that’s-
WALLACE: Vice President Biden, you want to respond?
BIDEN: Yeah, I do want to respond. Look, the tax code that put him in a position that he pays less tax than on the money a school teacher makes is because of him… He says he’s smart because he can take advantage of the tax code. And he does take advantage of the tax code. That’s why I’m going to eliminate the Trump tax cuts. And I’m going to eliminate those tax cuts.
TRUMP: That’s okay.
BIDEN: And make sure that we invest in the people who in fact need the help. People out there need help.
TRUMP: But why didn’t you do it over the last 25 years?
BIDEN: Because you weren’t president-
TRUMP: Why didn’t you do it over the last 25 years?
BIDEN: Because you weren’t president and screwing things up.
TRUMP: You were a Senator and [crosstalk]-
BIDEN: You’re the worst president America has ever had. Come on.
TRUMP: Hey, Joe, let me just tell you, Joe. In 47 months, I’ve done more than you’ve done in 47 years, Joe. We’ve done things that you never even thought of doing.
WALLACE: Okay. Gentlemen?
TRUMP: Including fixing the broken military that you gave me, including taking care of your debts.
WALLACE: Mr. President, we’re talking about the economy. I’d like to ask you about your plans going forward because Mr. Vice President, your economic plan-
TRUMP: He has none.
WALLACE: … if you were to be elected president focuses a lot on big government, big taxes, big spending. I want to focus first on the taxes. You propose more than $4 trillion over a decade in new taxes on individuals making more than $400,000 a year.
WALLACE: … and on corporations. President Trump says that that kind of an increase in taxes is going to hurt the economy as it’s just coming out of a recession.
BIDEN: Well, just take a look at what is the analysis done by Wall Street firms, points out that my economic plan would create 7 million more jobs than his in four years, number one. And number two, it would create an additional $1 trillion in economic growth, because it would be about buying American. The federal government spends $600 billion a year on everything from ships, to steel, to buildings and the like. And under my proposal, we’re going to make sure that every penny of that has to be made by a company-
WALLACE: But respectfully, sir, I’m talking about taxes, not spending.
BIDEN: By the way, I’m going to eliminate a significant number of the taxes. I’m going to make the corporate tax 28%. It shouldn’t be 21%. You have 91 companies federal, I mean, the fortune 500, who don’t pay a single penny in tax making billions of dollars.
TRUMP: Why didn’t you do it before, when you were Vice-President with Obama?
BIDEN: Because you in fact passed that, that was your tax proposal.
TRUMP: I got it done. And you know what happened?
BIDEN: Yeah, you got it done-
TRUMP: Our economy boomed like it’s never boomed before.
BIDEN: The economy-
WALLACE: Mr. President-
BIDEN: Let me finish.
WALLACE: Mr. President, let me pick up on that. You would continue your free market approach, lower taxes, more deregulation, correct?
BIDEN: Not lower tax for the American people.
WALLACE: But let me-
TRUMP: Excuse me.
WALLACE: You talk about the economy booming. It turns out that in Obama’s final three years as president more jobs were created, a million and a half more jobs, than in the first three years of your presidency.
TRUMP: They had the slowest economic recovery since 1929. It was the slowest recovery. Also, they took over something that was down here. All you had to do is turn on the lights and you pick up a lot. But they had the slowest economic recovery since 1929, and let me tell you about the stock market. When the stock market goes up, that means jobs. It also means 401ks. If you got in, if you ever became president with your ideas, you want to terminate my taxes. I’ll tell you what, you’ll lose. Half of the companies that have poured in here will leave. And plenty of companies that are already here, they’ll leave for other places. [crosstalk] They will leave and you will have a depression, the likes of which you’ve never seen.
WALLACE: Mr. Vice President.
BIDEN: … we inherited the worst recession, short of a depression in American history. I was asked to bring it back. We were able to have an economic recovery that created the jobs you’re talking about. We handed him a booming economy, he blew it.
TRUMP: It wasn’t booming.
BIDEN: He blew it.
TRUMP: It wasn’t booming. It was the weakest recovery since 1929.
WALLACE: Wait, wait, is it fair to say he blew it when, in fact-
TRUMP: When COVID came along.
WALLACE: … when there was record low unemployment before COVID.
BIDEN: Yeah, because what he did, even before COVID, manufacturing went in the hole. Manufacturing went in a hole-
TRUMP: Excuse me, Chris, wait.
BIDEN: … number one. Number two-
BIDEN: Number three.
TRUMP: They said it would take… No, you’re on number two.
TRUMP: Chris, Chris. They said it would take-
BIDEN: This guy-
TRUMP: … a miracle to bring back manufacturing. I brought back 700,000 jobs. They brought back nothing. They gave up on manufacturing.
BIDEN: We did not. [crosstalk]
TRUMP: … standard fare.
BIDEN: I’m the guy that brought back the automobile industry.
TRUMP: He totally gave up on manufacturing.
WALLACE: All right, let him-
BIDEN: I was asked to bring back Chrysler and General Motors. We brought them back right here in the state of Ohio and Michigan. He blew it. They’re gone. He blew it. And in fact, they’re gone-
TRUMP: Ohio had the best year it’s ever had last year. Michigan had the best year they’ve ever had.
BIDEN: That is not true.
TRUMP: Many car companies came in from Germany, from Japan, went to Michigan, went to Ohio and they didn’t come in with you. [crosstalk].
WALLACE: Mr. Vice President, go ahead.
BIDEN: And so you take a look at what he’s actually done. He’s done very little. His trade deals are the same way. He talks about these great trade deals. He talks about the art of the deal. China’s perfected the art of the steal. We have a higher deficit with China now than we did before. We have the highest trade deficit-
TRUMP: China ate your lunch- [crosstalk].
BIDEN: … with Mexico.
TRUMP: China ate your lunch, Joe. And no wonder your son goes in and, wha–, he takes out billions of dollars. He takes out billions of dollars to manage. He makes millions of dollars. And also, while we’re at it, why is it just out of curiosity, the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave your son three and a half million dollars?
BIDEN: That is not true.
TRUMP: What did he do to deserve it? What did he do with Burisma-
BIDEN: None of that is true.
TRUMP: … to deserve $183,000?
WALLACE: Sir, you’ve asked him a question, let him answer it.
BIDEN: None of that is true.
TRUMP: Oh really, he didn’t get three and a half million?
WALLACE: Mr. President-
BIDEN: Is totally-
WALLACE: Mr. President, please. You’ve asked a question- [crosstalk]
BIDEN: Totally discredited. Totally discredited. And by the way-
TRUMP: Well wait, he didn’t get three and a half million dollars, Joe?
BIDEN: Mr. Vice-
TRUMP: He got three and a half million dollars-
WALLACE: Mr. President.
TRUMP: … dollars.
BIDEN: That is not true.
TRUMP: Oh, really?
WALLACE: Mr. President, it’s an open discussion. Please- [crosstalk]
TRUMP: It’s a fact.
BIDEN: It is not a fact.
WALLACE: Well, you have raised an issue, let the Vice President answer.
BIDEN: It’s been totally discredited.
TRUMP: Did Burisma pay him 183 thousand a month, with no experience in energy?
WALLACE: Mr. President-
BIDEN: My son did nothing wrong at Burisma-
TRUMP: I think he did.
BIDEN: The only guy that. . .
WALLACE: Mr. President, let him answer. [crosstalk].
BIDEN: He doesn’t want to let me answer, because he knows I have the truth. His position has been totally thoroughly discredited. . .
TRUMP: By who?
BIDEN: And you can-
TRUMP: The media.
BIDEN: by everybody. Well, by the media, by our allies.
TRUMP: By the media, because they refuse to talk about it-
BIDEN: By the World Bank-
TRUMP: … because they’re embarrassed.
BIDEN: By everyone, as discredited. And matter of fact [crosstalk] Matter of fact-
WALLACE: Mr. President, please stop.
BIDEN: Even the people who testified under oath-
TRUMP: So let me ask you this, Joe- [crosstalk].
WALLACE: No, no. Go ahead, Mr.– I’m listening to you.
BIDEN: Even the people under-
TRUMP: He got three and a half million dollars from Moscow.
BIDEN: … testified, he testified under oath in his Administration said I did my job and I did it very well.
TRUMP: Oh, really?
BIDEN: I did it honorably.
TRUMP: I’d like to know who they are.
BIDEN: Well, I’ll give you the list of the people who-
TRUMP: I’ll fire them.
WALLACE: No, no. Go ahead, sir.
BIDEN: I’m sure that you’ve already fired most of them, because they did a good job.
TRUMP: Some people don’t do a good job.
BIDEN: Well, here’s the- [crosstalk]
WALLACE: Go ahead. You get the- [crosstalk] Wait a minute. You get the final word, Mr.-
BIDEN: Well, it’s hard to get any word in with this clown. Excuse me, this person.
TRUMP: Hey, hey, let me just say, that
BIDEN: No, no. Mr. President- [crosstalk]
TRUMP: Three and a half million, Joe.
BIDEN: That is simply not true.
TRUMP: Why did he deserve three and a half million from Moscow?
BIDEN: Look, here’s the deal. We want to talk about families and ethics. I don’t want to do that. I mean, his family, we could talk about all night. His family’s already-
TRUMP: My family-
WALLACE: No, no- [crosstalk].
TRUMP: My family lost a fortune by coming down and helping us with government.
BIDEN: And that’s such a- [crosstalk]
WALLACE: Mr. President-
TRUMP: Every single one of them lost a fortune by coming down and helping us with government.
BIDEN: This is not about my family or his family. It’s about your family, the American people. [crosstalk]
TRUMP: And he got three and a half million dollars for nothing.
BIDEN: That’s not true. It doesn’t want to talk about what you need. You, the American people. It’s about you. That’s what we’re talking about here. [crosstalk]
WALLACE: That’s the end of the segment. We’re moving on.
BIDEN: He didn’t take that.
WALLACE: Vice President-
TRUMP: Chris, can I be honest? It’s a very important question-
BIDEN: Try to be honest.
TRUMP: He stood up-
WALLACE: The answer to the question is no.
TRUMP: … and he threatened Ukraine-
TRUMP: … with a billion dollars-
BIDEN: That is absolutely not true.
WALLACE: Stop. [crosstalk] Gentlemen, I hate to raise my voice, but I- [crosstalk] Why should I be different than the two of you? So here’s the deal.
BIDEN: That’s a good point.
WALLACE: We have six segments. We have ended that segment. We’re going to go to the next segment. In that segment, you each are going to have two uninterrupted moments. In those two uninterrupted minutes, Mr. President, you can say anything you want. I’m going to ask a question about race, but if you want to answer about something else, go ahead. But we, I, I think that the country would be better served, if we allowed both people to speak with fewer interruptions. I’m appealing to you, sir, to do that.
TRUMP: Well, and him too.
WALLACE: Well, frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting than he has.
TRUMP: Well, that’s all right, but he does plenty.
WALLACE: Well, sir, less than-
TRUMP: He does plenty.
WALLACE: No, less than you have. Let’s please continue on. The issue of race. Vice-President Biden, you say that President Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville three years ago, when he talked about very fine people on both sides, was what directly led you to launch this run for president.
TRUMP: Oh yeah, sure.
WALLACE: President Trump, you have often said that you believe you will have done more for Black Americans than any president with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln.
TRUMP: That’s true.
WALLACE: My question for the two of you, is why should voters trust you rather than your opponent to deal with the race issues facing this country over the next four years? Vice President Biden, you go first.
BIDEN: It’s about equity and equality. It’s about decency. It’s about the Constitution. And we have never walked away from trying to require, acquire equity for everyone, equality for the whole of America. But we’ve never accomplished it, but we’ve never walked away from it like he has done. It is true, the reason I got in the race is when those people. . . Close your eyes, remember what those people look like coming out of the fields, carrying torches, their veins bulging, spewing–just spewing anti-Semitic bile and accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan. A young woman got killed, and they asked the president what he thought. He said, “There were very fine people on both sides.” No president’s ever said anything like that. [crosstalk].
WALLACE: It is his-
WALLACE: … two minutes sir.
BIDEN: … second point I’d make to you, is that when Floyd was killed, when Mr. Floyd was killed, there was a peaceful protest in front of the White House. What did he do? He came out of his bunker, had the military use tear gas on them so he could walk across to a church and hold up a Bible. And then what happened after that? The Bishop of that very church said that it was a disgrace. The general who was with him said “All he ever wants to do is divide people, not unite people at all.” This is a president who has used everything as a dog whistle, to try to generate racist hatred, racist division.
This is a man who, in fact, you talk about helping African-Americans, one in 1000 African Americans has been killed because of the coronavirus. And if he doesn’t do something quickly, by the end of the year, one in 500 will have been killed. One in 500 African Americans. This man, this man is a savior of African-Americans? This man cares at all? This man’s done virtually nothing. Look, the fact is that you have to look at what he’s talks about. You have to look at what he did. And what he did has been disastrous for the African-American community.
WALLACE: President Trump, you have two minutes. Why should Americans trust you over your opponent to deal with race issues?
TRUMP: You did a crime bill, 1994, where you called them super-predators. African-Americans are super-predators and they’ve never forgotten it. They’ve never forgotten it.
BIDEN: I’ve never said-
WALLACE: No, no, sir. It’s his two minutes.
TRUMP: So you did that, and they call you super-predator and I’m letting people out of jail now, that you have treated the African-American population community, you have treated the black community about as bad as anybody in this country. You did the 1990–and that’s why, if you look at the polls, I’m doing better than any Republican has done in a long time, because they saw what you did. You call them super-predators, and you’ve called them worse than that. Because you look back at your testimony over the years, you’ve called them a lot worse than that. As far as the church is concerned, and as far as the generals are concerned, we just got the support of 200–250 military leaders and generals, total support. Law enforcement, almost every law enforcement group in the United States. I have Florida. I have Texas. I have Ohio. I have every… Excuse me, Portland, the sheriff just came out today and he said, “I support President Trump.”
I don’t think you have any law enforcement. You can’t even say the word law enforcement. Because if you say those words, you’re going to lose all of your radical left supporters. And why aren’t you saying those words, Joe? Why don’t you say the words law enforcement? Because you know what? If they called us in Portland, we would put out that fire in a half an hour. But they won’t do it, because they’re run by radical left Democrats. If you look at Chicago, if you look at any place you want to look, Seattle, they heard we were coming in the following day and they put up their hands and we got back Seattle. Minneapolis, we got it back, Joe, because we believe in law and order, but you don’t. The top 10 cities and just about the top 40 cities are run by Democrats, and in many cases radical left. And they’ve got you wrapped around their finger, Joe, to a point where you don’t want to say anything about law and order. And I’ll tell you what, the people of this country want and demand law and order and you’re afraid to even say it.
WALLACE: All right. I want to return to the question of race. Vice President Biden, after the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor case decided not to charge any of the police with homicide, you said it raises the question, “Whether justice could be equally applied in America.” Do you believe that there is a separate but unequal system of justice for Blacks in this country?
BIDEN: Yes, there is. There’s systemic injustice in this country, in education and work and in law enforcement and the way in which it’s enforced. But look, the vast majority of police officers are good, decent, honorable men and women. They risk their lives every day to take care of us. But there are some bad apples. And when they occur, when they find them, they have to be sorted out. They have to be held accountable. They have to be held accountable. And what I’m going to do as President of the United States is call a, a, together an entire group of people at the White House, everything from the civil rights groups, to the police officers, to the police chiefs, and we’re going to work this out.
We’re going to work this out. So we change the way in which we have more transparency, in when these things happen. These cops aren’t happy to see what happened to George Floyd. These cops aren’t happy to see what happened to Breonna Taylor. Most don’t like it, but we have to have a system where people are held accountable when–and by the way, violence in response is never appropriate, never appropriate. Peaceful protest is, violence is never appropriate.
WALLACE: All right, Mr.-
TRUMP: What is peaceful protest? When they run through the middle of the town-
WALLACE: President Trump-
TRUMP: … and burn down your stores and kill people all over the place- [crosstalk].
BIDEN: That is not peaceful protest.
TRUMP: No it’s not, but you say it is.
BIDEN: I did not say it is.
WALLACE: President Trump, I’d like to continue with the issue of race. I promise we’re going to get to the issue of law and order in a moment.
WALLACE: This month, your Administration, uh, directed federal agencies to end racial sensitivity training that addresses white privilege or critical race theory. Why did you decide to do that, to end racial sensitivity training? And do you believe that there is systemic racism in this country, sir?
TRUMP: I ended it because it’s racist. I ended it because a lot of people were complaining that they were asked to do things that were absolutely insane. That it was a radical revolution that was taking place in our military, in our schools, all over the place. And you know it, and so does everybody else. And he would know it, oh it’s totally racial. [crosstalk]
WALLACE: What is radical about racial sensitivity training?
TRUMP: If you were a certain person, you had no status in life. It was sort of a reversal. And if you look at the people, we would pay people hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach very bad ideas and frankly, very sick ideas. And, and really, they were teaching people to hate our country. And I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to allow that to happen. We have to go back to the core values of this country. They were teaching people that our country is a horrible place. It’s a racist place. And they were teaching people to hate our country. And I’m not going to allow that to happen.
BIDEN: Nobody’s doing that.
WALLACE: Vice President Biden.
BIDEN: Nobody’s doing that. He’s the racist.
TRUMP: You just don’t know.
BIDEN: Here’s the deal. I know a lot more about this- [crosstalk].
TRUMP: You don’t know.
WALLACE: Let him finish.
BIDEN: The fact is that there is racial insensitivity. People have to be made aware of what other people feel like, uh, what insults them, what is demeaning to them. It’s important that people know. Many people don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. But it’s amazing, it makes a big difference. It makes a gigantic difference in the way a child is able to grow up and have a self-sense, a sense of self-esteem. It’s a little bit like how this guy and, and his friends look down on so many people. They look down their nose on people like Irish Catholics, like me, and grew up in Scranton. They look down on people who don’t have money. They look down on people who are of a different faith. They look down on people who are a different color. In fact, we’re all Americans. The only way we’re gonna bring this country together is bring everybody together. There’s nothing we cannot do, if we do it together. We can take this on, and we can defeat racism in America.
WALLACE: Vice President… I mean, President Trump, sir.
TRUMP: During the Obama-Biden Administration, there was tremendous division. There was hatred. You look at, uh, Ferguson, you look at, or you go to very…many places. Look at Oakland. Look what happened in Oakland. Look what happened in Baltimore. Look what happened a . . . Frankly, it was more violent than what I’m even seeing now.
BIDEN: Oh my Lord.
TRUMP: But the reason-
BIDEN: This is ridiculous.
TRUMP: … is that the Democrats that run these cities-
BIDEN: Absolutely ridiculous.
TRUMP: … don’t want to talk, like you, about law and order.
BIDEN: Violent crime. . .
TRUMP: And you still haven’t mentioned.
BIDEN: Violent crime. . .
TRUMP: Are you in favor of law and order?
BIDEN: I’m in favor of law. You follow a little bit of order- [crosstalk].
TRUMP: Are you in favor of law and order? [crosstalk]
BIDEN: Yes I’m in favor of. . .
WALLACE: You asked a question, let him finish. [crosstalk] Let him answer.
BIDEN: Law and order with justice, where people get treated fairly.
BIDEN: And the fact of the matter is, violent crime went down 17 percent, 15 percent in our Administration. It’s gone up on his watch.
TRUMP: It went down much more in ours.
WALLACE: All right, we’re done- [crosstalk] Mr. President, you’re going to be very happy because we’re now going to talk about law and order.
TRUMP: The places we had trouble were Democratic-run cities. . .
WALLACE: That’s exactly my question. There has been a dramatic increase in homicides in America this summer particularly, and you often blame that on Democratic mayors and Democratic governors. But in fact, there have been equivalent spikes in Republican-led cities, like Tulsa and Fort Worth. So the question is, is this really a party issue?
TRUMP: I think it’s a party issue. You can bring in a couple of examples but if you look at Chicago, what’s going on in Chicago where, uh, 53 people were shot and eight died. Shot. If you look at New York where it’s going up, like nobody’s ever seen anything. The numbers are going up a 100, 150, 200 percent, uh, crime, it is crazy what’s going on . . .
BIDEN: Republican cities, republican cities.
TRUMP: . . . and he doesn’t want to say law and order because he can’t because he’ll lose his radical left supporters and once he does that, it’s over with. But if he ever got to run this country, and they ran it the way he would want to run it, we would have. . .
BIDEN: By the way. . .
TRUMP: . . . our suburbs would be gone. By the way, our suburbs would be gone. And you would see problems like you’ve never seen before.
BIDEN: He wouldn’t know a suburb unless you took a wrong turn. He was, he was. . .
TRUMP: Oh, I know suburbs so much better than you.
WALLACE: Gentlemen wait a minute.
BIDEN: I was raised in the suburbs. This is not 1950. All these dog whistles and racism don’t work anymore. Suburbs are by and large integrated. There’s as many people today driving their kids to soccer practice and/or black and white and Hispanic in the same car as there have been any time in the past. What’s, what really is a threat to the suburbs and their safety is his failure to deal with COVID. They’re dying in the suburbs. His failure to deal with the environment, they’re being flooded, they’re being burned out because his refusal to do anything. That’s why the suburbs are in trouble.
WALLACE: I do want to talk about this issue of law and order though. And in the joint recommendation that came from the Biden-Bernie Sanders task force, you talked about quote re-imagining policing. First of all, what does re-imagining policing mean and do you support?
BIDEN: It means. . .
WALLACE: . . . If I might finish the question, what does re-imagining policing mean and do you support the Black Lives Matter call uh, for uh, community control of policing?
BIDEN: Look, what I support is the police having the opportunity to deal with the problems they face and I’m totally opposed to defunding the police offices. As a matter of fact police, local police, the only one defunding, in his budget calls for a $400 million cut in local law enforcement assistance. They need more assistance. They need when they show up for a 9-11 call to have someone with them as a psychologist or psychiatrist to keep them from having to use force and be able to talk people down. We have to have community policing like we had before, where the officers get to know the people in the communities. That’s when crime went down, it didn’t go up. It went down. And so we have to be engaged with . . .
TRUMP: That’s not what they are talking about, Chris. That’s not what it . . . He’s talking about defunding the police.
BIDEN: That’s exactly. . . that is not true.
TRUMP: He doesn’t have any law support. He has no law enforcement support.
TRUMP: Almost nothing.
BIDEN: That’s not true. That’s not. . . Oh, look. . .
TRUMP: Oh, really, who do you have? Name one group that supports you. Name one group that came out and supported you. Go ahead. Think. We have time.
BIDEN: We don’t have time to do anything except . . .
TRUMP: No, no. Think about it. Name one law enforcement group that came out in support of you.
BIDEN: Folks, folks. . .
WALLACE: Now, gentleman. I think I’m going to take back the moderator’s role. . .
TRUMP: There aren’t any. I don’t think there are any.
WALLACE: . . . and I want to get to another subject, which is the issue of protests in many cities that have turned violent. In Portland, Oregon, especially we had a, more than a hundred straight days of protests, which I think you would agree, you talk about peaceful protests. Many of those turned into riots. Mr. Vice-President you say that people who commit crimes should be held accountable. The question I have, though, is as the Democratic nominee, and earlier tonight, you said that you are the Democratic Party right now, have you ever called the Democratic Mayor of Portland or the Democratic Governor of Oregon and said, “Hey, you gotta stop this, bring in the National Guard, do whatever it takes, but you’d stop the days and months of violence in Portland.”
BIDEN: I don’t hold public office, now. I am a former Vice-President. I’ve made it clear. I’ve made it clear in my public statements that the violence should be prosecuted. It should be prosecuted, and anyone who commits it should be prosecuted.
WALLACE: But you’ve never called for the people…
TRUMP: He’s never done that.
WALLACE: Excuse me, sir. You had never called for the leaders in Portland and in Oregon to call and bring in the National Guard and knock off a 100 days of riots.
BIDEN: They can in fact take care of it if he’d just stay out of the way.
TRUMP: Oh really? Oh really?
WALLACE: Let, let’s just. . .
TRUMP: I sent in the US Marshals. . .
BIDEN: Here, here’s the thing. . .
WALLACE: I asked a question. . .
TRUMP: . . .to get the killer of a young man in the middle of the street, they shot him. For three days Portland didn’t do anything.
WALLACE: President Trump. President Trump. President Trump. . . I interrupted. President Trump.
TRUMP: I sent in the US Marshals they took care of business.
WALLACE: Go ahead sir.
BIDEN: And by the way his own former spokesperson said, you know, “Riots and chaos and violence help his cause.” That’s what this is all about.
TRUMP: I don’t know who said that.
BIDEN: I do.
BIDEN: I think it–Kellyanne Conway.
TRUMP: I don’t think she said that.
BIDEN: She said that.
TRUMP: I don’t think so.
BIDEN: And so here, here’s the point. The point is that, that’s what he is keep trying to rile everything up. He doesn’t want to calm things down. Instead of going in and talking to people and saying, “Let’s get everybody together. Figure out how to deal with this.” What’s he do? He just pours gasoline in the fire. Constantly. At every single solitary time.
WALLACE: Okay. And, and, and to end this, button up this segment, I’m going to give you a minute to answer, sir. You have repeatedly…
TRUMP: You mean, I have to answer his stuff?
WALLACE: You have repeatedly…
TRUMP: His statement?
WALLACE: You have repeatedly. . . No. . .
TRUMP: Wait a second, you made a statement.
WALLACE: No, you’ve been talking back and forth. I’m asking you.
TRUMP: I would love to end it. I would love to end it.
WALLACE: I would love to know sir. . . You know sir if you want to switch seats
TRUMP: . . . we could, very quickly
WALLACE: . . . we can do that.
TRUMP: I’ll send in the National Guard, it would be over. That’d be no problem. But they don’t want to accept the National Guard.
WALLACE: You have repeatedly criticized the Vice-President for not specifically calling out Antifa and other left-wing extremist groups. But are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland.
TRUMP: Sure, I’m willing to do that.
WALLACE: Are you prepared specifically to do it. Well go ahead, sir.
TRUMP: I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing not from the right wing.
WALLACE: So what are you, what are you saying?
TRUMP: I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.
WALLACE: Well, do it, sir.
BIDEN: Say it. Do it. Say it.
TRUMP: You want to call them? What do you want to call them? Give me a name, give me a name, go ahead who would you like me to condemn.
WALLACE: White supremacists and racists.
BIDEN: Proud Boys.
WALLACE: White supremacists and white militias.
BIDEN: Proud Boys.
TRUMP: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what: somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right wing problem this is a left-wing. This is a left-wing problem. . .
BIDEN: He’s own FBI Director said unlike white supremacists. . .
TRUMP: This is a left-wing problem.
BIDEN: Antifa is an idea not an organization. . .
TRUMP: Oh you gotta be kidding.
BIDEN: … not a militia. That’s what his FBI Director said.
TRUMP: Well, then you know what, he’s wrong.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, gentlemen. No, no, no, we’re done, sir. Moving onto the next… [crosstalk]
TRUMP: . . . when a bat hits you over the head, that’s not an idea. Antifa is bad.
BIDEN: Everybody in your Administration. . .
TRUMP: Antifa is bad.
BIDEN: Everybody in your Administration tells you the truth, has a bad idea. You have no idea . . . .
TRUMP: You know what, Antifa is a dangerous radical group.
WALLACE: All right, gentlemen we’re now moving onto the Trump and Biden records.
TRUMP: And you ought to be careful of them, they’ll overthrow you.
WALLACE: I’m going to ask a question. When the president seeks a second term, it is generally a referendum on his record but Vice-President Biden, you like to quote one of your dad’s sayings, which is don’t compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative. And in this case sir you are the alternative. Looking at both of your records, I’m going to ask each of you. Why should voters elect you president over your opponent? In this segment, President Trump you’ll go first, two minutes.
TRUMP: Because there has never been an administration or president who has done more than I’ve done in a period of three and a half years. And that’s despite the impeachment hoax and you saw what happened today with Hillary Clinton, where it was a whole big con job. But despite going through all of these things where I had to fight, both flanks and behind me and above, there has never been an administration that’s done what I’ve done. The greatest, before COVID came in, the greatest economy in history, lowest employ–unemployment numbers, everything was good. Everything was going.
And by the way, there was unity going to happen. People were calling me for the first time in years, they were calling, and they were saying it’s time maybe and then what happened? We got hit. But now we’re building it back up again. A rebuilding of the military, including Space Force and all of the other things. A fixing of the VA which was a mess under him. Three hundred and eight thousand people died because they didn’t have proper health care. It was a mess. And we now got a 91% approval rating at the VA, our vets. We take care of our vets. But we’ve rebuilt our military.
The job that we’ve done. . . and, and I’ll tell you something, some people say maybe the most important. By the end of the first term, I’ll have approximately 300 Federal judges and Court of Appeals judges, 300, and hopefully three great Supreme Court judges, justices. That is a record the likes of which very few people. . . and you know, one of the reasons I’ll have so many judges? Because President Obama and him left me 128 judges to fill.
When you leave office, you don’t leave any judges. That’s like, you just don’t do that. They left 128 openings, and if I were a member of his party, because they have a little different philosophy, I’d say, if you left us 128 openings you can’t be a good president. You can’t be a good Vice President but I want to thank you because it gives us almost, it’ll probably be above that number. By the end of this term, 300 judges. It’s a record.
WALLACE: Looking at both of your records. Why should voters elect you President as opposed to President Trump, you have two minutes uninterrupted.
BIDEN: Under this President, we become weaker, sicker, poorer, more divided and more violent. When I was Vice President, we inherited a recession. I was asked to fix it. I did. We left him a booming economy, and he caused the recession. With regard to being weaker, the fact is that I’ve gone head to head with Putin and made it clear to him we’re not going to take any of his stuff. He’s Putin’s puppy. He still refuses to even say anything to Putin about the bounty on the heads of American soldiers.
TRUMP: Your son got three and a half million dollars.
WALLACE: No, no, no!
BIDEN: By the way, my son…
WALLACE: Wait a minute. Mr. President, your campaign agreed to both sides would get two-minute answers, uninterrupted. Well, your, your side agreed to it, and why don’t you observe what your campaign agreed to as a ground rule. Okay, sir?
BIDEN: He never keeps his word.
TRUMP: Can I answer. . .
WALLACE: No! That was a rhetorical question.
BIDEN: Can you add back 30 seconds?
WALLACE: Yes. You may have,
BIDEN: All right.
WALLACE: go ahead.
BIDEN: So thirdly, we’re poor. The billionaires have gotten much more wealthy by a tune of over three to four hundred billion dollars more just since COVID. You in the home, you got less. You’re in more trouble than you were before. In terms of being more violent. When we were in office there were 15% less violence in America than there is today. He’s President of the United States. It’s on his watch. And with regard to more divided, the nation, it can’t stay divided. We can’t be this way. And speaking of my son, the way you talk about the military, the way you talk about them being losers and being, and, and, and just being suckers. My son was in Iraq. He spent a year there. He got, 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.
BIDEN: And I resent-
TRUMP: Are you talking Hunter, are you talking about Hunter.
BIDEN: I’m talking about my son, Beau Biden, you’re talking about Hunter?
TRUMP: I don’t know Beau. I know Hunter. Hunter got thrown out of the military. He was thrown out dishonorably discharged. . .
BIDEN: That’s not true he wasn’t dishonorably discharged.
TRUMP: . . .for cocaine use. And he didn’t have a job until you became Vice-President. Once you became Vice-President
BIDEN: None of that is true.
TRUMP: . . . he made a fortune in Ukraine, in China, in Moscow and various other places.
BIDEN: That is simply not true.
TRUMP: He made a fortune. . .
BIDEN: My son. . . my son. . .
TRUMP: . . . and he didn’t have a job.
BIDEN: My son. . . like a lot of people. Like a lot of people we know at home had a drug problem. He’s overtaken it. He’s, he’s fixed it. He’s worked on it. And I’m proud of him. I’m proud of my son.
TRUMP: But why was he given tens of millions of dollars?
WALLACE: Alright. . .
BIDEN: He wasn’t given tens of millions of dollars. [crosstalk]
TRUMP: He was given tens of millions of dollars?
BIDEN: That was totally discredited.
WALLACE: President Trump. President Trump. We’ve already been through this.
BIDEN: Totally discredited.
WALLACE: We’ve bo. . .already been through this. I think the American people would rather hear about more substantial subjects.
BIDEN: So do I.
WALLACE: Well, as the moderator, sir, I’m going to make a judgment call here.
TRUMP: I know but when somebody gets three and a half million dollars from the Mayor of Moscow.
BIDEN: That is not true. That report is totally discredited.
TRUMP: Why did he get it?
BIDEN: Mitt Romney on that committee said it wasn’t worth taxpayer’s money. That report was written for political reason.
WALLACE: I’d like to talk about climate change.
BIDEN: So would I.
WALLACE: Okay. The forest fires in the West are raging now. They have burned millions of acres. They have displaced hundreds of thousands of people. When state officials there blamed the fires on climate change, Mr. President, you said, “I don’t think the science knows.” Over your four years, you have pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. You have rolled back a number of Obama Environmental records, what do you believe about the science of climate change, and what will you do in the next four years to confront it?
TRUMP: I want crystal clean water and air. I want beautiful clean air. We have now the lowest carbon. If you look at our numbers right now, we are doing phenomenally. But I haven’t destroyed our businesses. Our businesses aren’t put out of commission. If you look at the Paris Accord, it was a disaster from our standpoint. And people are actually very happy about what’s going on, because our businesses are doing well. As far as the fires are concerned, you need forest management. In addition to everything else, the forest floors are loaded up with trees, dead trees that are years old and they’re like tinder and leaves and everything else. You drop a cigarette in there the whole forest burns down. You’ve got to have forest management.
WALLACE: What do you believe about the science of climate change, sir?
TRUMP: I believe that we have to do everything we can to have immaculate air, immaculate water, and do whatever else we can that’s good. You know, we’re planting a billion trees–the Billion Tree Project–and it’s very exciting for a lot of people.
WALLACE: You believe that human pollution, gas, greenhouse gas emissions contributes to the global warming of this planet?
TRUMP: I think a lot of things do, but I think to an extent, yes. I think to an extent, yes. But I also think we have to do better management of our forests. Every year I get the call. California’s burning, California’s burning. If that was cleaned, if that were, if you had forest management, good forest management, you wouldn’t be getting those calls. You know, in Europe, they live their forest cities. They call forest cities. They maintain their forest. They manage their forest. I was with the head of a major country, it’s a forest city. He said, “Sir, we have trees that are far more, they ignite much easier than California. There shouldn’t be that problem.” I spoke with the Governor about it. I’m getting along very well with the governor. But I said, “At some point you can’t every year have hundreds of thousands of acres of land just burned to the ground.”
WALLACE: But sir. . .
TRUMP: That’s burning down because of a lack of management.
WALLACE: But sir, if you believe in the science of climate change, why have you rolled back the Obama Clean Power Plan which limited carbon emissions in power plants? Why have you relaxed…?
TRUMP: Because it was driving energy prices through the sky.
WALLACE: Why have you relaxed fuel economy standards that are going to create more pollution from cars and trucks?
TRUMP: Well, not really because what’s happening is the car is much less expensive, and it’s a much safer car, and you’re talking about a tiny difference. And then what would happen because of the cost of the car you would have at least double and triple the number of cars purchased. We have the old slugs out there that are 10, 12 years old. If you did that, the car would be safer. It would be much cheaper by $3,500.
WALLACE: But in the case of California they have simply ignored your rollback.
TRUMP: No, but you would take a lot of cars off the market because people would be able to afford a car. Now, so, and by the way, we’re going to see how that turns out. But a lot of people agree with me, many people. The car has gotten so expensive because they have computers all over the place for an extra little bit of gasoline.
WALLACE: OK. . .
TRUMP: And I’m okay with electric cars too. I think I’m all for electric cars. I’ve given big incentives for electric cars but what they’ve done in California is just crazy.
WALLACE: All right, Vice President Biden. I’d like you to respond to the president’s climate change record, but I also want to ask you about a concern. You propose $2 trillion in green jobs. You talk about new limits, not abolishing, but new limits on fracking. Ending the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity by 2035, and zero net emission of greenhouse gases by 2050. The president says a lot of these things would tank the economy and cost millions of jobs.
BIDEN: He’s absolutely wrong, number one. Number two, if in fact, when, during our Administration in the Recovery Act, I was able, was in charge, able to bring down the cost of renewable energy to cheaper than or as cheap as coal and gas and oil. Nobody’s gonna build another, uh, coal fired plant in America. No one’s going to build another oil fire plant in America. They’re going to move to renewable energy, number one,
Number two, we’re going to make sure that we are able to take the federal fleet and turn it into a fleet that’s run on, that’re electric vehicles. Making sure that we can do that, we’re going to put 500,000 charging stations and all of the highways that we’re going to be building in the future. We’re going to build a economy that in fact is going to provide for the ability us to take 4 million buildings and make sure that they in fact are weatherized in a way that in fact will –they’ll emit significantly less gas and oil because the heat will not be going out.
There’s so many things that we can do now to create thousands and thousands of jobs. We can get to net zero, in terms of energy production, by 2035. Not only not costing people jobs, creating jobs. Creating millions of good-paying jobs. Not 15 bucks an hour, but prevailing wage, by having a new infrastructure that in fact, is green.
And the first thing I will do, I will rejoin the Paris Accord. I will join the Paris Accord because with us out of it, look what’s happening. It’s all falling apart. And talk about someone who has no, no relationship to, with foreign policy. Brazil, the rainforests of Brazil are being torn down, are being ripped down. More, more carbon is absorbed in that rainforest than every bit of carbon that’s emitted in the United States. Instead of doing something about that, I would be gathering up and making sure we had the comp–countries of the world coming up with 20 billion dollars, and say, “Here’s $20 billion. Stop, stop tearing, tearing down the forest. And if you don’t, then you’re going to have significant economic consequences.”
WALLACE: What about, what about the argument that President Trump basically says, that you have to balance environmental interests and economic interests? And he’s drawn his line.
BIDEN: Well, he hadn’t drawn a line. He still, for example, makes sure that we, he wants to make sure that methane’s not a problem. We can, you, you can now emit more methane without it being a problem. Methane. This is a guy who says that you don’t have to have mileage standards for automobiles that exist now. This is the guy who says that, well the fact is. . .
TRUMP: Not true. Not true.
BIDEN: It’s all true. And here’s the deal. . .
TRUMP: He’s talking about the Green New Deal. And it’s not 2 billion or 20 billion, as you said. It’s 100 trillion dollars.
BIDEN: I’m. . . I’m. . . .I’m talking about the Biden plan. . .
TRUMP: Where they want to rip down buildings. . .
WALLACE: [to Biden] Let him go for a minute, and then you can go.
TRUMP: And rebuild the building.
TRUMP: It’s the dumbest-
BIDEN: That is not, that is not. . .
TRUMP: … most ridiculous. . . Where airplanes are out of business. Where two car systems are out. . .
BIDEN: Not true. . .
TRUMP: . . . where they want to take out the cows too.
BIDEN: Not true.
TRUMP: You know, that’s not true either, right?
BIDEN: Not true.
TRUMP: This is, this is a 100 trillion. . .
BIDEN: Simply. . . Look-
TRUMP: That’s more money than our country could make in a hundred years if it were. . .
BIDEN: That is simply not the case. . .
TRUMP: It would destroy our country.
WALLACE: All right. Let me. Wait a minute, sir. I actually have studied your plan, and it includes upgrading 4 million buildings, weatherizing 2 million homes over four years, building one and a half million energy efficient homes. So the question becomes, some, the president is saying, I think, some people who support the president would say, that sounds like it’s going to cost a lot of money and hurt the economy.
BIDEN: What it’s going to do, it’s going to create thousands and millions of jobs. Good paying jobs.
TRUMP: Hundred trillion dollars.
WALLACE: Let him finish, sir.
BIDEN: He doesn’t know how to do that.
TRUMP: 100 trillion dollars.
BIDEN: The fact is, it’s going to create millions of good-paying jobs. And these tax incentives to people, for people to weatherize, which he wants to get, get rid of. It’s going to make the economy much safer. Look how much we’re paying now to deal with the hurricanes, with, deal with. . . By the way, he has an answer for hurricanes. He said, maybe we should drop a nuclear weapon on them, and they may go away.
TRUMP: I never said that at all.
BIDEN: Yeah, you did say that.
TRUMP: They made it up.
BIDEN: And here’s the deal. . .
TRUMP: You make up a lot.
BIDEN: . . . we’re going to be in a position where we can create hard, hard, good jobs by making sure the environment is clean, and we all are in better shape. We spend billions of dollars now, billions of dollars, on floods, hurricanes, rising seas. We’re in real trouble. Look what’s happened just in the Midwest with these storms that come through and wipe out entire sections and counties in Iowa. They didn’t happen before. They’re because of global warming. We make up 15% of the world’s problem. We in fact, but the rest of the world, we’ve got to get them to come along. That’s why we have to get back into, back into the Paris Accord.
WALLACE: All right, gentlemen. . .
TRUMP: Wait a minute, Chris. So why didn’t he do it for 47 years? You were Vice-President?
BIDEN: For 47?
TRUMP: So why didn’t you get the world—China sends up real dirt into the air. Russia does. India does. They all do. We’re supposed to be good. And by the way, he made a couple of statements. The Green New Deal is a hundred trillion dollars. . .
BIDEN: That is not my plan.
TRUMP: . . .not 20 billion. . . .
BIDEN: The Green New Deal is not my plan. . .
TRUMP: . . . You want to rebuild every building.
BIDEN: . . . If you knew anything about. . .
TRUMP: Well, you want to rebuild everything
BIDEN: If he knew anything about. . .
WALLACE: Gentlemen. . . Gentlemen. . .
TRUMP: He made a statement about the military. He said I said something about the military. He and his friends made it up, and then they went with it. I never said it.
BIDEN: That is not true.
TRUMP: What he did is he said. . .
WALLACE: Okay, we’re going to get into a new segment. Mr. Vice President, Mr. Vice President. . .
TRUMP: . . .is he called the military stupid bastards.
BIDEN: I did not say that.
TRUMP: He said it on tape. . . [crosstalk]
BIDEN: Not true.
TRUMP: . . .He said “stupid bastards.”
WALLACE: Sir. [crosstalk] Stop.
BIDEN: Play it.
TRUMP: I would never say that.
BIDEN: Play it.
WALLACE: Go ahead.
TRUMP: You’re on tape.
WALLACE: Mr. Vice President answered his final question.
BIDEN: The final question is, I can’t remember which of all his rantings was the final question.
WALLACE: [laughing] I’m having a little trouble myself, but…
WALLACE: And about the economy and about this question of what it’s going to cost.
BIDEN: The economy. . .
WALLACE: The Green New Deal and the idea of what your environmental changes will do.
BIDEN: The Green New Deal will pay for itself as we move forward. We’re not going to build plants that, in fact, are great polluting plants, we’re gonna build. . .
WALLACE: So, do you support the Green New Deal?
BIDEN: Pardon me?
WALLACE: Do you support the . . .
BIDEN: No, I don’t support the Green New Deal.
TRUMP: Oh, you don’t? Oh, well, that’s a big statement.
BIDEN: I support . . .
TRUMP: You just lost the radical left. It’s done. Oh you don’t?
BIDEN: I support the Biden plan that I put forward.
BIDEN: The Biden plan, which is different than what he calls “The Radical Green New Deal.”
WALLACE: All right, gentlemen, final segment: Election integrity. As we meet tonight, millions of Americans are receiving mail-in ballots or going to vote early. How confident should we be that this will be a fair election, and what are you prepared to do over the next five plus weeks? Because it will not only be to election day, but also counting some ballots–mail-in ballots–after election day. What are you prepared to do to reassure the American people that the next president will be the legitimate winner of this election. In this final segment, Mr. Vice President, you go first.
BIDEN: Prepare to let people vote. They should go to iwillvote.com. Decide how they’re going to vote, when they’re going to vote, and what means by which they’re going to vote. His own Homeland Security director, and as well as the FBI director, says that there is no evidence at all that mail-in ballots are a source of being manipulated and cheating. They said that. The fact is that there are going to be millions of people because of COVID that are going to be voting by mail-in ballots like he does, by the way. He sits behind the Resolute Desk and sends his ballot to Florida. Number one.
Number two, we’re going to make sure that those people who want to vote in person are able to vote because there are enough poll watchers are there to make sure they can socially distance. The polls are open on time, and the polls stay open until the votes are counted. And this is all about trying to dissuade people from voting because he’s trying to conf–to scare people into thinking that it’s not going to be legitimate.
Show up and vote. You will determine the outcome of this election. Vote, vote, vote. If you’re able to vote early in your state, vote early. If you’re able to vote in person, vote in person. Vote whatever way is the best way for you. Because you will—he cannot stop you from being able to determine the outcome of this election. And in terms of whether or not, when the votes are counted and they’re all counted, that will be accepted. If I win, that will be accepted. If I lose, that’ll be accepted. But by the way, if in fact he says, he’s not sure what he’s going to accept. Well, let me tell you something, it doesn’t matter, because if we get the votes, it’s going to be all over. He’s gonna go. He can’t stay in power. It won’t happen. It won’t happen. So vote. Just make sure you understand, you have it in your control to determine what this country is gonna look like the next four years. Is it going to change, or are you going to get four more years of these lies?
WALLACE: Mr. President, two minutes.
TRUMP: So when I listen to Joe talking about a transition, there has been no transition from when I won. I won that election. And if you look at crooked Hillary Clinton, if you look at all of the different people, there was no transition, because they came after me trying to do a coup. They came after me spying on my campaign. They started from the day I won, and even before I won. From the day I came down the escalator with our first lady, they were a disaster. They were a disgrace to our country, and we’ve caught ’em. We’ve caught ’em all. We’ve got it all on tape. We’ve caught ’em all. And by the way, you gave the idea for the Logan Act against General Flynn. You better take a look at that, because we caught you in a sense, and President Obama was sitting in the office.
He knew about it too. So don’t tell me about a free transition. As far as the ballots are concerned, it’s a disaster. A solicited ballot, okay, solicited, is okay. You’re soliciting. You’re asking. They send it back. You send it back. I did that. If you have an unsolicited–they’re sending millions of ballots all over the country. There’s fraud. They found ’em in creeks. They found some, with the name Trump, just happened to have the name Trump, just the other day in a wastepaper basket. They’re being sent all over the place. They sent two in a Democrat area. They sent out a thousand ballots. Everybody got two ballots. This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen. The other thing, it’s nice. On November 3rd, you’re watching, and you see who won the election. And I think we’re going to do well because people are really happy with the job we’ve done.
But you know what? We won’t know. We might not know for months because these ballots are going to be all over. Take a look at what happened in Manhattan. Take a look at what happened in New Jersey. Take a look at what happened in Virginia and other places. They’re not losing 2%, 1%, which by the way is too much. An election could be won or lost with that. They’re losing 30 and 40%. It’s a fraud, and it’s a shame. And can you imagine where they say, uh, “You have to have your ballot in by November 10th.” November 10th. That means, that’s seven days after the election, in theory, should’ve been announced.
TRUMP: We have major states with that. . .
WALLACE: Sir. Time. . .
TRUMP: … all run by Democrats-
WALLACE: Sir, two minutes is two minutes.
TRUMP: All run by Democrats.
WALLACE: President Trump. . . I, I,. . .
TRUMP: It’s a rigged election.
WALLACE: You’re going to be able to continue. You have been charging for months that mail-in balloting is going to be a disaster. You say it’s rigged, that it’s going to lead to fraud. But in 2018, in the last midterm election, 31 million people voted mail-in voting. That was a quarter, more than a quarter of all the voters that year, cast their ballots by mail. Now that millions of mail-in ballots have gone out, what are you going to do about it? And are you counting on the Supreme Court, including a Justice Barrett, to settle any dispute?
TRUMP: Yeah. I think I’m counting on them to look at the ballots, definitely. I don’t think—I hope we don’t need them, in terms of the election itself. But for the ballots, I think so, because what’s happening is incredible. I just heard, I read today where at least 1% of the ballots for 2016 were invalidated. They take ’em. We don’t like ’em. We don’t like ’em. They throw ’em out. . .
WALLACE: But what are you going to do about it-
TRUMP: … left and right.
WALLACE: There are millions of ballots going out right now. What are you going to do. . .
TRUMP: What you do is you go and vote. You do a solicited ballot, and that’s okay. . .
WALLACE: No. No. I know your complaint. I’m asking you about the fact that millions of people have received. . .
TRUMP: You go and vote. You go and vote. . .
WALLACE: No. But what I’m saying is . . .
TRUMP: . . . like they used to in the old. . .
WALLACE: . . . what are you going to do about the fact that millions of people. . .
TRUMP: You either do, Chris, a solicited ballot, where you’re sending it in, they’re sending it back and you’re sending. They have mailmen with lots of it. Did you see what’s going on? Take a look at West Virginia, mailman selling the ballots. They’re being sold. They’re being dumped in rivers. This is a horrible thing for our country.
BIDEN: There is no–there is no evidence of that. . .
TRUMP: This is not going to end well.
BIDEN: There is no evidence of that. . .
TRUMP: This is not going to end well.
WALLACE: Okay. Vice President Biden, in fact, go ahead, sir-
BIDEN: Five states have had mail-in ballots for the last decade or more. Five, including two Republican states. And you don’t have to solicit the ballot. It’s sent to you. It’s sent to your home. What we’re saying is, they’re saying is that it has to be a postmark by the time, by election day. If it doesn’t get in until the seventh, eighth, ninth, it still should be counted. He’s just afraid of counting the votes because. . . .
TRUMP: You’re wrong. You’re wrong. I love counting the votes. . .
BIDEN: . . . he knows what the outcome will be.
WALLACE: I want to continue with you on this, Vice President Biden. . .
TRUMP: Chris, he’s so wrong when he makes a statement like that-
WALLACE: No. Excuse me. Vice President Biden, the biggest problem, in fact, over the years with mail-in voting has not been fraud, historically. It has been that sizable numbers, sometimes hundreds of thousands of ballots are thrown out because they have not been properly filled out, or there is some other irregularity,. . .
TRUMP: That could be fraud.
WALLACE: . . .or they missed the deadline. So the question I have is, are you concerned that the Supreme Court with a Justice Barrett will settle any dispute?
BIDEN: I am concerned that any court would settle this, because here’s the deal. When you file—when you get a ballot and you fill it out, you’re supposed to have an affidavit. If you didn’t know, you have someone say that, this is me. You should be able to, if in fact you can verify that’s you when, before the ballot is thrown out, that’s sufficient to be able to count the ballot because someone made a mistake and not dotting the correct i. Who they voted for, testify, say who they voted for, say it’s you. That is totally legitimate.
WALLACE: All right.
TRUMP: Excuse me, Chris, when you have eighty million ballots. . .
WALLACE: No. No. No. I have a final [crosstalk].
TRUMP:. . . sent in and swamping the system. . .
WALLACE: Gentlemen, I have a final question . . .
TRUMP: You know it can’t be done. You know it can’t, and already, there’s been fraud deception and . . .
BIDEN: Mail service delivers 185 million pieces of mail a day. . .
TRUMP: . . . Eighty million ballots.
WALLACE: We can keep talking. In eight states, election workers are prohibited, currently by law, eight states, from even beginning to process ballots, even take them out of the envelopes and flatten them until election day. That means that it’s likely, because there’s going to be a huge increase in mail-in balloting, that we are not going to know on election night who the winner is, that it could be days. It could be weeks. . .
TRUMP: Could be months.
WALLACE: . . . until we find out who the new president is. So, I–first for you, sir. Finally, for the Vice-President, and I hope neither of you will interrupt the other. Will you urge your supporters to stay calm during this extended period, not to engage in any civil unrest? And will you pledge tonight that you will not declare victory until the election has been independently certified? President Trump, you go first.
TRUMP: I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully, because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it. As you know, today there was a big problem. In Philadelphia, they went in to watch. They’re called poll watchers, a very safe, very nice thing. They were thrown out. They weren’t allowed to watch. You know why? Because bad things happen in Philadelphia. Bad things. And I am urging, I am urging my people. I hope it’s going to be a fair election. If it’s a fair election. . .
WALLACE: You’re urging them what?
TRUMP: . . . I am 100% on board. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that. And I’ll tell you what. . .
WALLACE: What does that mean, not go along. . .
TRUMP: . .. from a common sense. . .
WALLACE: . . .does that mean you’re going to tell your people . . .
TRUMP: I’ll tell you what it means. . .
WALLACE: … to take to the streets?
TRUMP: It means you have a fraudulent election. You’re sending out 80 million ballots. . .
WALLACE: And what would you do about that?
TRUMP: They’re not equipped. These people aren’t equipped to handle it, number one. Number two, they cheat. They cheat. Hey, they found ballots in a wastepaper basket three days ago, and they all had the name military ballots. They were military. They all had the name Trump on them.
WALLACE: Vice President Biden-
TRUMP: You think that’s good?
WALLACE: Vice President Biden, final question for you. Will you urge your supporters to stay calm while the vote is counted? And will you pledge not to declare victory until the election is independently certified?
BIDEN: Yes. And here’s the deal. We count the ballots, as you pointed out. Some of these ballots in some states can’t even be opened until election day. And if there’s thousands of ballots, it’s going to take time to do it. And by the way, our military–they’ve been voting by ballots for since the end of the Civil War, in effect. And that’s, and that’s what’s going to happen. Why was it not, why is it for them, somehow not fraudulent. It’s the same process. It’s honest. No one has established at all that there is fraud related to mail-in ballots, that the, somehow it’s a fraudulent process.
TRUMP: It’s already been established. Take a look at Carolyn Maloney’s race. . .
WALLACE: I asked you. You had an opportunity to respond [crosstalk].
TRUMP: Look at Carolyn Maloney’s race. They have no idea what happened. . .
WALLACE: Go ahead. Vice President Biden, go ahead.
BIDEN: He has no idea what he’s talking about. Here’s the deal. The fact is, I will accept it, and he will too. You know why? Because once the winner is declared after all the ballots are counted, all the votes are counted, that’ll be the end of it. That’ll be the end of it. And if it’s me, in fact, fine. If it’s not me, I’ll support the outcome. And I’ll be a president, not just for the Democrats. I’ll be a president for Democrats and Republicans. And this guy if in fact. . .
TRUMP: I want to see an honest ballot count. . .
WALLACE: Gentlemen, just say that’s the end of it [crosstalk]. This is the end of this debate-
TRUMP: I want to see an honest ballot count.
WALLACE: We’re going to leave it there. . .
TRUMP: And I think he does too. . .
WALLACE: … to be continued in more debates as we go on. President Trump, Vice President Biden, it’s been an interesting hour and a half. I want to thank you both for participating in the first of three debates that you have agreed to engage in. We want to thank Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic for hosting this event. The next debate, sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, will be one week from tomorrow, October 7th, at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The two Vice-Presidential nominees, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris will debate at 9:00 PM Eastern that night. We hope you watch. Until then, thank you, and good night.