Donald Trump in First 2020 Presidential Debate


On Civil Rights: Proud Boys: stand back & stand by; against Antifa

Q: 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 to say that they need to stand down?

TRUMP: Almost everything I see is from the left wing not from the right wing. Give me a name; who do you want me to condemn?

Q: White supremacist and right-wing militia.

BIDEN: Proud Boys.

TRUMP: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But 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.

BIDEN: He's own FBI Director said unlike white supremacists, Antifa is an idea, not an organization, not a militia--

TRUMP: Oh, you got to be kidding me. Well, then you know what, he's wrong. Antifa is bad. Antifa is a dangerous radical group.

Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace Sep 29, 2020

On Civil Rights: Racial sensitivity training is racist: a radical revolution

Q: Why did you decide to end racial sensitivity training?

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 a radical revolution that was taking place in our military, in our schools, all over the place.

Q: 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 were paying people hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach very bad ideas and frankly, very sick ideas. They were teaching people to hate our country And I'm not going to do that. 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. I'm not going to allow that to happen.

Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace Sep 29, 2020

On Civil Rights: FactCheck: Proud Boys standing by to deal with Antifa

The Proud Boys pledged allegiance to Trump after he told the group to "stand back and stand by" during the first presidential debate. One social media account for the group made "Stand back. Stand by" part of its new logo.

Trump was asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace to disavow white supremacy. But Trump did not denounce any far-right group, pivoting to talk about Antifa, a left-wing organization.

One Proud Boys organizer posted "President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA... well sir! we're ready!!"

The Proud Boys, a self-described "Western chauvinist" organization, is considered a violent, nationalistic, and misogynistic hate group, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Proud Boys members marched at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and have organized against Black Lives Matter protests in recent months.

[Pres. Trump walked back his statement post-debate, but the Proud Boys did not].

Source: NBC News Fact-Check˙on First 2020 Presidential Debate Sep 29, 2020

On Crime: FactCheck: No, not endorsed by Portland's Sheriff

Trump said that he has endorsements from "almost every law enforcement group in the United States. I have Florida. I have Texas. I have Ohio. I have Portland--the sheriff just came out today and he said, 'I support President Trump.' "

Is that true about Portland, the site of ongoing police protests? No, Portland's Sheriff says it's not true. Excerpts from a 9/30 article in "The Hill" with headline "Sheriff from Portland quickly refutes Trump claim of endorsement":

"The sheriff of Multnomah County, Oregon, which includes Portland, quickly refuted President Trump's claim of an endorsement during Tuesday night's first general election presidential debate. 'I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him,' Sheriff Mike Reese responded on Twitter. The sheriff added: 'Donald Trump has made my job a hell of a lot harder since he started talking about Portland, but I never thought he'd try to turn my wife against me!' "

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on First 2020 Presidential Debate Sep 29, 2020

On Crime: FactCheck: Yes, Trump aide said rioting & chaos helps Trump

[We checked if Biden was correct in this exchange about BLM protests:]

BIDEN: [Trump's] own former spokesperson said, "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. [Former White House advisor] Kellyanne Conway.

TRUMP: I don't think she said that.

[So we found this article from Business Insider magazine on Aug 27, 2020, headlined, "Kellyanne Conway says 'chaos and violence' after the police shooting of Jacob Blake is good for Trump's reelection"; excerpts:

"President Trump's close adviser, Kellyanne Conway, told Fox News that 'chaos and anarchy' following police shootings are good for Trump's reelection effort. 'The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who's best on public safety and law and order,' Conway said. Conway was referring to protests following the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, in Kenosha, Wisconsin this week.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on First 2020 Presidential Debate Sep 29, 2020

On Crime: FactCheck: Hillary used term "super predators," not Biden

TRUMP: You did a crime bill, 1994, where you call them super predators. "African-Americans are super predators," and they've never forgotten it.

FactCheck: Did Biden use the term "super-predators"? No, not quite. Excerpts from Reason.com on Sept. 29:

Trump has attacked Joe Biden for his role in crafting the 1994 crime bill. It was Hillary Clinton, however, who infamously uttered the term "superpredators" back in 1996. (You can still find plenty of videos of floor speeches of then-Senator Biden railing against "predators" or generally demagoguing on the subject of violent crime.)

The rise of criminal justice reform as a major issue in politics has made the 1994 crime bill a liability for Biden, who has since apologized for his role in tough-on-crime legislation passed in the 1980s and '90s by large bipartisan margins.

In a speech last year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Biden said those bills "trapped an entire generation," and that "it was a big mistake when it was made."

Source: Reason.com Fact-Check˙on First 2020 Presidential Debate Sep 29, 2020

On Energy & Oil: Rolled back Clean Power Plan; it increased energy prices

Q: When state officials in the West blamed the raging forest fires on climate change, you said, "I don't think the science knows." You have pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. What do you believe about the science of climate change?

TRUMP: 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.

Q: Do you believe that human greenhouse gas emissions contribute to the global warming of this planet?

TRUMP: I think a lot of things do, but I think to an extent, yes. But I also think we have to do better management of our forest. Every year I get the call, "California's burning!" If you had good forest management, you wouldn't be getting those calls.

Q: If you believe in the science of climate change, why have you rolled back the Obama Clean Power Plan which limited carbon emissions?

TRUMP: Because it was driving energy prices through the sky.

Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace Sep 29, 2020

On Environment: We need better forest management; we planted a billion trees

Q: The forest fires in the West have burned millions of acres. You have rolled back a number of Obama Environmental records; what will you do in the next four years?

TRUMP: I want crystal clean water and air. I want beautiful clean air. But I haven't destroyed our businesses. Our businesses aren't put out of commission. 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. 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. We're planting a billion trees, the Billion Tree Project and it's very exciting for a lot of people.

Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace Sep 29, 2020

On Government Reform: Obama left 128 openings for judges; I appointed 300

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 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.
Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace Sep 29, 2020

On Government Reform: Solicited mail-in ballots ok; unsolicited ballots are fraud

TRUMP: 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. This is going to be a fraud like you've never seen.

Q: In 2018, in the last midterm election, 31 million people voted mail-in voting. That was 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: I think I'm counting on them to look at the ballots, definitely. 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. This is not going to end well.

Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace Sep 29, 2020

On Government Reform: I'm urging my base to watch the polls on Election Day

I'm urging my supporters to go in to 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 my people. I hope it's going to be a fair election. If it's a fair election 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 why-
Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace Sep 29, 2020

On Government Reform: FactCheck: 128 judgeships open because Senate GOP forced it

Trump said, "President Obama [& Biden] left me 128 judges to fill. When you leave office, you don't leave any judges. Maybe he got complacent." Is that true that Trump could appoint so many judges because President Obama left the positions unfilled? We checked, and found that while it's true that Trump inherited 128 open judge positions, that was because the Senate blocked Obama's appointments.

Excerpts from The Hill e-zine, March 29, 2018: "Republicans took control of the Senate in 2014 during Obama's last two years in office and did not confirm many of his nominees. The Senate's top Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, teamed up to block Democratic efforts to push forward Obama's nominees, slowing down confirmations by the most in six decades. Most notably, McConnell refused to hold a confirmation hearing on Obama's nominee for Supreme Court justice, Merrick Garland. The vacancies left behind by the Obama administration were not by choice.

Source: The Hill e-zine Fact-Check˙on First 2020 Presidential Debate Sep 29, 2020

On Health Care: My healthcare plan: we got rid of the individual mandate

Q: 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, because they want to give good healthcare

Q: Over the last four years, you have promised to repeal and replace ObamaCare, but you have never come up with a comprehensive plan to replace ObamaCare.

TRUMP: Yes, I have. Of course I have. I got rid of the individual mandate, which was a big chunk of ObamaCare.

Q: That's not a comprehensive place.

TRUMP: That is absolutely a big thing. That was the worst part of ObamaCare. The individual mandate was the most unpopular aspect of ObamaCare. I got rid of it. And we will protect people. We guaranteed pre-existing conditions, but took away the individual mandate.

BIDEN: He has no plan for healthcare.

TRUMP: Of course we do.

BIDEN: He has none, like almost everything else he talks about. He does not have a plan.

Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace Sep 29, 2020

On Health Care: ObamaCare is no good, even if run well

Joe BIDEN [to TRUMP]: There are 20 million people getting healthcare through ObamaCare now that he wants to take it away.

TRUMP: No, I want to give them better healthcare at a much lower price, because ObamaCare is no good.

BIDEN: He won't ever look you in the eye and say that's what he wants to do: "Take it away." He doesn't know how to do that.

TRUMP: We've already fixed it, to an extent. ObamaCare is no good. We made it better. We guaranteed pre-existing conditions, but took away the individual mandate. 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 me. But more importantly, I want to help people; I said, "You've got to run it so well." 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.

Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace Sep 29, 2020

On Homeland Security: I created the Space Force and fixed the VA

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. The greatest, before COVID came in, the greatest economy in history, lowest unemployment numbers, everything was good. Everything was going. There was unity going to happen. People were calling me for the first time in years and they were saying it's time 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, 308,000 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.
Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace Sep 29, 2020

The above quotations are from First Presidential Debate, Case Western Reserve University, Sept. 29, 2020.
Click here for other excerpts from First Presidential Debate, Case Western Reserve University, Sept. 29, 2020.
Click here for other excerpts by Donald Trump.
Click here for a profile of Donald Trump.
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Oct 01, 2020