US presidential debate: Mute button keeps Trump, Biden civil on stage

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the final presidential debate at Belmont University. Photo: AP/PTI
US President Donald Trump and his challenger Joe Biden clashed over Covid-19, immigration, race relations, and several other issues during their final debate, just ahead of the November 3 presidential election, presenting Americans with sharply divergent views of where they would lead them over the next four years. The mute button, or at least the threat of it, seemed to work. In the second presidential debate, Trump and Biden were more restrained. They allowed each other to speak and used respectful tones. Even when they went on the attack, they did so in a calm, deliberate manner.

Covid takes centre stage

Trump: “We have a vaccine that's coming, it's ready. It's going to be announced within weeks and it's going to be delivered”
Biden: “Anyone who's responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the US”

Detention of migrant children

Biden: “It makes us a laughingstock and violates every notion of who we are as a nation”

Trump: “Who built the cages, Joe? (noting that the Obama administration had at times detained migrant children)... They are so well taken care of”

On North Korea ties

Biden: “He’s (Trump has) legitimised North Korea. He’s talked about his good buddy (leader Kim Jong Un), who's a thug. ”
Trump: “You know what? North Korea - we're not in a war. We have a good 

The ‘racist Lincon’  

Trump: "I am the least racist person in this room... I got criminal justice reform done, prison reform, and opportunity zones”
Biden: "Abraham Lincoln here (Trump) is one of the most racist presidents we've had in modern history"

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