The second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden was much more controlled than the first debate. President Trump was less combative and had a more measured tone throughout most of the debate. He did not interrupt Biden as much and stayed mostly on topic. Biden spent much of the night on the offensive, attacking President Trump over his record during his first term in office.
The first topic of the night was the coronavirus pandemic. Biden said that President Trump is responsible for the more than 224,000 people who have died from COVID-19.
"You hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this: Anyone who's responsible for not taking control, in fact… saying I take no responsibility initially, anyone who's responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America," Biden said.
President Trump defended his administration's handling of the pandemic and said that the lockdowns saved millions of lives.
"As you know, 2.2 million people modeled out were expected to die," Trump said. "We closed up the greatest economy in the world."
Trump said that the country is making progress battling the virus, adding that a vaccine will be available soon.
"It will go away, and as I say, we're rounding the turn, we're rounding the corner. It's going away," he said.
Trump said it's time to start reopening the country and get kids back in the classroom.
"We have to open our schools," Trump said. "As an example, I have a young son. He also tested positive. By the time I spoke to the doctor a second time, he was fine, it just went away. Young people, I guess it's their immune systems."
Trump accused Biden and the Democrats of wanting to keep everything shutdown.
Biden pushed back, saying he will create national standards to allow businesses to open up safely.
"I would make sure that we set up national standards as to how to open up schools and open up businesses so they can be safe and give them the wherewithal, the financial resources to be able to do that," Biden said.
The next topic of the debate focused on election security. The segment quickly turned to the business dealings of Biden's son, Hunter.
"He's the vice president of the United States and his son, his brother and his other brother are getting rich. They're like a vacuum cleaner," Trump said.
Biden defended his son and said that he has "not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life."
"Release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption," Biden challenged Trump.
Trump vowed to release his tax returns when he is no longer under audit but would not commit to a specific time frame.
The next topic started out focused on the Affordable Care Act. Trump and Biden argued over how they would replace Obamacare if it is struck down by the Supreme Court. Biden said if elected, he would pass a healthcare plan with a public option, dubbing it "Bidencare."
"If you qualify for Medicaid and you do not have the wherewithal in your state to get Medicaid, you're automatically enrolled, providing competition for insurance companies," Biden said.
"Secondly, we're going to make sure we reduce the premiums and reduce drug prices by making sure that there's competition that doesn't exist now, by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with the insurance companies," he said.
Trump promised to replace Obamacare "with a brand-new beautiful health care."
The two sparred during the next segment on immigration, with the two engaging in cross-talk over a question about reuniting migrant children with their parents. President Trump said that the border is as secure as it's ever been and touted 400 miles of new wall that has been built since he took office. Trump accused Biden of building cages where children were held when they were detained at the border. Biden pushed back and defended the immigration policy when he was Vice President.
On the topic of racism and criminal justice reform, President Trump touted his accomplishments on criminal justice reform and blasted Biden for his work on passing the 1994 Crime Bill. He said that Biden did nothing during his career as in the Senate or during his eight years as Vice President.
"Why didn't you get it done? See? It's all talk, no action with these politicians," Trump said. "Why didn't he get it done? That's what I'm going to do when I become president -- you were vice president along with Obama as your president, your leader, for eight years. Why didn't you get it done?
Biden admitted the crime bill was a mistake and blamed the Republican-controlled Senate for why he and President Barack Obama were unable to enact criminal justice reform.
The two candidates were asked what they would say to voters who did not vote for them during their inaugural speech.
"Success is going to bring us together. We are on the road to success," the president said. "But I'm cutting taxes, and he wants to raise everybody's taxes, and he wants to put new regulations on everything. He will kill it. If he gets in, you will have a depression the likes of which you've never seen. Your 401(k) 's will go to hell, and it'll be a very, very sad day for this country."
Biden vowed to represent all Americans if he is elected president.
"Whether you voted for me or against me, and I'm going to make sure you're represented. I'm going to give you hope," he said.
"We're going to move," Biden added. "We're going to choose science over fiction. We're going to choose hope over fear. We're going to choose to move forward because we have enormous opportunities -- enormous opportunities to make things better."
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