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Trump and Biden Participate in the first Presidential Debate. Aired 4-4:10a ET
Aired September 30, 2020 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 HOST: This is CNN 10`s last program for September 2020. No debate about that, but Tuesday was debate night in America at least for
the presidential candidates, and today`s show has some highlights for you. I`m Carl Azuz. Thank you for watching.
The format for the faceoff in Cleveland, Ohio at Case Western Reserve University, two candidates, 90 minutes, zero commercials, six subjects,
lots of questions. That was the plan for incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden. The debate`s
moderator, Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace, got to select the topics, and he`d planned to spend roughly 15 minutes on each of them.
In order to qualify for a presidential debate, candidates have to have the support of at least 15 percent of voters as determined by five national
polling organizations. That`s a rule set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which organizes and governs these events, and that`s why
Libertarian nominee, Jo Jorgensen, and Green Party nominee, Howie Hawkins, were not included in Tuesday`s debate.
To prepare for the event, former Vice President Biden huddled with his team in Wilmington, Delaware, practicing in mock debates, anticipating attacks
from the incumbent leader. President Trump huddled with his team in the Map Room of the White House, practicing in mock debates, anticipating attacks
from the former vice president. Presidential debate coaches saying being prepared for attacks and not getting emotional about them is key, so is
being ready for tough questions. Experts say no candidate wants to hear one of those for the first time in the spotlight on the debate stage. That`s
why when the topic of COVID-19 came up a set amount of time was planned for both candidates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 200,000 dead. As you said, over seven million infected in the United States. We, in fact,
have 5 percent of - or 4 percent of the world`s population, 20 percent of the deaths. 40,000 people a day are contracting COVID. In addition to that,
about between 750 and 1,000 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? He went in and he - we were insisting
that the Chinese - the people we had on 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.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wrong.
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.
TRUMP: If we would have 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 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 -
BIDEN: It`s unrelated to your COVID.
TRUMP: -- our country. Wait a minute.
WALLACE: Sir, it`s his two minutes.
BIDEN: You didn`t think we should have closed our country because you thought it was too - 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.
Their 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. 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Of course that wasn`t the only subject or point of disagreement between the two men. There was a lot of bickering in this debate. It was
chaotic at times. There were interruptions and insults throughout. And one priority for the moderator and the Commission on Presidential Debates is to
make sure that the candidates each get a fair shot at making their points. The commission has sponsored every presidential and vice presidential
debate since 1987. It`s nonpartisan, and it says it doesn`t receive funding from the government or any political party or campaign. That`s why when
topics concerning the environment and climate change were brought up, the goal was to give each candidate a set amount of time.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
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 --
WALLACE: Do you believe that -- 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 is burning, California is burning. If that was cleaned -- if that were -- if you had forest
management, good forest management, you wouldn`t be getting those calls.
BIDEN: During our administration and recovery act, I was able to -- I was in charge -- able to bring down the cost of renewable energy to cheaper
than or as cheap as goal and gas and oil. Nobody`s going to build another coal-fired plant in America. No one`s going to build another oil-fired
plant in America.
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.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
AZUZ: The stakes were high for both candidates who wanted not only to win, but to win over voters. Going into the debate a Monmouth University poll
found tat 74 percent of American voters plan to watch it. But here`s something interesting, only 3 percent said they were likely to change their
planned vote based on what the candidate said.
Still, they had a lot to say and a lot of ground to cover.
And another topic was titled the integrity of the election.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BIDEN: His own Homeland Security Director as well as the FBI Director says there is no evidence at all that mail-in ballots are a source of -- 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 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 -- 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.
TRUMP: As far as the ballots are concerned, it`s a disaster. A solicited ballot, OK, solicited is OK. 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 them in creeks, they found some with the name Trump -- just happened to have the name Trump just the other day in a waste
paper 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 3 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
(END AUDIO CLIP)
AZUZ: Again, those were just a few highlights from the two candidates first debate. For full coverage please visit CNN.com.
Now, it`s time to go behind the scenes on CNN10. The question, how do we stay objective on our show? The answer, we explain it as part of a
partnership with AT&T`s Youth Voices Collective in a series of special editions.
They feature yours truly and student questions about journalism. The first video is available right now. You can find it at CNN10.com and at
YouTube.com/CNN10. So you can call that our AT&Ts, our objective is to stay objective for the sake of objectivity TV.
I`m Carl Azuz. We`re going to the beach today. Gold Beach, it`s in Oregon and it`s where we heard from Gold Beach High School who left a comment on
our YouTube channel.
Thanks for watching CNN.