The First Presidential Debate: Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Full Transcript and Livestream
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.
WALLACE: 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 adviser 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.
WALLACE: 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 are you doing, man?
TRUMP: How are you doing (ph)?
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 an appointment and what you call an abuse of power.
My first question to both of you tonight, why are you right and make the argument you make, and your opponent wrong? And where do you think a Justice Barrett would take the court?
President Trump, on the 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 just — 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. If they had — 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 it 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: I — 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 a — 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 have 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 has 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 insurance — health insurance now, if it — if they — if it goes into court.
And — and the justice — and I have nothing — I’m not opposed to the justice, as she seems like a very fine person. But she’s written before she went into 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 be held — pay more money because she has a pre-existing condition, a pregnancy.
BIDEN: We’re able — they’re able to charge women more for the same exact procedure a man did — gets. And that ended when we, in fact, passed the Affordable Care Act. And there’s 100 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 Democrat or Republican, then he goes forward. If not, we should wait until February.
WALLACE: All right (ph).
TRUMP: There aren’t 100 million people with pre-existing condition. As far as say is concerned, the people already had their say. They — OK.
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 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 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. And 100 million people —
BIDEN: The election has already started —
TRUMP: Joe, the 100 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 simply going to socialist — you’re going to socialist —
WALLACE: We’re now into — gentlemen, we’re now into open discussion.
BIDEN: Open discussion.
WALLACE: Open discussion, yes, I agree.
Go ahead, Vice President Biden.
BIDEN: Number one, he knows that — 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 back 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 has said.
BIDEN: That is simply a lie.
TRUMP: Your party doesn’t say it. Your party wants to go socialist medicine.
BIDEN: My party is me.
TRUMP: And socialist health care.
BIDEN: 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. The platform of the Democratic Party —
TRUMP: Not according to Harris.
BIDEN: — 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 20 — the 200 million — the 200,000 people that have died on his watch, they’re — how many of those and — that have survived? Well, 7 million people have 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 health care 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 2 million people because you were very late on the draw.
BIDEN: Late on the draw.
TRUMP: You didn’t want me to ban China, which was heavily infected. You didn’t want me to ban Europe which was heavily infected.
WALLACE: All right, gentlemen —
TRUMP: You would have been much later, Joe. Much later.
WALLACE: Mr. President, Mr. President —
TRUMP: We’re talking about 2 million people.
BIDEN: You’re not going to —
WALLACE: Mr. President, as a 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, in the court, in the court. And so, that’s also at stake right now.
And so, the election is already begun.
TRUMP: You don’t know what’s on the ballot. Why is it on the ballot?
BIDEN: Because — because you’ve said —
TRUMP: 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. Well —
TRUMP: There’s nothing happening there.
BIDEN: Donald, would you just (inaudible) —
TRUMP: And you don’t know her view on Roe v. Wade. You don’t know her view.
BIDEN: I don’t know —
WALLACE: Well, all right, let’s — all right. Let’s talk — I would — we’ve got a lot to unpack here, gentlemen. We got a lot of time. So —
WALLACE: On health care, 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 attorneys general are seeking to overturn —
TRUMP: That’s right.
WALLACE: — Obamacare, to end Obamacare. You had spent the last —
TRUMP: Because they want to give good health care —
WALLACE: If I may ask that question, sir.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
BIDEN: Good health care.
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 —
TRUMP: Of course, I have.
WALLACE: — to replace Obamacare.
TRUMP: Of course, I have.
WALLACE: Well, I’ll give you an —
TRUMP: I got rid of the individual mandate.
WALLACE: — when I finish, I’m going to give you an opportunity —
TRUMP: Excuse me. I got rid of the individual mandate which was a big chunk of Obama —
WALLACE: That is not a comprehensive plan.
TRUMP: That is absolutely a big thing. That was the worst part of Obamacare.
WALLACE: I didn’t ask —
TRUMP: Chris, that was the worst part of Obama —
WALLACE: Sir, you’re debating him, not me. Let me ask my question —
TRUMP: Well, I’ll ask Joe.
WALLACE: No —
TRUMP: The individual mandate was the most unpopular aspect of Obamacare. I got rid of it. And we will protect people with preexisting condition.
WALLACE: I’m the moderator of this debate and I would like you to let me ask my question and then you can answer your —
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 health care plan?
TRUMP: All right. Well, first of all, I guess I’m debating you, not him. But that’s OK. I’m not surprise.
Let me just tell you something, that 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 has done it. So we are cutting health care…
WALLACE: What about pre-existing conditions?
TRUMP: All of the things that we’ve done…
TRUMP: I’ll give you an example, insulin. It’s going to — it was destroying families, destroying people, the cost. I am 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 they pay just a tiny fraction that we do.
WALLACE: As I say, this is open discussion. Let me ask you about…
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, and the argument that he makes and other Republicans make is that that is going to end private insurance and will…
BIDEN: It is not. Sorry.
WALLACE: If I can ask you the question. It will end…
TRUMP: Not what your party says, by the way.
WALLACE: It will end private insurance and create a government takeover of health care.
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 Medicare — excuse me, 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’s far left on the manifesto, we call it.
BIDEN: Manifesto? Look…
TRUMP: And that gives you socialized medicine.
BIDEN: Look, hey, 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. I’m here standing facing you, old buddy.
TRUMP: If “Pocahontas” would’ve left two days early, you would’ve lost every primary.
BIDEN: All he knows how to do is hurt…
TRUMP: On Super Tuesday, you got very lucky.
BIDEN: Look, here’s the deal. I got very lucky, I’m going to get very lucky tonight as well. And tonight I’m going to make sure because here’s the deal.
TRUMP: With what?
BIDEN: Here’s the deal. The fact is that everything he is saying so far is simply a lie. I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar.
BIDEN: I just want to make sure…
TRUMP: … 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. He has…
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…
BIDEN: Here’s the deal…
BIDEN: There is no manifesto, number one.
WALLACE: Please let him speak, Mr. President.
BIDEN: Number two…
TRUMP: You just lost the left.
BIDEN: Number two…
TRUMP: You just lost the left. You agreed with Bernie Sanders on a plan that’s absolutely…
TRUMP: … socialized medicine.
WALLACE: Mr. President…
BIDEN: I’ll tell you what, he is not for any help for people needing health care. Because his…
TRUMP: Who, Bernie?
BIDEN: Because he, in fact, already has cost 10 million people their health care that they had from their employers because of his recession, number one. Number two, there are 20 million people getting health care 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. Number three…
TRUMP: No, I want to give them better health care 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: I’ve already fixed it to an extent.
BIDEN: He has never done a single thing.
TRUMP: … as you might know, but probably don’t, Obamacare…
WALLACE: Gentlemen, you realize that you are 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 guarantee pre-existing conditions…
BIDEN: Not true.
TRUMP: … but took away the individual mandate. Listen, this is the way it is. And that destroyed — they shouldn’t even call it Obamacare. I had a choice to make, do I let my people run it really well or badly? If I run a badly they will probably blame him but they will blame me. But more importantly, I want to help people, OK?
I said, you’ve going to run it so well.
BIDEN: That’s what he’s known for.
TRUMP: 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…
WALLACE: I’ve got to…
TRUMP: … that it doesn’t work. So we do want to get rid of it.
TRUMP: Chris, we want to get rid of it and do something that’s cheaper and better.
WALLACE: I have to give you roughly equal time. Please let the vice president talk, sir.
BIDEN: He has no plan for health care.
TRUMP: Of course we do.
BIDEN: He sends…
BIDEN: He sends out wishful thinking. He has executive orders that have no power. He hasn’t lowered drug costs for anybody. He has been promising a health care 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. He’s…
WALLACE: All right. I have one final question for you, 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 called 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.
BIDEN: I’m saying…
WALLACE: 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 the position I take on that, that will become the issue. The issue is the American people should speak. You should go out and vote. You’re in voting now. Vote and let your senators know how strongly you feel. Vote now. Make sure you in fact let people know.
TRUMP: He doesn’t want to answer the question.
BIDEN: I’m not going to answer that question because…
TRUMP: Why wouldn’t you answer that question?
BIDEN: The question is…
TRUMP: The radical left…
BIDEN: Would you shut up, man?
TRUMP: Who is on your list, Joe? Who’s on your list?
BIDEN: this is so unpresidential.
TRUMP: He’s not going to give a list.
WALLACE: We have ended this segment; we are going to go onto the second segment.
TRUMP: That was really a productive segment, wasn’t it?
BIDEN: Keep yapping, man.
TRUMP: The people understand, Joe. Forty-seven 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 7 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 it to you first, sir. Two minutes, uninterrupted.
BIDEN: Good luck. Two hundred thousand dead. As you said, more than 7 million infected in the United States. We in fact have 5 percent — we’re 4 percent of the world’s population — 20 percent of the deaths. Forty thousand people a day or 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 about it because he didn’t want to panic and 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 — the — 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. 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, just a minute.
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, it cost a lot of money. You should get out of your bunker and out of the sand trap and 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 would have listened to you…
WALLACE: Wait, you have 2 minutes, sir.
TRUMP: If we would’ve listened to you, the country would’ve been left wide open, millions of people would’ve died, not 200,000. And one person is too much. It’s China’s fault. It should’ve never happened. They stopped it from (ph) 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 straight counts, 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…
BIDEN: That’s unrelated to your…
TRUMP: …should have closed our country.
WALLACE: (Inaudible) it’s his two minutes.
TRUMP: 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, “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.
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 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 tell you 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 have never done that job.
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.
TRUMP: H1N1, you were a disaster. Your own chief of staff said…
BIDEN: Fourteen thousand…
TRUMP: … you were a disaster.
BIDEN: Fourteen thousand people died, not 200,000. There was no economic recession.
WALLACE: Let — sir, you…
TRUMP: Far less…
WALLACE: You made a point. Let him answer it.
BIDEN: And there was no one — there was no — we didn’t shut down the economy. This is his economy that’s being — 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: You would have lost far more people.
BIDEN: How many people…
TRUMP: Far more people.
BIDEN: That is…
TRUMP: And you would have been months late.
BIDEN: And — and by the way…
BIDEN: … your own — his own — 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 held it up 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 we — I don’t trust him at all, nor do you. I know you don’t. What we trust is a scientist. We trust Dr. Fauci.
TRUMP: You don’t trust Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer?
BIDEN: We — and, by the way…
WALLACE: Gentlemen — gentlemen, let me move on to questions about the future, because you both have touched on one of the — 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 government’s 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.
WALLACE: 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 then 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. We have great — Moderna, Johnson and 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’d call them left, or…
WALLACE: So you’re suggesting that the head of your Operation Warp Speed, Dr. Slaoui…
TRUMP: I disagree with him. Yeah. 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: 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 when…
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…
BIDEN: This is the same man…
TRUMP: It’s all set up.
BIDEN: … who told you, by Easter, this would be gone away, by the warm weather, it would 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.
BIDEN: That was…
TRUMP: That was said sarcastically.
BIDEN: And so here’s the deal. This man is talking about a vaccine. Every serious — 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 or the middle of next year to get it out, if we get the vaccine, and 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 the 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…
WALLACE: … Senator Harris is saying you can’t trust the scientists.
BIDEN: No, no, you can trust the scientists. She didn’t say that. You can trust the scientists.
WALLACE: She said that public health experts —
TRUMP: She did say that.
WALLACE: — quote, will be muzzled, will be suppressed.
BIDEN: Yes, well, that’s what he’s going to try to do. But there’s millions of scientists — 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. That’s not — they’re the people — they’re — and by the way —
TRUMP: We spoke to the scientists that are in charge.
BIDEN: And by the way — and —
TRUMP: They will have the vaccine very soon.
WALLACE: Just 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 —
TRUMP: So —
WALLACE: Mr. President?
TRUMP: Did you use the word smart? So 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 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 man.
TRUMP: Because you know what, there’s nothing smart about you, Joe. Forty-seven years, you’ve done nothing.
BIDEN: Well, let’s to —
TRUMP: And if you would have had — 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 —
BIDEN: You see, he’s —
WALLACE: We’re going after the economy in the next segment, sir.
TRUMP: It’s going up fast —
TRUMP: — look forward to —
WALLACE: 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 how — 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 —
TRUMP: Tell that to Nancy Pelosi.
BIDEN: Will he just shush for a minute?
TRUMP: Tell it to Nancy Pelosi and Schumer —
BIDEN: And by the way —
TRUMP: — crying Chuck.
BIDEN: Nancy Pelosi and Schumer, they have a plan. He won’t even meet with them. The Republicans won’t meet with him in the Senate —
WALLACE: OK —
BIDEN: And he — and he sits — he sits in his golf course, and I mean literally, think about it —
TRUMP: You probably play more than I do, Joe.
BIDEN: Think about it.
WALLACE: What about this question about reopening and the fact —
TRUMP: Well, he wants to shut down this country and I want to keep it open —
TRUMP: And we did a great thing by shutting it down —
BIDEN: He just admitted he shut it down —
WALLACE: Let — let him finish, sir.
TRUMP: Wait a minute, Joe. Let me shut you down for a second, Joe, just for one second. We want to — 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 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: I want to move onto another subject —
TRUMP: — because it’s a political thing.
WALLACE: I want to move onto another subject —
BIDEN: I’ve got to respond to that.
TRUMP: But those states —
WALLACE: I want to move —
TRUMP: Those states are not doing well that are shut down.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, I want to move onto another subject —
BIDEN: I’ve got to respond to that.
WALLACE: — which is masks.
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 — of waiters touching their masks and touching plates. Are you questioning the efficacy of masks?
TRUMP: No, I think that masks are OK. You have to understand, if you look — I mean, I have a mask right here. I put a mask on, you know, 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 —
BIDEN: Just like your rallies.
TRUMP: — I wear masks when needed. When needed, I wear masks.
WALLACE: OK, let me ask —
TRUMP: I don’t have — I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.
I will say —
WALLACE: Vice President —
TRUMP: — I look (ph) at like this (ph) —
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 provide money that Congress —
WALLACE: But I was asking you, sir, about masks.
BIDEN: Well, masks — masks make a big difference. His own head of the CDC said if we just wore a mask between now — if they’re — 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 the opposite.
BIDEN: And no — no serious person said the opposite. No serious person —
TRUMP: So we’ll look at — look at Dr. Fauci — Dr. Fauci said the opposite —
BIDEN: He did not say the opposite.
WALLACE: I want to ask you —
TRUMP: He said very strongly —
WALLACE: — we’ve got a little bit longer than a minute left in this segment.
TRUMP: — masks are not good. Then, he changed his mind. He said masks are good —
WALLACE: I want to ask —
TRUMP: I’m OK 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 the 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 are 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 you not worried about it spreading disease?
TRUMP: — I’ve done a great job as a president and I’ll have 25,000, 35,000 people show up at airports. We use airports and hangars.
WALLACE: Are you not worried about the disease issue, sir?
TRUMP: We have a lot of people — 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. I mean, every — and literally in 24 hours notice, and Joe does the circles and has three people some place.
BIDEN: By the way, did you — did you –
WALLACE: Got you.
BIDEN: _- see one of the last big rallies he had and 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 — I’m way far away from those other people. That’s what he said. I can’t. I’m going to be OK. He’s not worried about you. He’s not worried about the people out there breathing on one another, cheek to jowl.
TRUMP: We’ve had no negative effect.
BIDEN: No negative effect. Come on.
TRUMP: We’ve had no negative effect, and we’ve had —
WALLACE: Well —
TRUMP: — 35,000, 40,000 people at these rallies.
WALLACE: — you want to just quickly finish up –
WALLACE: — because I want to move on to our next question?
BIDEN: Yes, I would. He’s been totally irresponsible the way in which he has handled the social distancing and people wearing masks, basically encouraging them not to.
WALLACE: All right.
BIDEN: He’s been — 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 onto 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 percent 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. And again, two million people would be dead now instead of — still 204,000 people is too much. One person is too much. It 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 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.
You know, 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 — we’re going to up on November 9. Why November 9? 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. When you look at North Carolina, when you look — and these governors are under siege — Pennsylvania, Michigan, and a couple of others, you’ve 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 — 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, and other billionaires have raised — have made another $300 billion because of his profligate tax proposal and he only focuses 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 —
BIDEN: — a total of $750 in taxes.
TRUMP: That’s wrong.
WALLACE: Sir, sir, no. Wait, no. Sir it’s his turn –
BIDEN: The economy —
TRUMP: It’s just (ph) a wrong statement.
WALLACE: Yes, 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. First one in American history.
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 have 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 — and 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 does 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.
Schools, why are schools open, because it cost a lot money to open them safely. You know they were going to give — his administration were going to give the teachers in 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: Well, I have to respond to that.
WALLACE: Well, you both had two minutes, sir.
TRUMP: Excuse me, he made a statement.
WALLACE: So did you.
TRUMP: People want their schools — no. People want their schools open. They don’t want to be shutdown. They don’t want their states shutdown. 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 in 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 fan football. It was me and I’m very happy to do it and the people of Ohio are very proud of me and …
WALLACE: We’re going to get back with the gentleman — 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 pay $750 in Federal income taxes each of those two years.
TRUMP: I’ve 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 …
BIDEN: Show us your tax returns.
TRUMP: … I paid — I paid $38 million one year. I paid $27 million one year.
BIDEN: Show us your tax returns.
TRUMP: I went — 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 underleveraged because the assets are extremely good and we have a very — we have — 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 — I understand all of that …
TRUMP: But let me …
WALLACE: No, Mr. President …
TRUMP: Go ahead.
WALLACE: … 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?
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 — Chris, let me just you 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 build a building and we get tax credits like the hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, you get a massive …
TRUMP: …. 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 …
WALLACE: No, no, let — Vice President Biden, you want to respond?
BIDEN: Yes, I do want to respond. Look, the tax code that made him — put him in a position that he pays less tax than a school teacher makes — on the money a school teacher makes is because of him taking — 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 we’re going to — I’m going to eliminate those tax cuts.
TRUMP: That’s OK (ph).
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 over 20 — 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 screwing things up.
TRUMP: No, no, no. You were a senator and by the way you were …
BIDEN: You’re the worst president America has ever had. Come on.
TRUMP: Hey — hey, Joe, let me — let me just say, Joe, I’ve done more in — 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 (ph).
WALLACE: OK, gentlemen —
TRUMP: Including fixing the broken military that you gave me, including taking care of your (ph) vets.
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 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 proposed more than $4 trillion over a decade on new taxes on individuals making more than $400,000 a year 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. It points out that my — 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. That we have to — we’re going to make this — the federal government spent $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 in America.
WALLACE: Respectfully, sir, I’m talking about taxes, not spending.
BIDEN: By the way, I’m going to eliminate a significant number of the tax — I’m going to make the corporate tax 28 percent. It shouldn’t be 21 percent.
You have 19 — 91 companies, federal — I mean, in 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 — because you, in fact, passed that. That was your tax proposal.
TRUMP: That’s right. I got it — 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 (ph) —
BIDEN: The economy — let me finish.
WALLACE: Mr. President, let me — Mr. President, let me pick up on that. You would continue your free market approach, lower taxes, more deregulation, correct?
BIDEN: Not lower taxes for the American people.
WALLACE: Let me —
TRUMP: Excuse me —
WALLACE: But in Obama’s — 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 recovery since 19 — economic recovery, since 1929. It was the slowest recovery.
Also, they took over something that was down here. All you had to do was turn on the lights and you pick up a lot, but they had the slowest economic recovery since 1929.
Let me tell you about the stock market. When the stock market goes up, that means jobs. It also means 401(k)s.
If you got in, if you ever became president with your ideas, you want to terminate my tax — my taxes, I’ll tell you what, you’ll lose — half of the companies that are poured in here will leave, and plenty of the companies —
BIDEN: Half of the companies —
TRUMP: — that are already here, they’ll leave for other places.
BIDEN: Hardly any companies have —
TRUMP: They will leave and you will have a depression, the likes of which you’ve never seen.
BIDEN: Look —
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. He blew it.
TRUMP: It wasn’t booming. It was — it was the weakest recovery —
WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait. Is it fair to — is it to fair to say he blew it when, in fact —
TRUMP: When COVID came in.
BIDEN: No —
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, number one.
TRUMP: Excuse me, because wait —
BIDEN: Number two.
TRUMP: Chris —
BIDEN: Number three —
TRUMP: — they said it would take — no, you’re in number two.
TRUMP: Chris, Chris, they said it would take a —
BIDEN: This guy is —
TRUMP: — miracle to bring back manufacturing. I brought back 700,000 jobs. They brought back nothing. They gave up on manufacturing. Part of my standard fare He totally gave up on manufacturing.
BIDEN: I’m the guy who brought back the automobile industry.
WALLACE: All right. Let him in.
BIDEN: We brought — 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 —
TRUMP: — went to Michigan and went to Ohio.
BIDEN: No, they’re not having the —
TRUMP: And they didn’t come in with you.
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. You know, he talks about the art of the deal. China has made — perfected the art of the steal. We have a higher deficit with China now than we did before. We have a highest deficit — trade deficit with Mexico.
TRUMP: China ate your lunch, down 18 (ph) percent —
WALLACE: All right, gentlemen —
TRUMP: And China ate your lunch, Joe, and no wonder, your son goes in and he takes out — what — he takes out billions of dollars.
TRUMP: Takes out billions of dollars to manage. He makes millions of dollars.
And also, while we’re at it —
BIDEN: It’s simply not true.
TRUMP: — why is it, just out of curiosity, the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave your son $3.5 millions.
BIDEN: That’s not true.
TRUMP: What did he do to deserve it? What did he do with Burisma to deserve $183,000 a month.
BIDEN: None of that is true. None of that is true.
WALLACE: Let him answer. If not…
BIDEN: None of that is true.
TRUMP: Oh, really?
WALLACE: Mr. President, please.
BIDEN: Totally discredited. Totally discredited. And by the way…
TRUMP: He didn’t get $3.5 million, Joe? He got $3.5 million.
WALLACE: Mr. President…
BIDEN: That is not true.
TRUMP: Really? Oh.
WALLACE: Mr. President, it’s an open discussion, please. You’ve…
TRUMP: It’s a fact.
WALLACE: Well, you have raised an issue, let the vice president answer.
BIDEN: Totally discredited.
TRUMP: Did Burisma pay him $183,000 a month with no experience in energy?
WALLACE: Mr. President…
BIDEN: My son did nothing wrong at Burisma.
TRUMP: I think he did.
WALLACE: Mr. President, let him answer.
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, the media?
BIDEN: By everybody. And Ukraine. By everybody. Well, by the media, by our allies, by the World Bank, by everyone, has discredited. As a matter fact, matter of fact, even the people who testified…
WALLACE: Mr. President, please stop.
BIDEN: … under oath, under oath.
WALLACE: Go ahead, I’m listening to you.
BIDEN: He testified under oath, and his administration said, I did my job and I did it very well. I did it honorably.
TRUMP: I’d like to know who they are.
BIDEN: Every — well, I’ll give you the list of the people who have testified.
WALLACE: Go ahead, sir.
BIDEN: You’ve already fired most of them because they did a good job.
TRUMP: Some people don’t do a good job.
WALLACE: Wait a minute, you get the final word, Mr. Vice President.
BIDEN: Well, it’s hard to get any word in with this clown. Excuse me, this person.
TRUMP: Hey, let me just say…
WALLACE: No, no, no! Mr. President…
BIDEN: That is simply not true.
TRUMP: Why did he deserve $3.5 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 is already…
TRUMP: My family…
TRUMP: My family 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. He doesn’t…
TRUMP: … $3.5 million he does nothing.
BIDEN: That’s not true. He doesn’t want to talk about what you need. You, the American people. It’s about you. That’s what we are talking about here. It’s not about him.
WALLACE: All right. That’s the end of the segment, we are moving on.
BIDEN: He didn’t take that.
TRUMP: Can I be honest? It’s a very important question.
BIDEN: Try to be honest, it’s a good thing.
WALLACE: No, the answer to the question is no.
WALLACE: No, I — sir, sir.
TRUMP: With a billion dollars if you don’t get rid of the…
BIDEN: That is absolutely not true.
WALLACE: Gentlemen! I hate to raise my voice…
TRUMP: He’s on tape…
WALLACE: Why shouldn’t 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 are each going to have two uninterrupted moment. 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 say something else, go ahead.
But I think that the country would be better served if we allowed both people to speak with fewer interruptions. I am 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, yes, sure.
WALLACE: President Trump, you have often said that you believe you have done more for Black Americans than any president with a possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. 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 equity for everyone, equality for the whole of America. But we 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 looked like coming out of the fields carrying torches, their veins bulging, just spewing antisemitic 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 has ever said anything like that.
BIDEN: Now, 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 you 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 wanted 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 1,000 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 has done virtually nothing. Look, the fact is you have to look at what he 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 2 minutes. Why should Americans trust you over your opponent to deal with racism?
TRUMP: You did a crime bill, 1994, when you call them super predators, African-Americans, super predators, and they’ve never forgotten it. They’ve never forgotten it, Joe.
BIDEN: I never sir…
WALLACE: No, sir; it’s his two minutes.
TRUMP: So you did that and they called you a 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 — 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 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 everybody.
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 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 every 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 ten 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 the point where you don’t want to say anything about law and order. I 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’m going to return to the question of race. Vice President Biden, after the grand jury and the Breonna Taylor case decided not to charge any of the police with homicide, you said it raises the question, quote “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 is a systemic injustice in this country; in education, and work and — and — 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.
The 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 — together an entire group of people at the White House, everything from the civil rights groups to the police officers, 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 and when these things happen. These cops aren’t happy to see what happened to– to — 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. And by the way, violence and response is never appropriate. Never appropriate. Peaceful protest is. Violence is never appropriate.
TRUMP: What is peaceful protest? When they run through the middle of the town…
WALLACE: President Trump?
TRUMP: …and burn down your stores…
WALLACE: President Trump, I…
TRUMP: …and kill people all over the place?
BIDEN: That is not peaceful protest…
WALLACE: President Trump, I’m not asking…
TRUMP: But you say it is.
WALLACE: President Trump, I’d like to continue to the issue of race and I promise we will get to the issue of law and order in a moment.
TRUMP: Please. All right.
WALLACE: This month, your administration directed federal agencies to end racial sensitivity training that addresses white privilege or critical race theory.
WALLACE: 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.
WALLACE: What is radical…
TRUMP: And he would know…
TRUMP: … totally racist.
WALLACE: What is radical about racial sensitivity training, sir?
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. 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…
BIDEN: No one…
TRUMP: … not going to allow that to happen.
WALLACE: Vice President Biden?
BIDEN: Nobody’s doing that. He’s just — he’s the racist.
TRUMP: Oh, you — you just don’t…
BIDEN: Here’s the deal.
TRUMP: … know.
BIDEN: I know a lot more about this than you.
TRUMP: You don’t know this.
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, what — what insults them, what is demeaning to them. It’s important that people know. They don’t want to — many people don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. But it’s — it makes a big difference. It makes a gigantic difference in the way a child is able to grow up and have a sense of self-esteem.
It’s a little bit like how this guy and his friends looked down on so many people. They looked down their nose on people like Irish Catholics like me who grew up in Scranton. They looked down on people who don’t have money. They looked down on people who are of a different faith. They looked down on people who are a different color. In fact, we’re all Americans. The only way we’re going to 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 Ferguson. You look at — you go to very — many places. Look at Oakland. Look what happened in Oakland. Look what happened in Baltimore. Look what happened — 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 the cities…
BIDEN: … absolutely ridiculous.
TRUMP: … don’t want to talk, like you, about law and order.
BIDEN: Violent crime — violent crime…
TRUMP: And you still haven’t mentioned — are you in favor of law and order?
BIDEN: I am in favor of law, you following it, and…
TRUMP: Are you in favor of law and order…
WALLACE: You asked a question. Let him finish.
BIDEN: Law and order…
WALLACE: Let him…
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.
WALLACE: All right.
BIDEN: It’s gone up on his watch.
TRUMP: It went down much more in ours.
BIDEN: He had — he…
BIDEN: … the United States of America.
WALLACE: Mr. President…
TRUMP: … every record in the book.
WALLACE: Mr. President, you’re going to be very happy because…
TRUMP: Excuse me…
WALLACE: … 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.
WALLACE: 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 53 people were shot and eight died — shot; if you look at New York, where it’s going up like nobody has ever seen anything. The numbers are going up 100 percent, 150 percent, 200 percent, crime.
BIDEN: Republican cities…
TRUMP: It is crazy what’s going on. 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: No way.
TRUMP: Our suburbs would be gone.
TRUMP: Our suburbs would be gone. And you would see problems like you’ve never seen.
BIDEN: He wouldn’t know a suburb unless he took a wrong turn.
TRUMP: Oh, I know suburbs.
BIDEN: He would not — I was raised…
WALLACE: Go ahead — 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 are as many people today driving their kids to soccer practice and/or to — black and white and Hispanic in the same car as there have been at 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 reimagining policing mean? And do you support —
BIDEN: It means —
WALLACE: Let me, if I might finish the question. What does reimagining policing mean and do you support the Black Lives Matter call for 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 — I’m totally opposed to defunding the police offices. As a matter of fact, police — the 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 911 call, to have someone with them as a psychologist or a 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 —
TRUMP: That’s not what they’re talking about, Chris. That’s not what —
BIDEN: That’s what — that’s exactly —
TRUMP: He’s talking about defunding the police.
BIDEN: That — that is not true.
TRUMP: He doesn’t have any law support —
BIDEN: Would (ph) you — look —
TRUMP: He has no law enforcement support, almost nothing.
BIDEN: That’s not — look —
TRUMP: Oh really? Why do you have? Name one group that supports you. Name one group that came out and supported you.
BIDEN: Look —
TRUMP: Go ahead —
BIDEN: Look —
TRUMP: — think. We have time.
BIDEN: We don’t have time to do anything except —
TRUMP: No, no, think about it.
WALLACE: All right —
BIDEN: All right, folks —
TRUMP: Name one law enforcement group —
BIDEN: Folks —
TRUMP: — that came out and supported you, Joe.
WALLACE: I think — I think — gentlemen, I think I’m going to — I’m going to take back the moderator’s role —
TRUMP: There aren’t — I don’t think there are any.
WALLACE: — and I want — 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 more than 100 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 night now — have you ever called the Democratic mayor of Portland or the Democratic governor of Oregon and said, hey, you’ve got to 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 not about (ph) that —
WALLACE: — the leader — excuse me, sir. You have never called for the leaders in Portland and in Oregon to call and bring in the National Guard and knock off 100 days of riots?
BIDEN: Because they can, in fact, take care of it if he’d just stay out of the way —
TRUMP: Oh — oh really?
BIDEN: Look, here —
TRUMP: Oh really?
BIDEN: Here’s the thing —
WALLACE: Well, sir — but I asked him a question —
TRUMP: I sent in the U.S. Marshals to get the killer of the young man in the middle of the street. They shot him. And for three days —
WALLACE: President Trump —
TRUMP: — Portland wouldn’t do anything.
WALLACE: — I have to interrupt — President Trump —
TRUMP: I had to send in the U.S. Marshals, they took care of business.
WALLACE: Go ahead, sir.
BIDEN: And — and by the way, his 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.
TRUMP: Who? Who?
BIDEN: I think Kellyanne Conway.
TRUMP: I don’t think she said that.
BIDEN: She said that.
TRUMP: I don’t —
BIDEN: And so here’s the —
WALLACE: All right.
BIDEN: Well, here’s the point.
WALLACE: Go ahead, sir.
BIDEN: The point is that’s why just keeps 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 every single solitary time —
WALLACE: OK. And — and to end this — button up this segment, I’m going to give you a minute to answer, sir. You have repeatedly criticized —
TRUMP: Well, wait a minute. I have to answer his statement — his statement —
WALLACE: You have repeatedly —
TRUMP: Wait, just one second.
WALLACE: You have — no, you’ve been talking back and forth.
TRUMP: He made a statement.
WALLACE: I’m asking you —
TRUMP: I would love to end it.
WALLACE: You know, sir — you know, if you want to switch seats we could —
TRUMP: We could very quickly —
WALLACE: — we could do that. But I’m —
TRUMP: Send in the National Guard, it would be over. There’d be no problem.
WALLACE: OK, good.
TRUMP: 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 —
TRUMP: That’s right.
WALLACE: But are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups —
WALLACE: — 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 but —
WALLACE: Are you prepared to specifically —
BIDEN: Then do it.
WALLACE: Well, go ahead, sir.
TRUMP: I would say — 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 —
TRUMP: If you look —
WALLACE: What are you saying?
TRUMP: I’m — I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.
WALLACE: Well, then do it, sir.
BIDEN: Say it. Do it. Say it.
TRUMP: Do you want to call them — what do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name, go ahead.
WALLACE: White supremacists and —
BIDEN: White supremacists —
TRUMP: Well, who would like me condemn?
WALLACE: White supremacists (ph) and right (ph) —
WALLACE: — militia.
TRUMP: Proud Boys, stand by 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.
BIDEN: His own —
TRUMP: This is a left wing —
BIDEN: His own – his own FBI Director said (inaudible) –
TRUMP: — a left-wing – this is a left-wing problem.
BIDEN: — threat (inaudible) White Supremacist.
WALLACE: Go ahead. Go ahead, sir.
BIDEN: ANTIFA’S an idea, not an organization.
TRUMP: Oh, you got to be kidding me.
BIDEN: Not malicious.
TRUMP: Oh really?
BIDEN: That’s what his FBI –
BIDEN: — his FBI Director said.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, we’re going to –
TRUMP: Well then, you know what? He’s wrong.
WALLACE: No, no. We’re done. We’re done, sir. We’re moving on to the next – we’re moving –
BIDEN: Everybody (inaudible) advice in your administration –
TRUMP: When a bat hits you over the head (ph), that’s not an idea. ANTIFA is bad.
BIDEN: Everybody in your administration tells you the truth is a bad idea.
TRUMP: Can I tell you what?
BIDEN: You have no ideas that are –
TRUMP: ANTIFA is a dangerous, radical group.
WALLACE: All right, gentlemen, we’re not moving onto the Trump and Biden records.
TRUMP: — and you ought to be careful with them. They’ll overthrow you in a few seconds (ph).
WALLACE: When a president – 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 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 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. 308,000 people died because they didn’t have proper healthcare. It was a mess.
BIDEN: So wrong (ph).
TRUMP: And we now got a 91 percent 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 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 thank you because it gives us almost – it’ll probably be above that number. By the end of this term –
WALLACE: Time, sir.
TRUMP: — 300 judges. It’s a record.
WALLACE: Looking at both your records, why should voters elect you president as opposed to president Trump?
BIDEN: Under this president –
WALLACE: You have two minutes uninterrupted.
BIDEN: Under this president, we’ve 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 a 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 Putin about the bounty on the heads of American soldiers.
TRUMP: Your son got $3.5 million.
WALLACE: No, no, no.
BIDEN: (inaudible) OK, and by the way, my son –
WALLACE: Mr. President. No, wait a minute. Mr. President, your campaign agreed to both side would get two-minute answers uninterrupted. Well, your side agreed to it, and why don’t you observe what your campaign agreed to as a ground rule. OK, sir?
BIDEN: He never keeps his word. You can add back –
WALLACE: No, no, no. I’m not asking.
TRUMP: (inaudible). That’s all.
WALLACE: That was a rhetorical question. Go ahead, sir.
BIDEN: Can you add back 30 seconds?
WALLACE: Yes, yes. You may have –
BIDEN: All right.
WALLACE: Go ahead.
BIDEN: So thirdly, we’re poorer. The billionaires have gotten much more wealthy by a tune of over $300 billion to $400 billion more just since COVID. You in the home, you got less. You’re in more trouble that you were before. In terms of being more violent, when we were in office there were 15 percent 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 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 just being suckers, my son was in Iraq. He spent a year there. He got the – 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.
TRUMP: Oh really. Really?
BIDEN: And I resent like hell …
TRUMP: Are you talking about Hunter?
BIDEN: I’m talking of my son Bo Biden, you’re talking about …
TRUMP: I don’t know — I don’t know Bo, I know Hunter. Hunter got thrown — Hunter got thrown out of the military. He was thrown out, dishonorably discharged for cocaine use.
BIDEN: That’s not true, he wasn’t dishonorably …
TRUMP: And he didn’t have a job until you became vice president. And 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 …
WALLACE: Gentlemen …
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 over taken 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: By why was he given tens of millions of dollars.
BIDEN: But he wasn’t given tens of millions of — that is totally …
TRUMP: He was given tens of millions of dollars.
BIDEN: That is totally — that’s a totally …
WALLACE: President Trump, you’ve already — but we’ve already — we’ve already …
BIDEN: … totally discredited.
WALLACE: We’ve — we’ve already been through this. I think the American people would rather here about more substantial subjects.
TRUMP: So do I.
WALLACE: Well, you know, as the moderator, sir, I’m going to make a judgment call here …
TRUMP: I know but when somebody gets $3.5 million from the mayor of Moscow, I think it’s a terrible thing.
WALLACE: OK. Right. Let’s talk about — let’s about …
BIDEN: That is not true. That report is totally discredited.
TRUMP: Why did he get it?
WALLACE: I — I — I think …
BIDEN: Mitt Romney on that committee said it wasn’t worth tax payers’ money. That report is written for political reason.
WALLACE: You know, I’d like to talk about climate change.
BIDEN: So would I.
WALLACE: OK. 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 blame the fires on climate change, Mr. President, you said I don’t think the science knows.
Over your four years you have pulled the U.S. 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 stand point. 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 leaves and everything else.
You drop a cigarette in there, the whole forest burns down. You’ve got to have forest management, you’ve got to have cuts …
WALLACE: What do you believe — 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: Do you believe that — that human pollution — gas — greenhouse gas emissions contributes to the global warming of the 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 forest. Every year I get the call California is burning. California is burning. If that was cleaned — if that were — if you have forest management, good forest management, you wouldn’t be getting those calls.
You know in Europe they live — they have forest cities — they’re called forest cities. They maintain their forest, they manage their forest. I was with the head of major country. It’s a forest city.
He said, sir, we have trees that are far more — they — 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, you know, at some point you can’t every year have hundreds of thousands of acres of land just burn to the ground. 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 form 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 …
WALLACE: But in the case of California, they’ve simply ignored …
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 care has gotten so expensive because they have computers all over the place for an extra little bit of gasoline.
TRUMP: And by the — and — and — and I’m OK 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, I’d like to respond to the president’s climate change record. But I also want to ask you about a concern. You proposed $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 — when our — during our administration, the 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 coal and gas and oil. Nobody is going to build another coal fired plant in America. No one is 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 their electric vehicles. Making sure that we can do that, we’re going to put 500,000 charging stations in all of the highways that we’re going to be building in the future.
We’re going to build an economy that, in fact, is going to provide for the ability, us (ph), to take 4 million buildings and make sure that they, in fact, are weatherized in a way that, in fact, they’ll — they’ll emit significantly less gas and oil because the heat will not be going out.
There are 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 rainforest in 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 countries of the world coming up with $20 billion and say, here’s $20 billion, stop — stop tearing down the forest. And if you don’t, then you’re going to have significant economic consequences or consequence (ph).
WALLACE: What about — what about the argument that President Trump basically says that you have to balance environmental interest and economic interest and he’s drawn his line?
BIDEN: Well, he hasn’t drawn a line. He still, for example, makes sure that we — he wants to make sure that methane is not a problem. We can — you can now emit more methane without it being a problem. Methane.
TRUMP: Not true.
BIDEN: This is a guy who says that you don’t have to have mileage standards for automobiles that exist now. This is a guy who says that —
TRUMP: Not true, not true.
BIDEN: It’s all true. And here’s the deal —
TRUMP: You’re talking about the Green New Deal. And it’s not $2 billion, or $20 billion as you said.
BIDEN: I’m —
TRUMP: It’s $100 trillion.
BIDEN: I’m talking about the climate —
TRUMP: Where they want to rip down buildings —
WALLACE: Go for a minute and then we can go.
TRUMP: — and rebuild the buildings.
BIDEN: No, that is not —
TRUMP: It’s the dumbest, most ridiculous —
BIDEN: — that is not —
TRUMP: — where airplanes are out of business.
BIDEN: That’s (ph)–
TRUMP: 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 a — this is a $100 trillion. That’s more money than our country could make in 100 years if we’re going to —
BIDEN: That’s simply not the case. It’s not the —
WALLACE: All right. Let me — let me —
TRUMP: It will destroy our country.
WALLACE: Because I actually — wait a minute, sir. I actually have studied your plan. And it includes upgrading 4 million buildings.
WALLACE: 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: A hundred trillions dollars.
WALLACE: Let him finish, sir.
BIDEN: He doesn’t know how to do that. They —
TRUMP: A hundred 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 — to deal with — by the way, he has an answer for hurricanes. He said maybe we should drop a nuclear weapon on them. They may (ph) —
TRUMP: I never said that at all.
BIDEN: Actually, you did say it.
TRUMP: You made it up.
BIDEN: And here’s the deal.
TRUMP: You make up a lot of things.
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 spent billions of dollars now, billions of dollars on floods, hurricanes, rising seas. We’re in real trouble.
Look at what has happened just in the Midwest with these storms that come through and wipe out entire sections and counties in Iowa. That didn’t happen before. They are because of global warming. We make up 15 percent of the world’s problem. We, in fact — but the rest of the world, we’ve got to get them to come along. That is why we’ve got to get back into, back into the Paris Accord.
WALLACE: All right, gentlemen, we…
TRUMP: Wait a minute, Chris, so why didn’t he do it for 47 years? You were vice president, 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 $100 trillion…
BIDEN: That is not my plan. The Green New Deal is not my plan.
TRUMP: Well, you want to rebuild every building.
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.
WALLACE: Mr. Vice President…
TRUMP: He called the military stupid bastards.
BIDEN: I did not say that.
WALLACE: Mr. Vice President…
TRUMP: He said, stupid bastards.
TRUMP: I would never say that to the military.
BIDEN: Play it.
WALLACE: Go ahead, Mr. Vice President, answer his final question.
BIDEN: The final question is, I can’t remember which in all his ranting.
WALLACE: I’m having a little trouble myself. But — and about the economy and about this question of what it’s going to cost?
BIDEN: The economy…
WALLACE: I mean, the Green New Deal and the idea of what your environmental change will do.
BIDEN: The Green New Deal will pay for itself as we move forward. We are not going to build plants that, in fact, are great polluting plants. We’re going to build…
WALLACE: Do you support the Green New Deal?
BIDEN: Pardon me?
WALLACE: Do you support the Green New Deal?
BIDEN: No, I don’t support the Green New Deal.
TRUMP: Oh, you don’t? Oh, that is a big statement.
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: I’m prepared 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 are going to vote. 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 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 are 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 that polls stay open until the votes are counted. And this is all about trying to dissuade people from voting because he’s trying 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 are all counted, that will be accepted. If I win, that will be accepted. If I lose, that will 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 come it’s going to be all over. He’s going to 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 going to 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 them. We’ve caught them all. We’ve got it all on tape. We’ve caught them all. And, by the way, you gave the idea for the Logan Act against General Flynn. You had better take a look at that because we caught you, in a sense, and President Obama was sitting in the office. He knew 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, 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 is 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 wastepaper basket. They’re being sent all over the place. They sent a two and a Democrat area, they sent out 1,000 ballots. Everybody got two ballots. This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen.
The other thing, it’s a nice a nice come on November 3rd, you’re watching and you see who won the election and I think we are 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 are not losing 2 percent, 1 percent, which by the way is too much. An election can be won or lost by that. They are losing 30 percent, 40 percent. It’s a fraud and it’s a shame. And can you imagine, they say you have to have your ballot in by November 10th. November 10th. That means that’s seven days after the election. In theory, should have been announced
WALLACE: OK, sir…
TRUMP: We have major states with that, all run by Democrats.
WALLACE: Two minutes is two minutes.
TRUMP: All run by Democrats…
WALLACE : President Trump, you’re going to be able to continue. You have been charging for months that mail-in voting is going to be a disaster. You say it’s rigged. You said 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 either 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 disputes?
TRUMP: I think I’m counting at 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 percent of the ballots for 2016 were invalidated. They take them. We don’t like them, we don’t like them.
WALLACE: What are you going to do about it? There are millions of ballots going out right now.
TRUMP: What you do is you go and vote. You do a solicited ballot and that’s OK…
WALLACE: No, no. I’m not talking…
TRUMP: Or you go and vote.
WALLACE: Now, I’m asking you about the fact that millions of people…
TRUMP: You go and vote. You go and vote like they used it when the old days…
WALLACE: But what I’m saying is, what do you do about the fact that millions of people…
TRUMP: You either do, Chris, a solicited ballot where you’re sending it in, sending it back and they are saying — they have mailmen with lots — did you see what’s going on? Take a look at West Virginia, mailmen selling the ballots. They are being sold. They are 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.
WALLACE: Vice President Biden…
BIDEN: Five states have had mail-in ballots for the last decade or more, five including two Republican states. 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 it has to be postmarked 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.
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 where they missed the deadline. So the question I have come are you concerned that the Supreme Court, with a Justice Barrett, will settle any dispute?
BIDEN: I’m concerned that any court will settle this because here’s the deal, when you — 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 come if, in fact, you can verify that’s you before the ballot is thrown out, that’s sufficient to be able to count the ballot because someone made a mistake and not doubting the correct I. Who they voted for, testify, said who they voted for, say it’s you, that is totally legitimate.
WALLACE: All right…
TRUMP: Excuse me, when you have an 80 million ballot…
WALLACE: No, no, no. I have a final — gentlemen have a final question…
TRUMP: …sent in a swamping (ph) system — you know it can’t be done. You know what can’t, and already..
BIDEN: (Inaudible) mail serves…
WALLACE: All right, so now — the final — wait a minute. Gentlemen, final question…
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…
WALLACE: … 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: It could be months.
WALLACE: … until we find out who the — the new president is.
So I — first for you, sir, finally for the — for the vice president. 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 were 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 — 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 percent 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. From a common-sense…
WALLACE: What does that mean, you can’t go along? Does that mean you’re going to tell your people to take to the streets?
TRUMP: I’ll tell you what it means. It means you have a fraudulent election. You’re sending out 80 million ballots.
WALLACE: And what are you going to — and what would you do about that?
TRUMP: They’re not — they’re not equipped to — these people aren’t equipped to handle it, number one. Number two…
TRUMP: … 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. They 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 somehow it’s a fraudulent process.
TRUMP: It’s already been established.
TRUMP: Take a look at Carolyn Maloney’s race…
WALLACE: I asked you. You had an opportunity to respond…
WALLACE: Go ahead…
TRUMP: They have no idea what happened.
WALLACE: 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 will be the end of it. That will 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…
TRUMP: I want to see an honest ballot…
WALLACE: Gentlemen, you say that’s the end of it.
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…
WALLACE: … as — 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…
WALLACE: … 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 p.m. Eastern that night. We hope you watch.
Until then, thank you, and good night.
Transcript provided by Concord Monitor