Presidential debate reaction: Trump condemned over failure to criticise far-right group – live

Posted by on September 30, 2020 7:36 am
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12.31pm BST

Frank Bruni is in the New York Times this morning, floating the idea that Joe Biden should not accept the format of the debates, now that he’s seen how Donald Trump applies the rules. Bruni says Biden should refuse to debate the president again, writing:

I wasn’t in the crowd of people who believed Joe Biden shouldn’t deign to debate President Trump, but put me in the crowd that believes he shouldn’t debate him again. Not after Tuesday night’s horror show: a disgrace to the format, an insult to the country, a nearly pointless 90 minutes.

And, I should add, a degradation of the presidency itself, which Trump had degraded so thoroughly already. He put on a performance so contemptuous, so puerile, so dishonest and so across-the-board repellent that the moderator, Chris Wallace, morphed into some amalgam of elementary-school principal, child psychologist, traffic cop and roadkill.

Here’s the deal, as Biden would say: Only one man on that stage persuasively communicated that he has the interests of the American people at heart. Only one man on that stage seemed at all interested in maintaining a tether to the truth. Only one man demonstrated any respect for Wallace or for the process. Only one man would be bearable for the next four years. I needn’t spell out who that man is.

12.13pm BST

“Trump basically said to go fuck them up! This makes me so happy”

That was the reaction of one Proud Boys organiser on social media network Parler to the debate exchange last night where Donald Trump was challenged to condemn the far-right white supremacist group the Proud Boys, and did not do so. The ‘them’ in the message being Antifa.

Related: Donald Trump refuses to condemn white supremacists at presidential debate

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