First US presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden: What they said so far

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, former vice-president Joe Biden, are meeting in Cleveland on Tuesday (Sept 29) for the first of three debates ahead of the Nov 3 election, when Mr Trump is seeking a second term in office.

Here are some of the quotes making news at the debate:

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Mr Biden: “You should get out of your bunker and get out of the sand trap and…the golf course and go in the Oval Office and (put) together Democrats and Republicans, and fund what needs to be done now to save lives.”

Mr Trump: “You didn’t think we should’ve closed our country (to China) because you thought it was terrible.

“We’ve done a great job. But I tell you, Joe, you could never have done the job we’ve done. You don’t have it in your blood.”

On Mr Biden’s proposed approach to developing coronavirus vaccines, Mr Trump said: “People like this would rather make it political than save lives.”

Mr Biden: “Guess what, a lot of people died, and a lot more going to die unless he gets a lot smarter a lot quicker.”

Mr Trump: “There’s nothing smart about you, Joe.”

On Mr Trump’s mask policy, Mr Biden said: “He’s a fool on this.”

SUPREME COURT

When asked about whether Judge Amy Coney Barrett should be nominated to the Supreme Court before the election, Mr Trump said: “We won the election. Elections have consequences.

“We have the Senate and we have the White House and we have a phenomenal nominee respected by all… I think that she (Barrett) will be outstanding. She will be as good as anybody who has ever served on that court. We won the election and therefore we had the right to choose her.”

Mr Biden: “We should wait, we should wait and see what the outcome of this election is.

“I’m not opposed to the justice. She seems like a very fine person. But she’s written…that she thinks the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. The president’s made it clear he wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. He’s been running on that.”

Mr Trump interjected: “As far as a say is concerned, the American people have already had their say… I’m not elected for 3-1/2 years.”

Mr Biden: “He’s elected until the next election… The election’s already started.”

HEALTHCARE

Told by Mr Trump that he has adopted former Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders’ “socialised medicine” proposals, Mr Biden said: “Everybody here knows he’s a liar… You picked the wrong guy on the wrong night at the wrong time.

“Folks, do you have any idea what this clown’s doing? I tell you what, he is not for anybody needing healthcare.”

After Trump explained his health proposal, Mr Biden said: “He has no plan for healthcare… The fact is this man has no idea what he’s talking about.”

At another point, while being interrupted by Mr Trump, Mr Biden said: “Will you shut up, man. This is so unpresidential… Keep yapping, man.”

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