ALLIANCE , UNITED STATES (AFP) – Democrat challenger Joe Biden on Wednesday (Sept 30) branded Donald Trump’s debate performance a “national embarrassment” for not addressing concerns of everyday Americans and failing to clearly denounce white supremacist groups.
“Maybe I should not say this, but the president of the United States conducted himself the way he did – I think it was a national embarrassment,” Biden said during a stop in Alliance, Ohio, as part of a train tour through swing state Ohio and neighbouring battleground Pennsylvania.
Trump and Biden engaged in a fierce verbal brawl on Tuesday in Cleveland where they faced off in their first presidential debate.
Both men launched biting personal attacks, but political pugilist Trump was widely seen as interrupting his rival more often – to the point that Biden told him to “shut up.”
During the showdown, Trump declined to make a clear and forceful denunciation of white supremacist groups or the far-right, male-only Proud Boys, instead giving a shout-out to the militia group by saying they should “stand back and stand by,” and that the real problem is “far-left” extremists.
In Alliance, Biden assailed the president’s remarks.
“My message to the Proud Boys and every other white supremacist group is: cease and desist,” Biden said.
“That’s not who we are. This is not who we are as Americans.”
The former vice-president, appearing invigorated after what could be described as an assertive debate performance where he stood his ground, criticised Trump for failing to speak directly to the American people about their plight during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Does your president have any idea or understand what you’re going through? And if he does, does he care about you?” Biden asked.
“Or does he just ignore you, look down on you, lie to you?”
Trump’s debate performance was “all about him,” Biden added.
“He didn’t speak to you or your concerns for the American people even once.”
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