‘Will you shut up, man?’ – The 7 defining moments of a presidential debate that got ugly

The first presidential debate happened overnight, and whether you missed it or want a recap, we’ve rounded up the defining moments and tried to gauge who came out on top.

Here are the seven moments that stood out:

1. Interruptions – ‘Will you shut up, man?’

The early exchanges – and middle and late ones – were notable for the amount of interruptions, mainly from Donald Trump.

At one point the moderator, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, seemed to have had enough, telling the president that his campaign team had agreed to the rule that both candidates should have two minutes uninterrupted during each section – and urging him to abide by it.

By the end of the first of six sections, Joe Biden was already looking weary. “Why don’t you shut up, man?” he moaned.

Joe Biden told President Trump to 'shut up' during an exchange over the Supreme Court

Joe Biden told President Trump to ‘shut up’ during an exchange over the Supreme Court

2. The insults started early, too

“Everything he’s saying here is simply a lie, everybody knows he’s a liar,” Mr Biden said during an exchange about healthcare. He also called Mr Trump “the worst president this country has ever had”.

Not to be outdone, Mr Trump got in plenty of digs as well, firing at his adversary: “There’s nothing smart about you Joe. 47 years, you’ve done nothing.”

Spoiler alert: there’s more insults coming later.

Trump on Biden: ‘There’s nothing smart about you, Joe’

3. It could be months before the result is known

Mr Trump said: “I hope it’s going to be a fair election. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated I can’t go along with that. It means you have a fraudulent election.”

The president also said he would be prepared to go to the Supreme Court – which could lean heavily to the right if his pick Amy Coney Barrett is approved by the Senate.

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Mr Biden was more measured: “No one has established at all that there is fraud related to mail-in ballots. He has no idea what he’s talking about.

“The fact is, I will accept it and he will too. You know why? Because once the winner is declared after all the votes are counted, that will be the end of it.”

US correspondent Cordelia Lynch gave her thoughts: “The hard truth is we might not know the winner of this election for days or weeks after election night.

“Trump’s suggestion we might not know the result for months is more a threat than speculation. It’s going to be an ugly road to the inauguration.”

Candidates asked whether they will accept the election result

4. Trump is asked to condemn white supremacist groups – but instead focuses on the left. This got a lot of traction on social media

“He doesn’t want to calm things down,” Mr Biden said, adding that the president wanted to “pour gasoline on the fire”.

Asked to condemn white supremacist and militia groups, Mr Trump said: “Sure I’m willing to do that, but almost everything I see is from the left-wing.

“I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

Pressed further, Mr Trump said: “What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name?”

Finally, he said: “Proud Boys – Stand back, stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not right-wing problem… This is a left wing problem.”

Proud Boys, a neo-Nazi organisation, appeared to use Mr Trump’s “stand back, stand by” call in a new logo posted on Telegram shortly after the debate.

President Trump refused to condemn white supremacists who have been clashing with Black Lives Matter protesters

5. Inevitably, Trump’s taxes come up

Asked if it was true that he paid just $750 in income tax in 2016, as reported by The New York Times, Mr Trump said: “I paid millions of dollars in taxes, of income tax.”

“Show us your tax returns,” Mr Biden interjected.

Lynch felt a sense of deja vu: “Trump’s answer on his tax returns is exactly the same as it was four years ago during the debate with Hillary Clinton,” she wrote.

“Then: ‘As soon as the audit’s finished, it will be released.’

“Tonight: ‘You’ll see it as soon as it’s finished.'”

How much tax did you pay? Millions of dollars

6. Good news – the US is weeks away from a coronavirus vaccine, according to the president

“The president has no plan, he hasn’t laid out anything,” Mr Biden said of his opponent, pointing out that 200,000 Americans had died during the pandemic.

Mr Trumpsaid millions would have died if Mr Biden was in charge – and claimed his early action to ban travel from China saved thousands of lives.

The president said the US was “weeks away” from a vaccine and his administration had done a “great job”.

Trump again at odds with the his own scientists – Trump: ‘I’ve spoken to the (vaccine) companies… they can go faster… it’s possible we could have an answer before November, and it could be after that.’ #Debates2020

— Becky Cotterill (@RLCotterill) September 30, 2020

7. Insults – part two

The president brought up Mr Biden’s son, Hunter, claiming the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave him millions of dollars and raising questions over his links with Ukraine.

Mr Trump also mentioned Hunter’s drug problems.

“His family we can talk about all night,” Mr Biden hit back, having claimed “it’s hard to get any word in with this clown – excuse me, this person”.

The pair later clashed about Mr Biden’s now deceased son Beau and his military service.

Biden on Trump: ‘You’re a clown’

Beau Biden was not a loser. pic.twitter.com/hwzlZrjh75

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020

So who won?

A CBS News instant poll found 48% thought Mr Biden won – 41% Mr Trump.

Many had a different view of the real loser – that being the American people.

“I’m afraid that this feels like the worst presidential debate ever. Substance starved, a playground slanging match,” wrote Lynch.

“It was arguably the most anticipated in 30 years. It was unlikely to be the most consequential. It is most certainly a low point.”

Biggest loser: The American people. #Debate2020

— Cordelia Lynch (@CordeliaSkyNews) September 30, 2020

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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