The first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden deteriorated into an ugly display of contempt on Tuesday night, as the president relentlessly interrupted and attacked his Democratic rival during clashes over the coronavirus pandemic, race, the economy and the future of the supreme court.
Over the course of an extraordinarily combative and chaotic 90-minute performance, a fitting coda to what has been one of the nastiest presidential campaigns in recent memory, Trump interjected so frequently that Biden at one point lost his patience and snapped: “Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential.”
With just five weeks left until election day, Trump is trailing in national and battleground state polls. Amid accusations that he has mishandled the pandemic and damaging reports about his finances and past comments on the military, the debate was perhaps Trump’s best opportunity yet to shift the dynamics of the race, which has been remarkable steady throughout an exceptional turbulent summer: