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Campaign 2020

WATCH: Replay of ABC News town hall with Joe Biden

(Editor's note: You can watch the ABC News town hall with Joe Biden in its entirety in the video player above.)

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania — Democrat Joe Biden and President Donald Trump squared off, in a way, Thursday evening, their scuttled second debate replaced by dueling televised town halls. Biden on ABC and Trump on NBC were both forced to answer tough questions.

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Trump vied for an elusive campaign reset while trying to defend his coronavirus pandemic response, his embrace of conspiracy theories and his stance on White supremacists.

At the same time, Biden was repeatedly pressed to clarify his position on whether he will support adding members to the Supreme Court, his work on the 1986 and 1994 crime bills and his positions on fracking and the Green New Deal. He was also forced to explain his controversial comment that if Black Americans don't support him "you ain't Black."

In one of the most news-making moments of the night, the President admitted that he may not have taken a coronavirus test on the day of his first debate with Biden, even though he was required to do so by the Commission on Presidential Debates and tested positive for Covid-19 two days later.

He refused to say when his last negative test was before the debate and did not express any regret for the Rose Garden event that is now widely viewed as a "super-spreader" event, where attendees were not socially distanced and did not wear masks.

When asked about the New York Times reports that he has debts of approximately $421 million dollars -- loans that he has personally guaranteed and that will come due in the next four years -- Trump nodded but then insisted that the newspaper's numbers are "all wrong." He told Guthrie that he does not owe money to Russia. But when Guthrie asked whether he owes anything to foreign banks, Trump replied: "Not that I know of."

"I don't owe money to any of these sinister people," Trump said, adding that he is "very under-leveraged," at one point saying: "$400 million is a peanut."

Meanwhile, in an incredible split-screen moment a less than three weeks out from Election Day, Biden was taking questions from voters on ABC and excoriated the President's response to the pandemic.

"He didn't talk about what needed to be done because he kept worrying, in my view, about the stock market," Biden said of Trump. "He worried if he talked about how bad this could be, unless we took these precautionary actions, then, in fact, the market would go down. And his barometer of success of the economy is the market."

Biden attempted to clear up his position on "court packing" -- the term for adding justices to the Supreme Court in order to get more sympathetic rulings -- after weeks of trying to evade the question.

At the beginning of his answer, Biden reiterated once again that he is "not a fan" of court packing but said that his position will depend on how the Supreme Court confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett is "handled." Asked what that means, Biden said it would be contingent on if there was a "real" debate on the Senate floor. "I'm open considering what happens from that point on," he said.

Pressed by ABC's George Stephanopoulos if voters have a right to know about his position, he said, "They do have a right to know where I stand. They have a right to know where I stand before they vote."

"So you'll come out with a clear position before Election Day?" Stephanopoulos asked.

Biden replied, "Yes. Depending on how they handle this."

The plans for the two men to meet face-to-face at a town hall where they would take questions from voters evaporated after Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, amid fears that he could have exposed Biden and others to the virus during the chaotic first debate. The Commission on Presidential Debates proposed a virtual debate, but Trump refused -- leading Biden to make his own plans with ABC News for a solo town hall. Trump's campaign then arranged for the President to do his own town hall with NBC during the same hour.

Biden aims to stay the course

Biden opened his ABC News town hall on Thursday night by describing how he would have handled the coronavirus differently, using the comparison to lambast President Donald Trump for his somewhat uneven response to the virus.

"He missed enormous opportunities and kept saying things that weren't true," the Democratic nominee said, noting that Trump's administration said the virus would go away by Easter or be eradicated by the summer heat.

Biden said his administration would have followed the pandemic plan laid out by Barack Obama's administration before Trump took office, saying his first move would have been sending Americans to China to get the most up to date knowledge on the virus.

Biden said there should have been more national standards earlier in the pandemic and that the President should be pushing all Americans to use masks as a way to stop the spread. Biden said he would lean on governors, as president, to mandate mask use.

Biden, who religiously wears a mask, took a much more conservative approach as he discussed precautionary measures related to the virus during his ABC News town hall. He said the government should be "thinking about" making vaccines mandatory once a vaccine is approved.

Biden also faced some intense questions from members of the audience. A young Black man in the audience recalled Biden's flip comment to radio host Charlamagne tha God that if a Black person was struggling to decide between support him and Trump, "you ain't Black."

"Besides 'you ain't Black,'" the man asked, how could Biden convince Black voters to take part "in a system that has failed to protect them?"

Biden delivered a lengthy answer that highlighted a number of his economic and educational proposals.

Trump leans on usual lines

Trump, who resumed campaign events in recent days, has traveled the country falsely suggesting that he emerged "immune" from his serious bout with the virus, continuing the same reckless tactics that marked his campaign before his diagnosis. The President has regularly gathered huge groups of supporters at his rallies where few wear masks, and plans to do more as the election nears.

But the incumbent is in need of a major moment to change the race in his favor. As the town hall started Thursday, he didn't seem to be in much of a mood to change tact.

When NBC's Savannah Guthrie pointed out that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and that FBI Director Christopher Wray has underscored that finding under oath, Trump openly dismissed Wray and said he wasn't doing a very good job. He continued to seize on instances where a small number of ballots were mishandled, even after Guthrie noted that some 150 million ballots could be cast across the country.

As Guthrie briskly moved the discussion along, Trump refused to disavow a wide array of conspiracy theories from voter fraud to the group known as QAnon. The President claimed not to know about what the group believes, excusing his refusal to condemn them by saying he knows they are against pedophilia—and adding that he agrees with that portion of their beliefs.

Trump repeatedly insisted that he didn't know about the movement, even though he frequently retweets QAnon theories and followers. "What I do hear about it is they are very strongly against pedophilia. And I agree with that. I mean I do agree with that," he reiterated.

"But there's not a satanic pedophile ring --" Gutherie asked.

"I have no idea. I know nothing about them," Trump responded.

"You don't know that?," Gutherie said.

"No, I don't know that, and neither do you know that," Trump said.

As Trump has refused to change course -- even though the poor marks for his handling of the pandemic are creating a huge drag on his reelection chances, particularly with women -- there have been ominous signs that another wave of the coronavirus is hitting the U.S. as deaths top 217,000 and cases near 8 million. On Thursday, Trump also falsely told his North Carolina crowd that masks don't work 85% of the time, and that 99% of people are recovering from coronavirus: "99%. 99 plus, plus," he said, despite the fact that more than 217,000 people have died in the U.S.

Despite those efforts to undercut mask wearing, the President repeatedly said he was fine with Americans choosing to do so. "Savannah, we're on the same side," Trump said at one point. "I say wear the mask, I'm fine with it. I have no problem."

The President was also put on the spot about his inability to make a deal with Congress on the next round of coronavirus stimulus funding. He insisted on Thursday night that he could break through the impasse on the stimulus package being considered by Congress, stating that he could convince Republicans to support the package. Even though many GOP senators have balked at the size of the White House proposal, Trump told Guthrie that if he and Pelosi can agree on a final package, Republicans will support it.

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Comments

56 Comments

  1. My question would be have you taken a cognitive impairment test or any test or doctor’s visit related to detecting and treating dementia. His response would probably be “What was the question again?” LMAO.

    1. Keep it up Funny Boy. Your Dumb ass Pussygrabber fake president is so dumb he couldn’t spell Cat if you spotted him the C and the T. By the way, your alter Ego DickfaceMike had the comments section shut down on him because of his fifth grade poem regarding Mr Biden. Keep trying and they’ll shut down this comment section , too. Enjoy your last 3 weeks of posting dumb shit like your president does on twitter.

        1. Neither is Covid19 Boy. So many experimental drugs pumped into him he doesn’t know that he doesn’t have a chance in Hell of staying in the White House again. The White House will have to stay vacant for a month until they disinfect every room where Trump and Company shed their virus. So sad!!!

        1. The American People have made their choice, Granny. 4 more years of the Pussygrabbing Moron will destroy our country. The choice is simple: 4 more years of Trump Idiocy, Divisiveness, and Chaos, or elect a President that will have a plan to fix the economic, Covid19, and Moral problems that are harming our country to no end. BIDEN/HARRIS 2020!!!!!!!!

          1. Not til Nov.3 they haven’t. And Biden has no plan. Biden has no IDEA what’s going on. Obama started the divisiveness and Biden is feeding it. He’s had 47 years to fix things. In 47 years he created one job, and that was for his son Hunter.

      1. I’ve got the Biden family theme song:

        You like subpoena coladas…..

        Getting caught in Ukraine…..

        If your dad’s into children…

        But you are into cocaine….

        If you like making deals at midnight…

        Over the internet….

        If you want to buy influence…

        Just slip me a big check…

      1. You’re an idiot. The comments section was shut down so you couldn’t psycho rant about the poem. Plus I recall he posted that hilarious poem in other articles. Have fun finding them so you can psycho rant some more.

      2. I’ve got the Biden family theme song:

        You like subpoena coladas…..

        Getting caught in Ukraine…..

        If your dad’s into children…

        But you are into cocaine….

        If you like making deals at midnight…

        Over the internet….

        If you want to buy influence…

        Just slip me a big check… ha

          1. As predicted there you are psycho ranting. Now go play your skin flute nitwit. By the way Joe Biden is the pussy grabber and serial rapist.

      3. I’ve got the Biden family theme song:

        You like subpoena coladas…..

        Getting caught in Ukraine…..

        If your dad’s into children…

        But you are into cocaine….

        If you like making deals at midnight…

        Over the internet….

        If you want to buy influence…

        Just slip me a big check…

        1. Here’s a fact for you, Granny. Your dried up Vagina can’t handle the Pussygrabber, so stop dreaming that he’ll take you out some time and grab you between the legs. He only likes young girls!

          1. You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Go back to your mommies basement and play your video games.

          2. Joe Biden is the real pussy grabber. Just ask Tara Reade. She is posting her memoirs about creepy Joe a week before the election. Another October surprise.

      1. I’ve got the Biden family theme song:

        You like subpoena coladas…..

        Getting caught in Ukraine…..

        If your dad’s into children…

        But you are into cocaine….

        If you like making deals at midnight…

        Over the internet….

        If you want to buy influence…

        Just slip me a big check… see?

      2. for you, asshat
        I’ve got the Biden family theme song:

        You like subpoena coladas…..

        Getting caught in Ukraine…..

        If your dad’s into children…

        But you are into cocaine….

        If you like making deals at midnight…

        Over the internet….

        If you want to buy influence…

        Just slip me a big check…

  2. Spent my time watching baseball (go Braves!) rather than watch candidates answering questions from people planted in the audience by the campaigns. Judging by social media, it was the smart thing to do.

      1. I caught the Cliffsnotes version this morning over coffee. The fat Cheetoh lied about not knowing what Qanon is, and feigned ignorance about retweeting a story about how bin Laden is still alive. That’s your soulmate, bub. Now go eff yourself, feckless twit. If anyone should go away, it’s your idiotic a$$, as you claim this site is fake news. If that’s how you feel, then go away. Far away. Like North Korea with Trump’s bromance partner.

        1. Typical liberal moron!

          I’ve got the Biden family theme song:

          You like subpoena coladas…..

          Getting caught in Ukraine…..

          If your dad’s into children…

          But you are into cocaine….

          If you like making deals at midnight…

          Over the internet….

          If you want to buy influence…

          Just slip me a big check…

          1. The Trump theme song is: Pussygrabber, Pussygrabber where have you been? I’ve been in Russia sucking on Putin’s big Dick!!

          2. Russian collusion was debunked nitwit. The real pussy grabber is Joe Biden so make up a song for him. Now go suck on Joe’s dick.

  3. I watched both the orange buffoon and the Biden town hall meetings. Nothing accomplished. Biden still on track to win in landslide. The NBC moderator was successful in getting the buffoon to get caught lying on many issues. Only benefit to the entire evening. 18 more days.😀🇺🇸

    1. You do know no one gives a rat’s ass what you watched. Now get together with Steve and eff off. JO HO 2020 is a total trainwreck and you know it. BTW – 18 more days to see you put on your pink pussy hat and cry. In the meantime get some TDS meds. You will need them.

  4. I’ve got the Biden family theme song:

    You like subpoena coladas…..

    Getting caught in Ukraine…..

    If your dad’s into children…

    But you are into cocaine….

    If you like making deals at midnight…

    Over the internet….

    If you want to buy influence…

    Just slip me a big check…

      1. A fifth grade Limerick from a Retarded 60 something pisses nobody off, pendejo. It’s just sad to see a grown man acting like a 10 year old. Post it a 100 times, the only one that cares is your momma!

      1. The definition of insanity is you saying the same dumb crap over and over again trying to get a different result. President Trump will win in a total landslide this November whether you like it or not. Now go grab pussy grabber Joe Biden.

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