The first debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is just over one week from today, scheduled for Tuesday, September 29, and moderator Chris Wallace, of Fox News, has announced the list of topics the debate will cover.
Trump and Biden will have to compare their records, debate the administration’s response to coronavirus, as well as spar over the Supreme Court and more, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced.
The debate will be held at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, according to the commission.
Here’s what you need to know:
Trump & Biden Will Compare Records, As Well As Tackle Racial Justice, the Economy & the Integrity of the 2020 Presidential Election
Wallace chose each of the six debate topics, according to the debate commission.
Trump and Biden will first contrast their records as president and vice president. Trump and his allies have repeatedly attacked Biden and claimed in ads that his 47 years in government have been a “failure.”
Biden on the other hand is likely to blame much of the 200,000-strong U.S. coronavirus death toll on Trump’s management of the crisis, with the campaign recently claiming that while Americans died, Trump was busy “tweeting and golfing.”
And with the September 18 death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Trump’s last-minute push for the Senate to confirm his conservative nominee, the debate will then move on to the Supreme Court. Trump said on Tuesday that he would announce his nominee from the White House on September 29.
Biden said recently that the “Supreme Court is on the ballot” in November, warning of a strongly conservative bench that could roll back women’s and civil rights for decades to come.
The candidates will then debate on coronavirus and the Trump administration’s response, the economy, race and violence in American cities and the integrity of the election.
The Stage Is Set for a Tense Debate & Trump Has Even Insisted That Both Candidates Be Drug Tested Beforehand
Trump and Biden, 74 and 77 respectively, have sought for months to paint each other as frail, out of touch and not up to the task of a rigorous presidential debate. The September 29 debate will put their allegations to the test.
Trump has even repeatedly suggested that Biden has been taking drugs of some sort to improve his cognitive performance, alluding to a “big fat shot in the a**” at a rally over the weekend. Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News contributor and supporter of Trump who has called the president “extremely sharp,” also suggested that Biden may take “speed” or the ADHD drug Adderall in a recent Fox News hit with Tucker Carlson.
This Will Be Wallace’s 2nd Time Moderating a Presidential Debate, After Presiding Over Trump and Hillary Clinton’s 3rd Appearance Together
Next week’s debate will be Wallace’s second time behind the podium, after he moderated the third debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“His debate moderator performance is truly masterful and we are beyond excited to watch him brilliantly perform his craft once again,” Fox News Media Chief Executive Suzanne Scott said when the commission announced Wallace would again moderate, the Los Angeles Times reported.
During the 2016 debate, Wallace wrangled the candidates through topics including the Supreme Court, abortion rights and immigration, often having to step between the two as the debate became pugilistic.
“Hold on, folks, because this is going to end up getting out of control,” Wallace chided Trump and Clinton at least once in the debate, according to Politico’s transcript. “Let’s try to keep it quiet. For the candidates and for the American people.”
That debate also featured a memorable moment in which Clinton accused Trump of being a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin and he responded, “No puppet. You’re the puppet.”
According to the commission, the debate will consist of six 15-minute segments and the order of the topics may change. The debate will start at 9 p.m. ET and run for 90 minutes.