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Trump, Biden make closing arguments

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Donald Trump and Joe Biden during the third presidential debate.
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Donald Trump during the third presidential debate.
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Donald Trump and Joe Biden during the third presidential debate.

Watch the full debate above

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the presidential campaign (all times local):

10:50 p.m.

To close out Thursday night’s presidential debate, both President Donald Trump and Joe Biden offered very divergent versions of what they’d tell Americans who didn’t support them on a hypothetical Inauguration Day.

Trump that if he’s reelected, during his inaugural address, he would tell voters who didn’t back him in the election that “success is going to bring us together, we are on the road to success.” He touted the country’s economic growth “prior to the plague coming in from China” that sparked the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden, meanwhile, says he would tell his detractors that “I represent all of you, whether you voted for or against me” and “I’m going to make sure that you’re represented.” He went on to reiterate some of his major campaign themes, pledging to grow the economy, address systemic racism, move the nation towards clean energy and make sure every American has “an even chance.”

10:20 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden says he would push for a $15-per-hour minimum wage and rejects the idea that it would hurt small businesses.

Biden said at Thursday's debate: “There is no evidence that when you raise the minimum wage, businesses go out of business.”

President Donald Trump argued that the minimum wage should be left as an issue for the states to determine. He says, “How are you helping your small businesses when you’re forcing wages? What’s going to happen, and what’s been proven to happen, is when you do that, these small businesses fire many of their employees.”

The two candidates were asked about where they stand on raising the federal minimum wage as part of their final debate Thursday night. The minimum wage is now $7.25 an hour. Proponents of increasing it say the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation, making it harder for workers to make ends meet.

9:50 p.m.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump are arguing over their tax returns.

Responding to unfounded allegations from Trump during Thursday night’s debate that he’s received funds from Russian sources, Biden noted that he’s released 22 years of taxes, which he says show “I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life."

Pointing his finger at Trump, Biden asked: “What are you hiding?” He told Trump to “release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption.”

Trump responded that he would like to release his returns “as soon as we can” but reiterated his excuse that he’s under audit, a claim he’s made since he first ran for president in 2016. The president is not actually barred from releasing the documents while they’re under audit.

Trump also responded to the news that he paid just $750 in taxes in 2017, claiming that he was told he “prepaid tens of millions of dollars,” and that the $750 he paid was a “filing fee.”

But Biden again called on Trump to release proof. “Show us,” Biden said. "Stop playing around.”

9:40 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden says any country that interferes in American elections will pay a price if he's elected, saying, “They are interfering with American sovereignty.”

U.S. officials have reported that Russian hackers have targeted the networks of dozens of state and local governments in the United States in recent days, stealing data from at least two servers. Officials are also accusing Iran of being behind a flurry of emails sent to Democratic voters in multiple battleground states that appeared to be aimed at intimidating them into voting for President Donald Trump.

Trump says that nobody has been tougher on Russia through sanctions and pushing for increased military spending by NATO.

The two candidates took questions in their final debate on how they would deter foreign interference in American elections.

9:30 p.m.

The final presidential debate is off without a hitch, with President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden not talking over each other -- at least so far.

The first debate between Trump and Biden deteriorated into bitter taunts and chaos after Trump repeatedly interrupted his opponent with angry — and personal — jabs.

In an effort to curtail interruptions this time, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that Trump and Biden would each have his microphone cut off while his rival delivered an opening two-minute answer to each of six debate topics.

Trump has been far more restrained during Thursday's debate in Nashville, Tennessee.

___

9:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are sparring over the coronavirus pandemic — but doing so relatively politely.

In a contrast to the first debate, the two presidential contenders went more than 15 minutes before interrupting each other at Thursday night’s debate. Helped by a rule that switched off the microphone for the candidate who was not talking, the two traded sharp barbs and critiques, but at least kept their voices lowered.

Trump insisted he had done a good job with a worldwide pandemic and said the country needs to “learn to live with it.”

Biden shot back: “People are learning to die with it.”

Regardless, it was a markedly less bombastic opening than in the first debate, when Trump frequently interrupted and shouted over Biden. The president seemed fairly calm Thursday, talking about his own recent bout with the virus as an example of how the country can survive it.

___

9 p.m.

The second and final presidential debate of the 2020 election has begun.

President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are facing off Thursday night in Nashville, Tennessee, more than three weeks after their first debate.

A lot has happened since then: Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus and spent three days in the hospital.

Organizers initially planned to separate the candidates with plexiglass barriers but removed them hours before the debate began. The candidates took coronavirus tests Thursday, and both campaigns said they came back negative.

The first debate was so raucous that changes were enacted to make the next one more orderly. There’s a mute button this time that will be controlled by a representative of the Commission on Presidential Debates. It will ensure that each candidate has two full minutes uninterrupted to deliver opening answers on six major topics.

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Associated Press

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