The final presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle took place on Thursday night — and President Donald Trump used the opportunity to land some direct blows on rival Joe Biden.
In one shocking example, Trump told the former vice president that he “never would have run” for the White House in the first place if Biden had done a better job in office, Politico reported.
“Why didn’t he do it four years ago?”
The exchange came during a segment focused on justice and racial inequality. Biden dedicated his time to expanding on his vow to enact policies meant to address such issues, but Trump was not convinced.
“But why didn’t he do it four years ago?” the president asked, referencing Biden’s influential position in the Obama administration.
It was that lack of action, Trump claimed, that sparked his interest in launching a 2016 White House bid.
“I ran because of you,” he said, as Politico reported. “If I thought you did a good job, I never would have run.”
Biden attempted to shift the narrative by telling the audience to consider the records of both candidates vying for the position.
“You know who I am,” the Democratic nominee said. “You know his character. You know my character. You know my reputation is for honor and telling the truth. I am anxious to have this race. The character of the country is on the ballot.”
“All talk and no action”
According to Fox News, Trump used a similar tactic to attack Biden on a number of other issues, including immigration, the environment, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All talk and no action,” the president asserted.
In contrast to his performance in the first debate, Trump was relatively subdued on Thursday and stayed on message. With less than two weeks until Election Day, his final pitch to voters includes an effort to hold Biden accountable for his flimsy record even after spending decades in public office.
As campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley said ahead of the debate, “the president has done more to improve the lives of all Americans in 47 months than Joe Biden has done in 47 years.”