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Getting personal: Trump calls Biden dumb, Biden calls president 'a clown'

Insults started flying early on during the first debate

Updated: September 29, 2020 - 11:42pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


During the season premiere of the Trump-Biden debates, the hurling of insults and jabs began early in the evening. 

Not even 18 minutes into the first of three scheduled debates, Democratic candidate Joe Biden had called President Trump a "clown.

President Trump declared of Biden's Democratic colleagues to the left of him, "They're gonna dominate you," when it comes to influencing Biden's policy positions -- an idea that has been hinted at by Democrats who prefer the policies of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to Biden's more centrist positions.

Soon after, the two candidates began really going at one another, speaking over one another, as well as debate moderator Chris Wallace. When Wallace briefly got ahold of the conversation, Trump said to the Fox News host, "I guess I'm debating you and not him [Biden], but that's OK, I'm not surprised."

At one point, former vice president Biden interjected, "Do you have any idea what this clown is doing," following a comment by the president about Biden supporting a healthcare plan similar to Bernie Sanders'.

During another tiff where the candidates were speaking over one another, Biden sniped at Trump, "Would you shut up man? This is so unpresidential."

Several segments later, Trump and Biden inevitably reached the topic of Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and his questionable financial ties to Ukraine and China. 

"My son did nothing wrong ... .None of this is true," said Biden of his son. 

Minutes later, during yet another spat involving crossfire talking between the candidates, Wallace yanked the reigns away from the politicians. "I hate to raise my voice but why should I be different than you!" said the moderator.