On Thursday night, former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump did not face off on a debate stage in Miami, Florida as previously scheduled. However, the two presidential candidates did face off with their dueling town halls.
President Donald Trump did travel to Miami, Florida on October 15 as he previously planned to do. Instead of participating in a debate, he starred in a last-minute town hall on NBC with Today's Savannah Guthrie. During the one-hour special, the President touched on a number of topics including the COVID-19 pandemic, his tax returns and a possible transfer of power. Most notably, the New York native refused to condemn the conspiracy group, QAnon. When Guthrie asked him to disavow the group, the President dodged the question.
"I don't know anything about QAnon," he said.
"I'll tell what you I do know about, I know about antifa and the radical left and how violent and vicious they are, and I know how they're burning down cities run by Democrats."
Guthrie also asked Trump about one of the more alarming moments of the first presidential debate. During the verbal sparring session with Biden, moderator Chris Wallace asked the President if he would condemn white supremacy. Instead of condemning white supremacy, he told the controversial group, Proud Boys, to "stand back and stand by." During Thursday's event, Guthrie asked the President if he would condemn white supremacy. This time around, he answered the question directly.
"I denounced White supremacy. I denounced White supremacy for years," he said.
While the President met with voters in Miami, Biden traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to participate in a town hall with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. During the 90-minute event, the Good Morning America anchor grilled the former Vice President about education policy, COVID-19 vaccine development and President Trump's policies pertaining to transgender Americans. Most notably, Biden was asked about his involvement in the 1994 crime bill that worked to the detriment of many Black Americans in the 20th and 21st centuries. The Delaware resident called his work on the bill a "mistake."
"Yes, it was [a mistake]," he said.
"The mistake came in terms of what the states did locally. What we did federally — you remember George, it was all about the same time for the same crime."
Biden was also asked about comments he made during an interview on Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club earlier this year. When asked to make a pitch to Black voters, Biden responded by stating the voters weren't truly Black if they voted for Donald Trump instead of him.
“I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black,” he said during the interview.
In Philadelphia, Cedric Humphrey asked the former Vice President if he had any other appeal to young Black voters other than his "you ain't Black" comments.
“Besides ‘you ain’t Black,’ what do you have to say to young Black voters who see voting for you as further participation in a system that continually fails to protect them?” Humphrey asked.
“It's a sacred opportunity, the right to vote," Biden responded.
“You can make a difference. If young Black women and men vote, you can determine the outcome of this election,” Biden added.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will have an opportunity to make their final pitch to Black voters on October 22 during the second presidential debate in Nashville.
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