The final debate before the 2020 presidential election saw the two candidates punching hard at each other, but neither struck a knockout blow. Most commentators thought NBC News moderator Kristen Welker did a much better job and the muting of microphones seemed to aid in keeping the discussion civil and more intelligible.
Here are some of the more interesting reactions to the debate from social media.
Many people were glad that Hunter Biden was made an issue:
Hunter is a bigger story tomorrow because Biden preposterously claimed that the laptop was Russian disinformation.… https://t.co/5eJQFOmVwL
— Andy McCarthy (@Andy McCarthy)1603421594.0
Not heard from Biden: those emails are fake. The laptop isn’t Hunter’s.
— Megyn Kelly (@Megyn Kelly)1603417145.0
Biden is challenging Trump to bring up Hunter right now. Let ‘er rip, tater chip.
— Dana Loesch (@Dana Loesch)1603416491.0
Biden is rattled because you can use your next words are gonna be about his crimes and HUNTER.. Hit him with your best shot!
— Kirstie Alley (@Kirstie Alley)1603416513.0
While many thought it wasn’t enough on the topic:
I’m sorry but 30 secs on the Hunter allegations is a joke.
— Megyn Kelly (@Megyn Kelly)1603417172.0
Biden sarcastically referred to the president as Abraham Lincoln and he didn’t quite get it:
President Trump: “I am the least racist person in this room.”
Joe Biden: “Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most… https://t.co/s1CmIWMcwX
— The Hill (@The Hill)1603419902.0
Thanks to this exchange, Abraham Lincoln was trending on Twitter briefly. But unfortunately for Biden, Twitter noticed he mistook the “poor boys” for what he meant, which was “Proud Boys,” a far-right organization:
Who are the Poor Boys? #Debates2020
— Andy Ngô (@Andy Ngô)1603419557.0
Isn’t poor boys a sandwich?
— Dana Loesch (@Dana Loesch)1603419802.0
I’m naming my new band Abe Lincoln and the Poor Boys.
— Noam Blum (@Noam Blum)1603419716.0
i’m just a poor boys, nobody loves me
— Siraj Hashmi (@Siraj Hashmi)1603419626.0
Poor boys vs Proud Boys https://t.co/znLLHjY11t
— Matthew Yglesias (@Matthew Yglesias)1603419816.0
Even some of his critics admitted the president did better than in the first debate.
stylistically, Trump was much, much better tonight
substantively, characteristically weak. high nonsense quotient
— John Harwood (@John Harwood)1603421428.0
Trump won this debate, handily. Biden wasn’t a force at all. Trump was substantive, on-point, well-tempered. Defini… https://t.co/pXx7hCsrmH
— Megyn Kelly (@Megyn Kelly)1603420545.0
And they had to admit that Biden issued an enormous lie during the debate:
CNN FACT CHECK: “So in this case, Trump is correct. Biden did make anti-fracking comments during the Democratic pri… https://t.co/fbNrF49q93
— Steven Cheung (@Steven Cheung)1603423898.0
According to Paula Reid of CBS, the president stuck to their plan with at least two points:
ABC News’ Jon Karl said Trump didn’t do any damage, but didn’t do enough to change the race either.
.@jonkarl says Trump allies were “relieved” with Pres. Trump’s debate performance, but “did it do enough to change… https://t.co/f3ZKl1BTFo
— ABC News (@ABC News)1603422350.0
CNN host Jake Tapper complimented Trump, then called him a liar:
“It’s fair to say that Trump supporters and Republican office holders can relax for the night. They can exhale. He… https://t.co/ov7Sc4Rpbj
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@Anderson Cooper 360°)1603422862.0
And MSNBC was cheerleading for Biden:
.@NicolleDWallace: “Joe Biden won this debate running away. Not only did Donald Trump lie — all the lies you just… https://t.co/DUnzosjzAD
— Andrew Bates (@Andrew Bates)1603422605.0
And they were making excuses for Biden’s past policies on imprisoning black males:
Sharing my thoughts on the final debate between US Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump. #MSNBC https://t.co/dm1imqdQOz
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@Reverend Al Sharpton)1603422552.0
Van Jones was not impressed with the appeal to African Americans by Trump during the debate:
“I don’t think most African-Americans feel that we have a President that really understands the pain that we’re goi… https://t.co/1yRFZRXUv6
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@Anderson Cooper 360°)1603424033.0
Even Biden complimented the moderator after the debate:
Biden on the tarmac in TN just now on how he feels tonight’s debate went: “Well that’s for the public to judge. I f… https://t.co/m4jdgeWSYc
— Johnny Verhovek (@Johnny Verhovek)1603423240.0
Norah O’Donnell of CBS said it was more substantive, and that the muting of the microphones worked:
.@norahodonnell on the second Trump-Biden debate: “It was as if the muting of the microphones worked, or each of th… https://t.co/ldZchGoKBX
— CBS News (@CBS News)1603421293.0
Here are the numbers for the debate:
Our @CBSNews count for tonight’s debate:
Candidate Speaking Time
Donald Trump: 40:24
Joe Biden: 37:22
— Sarah Ewall-Wice (@Sarah Ewall-Wice)1603422947.0
And as always, there were jokes:
That’s it! I am not voting for Hunter Biden.
— Bill Maher (@Bill Maher)1603417173.0
CNN’s @ddale8 just a few mins ago: “For a fact checker, you’re kind of sitting there w/Biden. Occasionally you’re l… https://t.co/8oEQB3k2Hx
— Maegan Vazquez (@Maegan Vazquez)1603422685.0