Biden and Trump face off in fiery first 2024 presidential debate

In a heated first debate, the two delved into various key issues like economy, abortion, Ukraine and Gaza, with polls showing a tight race

Screengrab of the debate from @JoeBiden/X
Screengrab of the debate from @JoeBiden/X

NH Digital

In a highly anticipated face-off, US president Joe Biden and his Republican challenger, former president Donald Trump, engaged in the first debate of the 2024 presidential election on Thursday night, 27 June, as per a report by DW.

The debate was hosted by CNN in Atlanta and lasted for about 90 minutes garnering millions of viewers who were eager to witness the clash between the two political heavyweights.

Biden blames Trump for economic and pandemic mismanagement

Opening the debate, president Biden did not hold back in his critique of Trump’s previous administration.

“When I took over, the economy was in free fall,” Biden asserted. He also accused Trump of mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic, stating, it “was so badly handled, many people were dying.”

Trump attacks Biden's record

On the other hand, Trump countered by attacking Biden’s track record.

“He has not done a good job. He’s done a poor job. And inflation is killing our country. It is absolutely killing us,” Trump retorted.

Throughout the debate, Trump made several grandiose claims about his achievements to which CNN anchor David King said "Donald Trump broke the fact-check machine more than I can count tonight".

Foreign Policy: Gaza and Ukraine

The debate’s foreign policy segment was dominated by discussions on Gaza and Ukraine.

"This place, the whole world, is blowing up under him," Trump criticised. Biden dismissed Trump’s remarks as “malarkey,” defending his administration’s actions, as per the report by DW.

"This is a war that never should have started. If we had a leader in this war... He's given $200 billion now or more to Ukraine, he's given $200 billion. That's a lot of money. I don't think there's ever been anything like it," Trump said.

Biden responded by emphasising the strategic importance of supporting Ukraine with US-made weapons and highlighted the collective efforts of other Western nations.

A tight race

With both candidates polling closely for months, this debate was crucial. The debate covered a range of contentious issues, including reproductive rights and illegal immigration. The wars in Gaza and Ukraine were also prominent topics.

As per DW, Public enthusiasm seemed to lean slightly in Trump’s favor.

According to a new AP-NORC poll, 60% of Republicans are extremely or very satisfied with Trump, compared to about 40% of Democrats who feel the same about Biden. The latest Quinnipiac University poll showed Trump with 49% support nationwide, against Biden’s 45%.

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