President Donald Trump and his challenger Joe Biden have fiercely clashed in one of the most chaotic and rancorous White House debates in years.
Amid angry shouting and name calling, the two challengers fought over the pandemic, white supremacy and the economy during the 90-minute forum in Cleveland, Ohio.
Biden told President Trump a “clown” and told him to “shut up”. Trump brought up drug use by his rival’s son.
According to polls, Biden has a steady single-digit lead over Trump. But with 35 days until election days surveys from several important states show a closer contest.
Polls suggest one in ten Americans have yet to make up their mind who to vote for. Analysts say the debate on Tuesday -the first of three- probably wouldn’t make much difference.
Overall, the debate was light on policy, with little serious discussion or argument over what either candidate would do while in office.
The tenor was clear early on, as the two candidates sparred over healthcare. There were frequent interruptions from Trump which ended with Biden calling him a “clown”.
The rancour continued as they moved to the Supreme Court, with Biden refusing to answer when asked if he would try to expand a number of judges.
“Will you shut up, man?” snapped Biden, later adding: “Keep yapping, man.”
Trump responded: “The people understand, Joe. 47 years [in politics], you’ve done nothing. They understand.”