President Trump has arrived at a library in West Palm Beach, Florida, to cast his early vote in this year’s general election.
President Trump disciplined himself for Thursday night's presidential debate and dispensed with the interruptions. And with former Vice President Joe Biden able to talk this time, unlike in the first debate, there was a serious policy discussion.
- Coronavirus: Trump continued to downplay the severity of the virus and defend his early reaction — restricting travel from China — and promising, despite the facts, that a vaccine will be ready shortly. Biden, pointing to the death toll from the virus, repeatedly held up a mask and said he'd push common-sense advice to states to encourage mask-wearing, social-distancing and restrictions on things like dining in restaurants if there are outbreaks in a state. Trump continues to argue he should be judged for the pre-Covid economy and the pre-Covid reality. He said millions could have died from Covid, as if that absolves him from having to deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands have died on his watch.
- Health care: Trump still thinks that Obamacare — the Affordable Care Act — should be invalidated. He has spent years promising a plan to replace it. But there is no plan, as of yet. Biden, on the other hand, wants to one-up the Affordable Care Act by adding the public health care option Democrats were unable to add to Obamacare 10 years ago. There's a fundamental disagreement here about whether a public option equals socialized medicine. Trump says yes and Biden says no.
- Policing, justice and racism: Biden called Trump the most racist president. Trump said he's done more for Black Americans than any other president. What's the truth? Trump did sign a sentencing reform bill. But it didn't solve the problem of over-incarceration, no matter what he says. Biden did certainly mastermind the 1994 crime bill that helped create over-incarceration. The difference now is Trump wants to demonize protesters for racial justice and paint himself as the law and order President.
- Immigration: Somehow Trump was accusing Biden of inhumanity on immigration, arguing that the Obama administration began the policy of family separation. There's a kernel of truth there, but the Trump administration had institutionalized it before the outcry made them stop. There are still more than 500 kids whose parents can't be found and, in a major moment, Trump said at the debate, "They are so well taken care of."
Former Vice President Joe Biden and aligned Democratic committees maintained a substantial cash advantage of more than $107 million over President Trump and his political operation in the final weeks of the campaign, according to a new round of filings that capture last-minute fundraising and spending.
Here's what the reports show:
- Biden is outspending the President in the campaign's homestretch: Biden's campaign alone brought in $130 million during the first two weeks of October and spent more than $145 million. That's a spending rate of more than $10 million a day over the two-week period.
- Trump, by comparison, raised nearly $43.6 million between October 1 and October 14 and spent $63.1 million, according to filings Thursday night with the Federal Election Commission.
The President's political operation has struggled to compete financially with Biden in recent months, and Trump has headed to high-dollar fundraising events to shore up his cash position in the waning days of the presidential campaign.
On Thursday — just hours before the pair's final confrontation on the debate stage — Trump made an appearance at a Nashville fundraiser that was expected to bring in $8 million for the campaign. On Friday, Trump campaign officials announced a $26 million haul around the debate for the campaign and affiliated GOP committees, marking the reelection effort's largest digital fundraising day.
The President insists he has enough funds to prevail on Nov. 3 — as he did four years ago, despite being outspent by his then-rival Hillary Clinton.
"We don't need money," Trump said during Thursday night's debate. "We have plenty of money. In fact, we beat Hillary Clinton with a tiny fraction of the money that she was able" to raise.