Donald Trump and Joe Biden gave back-to-back remarks at the 2020 Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, broadcast virtually from New York, typically a tuxedo affair that during an election year features candidates delivering chummy remarks and discussions of faith during the Catholic charities fundraiser.
This year, the president accused his rival’s party of housing “anti-Catholic bigotry" as he pitched his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, moments after Mr Biden invoked his own Catholic faith.
The former vice president spoke to the “hope and possibility” for America’s future as it emerges from the public health crisis.
Their appearances follows Tuesday’s chaotic debate, though the president’s campaign has pushed against the Commission for Presidential Debates plan to add more “structure” to the next rounds after the opener was marred by constant cross-talk and the president’s interruptions.
His campaign accused the nonpartisan committee of political bias and listed a number of unofficial online polls declaring the president the winner of the first debate.
Fox News’ anchor Chris Wallace, who moderated the first debate between Mr Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden, said it was the president who “bears the primary responsibility for what happened.”
The White House was repeatedly asked to “unambiguously” denounce white supremacy, following remarks by the president at the debate urging nationalist gang the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during while he dodged demands to condemn white supremacism.
Republicans have distanced themselves from his remarks while the FBI warns that the election and pre-inaugural period could be potential for violent “flashpoint” among right-wing extremists.
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