Trump claims he won debate ‘easily,’ will continue debating Biden
President Trump insisted Wednesday that he prevailed in the first debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden and said he wants to continue with the two remaining such events.
“I thought it was a great evening,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for a campaign trip to the battleground state of Minnesota. “I see the ratings were very high and it was good to be there, felt very comfortable. I appreciate all the good words.”
Trump later claimed that Biden does not want to move forward with the next two debates, despite the Biden campaign saying Tuesday that the former vice president would continue to debate Trump.
“I hear he doesn’t want to go forward, but that’s up to him. I mean, I would like to,” Trump told reporters. “By every measure, we won the debate easily last night. I think he was very weak, he looked weak, he was whining. Yeah, we won the debate by almost every poll that I saw.”
Trump claimed he viewed six polls that showed him winning the debate in Cleveland Tuesday evening, but he didn’t name the surveys.
Public polls released following the debate indicated that voters believe Biden performed best.
A CNN poll of debate watchers found that 6 in 10 believed Biden did the best job during the debate. A CBS News poll found 48 percent of viewers believe Biden won the debate, while 41 percent say Trump had the best performance.
The debate, moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, was extremely chaotic and saw both candidates flinging insults at one another. Trump repeatedly interrupted Wallace and Biden and attacked the former vice president on multiple fronts, including raising his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings and claiming that Biden is not intelligent. Biden characterized Trump as a “clown” and a “liar” and told him to “shut up” at one point.
The constant attacks overshadowed any meaningful policy debate. Republicans who spoke to The Hill on Wednesday said Trump squandered a meaningful opportunity to draw an effective contrast with Biden and make his case to voters in an election where he is trailing.
Biden’s campaign insisted that he would continue to debate Trump during a post-debate call with reporters, as political operatives criticized the event as disastrous.
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) said Wednesday that it is considering changes to the two remaining presidential debates to maintain order.
“Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” the commission said in a statement. “The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.”