OPINION | The Committee on Presidential Debates

Editorials & Columns
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times


October 15, 2020

The Second Presidential Debate

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, Fla.


Page 3:


President Trump: Elephant!


Vice President Biden: I didn’t see the picture clearly. Can you show it —


President Trump: No, because I just said what it was and now it’s not a question because I answered it first.


Vice President Biden: Then just show me another picture of an animal. Anyone? Bret? Rachel?


Judy Woodruff: If we could, gentlemen, I’d like to continue with a theme that has been raised many times in this campaign —


President Trump: Judy, can I — Judy —


Vice President Biden: I’m thirsty.


President Trump: I was going to say, and I think I’m doing very well in this debate, maybe better than even before when I was… Does anyone else here smell burning toast?


Judy Woodruff: Gentlemen, if I may, I’d like to get back to the subject at hand. Mr. President, you are 74 years old —


President Trump: Wait, what?


Judy Woodruff: And Mr. Vice President, you are 77 years old —


Vice President Biden: I like to think I’m 77 years old, Judy —


Judy Woodruff: And people have wondered about —


Vice President Biden: I mean young. I’m 77 years young. The joke is supposed to be that it’s the opposite.


President Trump: He made a mistake. And the fake news tomorrow will be that I made a mistake with the toast smell. Unbelievable.


Judy Woodruff: If I could just get back to my question, gentlemen, people have been suggesting that both of you may simply be too old to serve as effective presidents. Is that something, Mr. President, that you wish to address here and now?


President Trump: You know, Judy — and I’m going to call you “Judy” because that is in fact your name, so I know that you sometimes like to pretend that you’re my mom and suddenly sound just like her, but let’s talk about polling. I’m doing very, very well in the polls, actually, Mom, let me finish, and my people are telling me that it’s very, very hard, people think it’s easy but it really isn’t, and I see that I’m out of time.


Judy Woodruff: Vice President Biden, would you like to comment?


Vice President Biden: What’s funny is that now I’m the one who smells toast.


Judy Woodruff: Okay, then. I guess, um, anyone?


Mara Liasson: Sure, okay. I’ll jump in. Mr. President, if I have three apples and I give one to Yamiche Alcindor here —


President Trump: Not my favorite person. She’s been very mean to me.


Mara Liasson: Okay, but just say I give her one of my three apples anyway. How many apples do I have left?


President Trump: You see, this is the kind of thing, this kind of fake news, about apples and I don’t want to talk about apples, and then you say, he doesn’t want to talk about apples, but the truth is, with me you have more apples than you ever would have had, so many apples, people are calling me up from foreign countries and asking for, saying, can we have, you know, and it’s just tremendous what’s happening.


Mara Liasson: Mr. Vice President, how many apples would I have?


Vice President Biden: You wouldn’t have enough, Beverly, and that’s what this campaign is all about, and that’s why I’m standing here even though it’s cold in this arena, because you know a little girl came up to me yesterday and she said, “Papa, please let go of my little hat” — she was wearing one of those, what do you call them? Wings? What are those things you use when they have the walnuts out in a bowl and you have to get them to plug into your computer the right way?


President Trump: Tweezers? The kind you use when you have one of those little bumps —


Vice President Biden: No, no, it’s the one they used to give away whenever you got on the plane in the old days.


President Trump: Remember those? People would dress up for a plane trip in those days.


Vice President Biden: Smoking or non-smoking, and we worked it out.


President Trump: A guy shows up and he’s not wearing a suit and tie and it was, you know, we’d just, it was a thing that —


Vice President Biden: Gosh, it was fun back in those days, people still had a sense of history, you know? And now it’s, what? Almost ten o’clock at night and we’re up doing, what? People stay up too late these days, you see parents out with kids and the kids are little, I mean, like, school-aged, and it’s ten or eleven o’clock and what are those kids doing out?


President Trump: That’s why I call him “Sleepy Joe”! Because he’s always . . . you know . . . always...just he’s so tired...long day...I’m...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Mara Liasson: Mr. President?


Judy Woodruff: I believe the president of the United States has fallen asleep.


Mara Liasson: Standing up?


Judy Woodruff: It would seem so.


Mara Liasson: Mr. Vice President?


Judy Woodruff: I believe Vice President Biden has also fallen asleep. Standing up.


Yamiche Alcindor: Should we wake them?


Judy Woodruff: Personally, I’m enjoying the quiet.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

previous arrow
next arrow

Read more articles

Visit our Facebook Page

previous arrow
next arrow