President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden went toe-to-toe one last time at the final presidential debate on Thursday.
Less than two weeks before Election Day, the candidates hit the stage for a notedly more subdued event than the unruly first debate.
The two squared off on a range of issues on the public’s mind during election season, including coronavirus, race and healthcare.
But the match-off was tempered and steady, with both candidates buttoned-up in attempts to sway voters in the election’s final days.
Take a look at some of the major moments from Thursday’s debate below.
A mic muting rule by the Commission on Presidential Debates seemed to achieve its intended effect. Instated by the CPD in response to a first debate characterized by frequent interruptions, the rule silenced one candidate’s microphone while the other gave his initial two-minute response at the top of each segment. The cut mics reinforced the general tenor of the evening, in which both Trump and Biden were on their best behavior.
Biden slams virus response, Trump appeals to personal experience
The former vice president slammed the White House response to COVID. Trump kicked off the debate with a steady defense of his response to the virus, starting heavy in numbers and stats before summoning his own experience catching the virus recently. “I caught it. I learned a lot. I learned a lot. Great doctors, great hospitals. And I recovered,” he asserted. Trump also stressed his focus on moving forward amid the pandemic. “We’re learning to live with it,” he said. Biden returned that under the Trump administration, Americans are rather “learning to die with it.”
Welker holds steady
Across social media, moderator Kristen Welker earned praise for a firm, steady-handed performance. Throughout the evening, Welker mediated the back-and-forth between the candidates smoothly. Welker even earned praise from Trump. “So far, I respect very much the way you’re handling this, I have to say,” he told her during the event.
Biden holds up ‘Bidencare’
Healthcare was a major topic of the debate, during an election redefined by an unprecedented pandemic. Trump accused Biden of plotting to launch “socialized medicine” and insisting that the former vice president’s campaign is being pushed too far to the left by the rest of the Democratic Party. Trump also touted his termination of the individual mandate, which he called the “worst part” of the Affordable Care Act. Biden was not shy about drawing the connection to former President Barack Obama’s plan. “I’m going to pass Obamacare with a public option,” the former vice president said before dubbing the update “Bidencare.”