The final presidential debate between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump was a tame fare compared to the first one, but things got a little testy when the topic turned to the contentious topic of immigration Thursday night at Belmont University in Nashville.
When moderator Kristen Welker asked Trump about the recent reports that more than 500 children separated from their families at the border, the president defended the policy and began bragging about building a wall along the nation’s southern border. Welker asked Trump twice asked how his administration would reunite the kids with their families as the president repeatedly pointed to the cages in which the children were being held that he said were built under Barack Obama‘s presidency in 2014.
In doing so, Trump parroted one of his familiar refrains that he can’t be held responsible for using cages for kids when they were built on Biden’s watch.
“Who built the cages, Joe? Trump repeated.
That led Welker to ask Biden how Americans can trust him on immigration.
“I’ll be president of the United States, not vice president of the United States,” Biden said.
Some people took that comment to suggest that Biden was saying he had nothing to do with Obama’s controversial immigration policy that earned him the unfortunate nickname of Deporter in Chief.
That comment from Biden prompted an outpouring of tweets wondering if he just threw Obama under the bus one day after Obama campaigned on his behalf with arguably one of his strongest speeches ever.
To be sure, Biden has a valid point. Just like the buck stops with Trump on the coronavirus pandemic because he’s the president, the same type of onus falls on Obama when it comes to his administration’s immigration policies.
But that didn’t stop folks from wondering out loud if Biden could have phrased that a bit better so it didn’t seem that he threw Obama under the bus on immigration.
What also can’t be lost is the fact that Trump showed no remorse for his administration separating those hundreds of children from their parents. Trump described the facilities the children are being kept in as immaculate and hygienic when photos have shown the opposite to be true.
Trump also claimed families don’t show up in immigration court, saying they have “low IQs,” but Politi-fact, the fact-checking political website, tweeted that was a lie.
The exchange was perhaps the only low point for Biden during the debate that was a lot more civil than its predecessor but still packed with nonstop lies from Trump. From the start of the debate, Trump declared without proof that he was “immune” to Covid and at one point even claimed he was “the least racist person in this room.”
In the face of those lies, Biden more than held his own on other topics like the infamous 1994 crime bill that he voted for and, the economy, healthcare, race and criminal justice reform.