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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Final Trump-Biden Debate Begins Momentarily. Aired 9-10:35p ET

Aired October 22, 2020 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[21:00:00]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Neither is known as completely disciplined, although Biden has run a very disciplined campaign, aided in part by the fact that we're in the middle of this pandemic.

But if they stick to their plans, then each one of them could make inroads, I think. But that's a wild card.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And the truth is Joe Biden has A, run a pretty disciplined campaign up until this point. And his debate performances--

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

PHILLIP: --even dating back to the campaign, the primary campaign, was - were pretty disciplined.

President Trump, though, on the other hand, has rejected, as Dana has reported, the kind of formal debate prep that you really need to do, in order to navigate a tricky situation.

He has had a couple of opportunities in the last week, a "60 Minutes" interview, a Town Hall, to articulate his plan for dealing with the virus and his plan for four more years. He has struggled to do that.

Will that change tonight, I think, is one of the biggest questions because he can talk about Biden's son all he wants, but a lot of Americans are tuning in to find out how their lives are actually going to get back to normal.

TAPPER: In fact, I would say that not only did he struggle in the "60 Minutes" interview, and the Town Hall with Sinclair, but he actually gave opportunities to Joe Biden.

He said things - he told Eric Bolling of Sinclair, he's asked him "Would you do anything differently?" and he said, Trump said, "Not much." And then, he told Lesley Stahl, of "60 Minutes" that he hopes the Supreme Court overturns Obamacare, which is something that the Administration has been saying "No, we don't want that."

BASH: Right. Listen, this is a president who has no shortage of advice, of good advice, of good political advice, for a typical candidate or even for people - for somebody like Donald Trump, who is anything but typical.

People who know him try to coax him into the right direction, and it has not worked, over and over again, for whatever reason.

Before the last debate, every time he says something like going after Anthony Fauci, after the media, you know, pick your area where it's been a distraction, as opposed to what he has been told to do, focus on the economy, which is the one area where poll shows, he's even on par with Joe Biden.

Focus on what you're going to do, and even talk about some of the accomplishments, things that you promised four years ago, like redoing the trade deal and he did it.

TAPPER: Well, if he sticks to the six topics that the Moderator Kristen Welker has picked, he'll probably be OK. One of those topics is not the fever dreams of the far right-wing swamps, which is what he seems to be focused on quite a bit. But there are six topics.

In addition, the microphones will be muted, during the initial questions. Each candidate will get two minutes to talk. The other candidate's microphone will be muted. Then it goes to the other candidate, and the first candidate's microphone will be muted.

Donald Trump gets the first question. He speaks for two minutes. Then it goes to Joe Biden. He'll speak for two minutes. And we'll see what happens.

It's obviously a very, very high-stakes night with everything on the line in this election. Wolf?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: It certainly is. And only 12 days left in this election campaign.

The final presidential debate of 2020, President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, they're about to go head-to-head one more time, the last time. They're facing new rules, designed to keep them on the rails. And they're facing truly enormous pressure right now with this election once again. Only 12 days from now.

You're looking at live pictures coming in from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

KRISTEN WELKER, PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE MODERATOR: Good evening from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. I'm Kristen Welker of NBC News, and I welcome you to the final 2020 presidential debate between President Donald J. Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Tonight's debate is sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. It is conducted under health and safety protocols designed by the commission's health security adviser. The audience here in the hall has promised to remain silent. No cheer, boos, or other interruptions except right now as we welcome to the stage former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald J. Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hi, Joe. How are you?

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good.

WELKER: And I do want to say a very good evening to both of you. This debate will cover six major topics. At the beginning of each section, each candidate will have two minutes uninterrupted to answer my first question. The debate commission will then turn on their microphone only when it is their turn to answer, and the commission will turn it off exactly when the two minutes have expired. After that, both microphones will remain on, but on behalf of the voters I'm going to ask you to please speak one at a time. The goal is for you to hear each other and for the American people to hear every word of what you both have to say.

[21:05:00]

And so with that, if you're ready let's start and we will begin with the fight against the coronavirus. President Trump, the first question is for you. The country is heading into a dangerous new phase, more than 40,000 Americans are in the hospital tonight, including record numbers here in Tennessee. And since the two of you last shared a stage 16,000 Americans have died from COVID.

So, please be specific, how would you lead the country during this next stage of the coronavirus crisis? Two minute uninterrupted.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, as you know 2.2 million people modeled out were expected to die. We closed up the greatest economy in the world in order to fight this horrible disease that came from China. It's a worldwide pandemic. It's all over the world. You see the spikes in Europe and many other places right now.

If you notice the mortality rate is down 85 percent. The excess mortality rate is way down and much lower than almost any other country and we're fighting it and we're fighting it hard.

There is spike, there was s spike in Florida and it's now gone. There was a very big spike in Texas, it's now gone. There was a very big spike in Arizona, it's now gone. And there are some spikes and surges in other places. They will soon be gone. We have a vaccine that's coming, it's ready, it's going to be announced within weeks and it's going to be delivered.

We have Operation Warp Speed, which is the military is going to distribute the vaccine. I can tell you from personal experience that I was in the hospital, I had it and I got better and I will tell you that I had something that they gave me, a therapeutic I guess they would call it, some people could say it was a cure, but I was in for a short period of time and I got better very fast or I wouldn't be here tonight. And now they say I'm immune, whether it's four months or a lifetime nobody's been able to say that, but I'm immune.

More and more people are getting better, we have a problem that's a worldwide problem. This is a worldwide problem, but I've been congratulated by the head of many countries on what we've been able to do with the -- if you -- if you take a look at what we've done in terms of goggles and masks and gowns and everything else, and in particular ventilators, we're now making ventilators all over the world, thousands and thousands a month, distributing them all over the world.

It will go away, and as I say, we're rounding the turn, we're rounding the corner, it's going away.

WELKER: OK, Former Vice President Biden to you. How would you lead the country out of this crisis? You have two minutes uninterrupted.

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Two hundred and twenty thousand Americans dead. If you hear nothing else I say tonight hear this, anyone who's responsible for not taking control, in fact, not saying I'm -- I take no responsibility initially, anyone who's responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America.

We're in a situation where there are 1,000 deaths a day now, 1,000 deaths a day and there are over 70,000 new cases per day. Compared to what's going on in Europe as the New England Medical Journal said, they're starting from a very low rate, we're staring from a very high rate.

The expectation is we'll have another 200,000 Americans dead be time -- between now and the end of the year. If we just wore these masks, the president's own advisers have told him, we could save 100,000 lives. And we're in a circumstance where the president thus far and still has no plan. No comprehensive plan.

What I would do is make sure we have everyone encouraged to wear a mask all the time. I would make sure we move in the direction of rapid testing, investing in rapid testing. I would make sure that we set up national standards as to how to open up schools and open up businesses so they can be safe and give them the wherewithal, the financial resources to be able to do that.

We're in a situation now where the New England Medical Journal, one of the serious -- most serious journals in the -- in the whole world, said for the first time every, that this -- the way this president has responded to this crisis has been absolutely tragic. And so, folks, I will take care of this, I will end this, I will make sure we have a plan.

WELKER: President Trump, I'd like to follow-up with you in your comments. You talked about taking a therapeutic, I assume you're referencing Regeneron. You also said a vaccine will be coming within weeks.

TRUMP: Yes.

WELKER: Is that a guarantee? Is --

TRUMP: No, it's not a guarantee, but it will be by the end of the year. But I think it has a good chance. There are two companies, I think within a matter of weeks and it will be distributed very quickly.

WELKER: Could you tell us which companies?

[21:10:00]

TRUMP: Johnson & Johnson is doing very well, Moderna is doing very well, Pfizer is doing very well -- and we have numerous others. Then we also have others that we're working on very closely with other countries, in particular, Europe.

WELKER: Let me follow-up with you, because this is new information. You have said a vaccine is coming soon, within weeks now. Your own officials say it could take well in to 2021 at the earliest for enough Americans to get vaccinated. And even then they say the country will be wearing masks and distancing in to 2022. Is your timeline realistic?

TRUMP: No, I think my timeline is going to be more accurate. I don't know that they're counting on the military the way I do, but we have our generals lined up -- one in particular that's the head of logistics. And this is a very easy distribution for him, he's ready to go -- as soon as we have the vaccine. And we expect to have 100 million vials -- as soon as we have the vaccine, he's ready to go.

WELKER: Vice President Biden, your reaction, and just 40 percent of Americans say they would definitely agree to take a coronavirus vaccine if it was approved by the government. What steps would you take to give Americans confidence in a vaccine, if it were approved?

BIDEN: Make sure it's totally transparent. Have the scientists of the world see it, know it, look at it -- go through all the processes. And by the way, he's -- this is the same fellow who told you this was going to end by Easter last time. This is the same fellow who told you, don't worry we're going to end this by the summer.

We're about to go in to a dark winter -- a dark winter, and he has no clear plan, and there's no prospect that there's going to be a vaccine available for the majority of the American people before the middle of next year.

WELKER: President Trump, your reaction? He says you have no plan.

TRUMP: I don't think we're going to have a dark winter at all. We're opening up our country. We've learned, and studied, and understand the disease -- which we didn't at the beginning. When I closed and banned China from coming in -- heavily infected, and then ultimately Europe. But China was in January.

Months later he was saying I was xenophobic, I did it too soon. Now he's saying, oh, I should have moved quicker. But he didn't move quicker, he was months behind me -- many months behind me.

And frankly, he ran the H1N1 swine flu and it was a total disaster -- far less lethal, but it was a total disaster. Had that had this kind of numbers, 700,000 people would be dead right now, but it was a far less lethal disease.

Look, his own person who ran that for him -- who, as you know was his chief of staff said it was catastrophic, it was horrible, we didn't know what we were doing. Now he comes up and he tells us how to do this. Also, everything that he said about the way -- every single move that he said we should make, that's what we've done. We've done all of it. But he was way behind us. WELKER: Vice President Biden, your response?

BIDEN: My response is, he is xenophobic, but not because he shutdown access from China -- and he did it late, after 40 countries had already done that. In addition to that, what he did, he made sure that we had 44 people that were in there -- in China, trying to get to Wuhan to determine what exactly the source was (ph).

What did the president say in January? He said, no -- he said, this is -- he's being transparent. The president of China is being transparent, we owe him a debt of gratitude -- we ought to -- we have to thank him. And then what happened was, we started talking about using the Defense Act to make sure we go out and get whatever is needed out there to protect people.

And again, I go back to this he had nothing -- he did virtually nothing. And then he gets out of the hospital and he talks about we're -- don't worry, it's all going to be over soon. Come on, there's not another serious scientist in the world who thinks it's going to be over soon.

WELKER: President Trump, your reaction?

TRUMP: I didn't say over soon, I say we're learning to live with it. We have no choice. We can't lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does. He has the -- he has the ability to lock himself up. I don't know, he's obviously made a lot of money someplace. But he has this thing about living in a basement. People can't do that.

By the way, I, as the president couldn't do that. I'd love to put myself in the basement, or in a beautiful room in the White House and go away for a year and a half until it disappears -- I can't do that.

And Kristen, every meeting I had -- every meeting I had, and I'd meet a lot of families, including gold star families and military families -- every meeting I had -- and I had to meet them -- I had to. It would be horrible to have canceled everything. I said, you know, this is dangerous -- and you catch it.

And you know, I caught it, I learned a lot -- I learned a lot. Great doctors, great hospitals -- and now, I recovered. Ninety-nine point nine of young people recover, 99 percent of people recover. We have to recover, we can't close up our nation. We have to open our school, and we can't close up our nation or you're not going to have a nation.

WELKER: And of course, the CDC has said young people can get sick with COVID-19 and can pass it.

Vice President Biden, I want to talk broadly about strategy, though. You have --

BIDEN: Can I respond to that?

WELKER: Thirty seconds, please, then I have a question.

(CROSSTALK) BIDEN: For 30 seconds.

Number one, he says that we're -- you know, we're learning to live with it. People are learning to die with it.

[21:15:00]

You folks at home will have an empty chair at the kitchen table this morning. That man or wife going to bed tonight and reaching over to try to touch their -- out of habit where their wife or husband was is gone.

Learning to live with it? Come on. We're dying with it, because he's never said -- you said it's dangerous. When is the last time -- is it really dangerous still?

Are we dangerous? You tell the people it's dangerous now? And what should they do about the danger? And you say, I take no responsibility.

WELKER: Let me talk about your --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Excuse me, I take -- I take full responsibility. It's not my fault that it came here. It's China's fault.

And you know what? It's not Joe's fault that it came here either. It's China's fault.

They kept it from going into the rest of China for the most part. But they didn't keep it from coming out to the world, including Europe and ourselves.

WELKER: Vice President Biden?

BIDEN: The fact is that when we knew it was coming, when it hit, what happened? What did the president say?

He said, don't worry, it's going to go away. Be gone by Easter. Don't worry. Warm weather.

Don't worry. Maybe inject bleach. He said he was kidding when he said that, but a lot of people thought it was serious.

A whole range of things the president has said -- even today he thinks we are in control. We're about to lose 200,000 more people.

WELKER: President Trump?

TRUMP: Look, perhaps, just to finish this -- I was kidding on that.

But just to finish this, when I closed he said I shouldn't have closed. And that went on for months. What -- Nancy Pelosi said the same thing. She was dancing on the streets in Chinatown in San Francisco. But when I closed, he said, this is a terrible thing, xenophobic. I think he called me racist even, and because I was closing it to China.

Now he says I should have closed it earlier. It just -- Joe, it doesn't work.

BIDEN: I didn't say either of those things.

TRUMP: You certainly did. You certainly did.

(CROSSTALK)

BIDEN: I talked about xenophobia in a different context. It wasn't about closing the border to Chinese coming to the United States.

WELKER: All right. I want to talk about both of your different strategies to handle --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: He thought I shouldn't have closed the border. That's obvious.

WELKER: Is that -- do you want to respond to that quickly, Vice President Biden?

BIDEN: No.

WELKER: OK, let's talk about your different strategies toward dealing with this.

Mr. Vice President, you suggested you would support new shutdowns if scientists recommended it. What do you say to Americans who are fearful that the cost of shutdowns, the impact on the economy, the higher rates of hunger, depression, domestic and substance abuse outweighs the risk of exposure to the virus?

BIDEN: What I would say is I'm going to shut down the virus, not the country. It's his ineptitude that caused the virus -- caused the country to have to shut down in large part. Why businesses have gone under. Why schools are closed. Why so many people have lost their living and why they're concerned.

Those other concerns are real. That's why he should have been, instead of in a sand trap at his golf course, he should have been negotiating with Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats and Republicans about what to do about the acts they were passing for billions of dollars to make sure people had the capacity.

WELKER: But you haven't ruled out more shutdowns?

BIDEN: No. I'm not shutting down the -- but there are -- look, you need standards. The standard is if you have a reproduction rate in a community that's above a certain level, everybody says, slow up, more social distancing. Do not open bars and do not open gymnasiums. Do not open until you can get this under control, under more control.

But when you do open, give the people the capacity to be able to open and have the capacity to do it safely.

For example, schools. Schools, they need a lot of money to open. They need to deal with ventilation systems. They need to deal with smaller classes, more teachers, more pods.

And he's refused to support that money, or at least up to now.

WELKER: Let's talk about schools. President Trump --

TRUMP: Well, I have to respond if I might.

WELKER: Please. And then I have a follow-up.

TRUMP: Thank you, and I appreciate that.

Look, all he does is talk about shutdowns. But forget about him. His Democrat governors, Cuomo in New York, you look at what's going on in California, you look at Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Democrats, Democrats all, they're shut down so tight and they're dying. They're dying.

And he supports all these people. All he talks about is shutdowns. No, we're not going to shut down. And we have to open our schools.

And it's like -- as an example, I have a young son. He also tested positive. By the time I spoke to the doctor the second time, he was fine. It just went away.

Young people, I guess it's their immune system.

WELKER: Let me follow up with you, President Trump. You've demanded schools open in person and insist they can do it safely. But just yesterday, Boston became the latest city to move its public school system entirely online after a coronavirus spike.

What is your message to parents who worry that sending their children to school will endanger not only their kids but also their teachers and families?

TRUMP: I want to open the schools. The transmittal rate to the teachers is very small. But I want to open the schools.

We have to open our country. We're not going to have a country. You can't do this. We can't keep this country closed. This is a massive country with a massive economy.

[21:20:00]

People are losing their jobs, they're committing suicide, there's depression, alcohol, drugs at a level that nobody has ever seen before. There's abuse, tremendous abuse. We have to open our country.

You know I've said it often, the cure cannot be worse that the problem itself and that's what's happening. And he wants to close down -- he'll close down the country if one person in our -- in our massive bureaucracy says we should close it down. WELKER: Vice President Biden, your response?

BIDEN: Simply not true. We ought to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. We ought to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. We ought to be able to safely open but when they need resources to open, you need to be able to, for example, if you're going to open a business; have social distancing within the business.

You need to have -- if you have a restaurant you need to have Plexiglas dividers so people cannot infect one another. You need to be in a position where you can take testing rapidly and know whether a person is in fact infected.

You need to be able to trace. You need to be able to provide all the resources that are needed to do this. And that is not inconsistent with saying that what -- we're going to make sure that we can open safely.

And by the way, all you teachers out there, not that many of you are going to die so don't worry about it. So don't worry about it. Come on.

WELKER: President Trump, let me follow up with you quickly.

TRUMP: By the way, I will say this. If you go and look at what's happened to New York, it's a ghost town. It's a ghost town. And when you talk about Plexiglas, these are restaurants that are dying. These are business with no money. Putting up Plexiglas is unbelievably expensive.

And it's not the answer. I mean you're going to sit there in a cubicle wrapped around with plastic. It's -- these are businesses that are dying, Joe. You can't do that to people. You just can't. Take a look at New York and what's happened to my wonderful city for so many years.

I loved it, it was vibrant. It's dying. Everyone's leaving New York.

BIDEN: Take a look at what New York has done in terms of turning the curve down in terms of the number of people dying. And I don't look at this in terms of the way he does, blue states and red states. They're all the United States.

And look at the states that are having such a spike in the coronavirus. They're the red states. They're the states in the Midwest, they're the states in the Upper Midwest. That's where the spike is occurring significantly. But they're all Americans, they're all Americans.

And what we have to do is say wear these masks, number one. Make sure we get the help that the businesses need that has monies already been passed to do that. It's been out there since the beginning of the summer and nothing's happened.

TRUMP: Kristen, New York has lost more than 40,000 people. 11,000 people in nursing homes. WELKER: President Trump, what about ...

TRUMP: When you say spike, take a look at what's happening in Pennsylvania where they've had it closed. Take a look at what's happening with your friend in Michigan where her husband's the only one allowed to do anything. It's been like a prison.

Now it was just ruled unconstitutional. Take a look at North Carolina, they're having spikes and they've been closed and they're getting killed financially. We can't let that happen, Joe. You can't let that happen. We have to open up.

And we understand the disease. We have to protect our seniors, we have to protect our elderly. We have to protect especially our seniors with heart problems and diabetes problems.

And we will protect and we have the best testing in the world by far. That's why we have so many cases.

WELKER: Let me follow up with you before we move on to our next section. President Trump, this week you called Dr. Anthony Fauci the nation's best known infectious disease expert quote, a disaster. You described him and other medical experts as quote, idiots. If you're not listening to them, who are you listening to when you fight this?

TRUMP: Let -- let me -- I'm listening to all of them, including Anthony. I get along very well with Anthony. But he did say don't wear masks. He did say, as you know, this is not going to be a problem. I think he's a Democrat but that's OK. He said this is not going to be a problem. We are not going to have a problem at all.

When Joe says that I said Anthony Fauci said and others -- and many others. And I'm not knocking him a lot (ph). Nobody knew. Look, nobody knew what this thing was. Nobody knew where it was coming from, what it was. We've learned a lot. But Anthony said don't wear a masks, now he wants to masks.

Anthony also said, if you look back, exact words -- here's his exact words. This is no problem, this is going to go away soon. So he's allowed to make mistakes. He happens to be a good person.

WELKER: Vice President Biden, your response quickly and then we're going to move on to the next section.

BIDEN: My response is that think about what the president knew in January and didn't tell the American people. He was told this was a serious virus that spread in the air and it was much worse than -- much worse than the flu.

He went on record and said to one of your colleagues, recorded, that in fact he knew how dangerous it was but he didn't want to tell us. He didn't want to tell us because he didn't want us to panic. He didn't want us -- Americans don't panic. He panicked. But guess what, in the meantime we find out in the New York Times the other day that in fact his folks went to Wall Street and said this is a really dangerous thing, and a memo out of that meeting -- not from his administration, but from some of the brokers said sell short because we've got to get moving. It's a dangerous problem (ph).

(CROSSTALK)

[21:25:00]

TRUMP: Well this is one I -- this is one I have to (inaudible)...

WELKER: I'm going to give you 30 seconds to respond, and then we're going to move on.

TRUMP: The Wall Street woman (ph) I don't know, somebody went to Wall Street. You're the one that takes all the money from Wall Street. I don't take it.

BIDEN: I haven't (ph)...

TRUMP: Joe, you -- you have raised a lot of money, tremendous amounts of money, and every time you raise money, deals are made, Joe. I could raise so much money, as president and as somebody that knows most of those people, I could call the heads of Wall Street, the heads of every company in America, I would blow away every record, but I don't want to do that because it puts me in a bad position.

And then you bring up Wall Street? You shouldn't be bringing up Wall Street, because you're the one that takes the money from Wall Street, not me.

BIDEN: My average...

TRUMP: I could -- I could blow away your records that -- like you wouldn't believe. We don't need money, we have plenty of money. In fact, we beat Hillary Clinton with a tiny fraction that she was able to (ph)...

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: All right, gentlemen, we're going to move on.

TRUMP: So don't tell me about Wall Street.

BIDEN: Average contribution, $43.

WELKER: We're going to -- all right, we're going to move on to our next section, which is national security, and I do want to start with the security of our elections and some breaking news from overnight. Just last night top intelligence officials confirmed again that both Russia and Iran are working to influence this election. Both countries have obtained US voter registration information, these officials say, and Iran sent intimidating messages to Florida voters.

This question goes to you, Mr. Vice President, what would you do to put an end to this threat? You have two minutes uninterrupted.

BIDEN: I made it clear, and I ask everyone else to take the pledge. I made it clear that any country, no matter who it is, that interferes in American elections will pay a price. They will pay a price. It has been overwhelmingly clear this election -- I won't even (ph) get into the last one -- this election that Russia has been involved, China has been involved to some degree, and now we learn that -- that -- that Iran is involved.

They will pay a price if I'm elected. They're interfering with American sovereignty. That's what's going on right now, they're interfering with American sovereignty. And to the best of my knowledge, I don't think the president's said anything to Putin about it, I don't think he's talking to him a lot (ph), I don't think he's said a word. I don't know why he hasn't said a word to Putin about it, and I don't know what he has recently said, if anything, to the Iranians. My guess is he'd probably be more outspoken with regard to the Iranians.

But the point is this, folks: we are in a situation where we have foreign company -- countries trying to interfere in the outcome of our election. His all -- own national security adviser told him that what is happening with his buddy -- well, look, I shouldn't (ph) -- well, I will -- his buddy, Rudy Giuliani, he's being used as a Russian pawn, he's being fed information that is Russian -- that is not true, and then what happens? Nothing happens. And then you find out that everything is (ph) going on here about Russia is wanting to make sure that I do not get elected the next President of the United States because they know I know them, and they know me.

I don't understand why this president is unwilling to take on Putin when he's actually paying bounties to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, when he's engaged in activities that are trying to destabilize all of NATO. I don't know why he doesn't do it, but it's worth asking the question, why isn't that being done?

Any country that interferes with us will in fact pay a price because they're affecting our sovereignty.

WELKER: President Trump, same question to you, let me...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I have to respond (ph)...

WELKER: Let me ask the question.

TRUMP: Yes.

WELKER: You're going to have two minutes to respond.

TRUMP: Sure.

WELKER: For two elections in a row now there has been substantial interference from foreign adversaries. What would you do in your next term to put an end to this? Two minutes, uninterrupted.

TRUMP: Well let me respond to the first part as Joe answered. Joe got $3 1/2 million from Russia, and it came through Putin because he was very friendly with the former Mayor of Moscow, and it was the Mayor of Moscow's wife, and you got $3 1/2 million, your family got $3 1/2 million, and you know, someday you're going to have to explain why did you get 3 1/2 (ph); I never got any money from Russia, I don't get money from Russia.

Now about your thing last night, I knew all about that, and through John, who is -- John Ratcliffe, who is fantastic, DNI, he said the one thing that's common to both of them, they both want you to lose, because there has been nobody tougher to Russia with -- between the sanctions, nobody tougher than me on Russia. Between the sanctions, between all of what I've done with NATO -- you know, I've got the NATO countries to put up an extra $130 billion going to $420 billion a year; that's the guard against Russia.

I sold -- while he was selling pillows and sheets, I sold tank busters to Ukraine. There has been nobody tougher than -- on Russia than Donald Trump.

TRUMP: And I'll tell you, they were so bad, they took over the -- the submarine port, you remember that very well, during your term, during you and Barack Obama, they took over a big part of what should have been Ukraine, you handed it to them.

[21:30:00]

But you were getting a lot of money from Russia, they were paying you a lot of money, and they probably still are. But now, with what came out today, it's even worse. All of the e-mails, the e-mails, the horrible emails of the kind of money that you were raking in, you and your family.

And, Joe, you were vice president when some of this was happening. And it should have never happened. And I think you owe an explanation to the American people.

Why is it -- somebody just had a news conference a little while ago who was essentially supposed to work with you and your family. But what he said was damning.

And, regardless of me, I think you have to clean it up and talk to the American people. Maybe you can do it right now.

WELKER: Vice President Biden, you may respond...

BIDEN: I'll be straight here. I...

WELKER: ... for 30 seconds. And then I do want to follow up on the election security...

BIDEN: I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life. We learned that this president paid 50 times the tax in China, has a secret bank account with China, does business in China, and in fact is talking about me taking money?

I have not taken a single penny from any country whatsoever -- ever, number one.

Number two, this is a president -- I have released all of my tax returns, 22 years. Go look at them, 22 years of my tax returns. You have not released a single solitary year of your tax return.

What are you hiding? Why are you unwilling?

The foreign countries are paying you a lot. Russia is paying you a lot. China is paying you a lot. And your hotels and all your businesses all around the country, all around the world. And China is building a new road to a new -- a golf course you have overseas.

So what's going on here? Why not release your tax returns and stop talking about corruption?

WELKER: President Trump, your response...

TRUMP: First of all, I called my accountants -- under audit. I'm going to release them as soon as we can. I want to do it. And it will show how successful, how great this company is.

But much more importantly than that, people were saying $750. I asked them a week ago. I said, "What did I pay?"

They said, "Sir, you pre-paid tens of millions of dollars. I pre-paid my tax, tens -- over the last number of years -- tens of millions of dollars, I pre-paid.

Because, at some point they think -- it's an estimate; they think I may have to pay tax, so I already pre-paid it. Nobody told me that.

WELKER: Did your accountant tell you when you can release them?

TRUMP: Excuse me. And it wasn't written, whenever they write this -- they keep talking about $750, which I think is a filing fee. But let me just tell you. I pre-paid millions and millions of dollars in taxes, number one.

Number two, I don't make money from China. You do. I don't make money from Ukraine. You do. I don't make money from Russia. You made $3.5 million, Joe. And your son gave you -- they even have a statement that "we have to give 10 percent to the big man." You're "the big man," I think. I don't know. Maybe you're not. But you're "the big man," I think.

Your son said, "We have to give 10 percent to the big man." Joe, what's that all about? It's terrible.

WELKER: All right. Gentlemen, I want to ask you both some questions about...

BIDEN: I have to respond to that.

WELKER: I'm going to let you both respond very quickly.

You just said you spoke to your accountant about potentially releasing your taxes. Did he tell you when you can release them? Do you...

TRUMP: As soon as the audit is finished.

WELKER: ... have a deadline for when you're going to release...

TRUMP: I get treated...

WELKER: ... them to the American people?

TRUMP: ... worse than the Tea Party got treated.

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: ... don't have time.

TRUMP: Because they have a lot of people in there, deep down in the IRS, they treat me horribly.

We made a deal. It was all settled, until I decide to run for president. I get treated very badly by the IRS, very unfairly.

But we had a deal all done. As soon as we're completed with the deal -- I want to release it. But I have paid millions and millions of dollars. And I -- it's worse than paying. I paid in advance. It's called pre-paying your taxes. I paid (inaudible).

WELKER: OK. I want to ask you both about...

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: ... questions regarding your potential foreign entanglements and questions that have been raised, to give you both a chance to...

BIDEN: At some point...

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: ... talk about this more broadly.

Respond very quickly, and then I'll get to my question.

BIDEN: Why did -- he's been saying this for four years. Show us. Just show us. Stop playing around. You've been saying for four years...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: ... playing around. Everybody knows...

BIDEN: ... you're going to release your taxes.

Nobody knows, Mr. President. What they do know is you're not paying your taxes, or you're paying taxes that are so low. When last time he said what he paid, he said, "I only paid that little because I'm smart. I know how to game the system."

Come on. Come on, folks.

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: ... President Trump, and then I want to get to two questions to both of you on this.

BIDEN: Sure.

TRUMP: I was put through a phony witch hunt for three years. It started before I even got elected. They spied on my campaign. No president should ever have to go through what I went through.

Let me just say this. Mueller and 18 angry Democrats, and FBI agents all over the place, spent $48 million. They went through everything I had, including my tax returns, and they found absolutely no collusion and nothing wrong. $48 million. I guarantee you if I spent $1 million on you, Joe, I could plenty wrong because -

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: All right.

TRUMP: -- the kind of things that you've done and the kind of monies that your family has taken, I mean, your brother made money in Iraq -

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: Let me -

(CROSSTALK)

[21:35:00]

TRUMP: -- millions of dollars. Your other brother made a fortune, and it's all through you, Joe, and they say you get some of it. And you do live very well. You have houses all over the place. You live very well.

(LAUGHTER)

WELKER: All right, gentlemen. Let me just ask some questions about all of this broadly. Vice President Biden, there have been questions about the work your son has done in China and for a Ukrainian energy company when you were vice president. In retrospect, was anything about those relationships inappropriate or unethical?

BIDEN: Nothing was unethical. Here's what the deal. With regard to Ukraine we had this whole question about whether or not because he was on the board, I later learned, of Burisma, a company, that somehow I had done something wrong. Yet every single solitary person when he was going through his impeachment testifying under oath who worked for him said I did my job impeccably. I carried out U.S. policy. Not one single solitary thing was out of line. Not a single thing, number one.

Number two, the guy who got in trouble in Ukraine was this guy trying to bribe the Ukrainian government to say something negative about me, which they would not do and did not do because it never ever, every happened. My son has not made money in terms of this thing about - what did he talking about (ph) - China. I have not had - the only guy that made money from China is this guy. He's the only one. Nobody else has made money from Trump. WELKER: President Trump -

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Let me deal with (inaudible) - by the way -

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: -- let me - let me ask my question to you and then you will -

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: But could I just one thing?

WELKER: Very quickly.

TRUMP: His son didn't have a job for a long time, was sadly no longer in the military service. I won't get into that. And he didn't have a job. As soon as he became vice president, Burisma, not the best - not the best reputation in the world, I hear they paid him $183,000 a month. Listen to this, 183, and they gave him a $3 million up front payment -

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: All right -

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: -- and he had no energy experience. That's 100 percent dishonest.

WELKER: -- I'm going to let the vice president respond to that quickly and then I need to get to a question to you very quickly, Mr. President.

BIDEN: No basis to that. Everybody investigated that. No one said anything he did was wrong in Ukraine.

WELKER: OK, President Trump, this is for you. Since you took office you've never divested from your business. You've personally promoted your properties abroad. A report this week, which was referenced, does indicate that your company has a bank account in China. So how can voters know that you don't have any foreign conflicts of interest?

TRUMP: I have many bank accounts and they're all listed and they're all over the place. I mean, I was a businessman doing business. The bank account you're referring to, which is everybody knows about it, it's listed. The bank account was in 2013. That's what it was. It was open in - it was closed in 2015 I believe. And then I decided because I was going to do - I was thinking about doing a deal on China like millions of other people, I was thinking about it, and I decided I'm not going to do it. Didn't like it. I decided not to do it. Had an account open, and I closed it.

WELKER: OK. TRUMP: Excuse me. And then unlike him where he's vice president and he does business, I then decided to run for president after that. That was before. So I closed it before I even ran for president let alone became president. Big difference. He is the Vice President of the United States, and his son, his brother and his other brother are getting rich. They're like a vacuum cleaner. They're sucking up money every place he goes (ph).

WELKER: OK. President Trump, thank you. We do need to move on.

BIDEN: Not true.

WELKER: I do want to ask you, Vice President Biden, about China. Let's talk about China more broadly. There have, of course - President Trump has said that they should pay for not being fully transparent in regards to the coronavirus. If you were president, would you make China pay? And please be specific what would that look like?

BIDEN: What I'd make China do is play by the international rules not like he has done. He has cause the deficit of China to go up, not down - with China up, not down. We are making sure that in order to do business in China you have to give all your intellectual property. You have to get - have a partner in China that has 51 percent. We would not do that at all, number one. Number two, we're in a situation where China would have to play by the rules internationally as well. When I met with Xi and when I was still vice president, he said we're setting up air identification zones in the South China Sea. You can't fly through them. I said we're going to fly through them. We just flew B- 52 - B-1 bombers through it. We're not going to pay attention. They have to play by the rules. And what's he do? He embraces guys like the thugs like in North Korea and the Chinese president and Putin and others, and he pokes his finger in the eye of all of our friends, all of our allies. We make up only - we're 25 percent - 25 percent of the world's economy. We need to be having the rest of our friends with us saying to China these are the rules. You play by them or you're going to pay the price for not playing by them, economically. That's the way I will run it and that's what we did and uphold these steel tariffs and a range of other things when were president and vice president.

[21:40:00]

WELKER: All right, and let's talk about North Korea.

TRUMP: No -- no -- no --

WELKER: Let -- yes (ph), OK.

TRUMP: -- excuse me, no I have to respond to that.

WELKER: OK, very quickly and then we're going to move onto North Korea.

TRUMP: (Inaudible) walked out with $1.5 billion from China to --

BIDEN: Not true. TRUMP: -- after spending 10 minutes in office and being Air Force Two, number one. Number two, there's a very strong e-mail talking about your family wanting to make $10 million a year for introductions.

WELKER: President Trump, on China policy though --

(CROSSTALK)

BIDEN: That's not true.

TRUMP: No -- no, but --

WELKER: -- what specifically are you going to do -- what specifically are you going to do to make China pay? You said you're going to make them pay.

TRUMP: First of all, China is paying. They're paying billions and billions of dollars. I just gave $28 billion --

WELKER: New sanctions? New sanctions?

TRUMP: Kristen, I just gave $28 billion to our farmers --

BIDEN: Tax payer's money.

TRUMP: It's what?

BIDEN: Tax payer's money. Didn't come from China.

TRUMP: No -- no -- yes. You know who the tax payer is, it's called China.

BIDEN: Not true.

TRUMP: China paid $28 billion, and you know what they did to pay it, Joe? They devalued their currency and they also paid up. And you know who got the money? Our farmers, our great farmers, because they were targeted. You never charged them anything.

Also, I charged them 25 percent on dumped steel because they were killing our steel industry -- we were not going to have a steel industry --

WELKER: OK.

TRUMP: -- and now we have a steel industry.

WELKER: OK, Vice President Biden, your response, please.

BIDEN: My response is, look, this isn't about -- the reason -- there's a reason why he's bringing up all this mularkey there's reason for it. He doesn't want to talk about the -- the substantive issues. It's not about his family and my family, it's about your family and your family's hurting badly.

If you're making less than -- if you're a middle class family you're getting hurt badly right now. You're sitting at the kitchen table this morning deciding, well we can't get new tires, they're bald, because we have to wait another month or so. Or are we going to be able to pay the mortgage. Or who's going to tell her she can't go back -- to community college?

They're the decisions you're making, in the middle class families like I grew up in Scranton and Claymont. They're in trouble. We should be talking about your families, but that's the last thing he wants to talk about.

WELKER: I want to -- I want to talk about North Korea.

TRUMP: That is a -- listen -- excuse me. Just give me one (ph) second please.

WELKER: I do want to turn to -- 10 second Mr. President. Ten seconds.

TRUMP: That's a typical political statement. Let's get off this China thing and then he looks, the family, around the table, everything, just the typical politician when I see that --

WELKER: Let's talk about North Korea.

TRUMP: I'm not a typical politician. That's why I got elected.

WELKER: OK.

TRUMP: That was -- let's get off the subject of China and let's talk around sitting around the table. Come on Joe, you can do better.

WELKER: We're going to talk about North Korea now. President Trump, you've met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un three times, you've talked about your beautiful letters with him. You've touted the fact that there hasn't been a war or a long-range missile test, and yet North Korea recently rolled it's biggest ever intercontinental ballistic missile and continues to develop its nuclear arsenal. Do you see that as a betrayal of the relationship you've forged? Just 30 second here, because we need to get on to the next --

TRUMP: So, when I met with Barak Obama, we sat in the White House, right at the beginning, had a great conversation. It was supposed to be 15 minutes and it was well over an hour. He said the biggest problem we have with North -- is North Korea.

He indicated, we will be in a war with North Korea. Guess what? It would be a nuclear war and he does have plenty of nuclear capability. In the meantime, I have a very good relationship with him, different kind of a guy, but he probably things the same thing about me. We have a different kind of a relationship, we have a very good relationship and there's no war. And you know, about two months ago he broke into a certain area. They said, oh, there's going to be trouble. I said, no they're not, because he's not going to do that. And I was right.

Look, instead of being in a war where millions of people -- Seoul, you know, is 25 miles away, millions and millions, 32 million people in Seoul, millions of people would be dead right now. WELKER: OK, President Trump, that's 30 seconds. Thank you.

TRUMP: We don't have a war and I have a good relationship.

WELKER: Vice President Biden to you, North Korea conducted four nuclear tests under the Obama Administration. Why do you think you would be able to rein in this persistent threat?

BIDEN: Because I'd make clear, which we were making it clear to China, they had to be part of the deal, because here's the re -- I made it clear and as a spokesperson in the administration when I went to China, that I said, why are you moving your missile defense up so close? Why are you moving more forces here? Why are you continuing to do military maneuvers with South Korea? I said, because North Korea is a problem and we're going to continue to it so we can control them. We're going to make sure we can control them and make sure they can not hurt us.

And so, if you want to do something about it, step up and help. If not, it's going to continue. What has he done? He's legitimized North Korea. He's talked about his good buddy who's a thug -- a thug and he talks about how we're better off. And they are -- have much more capable missiles, able to reach U.S. territory much more easily than ever did before.

WELKER: Let me follow up with you Vice President Biden, you've said you wouldn't meet with Kim Jong Un without preconditions. Are there any conditions under which you would meet with him?

BIDEN: On the condition that he would agree that he would be drawing down his nuclear capacity to get that -- the Korean Peninsula should be nuclear free zone.

WELKER: All right, let's move on to American families.

TRUMP: Kristen, they tried to meet with him.

WELKER: Very quickly, 10 seconds President --

[21:45:00]

TRUMP: They tried to meet with him, he wouldn't do it. He didn't like Obama, he didn't like him - he wouldn't do it.

WELKER: OK, got to give him a chance to respond to that before we move on.

TRUMP: They tried, he wouldn't do it.

BIDEN: No, I ...

TRUMP: And that's OK. You know what, North Korea, we're not in a war. We have a good relationship. You know, people don't understand (ph), having a good relationship with leaders of other countries (ph) ...

WELKER: President Trump, we have to move on because we have a lot of ...

TRUMP: ... is a good thing.

WELKER: ... we have a lot of questions to get through.

TRUMP: Yes. (Inaudible).

BIDEN: (Inaudible) we had a good relationship with Hitler before he in fact invaded Europe - the rest of Europe. Come on. The reason he would not meet with President Obama is because President Obama said we're going to talk about denuclearization. We are not going to legitimize you, we're going to continue to put stronger and stronger sanctions on you - that's why he wouldn't meet with us.

WELKER: All right, let's ...

TRUMP: And it didn't happen.

WELKER: ... move on - let's move on ...

TRUMP: Excuse me. He left me a mess, Kristin.

WELKER: ... and talk about American families. President Trump - OK, we do need to move on ...

TRUMP: They left me a mess. North Korea was a mess, and in fact, if you remember ...

WELKER: ... so that we can get to all of our (inaudible) questions tonight ...

TRUMP: ... the first two or three months ...

WELKER: ... President Trump.

TRUMP: ... there was a very dangerous period in my first three months, before we sort of worked things out a little bit.

WELKER: OK.

TRUMP: There was a very - they left us a mess, and Obama would be, I think, the first to say it was the single biggest problem he thought that our country (inaudible) ...

WELKER: OK. Let's move on to American families and the economy. One of the issues that's most important to them is healthcare, as you both know. Today there was a key vote on a new Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett, and healthcare is at the center of her confirmation fight.

Over 20 million Americans get their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. It's headed to the Supreme Court, and your administration, Mr. President, is advocating for the court to overturn it.

If the Supreme Court does overturn that law, those 20 million Americans could lose their health insurance, almost overnight. So what would you do if those people have their health insurance taken away? You have two minutes, uninterrupted.

TRUMP: Sure. First of all, I've already done something that nobody thought was possible. Through the legislature I terminated the individual mandate - that is the worst part of Obamacare, as we call it. The individual mandate where you have to pay a fortune for the privilege of not having to pay for bad health insurance - I terminated it, it's gone.

Now it's in court because Obamacare is no good. But then I made a decision, run it as well as you can, to my people - great people. Run it as well as you can - I could have gone the other route and made everybody very unhappy. They ran it. Premiums are down, everything's down. Here's the problem, no matter how well you run it, it's no good.

What we'd like to do is terminate it. We have the individual mandate, done. I don't know that it's going to work. If we don't win, we will have to run it and we'll have Obamacare but it'll be better run. But it no longer is Obamacare, because without the individual mandate it's much different.

Preexisting conditions will always stay. What I would like to do is a much better healthcare - much better, we'll always protect people with preexisting. So I'd like to terminate Obamacare, come up with a brand new beautiful healthcare. The Democrats will do it because there'll be tremendous pressure on them, and we might even have the House by that time. And I think we're going to win the House, OK? You'll see, but I think we're going to win the House.

But come up with a better healthcare, always protecting people with preexisting conditions. And one thing, very important - we have 180 million people out there that have great, private healthcare, far more than we're talking about with Obamacare.

Joe Biden is going to terminate all of those policies. These are people that love their healthcare, people that have been successful - middle income people - been successful. They have 180 million plans, 180 million people - families, under what he wants to do which will basically be socialized medicine, he won't even have a choice. They want to terminate 180 million plans.

We have done an incredible job on healthcare, and we're going to do even better (inaudible) ...

WELKER: OK.

BIDEN: Let me respond ...

WELKER: Vice President Biden, yes, this is for you. Your healthcare plan calls for building on Obamacare, so my question is, what is your plan if the law is ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court? You have two minutes, uninterrupted.

BIDEN: What I'm going to do is pass Obamacare with a public option, become Bidencare. The public option is an option that says that, if you in fact do not have the wherewithal to be - if you qualify for Medicaid, and you do not have the wherewithal in your state to get Medicaid, you're automatically enrolled providing competition for insurance companies - that's what's going to happen.

Secondly, we're going to make sure we reduce the premiums and reduce drug prices by making sure that there's competition that doesn't exist now by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with the insurance companies.

Thirdly, the idea that I want to eliminate private insurance - the reason why I had such a fight for - with 20 candidates for the nomination was I support private insurance. That's why I did not -- not one single person with private insurance would lose their insurance under my plan, nor did they under Obamacare. They did not lose their insurance unless they chose they wanted to go to something else.

[21:50:00]

Lastly, we're going to make sure we're in a position that we actually protect pre-existing conditions. There's no way he can protect pre- existing conditions. None. Zero. You can't do it in the ether.

He's been talking about this for a long time. There is no -- he's never come up with a plan. I guess we're going to get the pre-existing plan the same time we get the infrastructure plan that we've waited since '17, '18, '19, and '20.

The fact -- I still have a few minutes. I know you're getting anxious.

(LAUGHTER)

The fact is that he's already cost the American people because of his terrible handling of the COVID virus and economic spillover. Ten million people have lost their private insurance, and he wants to take away 22 million more people who have it under Obamacare and over 110 million people with pre-existing conditions and all the people from COVID are going to have pre-existing conditions.

What are they going to do?

WELKER: I have a follow up for you, Vice President Biden.

BIDEN: Sure.

WELKER: It relates to something that President Trump said. He's accusing you of wanting socialized medicine.

What do you say to people who have concerns that your health care plan which includes a government insurance option, takes the country one step closer to a health care system run entirely by the government? What's your response to them?

BIDEN: I say it's ridiculous. It's like saying that, you know, we're -- the idea that -- the fact that there's a public option, that people can choose, that makes it a socialist plan? Look, the difference between the president -- and I think health care is not a privilege. It's a right. Everyone should have the right to have affordable health care.

And I am very proud of my plan. It's gotten endorsed by all the major labor unions as well as -- as well as a whole range of other people who, in fact, are concerned in the medical field.

This is something that's going to save people's lives and this is going to give some people an opportunity, an opportunity to have health care for their children.

How many of you at home are worried rolling around in bed tonight wondering what in God's name you're going to do if you get sick because you lost your home insurance -- your health insurance your company's gone under?

We have to provide health insurance for people at an affordable rate. And that's what I do.

WELKER: President Trump, your response?

TRUMP: Excuse me. He was there for 47 years. He didn't do it.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: He was now there as vice president for eight years. And it's not like it was 25 years ago. It was three and three quarters. It was just a little while ago, right? Less than four years ago.

He didn't do anything. He didn't do it.

He wants socialized medicine. And it's not that he wants it. His vice president -- I mean, she is more liberal than Bernie Sanders and wants it even more.

Bernie Sanders wants it. The Democrats want it. You're going to have socialized medicine.

Just like you were with fracking -- we're not going to have fracking. We're going to stop fracking. We're going to stop fracking.

Then he goes to Pennsylvania after he gets a nomination, where he got very lucky to get it. And he goes to Pennsylvania and he says, oh, we're going to have fracking. And you never ask that question.

And, by the way, so far, I respect very much the way you're handling this I have to say.

BIDEN: By the way --

TRUMP: But somebody should ask the question. He goes for a year, there will be no fracking, there will be no --

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: We have -- we have -- we do have a number of -- we have a number of topics.

TRUMP: No, no, but that's a big question.

WELKER: We're going to get to it --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: It's the same thing with socialized medicine.

BIDEN: I have to respond to health care.

WELKER: Vice President, your response, please?

BIDEN: My response is, people deserve to have affordable health care, period. Period, period, period.

And the Biden care proposal will, in fact, provide for that affordable health care, lower premiums.

What we're going to do is going to cost some money. It's going to cost over $750 billion over 10 years to do it, and they're going to have lower premiums. You can buy into better plans, the cheaper plans, lower your premiums, deal with unexpected billing, and have your drug prices drop significantly.

He keeps talking about it. He hasn't done a thing for anybody on health care. Not a thing.

TRUMP: Kristen, when he says --

WELKER: Very quickly, then I want to talk about what's happening on Capitol Hill.

TRUMP: When he says public option, he's talking about socialized medicine. And when he -- and health care. When he talks about a public option, he's talking about destroying your Medicare, totally destroying --

BIDEN: Wrong.

TRUMP: -- and destroying your Social Security. And this whole country will come down.

You know, Bernie Sanders tried it in his state.

BIDEN: Bernie --

TRUMP: He tried it in his state. His governor was a very liberal governor. They wanted to make it work.

WELKER: OK.

TRUMP: It was impossible to work.

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: Let's hear -- let's let Vice President Biden respond.

TRUMP: It doesn't work.

WELKER: Vice President Biden, your response?

BIDEN: He's very confused. He thinks he's running against somebody else. He's running against Joe Biden.

I beat all those other people because I disagreed with them. Joe Biden he's running against.

And the idea that we're in a situation that we're going to destroy Medicare, this is the guy that the actuary of Medicare said if, in fact -- Social Security -- if in fact he continues to withhold his plan to withhold the tax on Social Security, Social Security will be bankrupt in -- by 2023, with no way to make up for it.

This is the guy who's tried to cut Medicare. So, I don't -- I mean, the idea that Donald Trump is lecturing me on Social Security and Medicare. Come on.

TRUMP: He tried to get rid of ...

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: Ten seconds, Mr. President, and then I have to go to another question.

[21:55:00]

TRUMP: He tried to hurt Social Security years ago -- years ago. Go back and look at the records; he tried to hurt Social Security years ago. One thing ...

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: All right, let's move -- I'm going to move on. Let me ...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: But this is the guy that when they announced ...

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: Mr. President, I have to move on to the next question or else we're not going to have time to talk about it.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: ... they said the stock market will boom if I'm elected. If he's elected, the stock market will crash.

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: OK. Let's move on to the next question. Very quickly. BIDEN: Look, the idea that the stock market is booming is his only measure of what's happening. Where I come from in Scranton and Claymont, the people don't live off of the stock market. Just in the -- just in the last three -- three years during this crisis, the billionaires in this country made, according to the Wall Street, $700 billion more because that's his only measure.

What happens to the ordinary people out there? What happens to them?

TRUMP: 40l(k)s ...

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: Let's talk about what's happening on Capitol Hill. We're going to move on, gentlemen.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Kristen, 401(k)s are through the roof.

WELKER: We're going to move on.

TRUMP: People's stock are through the roof.

WELKER: All right.

TRUMP: And he doesn't come from Scranton. That's like one of -- he lived there for a short period of time before he even knew and he left.

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: We're going to -- OK. We're going to move on to the next question.

TRUMP: And the people of Pennsylvania will show you that.

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: Let me move on to my next question, gentlemen.

TRUMP: They understand.

WELKER: As of tonight, more than 12 million people are out of work. And as of tonight, 8 million more Americans have fallen into poverty and more families are going hungry every day. Those hit hardest are women and people of color.

They see Washington fighting over a relief bill. Mr. President, why haven't you been able to get them the help they need? 30 seconds here.

TRUMP: Because Nancy Pelosi doesn't want to approve it. I do.

WELKER: But you're the president.

TRUMP: I do but I still have to get -- unfortunately that's one of the reasons I think we're going to take over the house because of her. Nancy Pelosi doesn't want to approve anything because she'd love to have some victories on a date called November 3rd.

Nancy Pelosi does not want to approve it. We are ready, willing and able to do something. Don't forget, we've already approved three plans and it's gone through, including the Democrats in all fairness.

This one she doesn't want. It's near the election because she thinks it helps her politically. I think it hurts her politically.

WELKER: All right. Mr. Vice President let ...

BIDEN: You know the Republican leader in the United States Senate said he can't pass it. He will not be able to pass it. He does not have Republican votes. Why isn't he talking to his Republican friends.

WELKER: Let me follow up with you Vice President Biden because ...

TRUMP: Because we made a deal and Republicans ...

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: Let me -- let me ask Vice President Biden a question. You are the leader of the Democratic Party, why have you not pushed the Democrats to get a deal for the American people?

BIDEN: Well, I have and they have pushed it. Look, they passed this act all the way back in the beginning of the summer. This is like it's not new. It's been out there. This Heroes Act has been sitting there and look at what's happening.

When I was in charge of the Recovery Act with $800 billion, I was able to get $145 billion to local communities that have to balance their budgets -- the states have to balance their budgets and then have to fire -- fire -- they have to fire firefighters, teachers, first responders, law enforcement officers so they can keep their cities and counties running. He will not support that. They have not done a thing for them.

And Mitch McConnell said let them go bankrupt. Let them go bankrupt. Come on. What's the matter with these guys.

TRUMP: The bill that was passed in the House was a bailout of badly run high crime Democrat -- all run by Democrats cities and states. It was a way of getting a lot of money, billions and billions of dollars to these states.

It was also a way of getting a lot of money from our people's pockets to people that come into our country illegally. We were going to take care of everything for them. And what that does -- and I'd love to do that, I'd love to help them but what that does, everybody all over the world will start pouring into our country, we can't do it.

This was a way of taking care of them. This was a way of spending on things that had nothing to do with COVID, as per your question. But it was really a big bail out for badly run Democrat cities and states. BIDEN: By the way, if I get elected, I'm not going to -- I'm running as a proud Democrat but I'm going to be an American president. I don't see red states and blue states, what I see is American, United States. And folks, every single state out there finds themself in trouble. They're going to start laying off whether they're red or blue; cops, firefighters, first responders because -- teachers because they have to balance their budget.

And the founders were smart. They allowed the federal government a deficit to spend to compensate for the United States of America.

WELKER: I want to talk about the minimum wage, gentlemen. Mr. Vice President, we are talking a lot about struggling small businesses and business owners these days. Do you think this is the right time to ask them to raise the minimum wage. You of course support a $15 federal minimum wage.

BIDEN: I do because I think one of things we're going to have to do is we're going to have to do is we're going to have to bail them out too. We should be bailing them out now those small businesses. You got one in six of them going under. They're not going to be able to make it back.

They passed a package that allows us to be able -- they call it PPP, money that's supposed to go to help them do everything from organize how they can deal with their businesses being opened safely. School, how they can make classrooms smaller, how they can hire more teachers, how they can put ventilation systems in; they need the help, the businesses as well as the schools need the help.

[22:00:00]

But this -- because these (ph) guys will not help them, is not giving them any of the money.

WELKER: We are going to move onto immigration, but I want to get your reaction...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Excuse me, one thing very quickly, he said we have to help our small businesses by raising the minimum wage? That's not helping -- I think it should be a state option. Alabama is different than New York, New York is different from Vermont, every state is different. It should be a state option.

WELKER: You -- you said very recently...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: We have to help -- it's very important, we have to help our small businesses.

WELKER: You -- you said...

TRUMP: How are you helping your small businesses when you're forcing wages? What's going to happen, and what's been proven to happen, is when you do that these small businesses fire many of their employees.

WELKER: You said very recently...

(CROSSTALK)

BIDEN: Not true, by the way.

WELKER: ...you would consider raising the federal minimum wage...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Say it?

WELKER: ...to $15 an hour.

TRUMP: Say it.

WELKER: You said recently you would consider raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour; is that still the case?

TRUMP: I -- what I'd really like (ph), and I would consider it in -- to an extent, but what I'd really like...

WELKER: In a second administration?

TRUMP: ...what I really -- in a second administration, but not to a level that's going to put all these businesses out of business. It should be a state option.

Look, I've lived in different places...

(CROSSTALK)

BIDEN: Every...

TRUMP: ...I know different places, they're all different. Some places, $15 is not so bad. In other places, other states, $15 would be ruinous (ph)...

WELKER: OK, President Trump, thank you. Quick response, Vice President Biden?

(CROSSTALK)

BIDEN: No -- no one should work two jobs, one job, be below poverty. People are making 6, 7, 8 bucks (ph) an hour. These first responders we all clap for as they come down the street because they've allowed us to make it, what's happening? They deserve a minimum wage of $15. Anything below that puts you below the poverty level, and there is no evidence that when you raise the minimum wage, businesses go out of business. That is simply not true. It's an old saw (ph).

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: We're going to talk about immigration. We're going to talk about immigration now, gentlemen, and we're going to talk about families within this context. Mr. President, your administration separated children from their parents at the border, at least 4,000 kids. You've since reversed your zero tolerance policy, but the United States can't locate the parents of more than 500 children, so how will these families ever be reunited?

TRUMP: Their (ph) children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people, cartels, and they're brought here, and they used to use them to get into our country. We now have as strong a border as we've ever had. We're over 400 miles of brand new wall. You see the numbers. And we let people in, but they have to come in legally and they come in through (inaudible)...

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: But how will you reunited these kids with their families, Mr. President?

TRUMP: But let me just tell you -- let me just tell you, they built cages. You know, they used to say I built the cages, and then they had a picture in a certain newspaper and it was a picture of these horrible cages and they said look at these cages, President Trump built them, and then it was determined they were built in 2014. That was him.

WELKER: Do you have a plan to reunite the kids with their families?

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: They built cages. Yes, we're working on it very -- we're -- we're trying very hard, but a lot of these kids come out without the parents, they come over through cartels and through coyotes and through gangs.

WELKER: Vice President Biden, let me bring you into this conversation.

(CROSSTALK)

BIDEN: This 525 (ph)...

WELKER: Quick response, and then another question to you.

BIDEN: These 500-plus kids came with parents. They separated them at the border to make it a disincentive to come to begin with. They -- real tough, we're really strong. And guess what? They can not -- it's not coyotes didn't bring them over, their parents were with them. They got separated from their parents. And it makes us a laughingstock and violates every notion of who we are as a nation.

WELKER: Let me ask you a follow-up question.

TRUMP: Kristen, they did it, we changed the policy.

WELKER: Your response to that?

TRUMP: They did it, we changed...

(CROSSTALK)

BIDEN: We did not separate the...

TRUMP: They built the cages. They -- who built the cages, Joe?

BIDEN: Let's -- let's talk about what we're talking about.

TRUMP: Who built the cages, Joe?

BIDEN: Let's talk about what we're talking about. What happened? Parents were ripped -- their kids were ripped from their arms and separated. And now they can not find over 500 sets of those parents and those kids are alone. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to go. It's criminal. It's criminal.

WELKER: Let me ask you about immigration, 10 seconds and then I need to ask a question...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Kristen, I will say this, they went down -- we brought reporters, everything, they are so well taken care of, they're in facilities that were so clean, have gotten such good...

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: But some of them haven't been reunited with their families.

TRUMP: But just ask -- one question, who built the cages? I'd love you to ask him that. Who built the cages?

WELKER: Let me ask about your immigration policy, Mr. Vice President. The Obama administration did fail to deliver immigration reform, which had been a key promise during the administration and also presided over record deportations as well as family detentions at the border before changing course.

So why should voters trust you with an immigration overhaul now?

BIDEN: Because we made a mistake, made too (ph) -- it took too long to get it right. It took too long to get it right.

I'll be President of the United States, not Vice President of the United States. And the fact is I've made it very clear within 100 days I'm going to send to the United States Congress a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people, and all of those so-called Dreamers, those DACA kids, they're going to be immediately certified again to be able to stay in this country and put on a path to citizenship.

[22:05:00]

The idea that they are being sent home by this guy -- and they want to do that -- is they're going to a country they've never seen before.

I can imagine, you're five years old. Your parents are taking you across the Rio -- the Rio Grande River, and it's -- and it's -- and it's illegal. And you say, "Oh, no, Mom, leave me here. I'm not going to go with you."

They've been here. Many of them are model citizens. Over 20,000 of them are first responders out there taking care of people during this crisis. We owe them. We owe them.

TRUMP: Kristen,

WELKER: President Trump, your reaction?

TRUMP: ... he had eight years to do what he said he was going to do. And I've changed...

BIDEN: We did.

TRUMP: Without having a specific, we got rid of catch-and-release. We got rid of a lot of horrible things that they put in and that they lived with.

But he had eight years he was vice president. He did nothing, except build cages to keep children in.

WELKER: Vice President Biden...

BIDEN: Wrong.

WELKER: ... your response?

BIDEN: The catch-and-release -- you know what he's talking about there? If in fact you had a family came across and they were arrested, they in fact were given a date to show up for their hearing. They were released. And guess what, they showed up for a hearing.

And this is the first president in the history of the United States of America that's anybody seeking asylum has to do it in another country. That's never happened before in America. That's never happened before in America. You come to the United States and you make your case that "I seek asylum based on the following -- on the following premise, why I deserve it under American law."

They're sitting in squalor on the other side of the river.

WELKER: President Trump, your response...

TRUMP: So important...

WELKER: ... 30 seconds, and then we'll move on.

TRUMP: It just shows that he has no understanding of immigration, of the laws. Catch-and-release is a disaster. A murderer would come in; a rapist would come in; a very bad person would come in. We would take their name. We have to release them into our country. And then you say they come back.

Less than 1 percent of the people come back. We have to send... BIDEN: Not true.

TRUMP: ICE out, and Border Patrol out, to find them. We would say "Come back in two years, three years; we're going to give you a court case. You need Perry Mason. We're going to give you a court case."

When you say they come back, they don't come back, Joe.

BIDEN: They do.

TRUMP: They never come back. Only the really -- I hate to say this, but those with the lowest I.Q., they might come back, but they're very, very few...

WELKER: OK, President Trump, let's give Vice President Biden a chance to respond, and then we're going to move on to the next section.

TRUMP: You don't know the law, Joe.

WELKER: Vice President Biden...

BIDEN: I know the law.

WELKER: ... your response?

BIDEN: I know the law and what he's telling you is simply not true.

TRUMP: Well, check it out. They don't come back.

BIDEN: Check it out.

WELKER: All right. Let's move on...

TRUMP: But we don't have to worry about it because they terminated it. So we don't have to worry about it.

WELKER: Let's move on to the next section.

BIDEN: And you have 525 kids not knowing where in God's name they're going to be and lost their parents.

TRUMP: Go ahead.

WELKER: All right. Let's talk about our next section, which is race in America.

And I want to talk about the way black and brown Americans experience race in this country. Part of that experience is something called "the talk." It happens regardless of class and income, parents who feel they have no choice but to prepare their children for the chance that they could be targeted, including by the police, for no reason other than the color of their skin.

Mr. Vice President, in the next two minutes, I want you to speak directly to these families. Do you understand why these parents fear for their children? BIDEN: I do. I do. You know, my daughter is a social worker. And she's all -- she's written a lot about this. She has her graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Social Work.

And, you know, one of the reasons why I ended up working on the east side of Wilmington, Delaware, which is 90 percent African-American, was to learn more about what was going on.

What I didn't -- I never had to tell my daughter, if she's pulled over, make sure she puts -- for a traffic stop -- put both hands on top of the wheel and don't reach for the glove box because someone may shoot you. But a black parent, no matter how wealthy or how poor they are, has to teach their child, when you're walking down the street, don't have a hoodie on when you go across the street, making sure that you in fact, if you get pulled over, "Yes, sir; no, sir," hands on top of the wheel.

Because you are in fact the victim whether you're a person making $300,000 -- a child of a $300,000 a year person or someone who's on -- on food stamps. The fact of the matter is, there is institutional racism in America.

And we have always said -- we've never lived up to it -- that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men and women are created equal."

But guess what? We have never, ever lived up to it. But we've -- constantly been moving the needle further and further to inclusion, not exclusion. This is the first president to come along and says, "That's the end of that. We're not going to do that anymore."

We have to provide for economic opportunity, better education, better healthcare, better access to schooling, better access to opportunity to borrow money to start businesses. All the things that we can do and I've laid out a clear plan as to how to do those things just to give people a shot. It's about accumulating the ability to have wealth as well as it is to be free from violence.

[22:10:00]

WELKER: President Trump, same question to you and let me remind you of the question. I would like you to speak directly to these families. Do you understand why these parents fear for their children?

TRUMP: Yes, I do. And again, he's been in government for 47 years. He never did a thing except in 1994 when he did such harm to the black community, and they were called - and he called them super predators, and he said that. He said it, super predators. And the kept- never lived that down. 1994, your crime bill, the super predators. Nobody has done more for the black community than Donald Trump, and if you look with the exception of Abraham Lincoln - possible exception, but the exception of Abraham Lincoln, nobody has done what I've done. Criminal justice reform, Obama and Joe didn't do it. I don't even think they tried because they had no chance at doing it. They might have wanted to do it, but if you had to see the arms I had to twist to get that done, it was not a pretty picture, and everybody knows, including some very liberal people that cried in my office. They cried in the Oval Office, two weeks later they're out saying, gee, we have to defeat him.

Criminal justice reform, prison reform, opportunity zones with Tim Scott, a great senator from South Carolina, he came in with this incredible idea for opportunity zones. It's one of the most successful programs. People don't talk about. Tremendous investment is being made. Biggest beneficiary, the black and Hispanic communities, and then historically black colleges and universities. After three years of coming to the office - I love some of those guys. They were great - they came into the office and they said - I said what are you doing? After three years I said why do you keep coming back? Because we have no funding. I said you don't have to come back every year. We have to come back because President Obama would never give them long-term funding, and I did. 10-year long-term funding, and I gave them more money than they asked for because I said I think you need more. And I said the only bad part about this is I may never see you again because I got very friendly with them, and they like me and I like them, but I saved historically black colleges and universities.

WELKER: OK, and we're going to talk about both of your records, but your response to that, Vice President?

BIDEN: My response to that is I never ever said what he accused me of saying. The fact of the matter is in 2000, though, after the crime bill had been in the law for awhile, this is the guy who said the problem with the crime bill there's not enough people in jail. There's not enough people in jail. And go on my website. Get the quote, the date when he said it. Not enough people. He talked about marauding gangs, young gangs, and the people who were going to maraud our cities. This is the guy who in the Central Park Five, five innocent black kids, he continued to push for making sure that they got the death penalty. None of them were - none of them were guilty of what the crime - of the crimes that were suggested. Look, and talk about he - granted he did, in fact, let 20 people - he commuted 20 people's sentences. We commuted over 1,000 people's sentences, over 1,000. The very law he's talking about is the law that, in fact, initiated by Barack Obama. And secondly, we're in a situation here where we - the federal prison system was reduced by 38,000 people under our administration, and one of these things we should be doing, there should be no minimum mandatories (ph) in the law. That's why I'm offering $20 billion to states to change their state laws to eliminated minimum mandatories (ph) and set up drug courts. No one should be going to jail because they have a drug problem. They should be going to rehabilitation, not to jail. We should fundamentally change the system, and that's what I'm going to do.

TRUMP: But why didn't he do it four years ago? Why didn't you do that? Four years ago, even less than that, why didn't you do it?

BIDEN: I am not -

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: You were vice president. You keep talking about all these things you're going to do and you're going to do this, but you were there just a short time ago and you guys did nothing.

BIDEN: We did -

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: You know, Joe. I ran because of you. I ran because of Barack Obama, because you did a poor job. If I thought you did a good job, I would have never run.

BIDEN: And I (ph) -

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: I would have never run. I ran because of you. I'm looking at you now. You're a politician. I ran because of you.

WELKER: All right. Vice President Biden, your response to that, and then I do have some questions for both of you.

BIDEN: Well I tell you what. I hope he doesn't (ph) look at me because what's happening here is you know who I am. You know who he is. You know his character. You know my character. You know our reputations for honor and telling the truth. I am anxious to have this race. I am anxious to see this take place. I am - the character of the country is on the ballot. Our character is on the ballot. Look at us closely.

WELKER: Let me ask some follow -

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Excuse me.

WELKER: -- please respond and then we're going to have a follow-up question.

[22:15:00]

TRUMP: If this stuff is true about Russia, Ukraine, China, other countries, Iraq, if this is true then he's a corrupt politician.

WELKER: All right.

TRUMP: So, don't give me the stuff about how you're this innocent baby. Joe, they're calling you a corrupt politician.

BIDEN: Innocent. Nobody's --

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: President Trump, I want to stay on the issue of race --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Laptop from --

WELKER: -- we're talking about the issue --

TRUMP: The laptop from hell. BIDEN: Nobody --

WELKER: President Trump, we're talking about race right now and I do want to stay on the issue of race. President Trump --

BIDEN: But then I have to respond to that.

WELKER: Please, very quickly.

BIDEN: Because look, there are 50 former National Intelligence folks who said that what this he's accusing me of is a Russian plan. They have said that this is -- has all the -- four -- five former heads of the CIA, both parties say what he's saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except the -- his and his good friend Rudy Giuliani.

TRUMP: You mean the laptop is now another Russia, Russia, Russia hoax? You've got to be --

BIDEN: That's exactly what -- that's exactly what was told.

TRUMP: This is where he's going. The laptop is Russia, Russia, Russia?

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: All right. Gentlemen, I want to stay on the issue of race.

TRUMP: You have to be kidding. Here we go again with Russia.

WELKER: We're going to continue on the issue of race. Mr. President --

TRUMP: I can't believe that one.

WELKER: -- you've described the Black Lives Matter movement as a symbol of hate. You've shared a video of man chanting white power to millions of your supporters. You've said that black professional athletes exercising their first amendment rights should be fired. What do you say to Americans who say that kind of language from a president is contributing to a climate of hate and racial strife?

TRUMP: Well, you have to understand the first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter they were chanting, pigs in a blanket, talking about police, pigs -- pigs -- talking about police. Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon. I said, that's a horrible thing. And they were marching down the street. And that was my first glimpse of Black Lives Matter, I thought it was a terrible thing.

As far as my relationships with all people, I think I have great relationships with all people. I am the least racist person in this room.

WELKER: But, what do you say to Americans who are concerned by rhetoric and --

TRUMP: I don't what -- I mean, I don't what to say. I got criminal justice reform done and prison reform and opportunity zones, I took care of black colleges and universities. I don't know what to say. They can say anything. I mean, they can say anything. It's a very -- it makes me sad, because I am -- I am the least racist person, I can't even see the audience because it's so dark, but I don't care who's in the audience, I'm the least racist person in this room.

WELKER: OK, Vice President Biden, let me ask you very quickly and then I have a follow-up question for you.

BIDEN: Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most recent presidents we've had in modern history. He pours fuel on every single racist fire, every single one. Started off his campaign coming down the escalator saying he's going to get rid of those Mexican rapists. He's banned Muslims because they're Muslims. He has moved around and made everything worse across the board. He says to the -- about the Poor Boys, last time we were on stage here, he said I told them to stand down and stand ready. Come on, this guy has a dog whistle about as big as fog horn.

WELKER: President Trump, I'm going to give you 10 seconds to respond and then I have a follow-up question.

TRUMP: No, I -- you made a reference to Abraham Lincoln. Where did that come in? I mean --

BIDEN: You said you're Abraham Lincoln.

TRUMP: -- where did that -- no, no, where did that. No -- no.

BIDEN: You said --

TRUMP: I said, not since Abraham Lincoln has anybody done what I've done for the black community.

BIDEN: And I'm saying --

TRUMP: I didn't say I'm Abraham Lincoln. I said, not since Abraham Lincoln has anybody done what I've done for the black community. Now you have done nothing other than the crime bill, which put --

BIDEN: Oh God.

TRUMP: -- tens of thousands of black men mostly in jail.

WELKER: All right, let me -- let me -- let me ask Vice President --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: And you know what, they remember it. Because if you look at what's happening with the voting right now, they remember that you treated them very, very badly.

WELKER: -- Biden about --

TRUMP: Just take a look at what's happening out there.

WELKER: Vice President Biden, let me give you a chance to respond within this context. Crime bills that you supported in the '80s and '90 contributed to the incarceration of tens of thousands of young black men who had small amounts of drugs in their possession. They are sons, they are brothers, they're fathers, they're uncles whose families are still, to this day, some of them suffering the consequences. So, speak to those families, why should they vote for you?

BIDEN: One of the things is that in the '80s we passed 100 percent, all 100 senators voted for a bill on drugs and how to deal with drugs. It was a mistake. I've been trying to change it since then, particularly the portion on cocaine.

That's why I've been arguing that, in fact, we should not send anyone to jail for a pure drug offense. They should be going into treatment across the board. That's what we should be spending money on.

That's why I set up drug courts, which were never funded by our Republican friends. They should not be going to jail for a drug or an alcohol, they should be going into treatment -- treatment. That's what we've been trying to do. That's what I'm going to get done, because I think the American people have now seen that in fact, it was a mistake to pass those laws related to drugs - but they were not in the crime bill.

[22:20:00]

TRUMP: But why didn't he ...

WELKER: OK. Sir (ph) ...

TRUMP: ... get it done? See, it's all talk, no action with these politicians. Why didn't he get it done? That's what I'm going to do when I become president - you were Vice President along with Obama as your President, your leader for eight years. Why didn't you get it done? You had eight years to get it done. Now you're saying you're going to get it done, because you're all talk and no action, Joe.

WELKER: Your response.

BIDEN: We got a lot of it done. We released 38,000 ...

TRUMP: You didn't get anything done.

BIDEN: ... we got 38,000 prisoners (inaudible) ...

TRUMP: You got nothing done.

BIDEN: Thirty-eight thousand prisoners were released from federal prison. We have - there were over 1,000 people who were given clemency. We - in fact, we're the ones that put in the legislation saying we could look at pattern and practice of police departments and what they were doing, how they're conducting themselves. I could go on, but we began the process - we began the process. We lost an election, that's why I'm running, to win back that election and change this (ph) terrible policy.

TRUMP: I just ask ...

WELKER: Your (ph) response, and then we're going to move on to climate change.

TRUMP: ... one question, why didn't you do it in the eight years, a short time ago? Why didn't you do it? You just said, I'm going to do that, I'm going to do this - you put tens of thousands ...

BIDEN: Because ...

TRUMP: ... of mostly Black young men in prison, now you're saying you're going to get - you're going to undo that. Why didn't you get it done? You had eight years with Obama. You know why, Joe? Because you're all talk and no action.

WELKER: All right. Vice President Biden, and then we're going to move on to the next section.

BIDEN: Because we had a Republican Congress. That's the answer.

WELKER: OK.

TRUMP: (Inaudible) you've got to talk them in to it, Joe.

WELKER: All right.

TRUMP: Sometimes you've got to talk them in to it.

WELKER: We're going to move on to our next section which is climate change ...

TRUMP: Like I did with criminal justice reform. I had to talk Democrats in to it.

WELKER: Gentlemen, we're running out of time ...

BIDEN: You (inaudible).

WELKER: ... so we've got to get on to climate change, please.

You both have very different visions on climate change. President Trump, you say that environmental regulations have hurt jobs in the energy sector. Vice President Biden, you have said you see addressing climate change as an opportunity to create new jobs.

For each of you, how would you both combat climate change and support job growth at the same time? Starting with you, President Trump. You have two minutes, uninterrupted.

TRUMP: So, we have the Trillion Trees Program, we have so many different programs. I do love the environment, but what I want is the cleanest, crystal clear water, the cleanest air. We have the best, lowest number in carbon emissions which is a big standard that I notice Obama goes with all the time. Not Joe, I haven't heard Joe use the term, because I'm not sure he knows what it represents or means - but I have heard Obama use it. And we have the best carbon emission numbers that we've had in 35 years, under this administration. We are working so well with industry, but here's what we can't (ph) do. Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia, look at India - it's filthy. The air is filthy.

The Paris Accord, I took us out because we were going to have to spend trillions of dollars, and we were treated very unfairly. When they put us in there, they did us a great disservice. They were going to take away our businesses. I will not sacrifice tens of millions of jobs - thousands and thousands of companies because of the Paris Accord.

It was so unfair. China doesn't kick in until 2030. Russia goes back to a low standard, and we kicked in right away. It would have been - it would have destroyed our businesses. So, you ready? We have done an incredible job environmentally. We have the cleanest air, the cleanest water and the best carbon emission standards that we've seen in many, many years.

WELKER: Vice President Biden.

TRUMP: And we haven't destroyed our industries.

WELKER: Vice President Biden, two minutes to you, uninterrupted.

BIDEN: Climate change, climate warming, global warming is a existential threat to humanity. We have a moral obligation to deal with it. And we're told by all the leading scientists in the world we don't have much time. We're going to pass the point of no return within the next eight to 10 years.

Four more years of this man eliminating all the regulations that were put in by us to clean up the climate, to clean up -- to limit the -- a limit of emissions will put us in a position where we're going to be in real trouble.

Here's where we have a great opportunity, I was able to get both -- all the environmental organizations as well as labor -- the people worried about jobs to support my climate plan. Because what it does, it will create millions of new, good paying jobs. We're going to invest in, for example, 500,000 -- excuse me, 50,000 charging stations on our highways so that we can own the electric car market of the future. In the meantime, China is doing that.

[22:25:00]

We're going to be in a position where we're going to see to it that we're going to take 4 million existing billion -- buildings and 2 million existing homes and retrofit them so they don't leak as much energy, saving hundreds of millions of barrels of oil in the process and creating significant number of jobs.

And, by the way, the whole idea of what this is all going to do -- it's going to create millions of jobs, and it's going the clean the environment. Our health and our jobs are at stake. That's what's happening. And what -- right now, by the way, Wall Street firm has indicated that my plan, my plan will, in fact, create 18.6 million jobs, 7 million more than his. This is from Wall Street.

And I'll create $1 trillion more in economic growth than his proposal does. Not on climate, just on economy.

KRISTEN WELKER, DEBATE MODERATOR: President Trump, your response?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They came out and said very strongly -- $6,500 will be taken away from families under his plan. That his plan is an economic disaster.

If you want to look at what he wants to do, you know, the -- if you look at his plan -- his environmental plan.

WELKER: It doesn't do with climate.

TRUMP: Do you know who developed it? AOC plus 3. They know nothing about the climate.

I mean, she's got a good line of stuff but she knows nothing about the climate. And they're all hopping through hoops for ACO plus 3.

Look, their real plan costs $100 trillion. If we had the best year in the history of our country for 100 years, we would not even come close to a number like that.

When he says buildings, they want to take buildings down because they want to make bigger windows into smaller windows. As far as they're concerned, if you had no window, it would be a lovely thing.

This is the craziest plan that anybody has ever seen.

And this wasn't done by smart people. This wasn't done by anybody, frankly. I don't even know how it could be good politically.

WELKER: All right.

TRUMP: They want to spend $100 trillion. That's their real number. He's trying to say it was 6. It's $100 trillion.

They want to knock down buildings and build new buildings with little, tiny, small windows, and many other things -- and many other things. It is crazy.

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: OK. Let me have the vice president respond and we're running out of time and we have a lot more questions --

TRUMP: It will destroy our country.

WELKER: So, let's hear from the vice president, I have a number of questions.

BIDEN: I don't know where he comes from. I don't know where he comes up with these numbers.

TRUMP: (inaudible)

BIDEN: A hundred trillion dollars. Give me a break. This plan was -- this plan is endorsed by every major -- every major environmental group and every labor group. Labor because they know the future lies -- the future lies in us being able to breathe and they know there are good jobs in getting us there.

And by the way, the fastest-growing industry in America are -- is the electric -- the -- excuse me -- the solar energy and wind.

He thinks wind causes cancer, windmills. It's the fastest growing jobs and they pay good prevailing wages. Forty-five, 50 bucks an hour.

We can grow and we can be cleaner if we go the route I'm proposing.

WELKER: President Trump --

TRUMP: Excuse me.

WELKER: -- please respond, and then I have some follow-ups.

TRUMP: We are energy -- we are energy independent for the first time. We don't need all of these countries that we had to fight war over because we needed their energy. We are energy independent.

I know more about wind than you do. It's extremely expensive. It kills all the birds. It's very intermittent. It's got a lot of problems and they happen to make the windmills in both Germany and China.

And the fumes coming up -- if you're a believer in carbon emission, the fumes coming up to make these massive windmills is more than anything that we're talking about with natural gas, which is very clean.

One other thing -- solar.

BIDEN: Find me a scientist that says that.

TRUMP: I love solar. But solar doesn't have it yet. It's not powerful yet to really run our big beautiful factories that we need to compete with the world. So --

BIDEN: False.

TRUMP: -- it's all a pipe dream.

But do you know what we'll do? We're going to have the greatest economy in the world. But if you want to kill the economy, get rid of your oil industry. You want -- and what about fracking?

WELKER: All right, let me have -- let me allow Vice President Biden to respond.

BIDEN: I have never said I oppose fracking. TRUMP: You said it on tape.

BIDEN: I did -- show the tape. Put it on your website.

TRUMP: I'll put it on.

BIDEN: Put it on the website.

The fact of the matter is --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Show (inaudible)

BIDEN: -- he's flat lying. But --

WELKER: Would you rule out banning fracking?

BIDEN: I do rule out banning fracking because the answer -- we need -- we need other industries to transition to get to ultimately a complete zero emissions by 2025.

What I will do with fracking over time is make sure that we can capture the emissions from fracking, capture the emissions from gas. We can do that and we can do that by investing money in doing it. But it's a transition to that.

WELKER: I have one more question in this part (ph) and then we have --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Excuse me, he was against fracking he said it. I will show that to you tomorrow, I am against fracking -- until he got the nomination, went to Pennsylvania then he said, but you know what Pennsylvania, he'll be against it very soon because his party is totally against it.

[22:30:00]

BIDEN: Fracking on federal land I said. No fracking and or oil on federal land.

WELKER: Let me ask this final question in this section and then I want to move on to our final section. President Trump, people of color are much more likely to live near oil refineries and chemical plants.

In Texas, there are families who worry the plants near them are making them sick. Your administration has rolled back regulations on these kinds of facilities. Why should these families give you another four years in office?

TRUMP: The families that we're talking about are employed heavily and they're making a lot of money, more money than they've ever made. If you look at the kind of numbers that we've produced for Hispanic or black or Asian, it's nine times greater the percentage gain than it was under, in three years that it was under eight years of the two of them to put it nicely. Nine times more. Now, somebody lives -- I have not heard the numbers or the statistics that you're saying, but they're making a tremendous amount of money economically, we saved it. And I saved it again a number of months ago when oil was crashing because of the pandemic. We saved it.

We got -- say what you want about relationship, we got Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Russia to cut back -- way back. We saved our oil industry and now it's very vibrant again. And everybody has very inexpensive gasoline, remember that.

WELKER: Vice President Biden, your response and then we're going to have a final question for both of you.

BIDEN: My response is that those people live on what they call fence lines. He doesn't understand this. They live near chemical plants that in fact pollute chemical plants and oil plant and refineries that pollute. I just to live near that when I was growing up in Claymont, Delaware.

And all -- there are more oil refineries in Marcus Hook and Delaware River than there is any place, including in Houston at the time. When my mom getting a car and when their first frost to drive me to school, turned on the windshield wiper there'd be an oil slick on the window.

That's why so many people in my state were dying and getting cancer. The fact is those front line communities is it doesn't matter what you're paying them, it matters how you keep them safe. What do you do. And you impose restrictions on the pollutions -- that the pollutants coming out of those fence line communities.

WELKER: OK. I have one final question. It falls -- it falls ...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Would he close down the oil industry -- would you close down the oil industry?

BIDEN: By the way, I would transition from the oil industry, yes.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Transition.

(CROSSTALK)

BIDEN: That is a big statement because I would stop ...

WELKER: Why would you do that?

BIDEN: Because the oil industry pollutes significantly.

TRUMP: I see.

BIDEN: And here's the deal ...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: But you can't do that.

BIDEN: Well, if you'd let me finish the statement -- because it has to replaced by renewable energy over time -- over time. And I'd stop giving -- to the oil industry I'd stop giving them federal subsidies. He won't give federal subsidies to the -- to the gas -- excuse me -- to the -- to solar and wind.

TRUMP: Yes.

BIDEN: Why are we giving it to oil industry.

TRUMP: We actually do give it to solar and wind. And that's maybe the biggest statement in terms of business that's the biggest statement.

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: All right. We have one final question. OK. We have one final question, Mr. President ...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Because basically what he's saying is he is going to destroy the oil industry. Will you remember that Texas, will you remember that Pennsylvania, Oklahoma ...

WELKER: Vice President Biden, let me give you 10 seconds to respond and then I have to get to the final question. Vice President Biden.

BIDEN: He takes everything out of context. But the point is look, we have to move toward a net zero emissions. The first place to do that by the year 2035 is in energy production, by 2050 totally.

WELKER: All right. One final question to both ...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Is he going to get China to do it. Is he going to get China to do it.

(CROSSTALK)

WELKER: No, we're finished with this. We have to move on to our final question. We have to move on to our final question.

(CROSSTALK)

BIDEN: No, I'm going to rejoin Paris Accord and make China abide by what they agreed to.

WELKER: All right. This is about leadership, gentlemen, and this first question does go to you, President Trump. Imagine this is your inauguration day, what will you say in your address to Americans who did not vote for you. You'll each have one minute staring with you, Mr. President. TRUMP: We have to make our country totally successful as it was prior to the plague coming in from China. Now we're rebuilding it and we're doing record numbers, 11.4 million jobs in a short period of time, et cetera.

But I will tell you, go back, before the plague came in, just before, I was getting calls from people that were not normally people that would call me. They wanted to get together. We had the best black unemployment numbers in the history of our country.

Hispanic, women, Asian, people with diplomas, with no diplomas, MIT graduates, number one in the class; everybody had the best numbers. And you know what, the other side wanted to get together. They wanted to unify.

Success is going to bring us together. We are on the road to success. But I'm cutting taxes and he wants to raise everybody's taxes and he wants to put new regulations on everything. He will kill it. If he gets in you will have a depression the likes of which you've never seen. Your 401Ks will go to hell and it'll be a very, very sad day for this country.

WELKER: All right, Vice President Biden, same question to you, what will you say during your inaugural address to Americans who did not vote for you?

[22:35:00]

BIDEN: I will say I'm an American President, I represent all of you whether you voted for me or against me, and I'm going to make sure that you're represented. I'm going to give you hope. We're going to move, we're going to choose science over fiction, we're going to choose hope over fear, we're going to choose to move forward because we have enormous opportunities, enormous opportunities to make things better.

We can grow this economy, we can deal with the systemic racism, and at the same time, we can make sure that our economy is being run and moved and motivated by clean energy, creating millions of new jobs. And that's the fact, that's what we're going to do, and I'm going to say as I've said at the beginning, what is on the ballot here is the character of this country, decency, honor, respect, treating people with dignity, making sure that everyone has an even chance, and I'm going to make sure you get that. You haven't been getting it the last 4 years.

WELKER: All right, I want to thank you both for a very robust hour and a half of fantastic debate, really appreciate it.

President Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, thank you to Belmont University for hosting us tonight, and most importantly, thank you to those watching tonight. Election day is November 3rd, don't forget to vote.

Thank you, everyone, and have a great night.

(APPLAUSE)

BIDEN: Thank you.