LONDON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden battled over Trump’s record on the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare and the economy in a chaotic and bad-tempered first debate.
Here are some reactions from Europe:
“A chaotic and vicious show, shocking for the most powerful country in the world,” - Spanish newspaper El Pais.
“The spiteful presidential debate portrayed a country that is no longer capable even of a dignified dispute,” - Meret Baumann, Switzerland’s Neue Zuercher Zeitung.
“It is worrying that the USA has reached a state in which the contenders for the most powerful office in the world don’t manage to discuss one of the country’s many problems objectively, despite the fact that both voters and international partners have many open questions,” - Norbert Roettgen, German conservative and foreign policy expert running to become head of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party.
“The debate was so chaotic that it was almost unwatchable ... A debate like last night’s can’t have a real winner, but that is good news for Biden because it was Trump, who was behind in the polls, who needed to turn things around,” - Lorenzo Pregliasco, head of Italian polling and political analysis firm YouTrend.
“The most brutal duel of all times ... This would have been Biden’s big chance to talk about his policies, present HIS vision of America, NOT to engage in mud-slinging. One must say Biden and the Democrats spectacularly missed that opportunity,” - Filipp Piatov, head of Opinion at German mass-circulation daily Bild.
“In a fierce shouting match where both candidates pushed for airtime to defend their records and visions, Trump often spoke over Biden and even clashed with exasperated moderator Chris Wallace. The debate left many observers across the political spectrum unimpressed by the verbal brawling they had witnessed,” - The Sun, Britain’s most-read newspaper.
Fabio Ghironi, an Italian economics professor at Washington University, tweeted that he never thought a U.S. high-level political debate would fall so low. “It was like watching an Italian political talk-show.”
German weekly Spiegel’s theatre critic Wolfgang Hoebel, reviewing the debate, said: “Strictly speaking, the two of them were not even in the same play. Trump is a character that Shakespeare could have dreamt up. Biden is unfortunately just out of an Ibsen play.”
Editing by Janet Lawrence
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