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Home » President Biden and former President Trump Debate (Transcript)

President Biden and former President Trump Debate (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of CNN Presidential Debate 2024: President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Listen to the audio version here:


Opening of the Debate

JAKE TAPPER: Now please welcome the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden.

JOE BIDEN: How are you? Good to be here. Thank you.

JAKE TAPPER: And please welcome the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump.

Gentlemen, thanks so much for being here. Let’s begin the debate. And let’s start with the issue that voters consistently say is their top concern, the economy.

Economy and Inflation

JAKE TAPPER: President Biden, inflation has slowed, but prices remain high. Since you took office, the price of essentials has increased. For example, a basket of groceries that cost $100 then, now costs more than $112; and typical home prices have jumped more than 30 percent. What do you say to voters who feel they are worse off under your presidency than they were under President Trump?

JOE BIDEN: You have to take a look at what I was left when I became president, what Mr. Trump left me. We had an economy that was in freefall. The pandemic was so badly handled, many people were dying. All he said was, it’s not that serious. Just inject a little bleach in your arm. It’d be all right.

The economy collapsed. There were no jobs. Unemployment rate rose to 15 percent. It was terrible. And so, what we had to do is try to put things back together again. That’s exactly what we began to do. We created 15,000 new jobs. We brought on – in a position where we have 800,000 new manufacturing jobs.

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