President Donald Trump took a shot at Chicago in the first presidential debate Tuesday night, blaming the violence in the city on Democrats who “don’t want to talk about law and order.”
“The Democrats that run these cities don’t want to talk — like you — about law and order,” Trump told former Vice President Joe Biden. “You still haven’t talked about law and order — are you in favor of law and order?”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted back “.@realDonaldTrump, keep “Chicago” out of your lying mouth.”
Trump hammered Biden on law and order, repeating that question and the words “law and order” multiple times as the two talked — often at the same time — about violence and protests the country has seen over the summer in a debate that veered off course from questions asked by moderator Chris Wallace early and often.
Trump accused Biden of not even being able to “say the words ‘law enforcement’ because if you say those words, you’re going to lose all your radical left supporters.”
Trump said he thinks the spike in violence is a party issue, even though Republican-led cities have also seen rises in homicides.
“You can bring in a couple of examples, but if you look at what’s going on in Chicago where 53 people were shot and eight died,” Trump said, also calling out New York where crime is going up “like nobody’s ever seen.”
The two went back and forth on violence, protests and the coronavirus pandemic in the first presidential debate during the pandemic, which has killed over 200,000 Americans.
In Chicago, debate observers offered conflicting views — albeit in less heated and more civil fashion than their party standard bearers.
Republican Catalina Lauf, a former candidate for the state’s 14th Congressional District, told the Sun-Times she thought Trump came out strong Tuesday night, though she didn’t like how much the two interrupted each other.
“I think [Trump’s health care plan] is something the American people need to hear, like lower drug price,” Lauf said. “It hasn’t been talked about but now everybody is campaigning on health care.”
Biden, she said, wasn’t answering a lot of the questions — like one about stacking the Supreme Court.
Others took to twitter.
“I know a governor who disagrees!” Jordan Abudayyeh, a spokeswoman for Gov. J.B. Pritzker, tweeted, responding to Trump’s claim that some governors said he’d done a “phenomenal job.”