The two televised Q&A sessions were held after Trump backed out of a debate that had been scheduled between the two when organizers switched to a remote format after the president’s recent coronavirus diagnosis.
On NBC, Trump refused to denounce the QAnon conspiracy theory and made up false statistics about face masks. On ABC, Biden delivered lengthy answers on issues ranging from climate change to support for people of color.
Twitter users couldn’t get over the contrasts:
Folks if you are not already doing this, do it. If you are just watching one of these #TownHalls start flipping now! You won’t believe what you are about to see: a contrast in style, substance and presidential demeanor.
— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) October 16, 2020
BIDEN: Here’s my detailed plan to combat COVID-19
TRUMP: QAnon actually discovered Osama bin Laden alive and well in Phoenix. I don’t know, check it out
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) October 16, 2020
Watching Joe Biden for a few minutes while I’ve been watching this Trump town Hall is like taking a cool drink of water after standing in front of a fan blowing a blast furnace in my face
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) October 16, 2020
flippin between town halls like pic.twitter.com/7y9wPf28bb
— kilgore trout, kiss me mr. president (@KT_So_It_Goes) October 16, 2020
I just switched over from the Trump to Biden town halls and it’s like switching from “Ancient Aliens” to PBS NewsHour.
— ryan teague beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) October 16, 2020
— Justin Hendrix (@justinhendrix) October 16, 2020
Tonight is quite the portrait of America. On one channel, Joe Biden is talking up the importance of wearing a mask. On another channel, trump is making up statistics that say masks don’t work.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) October 16, 2020
Not watching the town halls at the moment but looking at the dueling reports (https://t.co/ofjsSg0Tlh) is like news from two different planets
Biden: Putting through my tax plan depends on securing Senate votes
Trump: HOW SHOULD I KNOW IF THE SATANIC PEDOPHILIA THING IS CRAZY
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) October 16, 2020
The only good thing about these two competing town hall events is that they show how much Biden is held to a different standard as an actual rational human being while Trump just has to get through an hour without lighting a bucket of mice on fire
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) October 16, 2020
Flipping back and forth, you see a decent compassionate knowledgeable public servant and a psychopath. #VOTE
— Richard Stengel (@stengel) October 16, 2020
It is exceptionally jarring to switch between the two town halls tonight. Like two different planets
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) October 16, 2020
The split screen between Joe Biden and Donald Trump tonight is wild. Biden, calmly sitting and talking about infrastructure and mask mandates. Trump, combative and challenging every question as he refuses to denounce QAnon and sows doubt in the election.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) October 16, 2020
If tonight’s town halls were shark movies. pic.twitter.com/mp17UBbPvc
— Courtney Theriault (@cspotweet) October 16, 2020
Watching Biden inspires calm and lowers blood pressure.
Watching psycho Trump inspires asking how did this mental patient abscond the asylum?
— Genuine Ersatz (@genuine_ersatz) October 16, 2020
Simultaneous was a disaster for Trump, it highlighted the contrast, anyone who flipped between channels or who is flipping now will go from watching deranged nonsense to seeing a calm person thoughtfully discussing the problems facing America. https://t.co/RfGDosj1jZ
— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) October 16, 2020
Biden: “There’s a constitutional method to limit the appointment terms of Supreme Court justices short of court expansion”
Trump: “The pedophile cult loves me, masks cause butt cancer, all of your bones are made of sadness”
— too ghoul for school (@jesseltaylor) October 16, 2020
What a bad night for Trump.
The dueling town hall format showed Trump at his worst and Biden at his best.
Kinda hard to interrupt a guy who’s on another channel,… absolutely killing it and looking like a real president. https://t.co/BtGzFydybc
— Roshan Rinaldi (@Roshan_Rinaldi) October 16, 2020
If you could Men in Black memory wipe a roomful of people and showed them 5 minutes of each of the town halls, how many do you think would answer correctly, “Which one do you think is the President?”
— Schooley (@Rschooley) October 16, 2020
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