U.S. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump participate in the CNN 2024 US Presidential Debate at CNN Studios on June 27, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. [Image via Getty Images]

2024 US Presidential Debate: Biden vs. Trump Clash

On June 27th, 2024, United States President Joe Biden, and former President Donald Trump faced off in a fiery clash in the first 2024 US Presidential Debate for the US election campaign. They debated the fate of American democracy, immigration, the economy, abortion, foreign policy, and their respective legal issues. The debate was marked by intense personal attacks and differing visions for the country’s future.

The debate was a spectacle of personal attacks, age-related jabs, and even remarks about golf, resembling a political circus more than a serious discussion.

Experts lamented that neither candidate convinced the American public of their suitability for the presidency. The debate highlighted “why many Americans are distressed and disillusioned with their options.” Biden appeared to “stutter and stumble over the truth,” presenting himself weakly, while Trump seemed “strong and energetic,” though his rhetoric was riddled with falsehoods. These factors contributed to the debate being less well-received than those in 2016 and 2020. Let’s take a look at some key statements and analyze them.

2024 US Presidential Debate: Key Moments and Fact-Checks


Immigration was a particularly contentious issue. Trump falsely claimed that many migrants were killing “hundreds of thousands of people”. He accused Biden of being responsible for their deaths. He asserted that illegal migrants were living in luxury hotels, contrasting it with veterans who are homeless. Moreover, he labeled this as “Biden-migrant crime,” accusing Biden of deliberately opening the border to enable such situations. Biden countered that every statement from Trump on this topic was a lie. Although Biden’s administration had a border security deal with Republicans, Trump later urged The Republicans – Grand Old Party (GOP) to block the bill. Experts noted that Trump’s party now sees immigration as a key campaign issue.

Fact Check

Migrants do not have a higher crime rate than native-born Americans. Additionally, the claim that Biden allowed unrestricted immigration is false. Recent data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows a decline in the number of migrants and asylum seekers apprehended at the US-Mexico border.


Trump agreed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to ban mifepristone, contradicting many Republicans. He also advocated for states’ rights to decide on abortion laws and falsely claimed that reintroducing Roe v. Wade would allow unrestricted late-term abortions, suggesting that doctors could terminate pregnancies in the ninth month or even after birth. Biden refuted this, stating that Roe v. Wade does not permit such actions and pledged to reinstate abortion rights.

Fact Check

The term “partial-birth abortion” refers to a procedure known as dilation and extraction, or D&X, which has been federally prohibited for over 15 years. Late-term abortions are very rare, with 93 percent occurring before 13 weeks of gestation, six percent between 14 and 20 weeks, and only one percent beyond 21 weeks. Biden emphasized that such decisions should be made by doctors, not politicians. Experts noted that Biden’s stance was somewhat awkward due to his Catholic faith, which opposes abortion.


The debate also focused on economic records, with Biden taking credit for the COVID-19 pandemic recovery and Trump boasting about overseeing “the greatest economy in the history of our country.” Both had strong performances in certain economic areas, but polls show voters generally trust Republicans more on economic issues.

Fact Check

Economic Growth: Excluding 2020, Biden has a slight edge with an annualized growth rate of about 2.9 percent compared to Trump’s just under 2.7 percent.
Inflation: Biden’s term has seen much higher inflation, driven by factors like COVID-related supply chain issues. Prices have risen over 19 percent since Biden took office, compared to about 5 percent during Trump’s term at a similar point.
Jobs: Both presided over strong labor markets, with Biden’s administration adding about 15.7 million jobs and unemployment reaching a 53-year low of 3.4 percent.
Wages: Despite solid wage growth under both administrations, real earnings have declined under Biden due to inflation, whereas under Trump, wage growth outpaced inflation.

Foreign Policy

Foreign policy and the Middle East were referenced numerous times during the debate. Yet, the suffering of the Palestinians and the toll of Israel’s campaign in Gaza received little mention, despite growing calls for the US to reconsider its military assistance to Israel. Biden’s claim that all parties except Hamas agreed to his ceasefire proposal was misleading. Trump countered by accusing Biden of showing excessive sympathy toward Palestinians and advocating for Israel’s unrestricted pursuit of military objectives in Gaza.

Both candidates indicated their continued support for Israel, reflecting the longstanding bipartisan consensus on this issue.

Trump accused Biden of pushing the world toward a new world war. He suggested that Russia would not have invaded Ukraine under his presidency. Additionally, he claimed that could end the conflict within a month. Trump attributed the chaos of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan to emboldening Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. He also claimed that under his administration, sanctions effectively crippled Iran. He suggested this approach prevented regional conflicts like the Hamas attack on Israel, indicating a similar stance on Iran for the future.

The 2024 US Presidential Debate held on June 27th highlighted the differing foreign policy approaches of the candidates, with Trump advocating a more pragmatic stance compared to Biden’s internationalism. Trump also criticized Biden’s handling of the Paris Climate Agreement and defended his own tariff policies, despite economists warning that raising tariffs could damage U.S. trade relations.

Also See: Putin’s Gambit: Russia’s Foreign Policy in a Multipolar World


The first 2024 presidential debate between Biden and Trump was more of a chaotic spectacle than a constructive discussion. Both candidates struggled to present a compelling case for their presidency, leaving many Americans frustrated and disillusioned with their choices. The debate’s fact-checking revealed numerous inaccuracies and exaggerations from both sides, undermining their credibility. As the campaign continues, the challenge remains for either candidate to rise above the fray and offer a vision that resonates with the American electorate.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own. They do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of the South Asia Times.

Simran Saeed Janjua | Author at South Asia Times (SAT)

Simran Saeed Janjua is an International Relations Researcher from National Defense University Islamabad, currently serving as research intern at South Asia Times (SAT). Her areas of research interest include traditional and non traditional security issues and foreign policy analysis. She can be reached at simransaeedjanjua@gmail.com and on X (formerly Twitter) @i_simranjanjua.

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