Your Voice Your Vote: The Breakdown - Chaotic debate night in Cleveland

Plus, President Donald Trump's controversial comments, and what voters thought about the candidates’ performances during the first presidential debate.
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Transcript for Your Voice Your Vote: The Breakdown - Chaotic debate night in Cleveland
Hi everyone thanks for being with us on your voice your vote the breakdown I'm Diana fado in New York. And I'm Terry Moran in Washington today we're gonna try to break down the chaos and Blanco of last night's debate a debate that afterwards. Spark a rare moment of widespread bipartisan agreement for most people. It was a disgrace all hog dark horrifying on watchable fever dream that's how the guardian newspaper of London put it and Joseph Biden who participated. He's back on the campaign trail today he called the debate important national embarrassed. ABC's Mary Bruce was there at the debate and here's her report as well the conversation we had earlier this morning. And it it was clear this debate. That's going to be ugly high density and they're. I want to make sure you did last night list our efforts to die. The president badgering died at. Europe and an opinion let him finish sir Peter know how to do that. He has you know honestly. If you pick should be surprised that former vice president asked Marie what huge product mix and who trying to look past his opponent in his attacks. Over and over again cited speaking directly to the American people look. You folks at home home he'd get up this morning. And had an empty chairs kitchen table because someone died Covert about the moderator fox news's Chris Wallace repeatedly forced to step in points chastising that. The president. And Donald but is. And I hate to raise my whites are it's a surveillance and I understand you've agreed to the two minutes so pleased laden one of the night's most stunning moments during a discussion on race. The president asked once and for all to come down white supremacy. Trump instead telling a far right extremist group to quote stand by are you willing tonight. To condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not. Add to the violence and a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we've seen important. What are you wanna call them community and give me quite a surprise doesn't want clarity and why rob Roberts send right throttled Alex. Stand back and stand by but I'll tell you what I'll tell you what. Somebody's got to do something about anti fat and the left because this is not a right is we were real problem is Susan Levy and I direct this has allegedly got out about white and on the pandemic siding ripped into the president's response this is to say me and it's bulls. By Easter this should be gone away. By the warm whether it be gone miraculous like America. And by the way may be could inject some bleaching your arm that would take care. On the economic fallout from slamming writing and for saying he would shut down the country medical experts recommended it. We don't need somebody that comment and say let's shut it down he can't fix the economy. Until you fix the cove a crisis and he has no intention of doing anything about making it better for you all at home. In terms of your health and your safety 34 days to go the candidates trying to make their closing arguments there is never being. An administration of president who has done more than I've done. In a period of three and a half years under this president we become weaker. Sicker. Poorer. More divided. Are more violent. And Mary Bruce joins me now from Cleveland with more Mary you're in the room for that debate what was it lake or the mood like in that room and did you find that it changed throughout the evening. We isn't never seen anything like this I think you know we didn't expect this to be a traditional debate it never is really when you had Donald Trump on the stage but within minutes. It was just so clear that this was going to be ugly you know in the room in points and it felt impossible in to hear what we're trying to talk about and I'm sure. For those watching at home there were moments where it seemed almost un watchable there was one big moment though that I want to touch on and that's where president tram. Was pressed to condemn white supremacist groups he said sure bet he would Chris Wallace and go ahead and do it. Joseph Biden named a proud boys as an example of one of those groups to tell to stand down and instead president trumps that frat boys. Stand back and stand by. What do you make of the reaction to that comment that is the trump campaign saying anything about it this morning. There's no question this was the low point of the night and you could say really the low point of the trump campaign it is just astounding. That in 20/20 the president and the United States is still refusing to flat out condemned white supremacy those close to him. Are pointing out that he initially said yes sure at the top as you noted Tuesday saying that that they saw this differently that they did see this as a president trying to put some distance between himself and these groups. President and that is not how groups like the proud boys see this they were celebrating overnight in fact there already selling T shirts. Saying proud boys stand by and Joseph Biden is also asked directly about adding justices to the Supreme Court he refused to answer that question. What do you make of that moment and could that really be something that we see we have heard some Democrats talk about it. He dodged on this one and it is something in the midst of this Supreme Court fight with Democrats outraged about the fact that Republicans and the president are trying. And looks like they will likely succeed in filling this seat before Election Day so I think it was very notable. The Joseph Biden didn't give a clear answer on that Mary burst in Cleveland for a thanks Mary. Arts and now we want to zero on on one of the biggest and most shocking moment from last night that moment we've just seen president trumps refusal. To denounce white supremacy specifically want white nationalist group. Called the proud boys for more on this let's bring in ABC's Chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas peer. I you've tracked and reported on extremist groups of all kinds in our country for years what can you tell us about the proud boys group. And what is it meant what is that mentioned by the president on a national stage like these what does it do for them. But turned not a lot of people know who the problem boys. Harmon let me give you some information that they have described themselves as they say that there western silliness. That they believe an anti political correctness. And that they are against anti white guilt whatever that means. Now the critics say that they are associated whip. White supremacists that if you look back to what. Occurred in Charlottesville that one of their former members helped organize an event and we know that the kkk Nazis were at that event and a young lady died there Terry. And the president mentioning them or commenting on them in that way clearly. Yet incites them gives a motivation and that's a concern a lot of people in law enforcement that. If you have a group like that showing up at protests and our ongoing concerning race and policing you could have a very dangerous situation. It seems dangers the president. And essentially helping to empower them there and president trump does have a track record of dodging. Or dismissing the threat of white terms remember. About a year ago. I had an exchange in the Oval Office with president trump. Here it is. President president do you see today you see today white nationalism as a rising threat around the world. I don't really I think it's eight small group of people that have very very serious problem. He doesn't see it as a problem around the world are in this country so how does that square with your reporting on. What we know from his own intelligence agencies about these groups. But we have the FBI director on capitol he'll just recently. And he was blocked since 9/11 in terms of the most lethal groups in this country who've actually kill people. White supremacists are to top of the Lister. Art pier 11 more question if I may we've been colleagues a long time without a lot of conversations over the years and today on this subject I just wanted to ask you as. Yeah for your take as as a citizen as a dad as as a black American a loves this country. Seeing the president up there in front of the country. Declining to condemn this. Terry you know this a difficult question let me give you a professional observation. At a moment where you have public and unrest in the country in terms of what we saw happen that you would flow. Dying in a way that he did at the hands of a police officer. People taking to the streets largely peaceful. But sporadic incidents of violence. And where you literally seen a young man seventeen years old show up in Wisconsin. End up killing people allegedly. These are the times when politicians of all ilk are to be very careful about what they say in how this. That is for sure Pierre Thomas my friend thanks very much. And we've heard some of the top headlines from the debate but what did voters think we caught up with a few some still undecided. To get their thoughts on what happened last night let's listen. You and jump was presented with the opportunity. To renounce. White supremacy. He couldn't do it would. Pass that scares me he could not see it goes where eggs. Great now I feel it even bills. I don't hurt my brokerage for how. As somebody who has ordered his I think I was looking to see the not so much the president come out but the guy who is the real estate developer in the brawler from queens and that's who we saw. Couple of perspectives there. From voters when we come back. Winners from last night shout fest in Cleveland new data from our friends at 530 A breaks down. But voters thought and where things stand just over a month to go until election. We'll hear more your voice is after last night's debate did either candidate actually change anyone's mind stay with. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime they're rapists and some. I assume a good people. We're just you understand I don't know anything about David duke OK I don't know anything about. What you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists would you just say. Unequivocally you condemn them and you don't want their support. Well I have to look at the group I mean I don't know what group you're talking about you wouldn't want me to condemn a group that I don't nothing about I have to look if you would send me a list of the groups I will do research on I'm. And certainly I would disavow what I thought there was something wrong good but you may classical and edited totally fine and would be very unfair said give me a list of the groups and I'll let you know you. What you also had people that were. Very fine people on both sides and obviously. And importantly. Omar has a history of launching vicious. And said that it. Story. I'm willing to do anything I want to see what these so what's our giant Philips said. You want to column. What are you want to call them community and give me quite a surprise doesn't want clarity can quite proud rental center right pro out of my life. Stand back and stand by but I'll tell you watt of Taylor but somebody's got to do something about anti fat and the left. Those are some of the president's previous comments on race opera but a context of why he was asked that question last night of white supremacy. And why his answer last night. Is causing so much outrage this morning let's take this conversation tore virtual roundtable now joining us today's ABC news political director Rick Klein. And ABC news contributors LV granderson and former Republican congresswoman Barbara Comstock thank you all for being on this morning. Free to be here not LC. I'd like to LB and Barbara I wanna get your both of your takes on this question on this white supremacy moment you know even Brian Kilmeade. From FOX & Friends said this morning and I quote that president trump ruined the biggest layup in the history of debates by not condemning white supremacists. Now the trunk campaign says that saying stand back is standby was his way condemning this group so. LD if this is the case if the president meant this as a warning to this group and not a call to action. What kind of correction or clarification would you need to hear from him today in order to accept. And he constraints. Well really means except these. Hot acts to be crimes. You regret my hands and senators went shows you really are we. He's consistently ensure an. Institution earmarks no right field where people are close are. You took the way he's conducted his sorrow. And the candidate. Businessman. We know from New York Times report that is file or. President and registered to an education eight programming class squeeze him and huge ones the ornaments you celebrities just courtroom. Hello to amuse you oh. Why didn't want rent some black. Tennis. And worried and wondered ordered. It's so you can humanly all these cookies and decades not just. Synopsis. Rhetoric and actual actions and policies. Bin reasons. Why don't we shock. Now some differences groupies when he twenty. Barbara what do you think I was co chair I'm. The rubio for president campaign in Virginia and president trump made the remarks. About David duke and wouldn't denounced David duke and I remember very well being on stage Marco Rubio. Think same week if not the same game where we were strongly denouncing their statements certainly senator rubio lives. So in the new Charlottesville here in Virginia and give numbers took a dive in Virginia and elsewhere. When he couldn't stick and gotten very simply saying what all of us that it's time wise this is unacceptable this is not something that you and anyway defended and there's no moral equality here. I've got some last night was the best fundraising that the Democrats could afford it reads all kinds of money on hand. Angie is now I'm once again. The party Lincoln the power the party were so many of us you know work with people like Jack Kemp worked with people who work who have tried to. Really make this country. This racially diverse ethnically diverse country that we are represented certainly got in the district I represent. We work so hard on it in he is taking our issues and harming the party. And it's certainly not something I can and they didn't vote Foreman 2016. And I think this is a reason why so many Republicans are walking away from him this year. And Rick Klein and I'd go to would TU on another moment from this debates if there's a link there you wrote this morning. That perhaps the most consequential thing that president trumps that said had to do with election integrity. What do you mean by that when you see that it was now. All that there was an extended portion toward the end of the debate where president trump. Strung together a whole host of misstatements false statements are half truths and and infant frankly we weekly just he made up anecdotes. Our round ballot security lot election integrity. And take it on the whole in in aside from just being misleading. To me it has a chilling effect on the voting process itself and it undermines the trust that Americans can have in the process Terry is you know. A boating is going on in this country more than one point three million Americans have already cast ballots millions more will have done so even before the next presidential debate. And the president is actively suggesting. That you can't trust account in fact he's saying that the entire election itself to be fraudulent again saying he may not accept the election results and was he's convinced. That everything goes all right and in addition to that he's urging his supporters to become poll watchers expect some people believe that that may have been what he was signaling to attitudes of the white supremacist group that that he was talking about earlier in the thanks so it's possible. That the these comments even if you can shake them off this is typical. Trump in you know trump isms and an indignant signing in an episode we get it may not actually take him very literally they have very serious consequences and I think what people have a reason on the trump decides it increasingly. Doubt whether there will be a legitimate election outcome even though we have no evidence of wise for election fraud in this country. As I wanna drill down on something you just said there because they've seen Donald Trump junior and others on the and lots on FaceBook. Hauling trump supporters to become a quote army. To protect the vote to show up and voting places a look we saw in the pandemic. You know guys are long gone shown up at the Michigan State Capitol to. To protect there there of their way of life I guess is there are a risk. First what's the lawn that did I know it varies by states can be able to show up and walk walk in Seminole police the vote here. And and second is there are concerned that there could be violence this year. The it is a significant change to that to the federal law around this for decades now. Of the Republican National Committee has been prohibited from actually sending Paul lockers organizing poll what was to go to the polls via consent decree of the Democrats have them a couple of decades ago I that was lifted up back in 2018 and now you can actually send armies of individuals. Now where you can go extinct in individual places that does vary by location how close you can be to an individual polling place but yes American citizens have the right to go in and observe the question is doesn't become more than that and you show up with any kind of show of force that it that essentially scares people away intimidates people suppresses the vote and yes ultimately. Do you invite provoke violent clashes. Those are all the scenarios that I think we have to be concerned about as Americans is as people increasingly vote now and then vote through Election Day. LD they didn't get too many issues last night because there was news too much interrupting too much yelling into much insulting but. One thing they kind of debated was the economy and and Biden seemed to focus. Some of his central points on the fact that he was gonna repeal tax cuts. And the argument that the country is not ready to reopen that may not play well with moderates looking to the economy as their voting issue do you think that was a mistake. I don't know are we better be honest with the American people state police forgo wonders why don't. Do you want to bring or something corporate. We intimidation factor keep in mind. That is against a law to intimidate us home isn't true crime. We. Knee Clinton visuals employed. Are deep sorrow. During the height and Jim Crow or he's heard black people points to close our backs it's 3COM. President I don't DP I was younger kids friends RO political strategy. Because you. Politicians. Accuse of cops beating that larger. Positions are a better answer a few years ago are down a lot. Rick and I talked about this a little bit this morning but it seemed like. In a way in presidents from strategy was to try to go after Biden really hard and dropped him a lot and try to kind of thrown mop. To see if he can trip him up especially given he tried to call Biden's cognitive abilities and to question going into this debate do you think that strategy worked. I actually do think it worked and I think you can assign the lion's share of the blame for this to be going off the rails the president trump but I also don't think that should have been or was at all surprising. I was struck by how often. Vice President Biden appeared flustered and indeed in. At times to that to what he knew was it was a strategy he told the president United States to shut up he called little clown a couple of times that is the kind of name calling. People like Barbara remember this well a lot of the route trolls Republican rivals tried 12016 that's not the game that Joseph Biden wanted to play. Yeah I wonder about American magnet of Barbara on on this question are so many voters and we've. We've heard from them who witnessed what you do children is Rick's is that that they don't like their choice. And especially Republicans look at what a governor Tom Ridge former governor Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania former secretary of Homeland Security. Tweeted ad now he's he's come out and endorsed by but he said if a Republican president is incapable of condemning white supremacists. And the Party of Lincoln. Has expired. What are people who feel that way do we know what Tom Ridge them but there are a lot of people who don't wanna go along. With cozying up to white supremacy but are Democrats. Let's well and they aren't I think they will not be going to armed with president trump and I. Even though I think Rick is right he did kind of confused in knots that would install. President trump went into this. Debate. Where he is tripling in mouse swing states and I would imagine he's trailing in his own internal poll which is why they don't put them out. And so it's with a desperate thing didn't pay much as makes it not been seen what I can do. And I think they'll it will get worse and ads as we go on and you're certainly people's sent him in Paul's instantaneously Akerson Billy. He lost the debate when you look at the suburban women grow its everything he did. Last night. Works against any time I have you know getting to suburban women. Barbara Comstock LC Gradison recline thanks for helping us breakdown led debate that broke down. And we want to get more reaction to last night's debate for uncommitted voters and whether that back and forth they heard on the stage may have changed their minds. As being dead is it it's all over the place. Then island each other. If they did let each other for hot there it's imminent second. Here balls diet then you know that in effect let's let me hope for it and I'm not saying that day are most likely that a vote. Her right. I was leaning toward trial and that was because. Of his stance and helped and it's agriculture as we got closer to the debates and I things that I had three especially about his for Trump's tax returns such. I was starting to lean a little bit more toward Biden. But after the debates I'm I'm in. Question again which direction I won't go and as because I was little disappointed in the way that it dates turned out actually thought they were cut out a disgrace over. US. Open wide would not due to the level that I figured trump would run this debate. I was hoping that he would rise above it that he'd. I want to bring in 538 senior political writer Claire Malone for more on how voters. Are reacting to last night's debate Claritin the 538 election forecast now shows. Joseph Biden with a 78 in 100 chance of winning the election. And president trump with a 21. In 100 shot how much did this debate change things. Think the quick answer as we don't know yet there. Some quick polls that we saw last night. Basically showed. People people reflecting what the currents. Stayed articles are which is that Biden is up by Sutton points. Give or take and that's how people react to the debate if you like buying it up by one if you like trump you thought trump one. We will have some polling and some actual site to the pull in with its hospital hopefully come out later today that'll show perhaps the before and after but. I think partisan country partisan reaction chew. He saw the debate. Claire Malone from 538 thank you. X and we just want to leave you with some final thoughts today I was struck by a quote from a voter and she said as America looks closely at this debate. They'll see their own reflections last night mirrored a pointless irrational and name calling social media thread. This is how we look every day and so for me I think it's clear from last night that we can't force our leaders to conduct themselves in a certain way but. The American people we all have the power to lead by our own example. And what we choose to shed light on if we only reward with a tension. The most outrageous comments. That's what we're gonna get and if we jump on people who disagree with us by name calling and vilifying that's also what we are going to get so Tara know you and I wanted to do this show because we wanted to space. For multiple viewpoints and respectful discussions and to me last night showed. That we need that now more than ever I think we can all do better and I truly believe that we can do that. And amen Diane you know I was. Thinking of stab something personal myself I'm for children and older than. Then Jack your little Jack and IDs children growing up in this poisonous environment. It would have to do better we love our country want them to. And if we don't do better they'll think this is normal and we need that can't happen. And does it for us here today. Thanks so much for staying with us and. We will be back and tomorrow at 3 PM eastern right here on ABC news five had a great gaming business. All. Of what any days.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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