Biden, Trump face tough questions at separate town halls

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Yahoo Finance’s Jessica. Smith joins the On the Move panel to discuss the dueling town halls for Trump and Biden.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: First, though, we want to get to Jessica Smith to share with us some of the highlights from those town halls last night, and also talk about maybe what the latest on stimulus is at this point, if there are any developments. Jess.

JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, Julie, the candidates both faced a variety of questions on everything from the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, and the Supreme Court. They also both answered questions about taxes.

Savannah Guthrie pressed President Trump on that “New York Times” report that he paid little to no federal income taxes and that he was more than $400 million in debt. He said those numbers were wrong, but he didn’t go into specifics about what was incorrect. He said– here’s what happened when Guthrie pushed him on that debt.

DONALD TRUMP: No, I don’t know Russia money. I don’t owe– I owe a very, very small– it’s called mortgages. People have a house they put a mortgage–

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Any foreign bank? Any foreign entity?

DONALD TRUMP: Not that I know of, but I will probably because it’s so easy to solve. And if you’d like to do, I will let you know who– who I owe whatever small amount of money. I want to say two things. Number one, it’s a very small amount of money. Number two, it’s very straight. It’s very, very straight.

JESSICA SMITH: A voter also asked Vice President Joe Biden about his plan to repeal some of the Trump tax cuts. Biden stressed that he would only raise taxes on the wealthy and on corporations. Here’s Vice President Joe Biden’s answer.

JOE BIDEN: If you made sure that people making over 400 grand paid what they did in the Bush administration, 39.6%, you would raise another– what– this goes up to– let me get you the exact number here. About another 200– excuse me– $92 billion. So you could raise a lot of money to be able to invest in things that can make your life easier.

JESSICA SMITH: George Stephanopoulos really pushed Biden on whether or not the economy could actually handle any tax increases in the midst of a pandemic. Biden says yes, it could, and he cited analysis from Moody’s that showed his economic plan would create about 18.6 million jobs.

Now stimulus negotiations also did come up last night. President Trump said the only reason that Senate Republicans have not gotten onboard with a comprehensive bill, a bigger bill at this point, is because he has not asked them to. He says he’ll do that once Pelosi and Mnuchin and come up with a deal, if they come up with a deal.

We know that the Treasury Secretary and the Speaker of the House are going to be working today, continuing to talk about changes to the national testing strategy. They seem to be making progress on that issue. But the Speaker says many differences still remain. If they are able to come to an agreement, we’ll see if the president is right that Republicans will fall in line. Julie.