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A raspy and sometimes halting Biden tries at debate to confront Trump, who responds with falsehoods

ATLANTA - A raspy President Joe Biden repeatedly sought to confront Donald Trump in their first debate ahead of the November election, as his Republican rival countered Biden's criticism by leaning into falsehoods about the economy, illegal immigration and his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

The debate came at a pivotal juncture in their unpopular presidential rematch, a critical moment to make their cases before a national television audience. Biden's uneven performance risked crystallizing voter concerns that at age 81 he is too old to serve as president, while Trump's rhetoric offered a perhaps unwelcome reminder of the bombast he launched daily during his tumultuous four years in office.

Biden entered the debate looking to sharpen the choice voters will face in November. Trump, 78, looked for an opening to try to move past his felony conviction in New York and convince an audience of tens of millions that he is temperamentally suited to return to the Oval Office.


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