Trump: “I am the least racist person in this room.”
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) October 23, 2020
During the second general election presidential debate, moderator Kristen Welker directs a question to Trump about previous comments and behaviors that have caused him to be labeled as racist. Welker – who is biracial – asks: “Mr. President, you’ve described the Black Lives Matter movement as a symbol of hate. You’ve shared a video of a man chanting white power to millions of your supporters. You’ve said that Black professional athletes exercising their first amendment rights should be fired. What do you say to Americans who say that kind of language from a president is contributing to a climate of hate and racial strife?” Trump responds, “I am the least racist person in this room,” repeating it twice in the follow-up exchange. Biden jumps in to quip: “Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history. He pours fuel on every single racist fire, every single one.” Biden refers to Trump as Abraham Lincoln due to Trump’s previous comments saying he has done more for Black Americans than any other U.S. president with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. Trump goes on to defend himself, noting his role in passing criminal justice reform legislation in his first term, and accuses Biden of being responsible for high incarceration of Black men due to his support of the 1994 Crime Bill.