The city of Cleveland set up barriers and called in the National Guard in anticipation of protests and riots ahead of the first presidential debate Tuesday evening.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden are preparing to square off in Ohio, just five weeks before the election. The 90-minute debate will into six segments, selected by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who is moderating.
Pictures show preparations underway in the city Monday after the mayor, Frank Jackson, urged protesters to remain peaceful. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine sent 300 members from the Ohio National Guard to the city.
The secret service, the lead agency for security at the event, set up a perimeter around the the Samson Pavilion, the building where the debate will be held. There are numerous road closures in place.
Mayor Jackson said: ‘Cleveland has been a peaceful city lately so let’s keep it that way and show the people the way Cleveland is.’ Lt. Col. Audrey Fielding of the Ohio National Guard added: ‘Members of this task force are specifically trained and equipped and prepared to support law enforcement in protection tasks.’
Military trucks have arrived on the scene Monday and images show there is a heavy police presence on the Cleveland Clinic campus where the two candidates will meet. Overhead on Monday a small plane circled the area with a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign.
Public Safety Director Karrie Howard said: ‘I assure the citizens of Cleveland that we have taken every precaution to make sure that while people exercise their First Amendment right to free speech, it will be done in a safe and secure manner.’
Police are said to be on 12-hour shifts with days off canceled.
Pictures show preparations underway in the city Monday after the mayor, Frank Jackson, urged protesters to remain peaceful. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine sent 300 members from the Ohio National Guard to the city
The secret service is the lead agency for security inside a perimeter set up around the the Samson Pavilion
Military trucks have arrived on the scene and there is a heavy police presence on the Cleveland Clinic campus where the two candidates will meet. Overhead on Monday a small plane circled the area with a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign
Donald Trump, right, and Joe Biden, left, are preparing to square off in Ohio, just five weeks before the election
The 90-minute debate will be divided into six segments: the pandemic, the economy, the Supreme Court, election integrity, the candidates’ records, and ‘race and violence in our cities.’ A report from the New York Times on Sunday that revealed Trump paid $750 in income tax in 2016 also will likely come up.
Polls show Biden leading Trump nationally and in a number of key battleground states.
‘I am looking very forward to the debate,’ Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.
The televised debate is likely to focus in part on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, and his push to fill the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the high court.
It is the first of three scheduled presidential debates. Vice President Mike Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, will debate in October.
The re-emergence of Trump’s tax history as an election issue – in 2016 he broke a decades-old tradition of presidential nominees releasing their tax returns when seeking the White House – offers Biden another avenue of attack Tuesday evening.
The former vice president is trying to turn the tables on Trump, who ran successfully as an economic populist four years ago and is regarded by some observers as having an edge among voters on the issue of who would best manage the economy.
In recent days, Biden has characterized the race as a clash between Scranton, the working-class Pennsylvania city where he spent part of his childhood, and Park Avenue. Trump Tower, which serves as headquarters for the Trump Organization, is located near that tony boulevard in Manhattan.
Within hours of the New York Times report, Biden’s campaign had released a video listing the thousands of dollars in income tax typically paid by an elementary school teacher, firefighter, construction manager and registered nurse, before contrasting Trump’s reported $750 bill in 2017. The campaign also started selling stickers that say, ‘I Paid More In Taxes Than Donald Trump.’
Trump has painted his economic record in glowing terms, saying his policies were responsible for boosting growth and reducing U.S. unemployment to near 50-year lows prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.
His message, however, has been badly dented by the virus-triggered recession, which has put millions of Americans out of work. Democrats say Trump has mishandled the U.S. response and embraced policies that favored corporations and the rich.
The stage of the first US Presidential debate is seen at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic on Monday
Tuesday’s clash in Cleveland, Ohio, the first of three 90-minute debates, represents the first time voters will have the chance to see the candidates facing off against one another directly
Preparations take place for the first Presidential debate outside the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion
Biden is proposing to hike the corporate income tax and raise taxes on people making more than $400,000 if elected.
Trump, who signed a $1.5 trillion Republican-sponsored package of tax cuts in late 2017, accuses his opponent of pushing a far-left agenda that will destroy the economy.
The president has said since the 2016 campaign that his refusal to release his federal income tax returns is because he is under audit by the Internal Revenue Service, but the agency has said there is no reason he cannot release his taxes while under audit.
Both candidates are set to scuffle over Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump is using his pick to rally his conservative voter base and distract from his record on the coronavirus and other matters, while Biden is warning of threats to health care and abortion rights.
For Biden, the debate will serve as sort of a reintroduction. While he has held limited events in some states and given media interviews, the coronavirus pandemic has largely rendered him off stage for months.
Trump in a tweet on Sunday went as far as to suggest Biden will be on performance-enhancing drugs during the debate, signaling that perhaps there is little he will not do or say to rattle Biden and disrupt the proceedings.
Mounted police patrol around the Samson Pavilion as workers prepare for the first presidential debate
The Samson Pavilion on the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic, where the debate takes place
Chris Wallace, the 72-year-old ‘Fox News Sunday’ presenter, is the only host this fall who has been there before.
Trump has decided to skip formal preparation, though he said Sunday that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his former 2016 primary rival, Chris Christie, are helping him.
‘We had a little debate prep before we came here,’ Trump told reporters as Giuliani and Christie looked on in the press briefing room at the White House.
And while Biden’s team believes the significance of the debate may be exaggerated, the Democratic nominee has been aggressively preparing to take on the president.
Biden’s campaign has been holding mock debate sessions featuring Bob Bauer, a senior Biden adviser and former White House general counsel, playing the role of Trump, according to a person with direct knowledge of the preparations who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal strategy.
Bauer has not actually donned a Trump costume in line with Trump stand-ins from previous years, but he is representing his style and expected strategy.
Stand in rehearse on stage for Tuesday night’s first president debate at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic
The first debate will be 90 minutes long with no commercials and start at 9 pm ET
Technicians run tests ahead of Tuesday night’s debate. Donald Trump keeps up barrage of demands Joe Biden take a ‘drug test’ before debate
There will be no opening statements and the first question will go to Trump. There will be a ‘small’ audience in the room, all of whom will be tested for COVID, according to Peter Ayre, senior adviser to the Commission on Presidential Debates.
Once on stage Tuesday night, neither the candidates nor the moderator will wear masks.
It’s unclear, however, if Biden will come out wearing one. The former vice president has been cautious in his public outings, limiting the crowd size and making sure white circles on the ground keep attendees socially distanced. He is often masked when outside.