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politics

Trump Says Neither Biden Nor Harris Won Debate Clash Over Race

Trump Says Neither Biden Nor Harris Won Debate Clash Over Race

 Kamala Harris and Joe Biden on June 27. 

 Kamala Harris and Joe Biden on June 27. 

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America
 Kamala Harris and Joe Biden on June 27. 
Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America

President Donald Trump said neither California Senator Kamala Harris nor former Vice President Joe Biden came out ahead in a debate on Thursday in which they clashed over Biden’s record on race and segregation.

“He didn’t do well, certainly, and maybe the facts weren’t on his side,” Trump said in a news conference following the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan. “I think she was given too much credit for what she did. It wasn’t that outstanding.”

Democratic candidates vying to challenge Trump’s re-election in 2020 held two nights of prime-time debates last week, stealing the spotlight from the president while he was overseas at the G-20.

Harris created a breakout moment for herself in the second debate on Thursday by challenging Biden, who has come under criticism by some Democrats for his record on crime and school desegregation. She described in personal terms how his 1970s positions on busing and desegregation would have deprived her of opportunity when she was a child. Biden was left flat-footed trying to parry her.

Trump said he expects to issue a new policy in about four weeks that would touch on school busing. He didn’t elaborate, and didn’t answer a question Saturday about how he feels about busing.

It’s unclear whether Harris’s debate performance improved her standing in polls. Biden leads among Democratic voters so far, without about 32 percent naming him their top choice to challenge Trump, according to an average of public polls through June 25 by RealClearPolitics. Harris stands fourth, behind Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

— With assistance by Nick Wadhams, Sahil Kapur, and Tyler Pager