The first presidential debate of the 2020 election was vintage Donald Trump. The president did all the things that worked for him in the Republican primary debates in 2015-16 and worked well enough in the three debates with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for him to come out on top in the Electoral College.
Trump let no criticism go unrebutted, no matter how trivial. He was aggressive. He took risks. He belittled his opponent. He went after the moderator. “I guess I’m debating you, not him, but that’s fine,” Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace at one point. “I’m not surprised.”