Presidential debate full coverage: Biden and Trump rally crowds after 1st 2024 showdown

A day after their first political showdown of the 2024 election, both President Biden and former President Donald Trump continued with their campaigns.

Speaking at a rally in North Carolina on Friday, Biden, 81, conceded he didn’t have the best debate performance but said that even though he “doesn’t debate as well as I used to,” he’s still the best person for the job.

Biden’s hoarse voice, which his campaign blamed on a cold, and verbal missteps during the debate sparked worry among some Democrats who hoped the night would show that Biden’s age isn’t a concern. At Friday’s rally, Biden said that despite not being as young as he once was, “I know how to tell the truth.”

Hours later, 78-year-old Trump held a campaign rally in Virginia, where he mocked Biden’s debate performance, but said “it’s not his age, it’s his competence.”

Biden and Trump clashed throughout the debate, with both calling the other the worst president in the history of the U.S.

The two are currently scheduled to meet one more time on the debate stage before the election, on Sept. 10. That debate will be hosted by ABC News.

  • Over 51 million people watched the presidential debate, according to CNN

    The first presidential debate Thursday night attracted record viewers, according to CNN. The station released a statement Friday afternoon saying the bout between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump was both the highest-rated program and largest livestream event in CNN history.

  • Trump holds rally in Virginia

    Donald Trump speaks at a podium during a campaign rally.
    Trump speaks at a Virginia rally on Friday. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

    Trump took the stage at a campaign rally in Chesapeake, Va., late Friday afternoon and kicked off his speech by asking, "Did anybody last night watch a thing called the debate?"

    Trump doubled down on claims that Biden is too "grossly incompetent" to lead the country and that last night's debate was "a defeat not only for Biden but for the entire radical left Democratic Party and the fake news media." The crowd cheered loudly in support.

    He repeated his usual campaign rally talking points regarding abortion laws, jobs and closing the U.S. border.

    Virginia is not a guaranteed win for Trump — he lost the state to Biden by 10 points in 2020.

  • Obama: 'Bad debate nights happen'

    Former President Barack Obama is still backing his former vice president after last night's debate.

    "Bad debate nights happen. Trust me, I know," Obama wrote on X. "But this election is still a choice between someone who has fought for ordinary folks his entire life and someone who only cares about himself. Between someone who tells the truth; who knows right from wrong and will give it to the American people straight — and someone who lies through his teeth for his own benefit. Last night didn't change that, and it's why so much is at stake in November."

    Obama's emphasis on Biden being someone who "tells the truth" compared to Trump echoes what Biden said during his rally in Raleigh, N.C., earlier this afternoon.

  • Biden speaks at North Carolina rally

    President Biden spoke at a campaign rally in Raleigh, N.C., on Friday afternoon, where he was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of supporters who repeatedly drowned out hecklers with chants of "Four more years!" throughout the speech.

    Biden reiterated several of the points he made during last night's presidential debate, including vowing to make Roe v. Wade "the law of the land" and to bring down inflation.

    While he did not specifically comment on reports of growing concerns within the Democratic Party over his performance in Atlanta, he acknowledged doubts, while reaffirming his beliefs that he remains the best person for the job.

    "I don't speak as smoothly as I used to. I don't debate as well as I used to. But I know what I know. I know how to tell the truth. I know how to do this job."

    Biden drew concerns last night from Democrats over his raspy voice and at-times halting speech. His campaign released a statement during the debate saying that the president had a cold. While Biden coughed a few times during Friday's speech, his voice was less hoarse.

    North Carolina is one of the states Democrats consider to be pivotal to win in the upcoming election.

  • Reaction to the presidential debate

    Reaction, as it often does, has come swiftly following the first presidential debate of the 2024 cycle. Much of the reaction focused on criticism of Joe Biden's performance and the Democratic response.

    ➕ Read more:

    • 'I am absolutely voting for Donald Trump' Undecided voters react to Biden debate performance. [Reuters]

    • Was the debate the beginning of the end for Biden? The New Yorker's Susan Glasser provides commentary on the president's "disastrous night." [The New Yorker]

    • Who won the debate? Snap poll results following first Trump-Biden presidential square off [The Independent]

    • 'The movement to convince Biden to not run is real.’ "Democrats have nobody to blame but themselves. They stayed mum for three and half years and now they’re reaping the whirlwind." [Politico]

    • It's not too late for Dems to choose another candidate. Here's how it would work. [Business Insider]

    • Biden should step aside to save his legacy. "The idea that Joe Biden is the best possible standard-bearer for the Democratic Party this November has lost all plausibility." [Vox]

    • Trump is too dangerous for Democrats to stick with Biden. "Democrats in and out of office have a lot of affection for Biden. Affection can make us ignore our misgivings about the older people in our lives for a long time." [Washington Post Opinion]

  • Democratic reaction to Biden's debate performance

    Coming into the CNN Presidential Debate, one of the biggest voter concerns with President Biden was his age. At 81, Biden is the oldest president ever, and would be 86 by the end of a second term.

    While the Biden camp sought to portray energy and vigor ahead of his debate with former President Donald Trump — huddling at Camp David for nearly a week of debate prep — Biden's hoarse voice and halting delivery during the historic contest spurred open concern throughout the Democratic Party in the immediate aftermath of the debate.

    Read more about the Democratic reaction to Thursday night's debate.

  • Analysis: How did Biden and Trump do in the 1st presidential debate?

    Somehow, writes Yahoo News political correspondent Andrew Romano, the campaign seems to have picked up right where it left off from the 2020 race. Biden is the Democratic nominee, Trump is the Republican nominee — and despite everything that’s happened, they’re still deadlocked in the polls.

    Which is why Thursday night’s rematch at the CNN studios in Atlanta was such a big deal. In a world of partisan echo chambers and social media silos — a world where most Americans have dismissed the 2024 race as a tired rerun and tuned out its overfamiliar protagonists — a live, televised debate is one of the last moments with the power to actually change anyone’s vote.

    So how did Trump and Biden do? Here are three takeaways from this year’s first presidential debate.

  • Fact check: Taking a look at Trump's and Biden's claims during the 1st presidential debate

    During Thursday's debate between President Biden and former President Donald Trump, the two candidates offered no shortage of false claims and assertions that lacked context.

    Here's a rundown of some of the night's most distinctive moments and exchanges that either left out important facts and context or were downright false.

    Read Yahoo News's fact checks from the first 2024 presidential debate.

  • RFK Jr. stages his own debate in Los Angeles

    Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. stands onstage at a campaign event watching a live feed of the presidential debate.
    Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. watches a live feed of the presidential debate from a campaign event in West Hollywood, Calif. (Damian Dovarganes/AP)

    Over on X, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the independent presidential candidate, streamed his own debate after not qualifying for CNN's debate. The network required participating candidates to be on enough state ballots to secure 271 electoral votes and have at least 15% support in four approved national polls. Kennedy is officially on the ballot in only seven states and achieved 15% support in only three polls.

    Called "The Real Debate," Kennedy's event streamed from Los Angeles in front of a large screen that streamed CNN's debate. John Stossel, a former ABC and Fox Business host, was Kennedy's moderator — although, since Kennedy was responding to CNN's questions, Stossel's main job was to make sure Kennedy didn't go over time.

    The stream ran close to three hours and accumulated 6 million views, according to X.

  • VP Harris says Biden had a 'slow start' but a 'strong finish'

    Speaking with CNN's Anderson Cooper after the debate, Vice President Kamala Harris said of Biden's debate performance: "Yes, there was a slow start. But it was a strong finish."

    Harris then focused on the contrast between Biden and Trump on the substance of the debate, saying Trump "lied over and over and over again," pointing out that he would not "disavow" what happened on Jan. 6 and would not give a clear answer on whether he would accept the outcome of the 2024 election.

    Cooper pressed Harris a few times on Biden's performance, asking if she was concerned at all, to which she responded: "I'm not going to spend all night talking with you about the last 90 minutes when I've been watching the last three and a half years of performance."

    Harris later added, "It was a slow start, that was obvious to everyone, I'm not going to debate that point."

  • Some elected Democratic officials rally in support of Biden after debate

    Although Biden's performance has generated some criticism among Democratic operatives, some elected Democratic officials are doubling down in their support for the president.

    "You don't turn your back because of one performance. What kind of party does that?" California Gov. Gavin Newsom responded when pressed by MSNBC's Alex Wagner about whether Biden should step down. "This president has delivered. We need to deliver for him at this moment."

    Later speaking to the New York Times, Newsom said he would "never turn my back on President Biden's record," adding, "I don't know a Democrat in my party who would do so especially after tonight."

    Meanwhile, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement: "Tonight, voters were presented with a clear choice — a president working hard every day to improve the lives of all Americans or a convicted felon, a selfish blowhard looking out only for himself. The contrast between these two men was clear before the debate — it is even clearer now."

    According to the Times, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens told a group of Biden supporters after the debate that "Democrats have to ride with who we're with right now because Joe Biden has earned the respect of the American public and has earned the respect of Democrats. We don't shift a horse in mid-race."

  • Democratic pundits respond to Biden performance: 'Kind of a DEFCON 1 moment'

    Pundits are weighing in on Biden's debate performance, and some questioned whether he should be the Democratic Party's nominee for president at all.

    "That was painful," Democratic analyst Van Jones said of Biden during a CNN roundtable after the debate. "He had a chance [to] restore confidence in the country and of the base, and he failed to do that.

    "I think there's a lot of people who are going to want to see him consider taking a different course now," Jones added. "We're still far from our convention and there is time for this party to figure out a different way forward if he will allow us to do that."

    Kate Bedingfield, former White House communications director for the Biden administration, said during the same roundtable that Biden failed to display an energetic personality onscreen, which, "for a lot of Democrats, that's very disappointing."

    David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, said on CNN that while Biden "scored a bunch of points" during the debate on issues like abortion and the economy, "there was a sense of shock, I think, [with] how he came out at the beginning, how his voice sounded and that he seemed a little disoriented" at times.

    Over at MSNBC, former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe described Biden's performance as "kind of a DEFCON 1 moment."

    "I've been deeply involved in presidential campaign debates — some went well, some didn't go well," Plouffe told Rachel Maddow. "The only thing that matters, and you won't really know for three or four days, is how the voters that will decide this election will react.

    "It really pains me to say this," he continued. "They are three years apart. They seemed about 30 years apart tonight. And I think that's going to be the thing that voters really wrestle with coming out of this."

  • Trump campaign surrogates flood the 'spin room'

    Lara Trump, co-chair of the Republican National Committee, speaks to reporters.
    Lara Trump, co-chair of the Republican National Committee, speaks to reporters following the CNN Presidential Debate. (Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

    Moments after the debate concluded, Trump's surrogates — a flurry of them, in fact — were on the floor of the CNN "spin room." And they were in a great mood.

    Republican National Committee co-chair Lara Trump, Reps. Byron Donalds and Matt Gaetz of Florida and Elise Stefanik of New York, former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, advisers Cory Lewandowski, David Bossie and Stephen Miller — even Sen. Lindsey Graham — fanned out across the McCamish Pavilion.

    "As president of the United States, you have to adapt, you have a lot of things coming at you at all times," Lara Trump said, questioning whether Biden is fit for office. "If he had a cold, maybe that's what they're gonna tell people. But I don't think that the cold is the problem."

    "Joe Biden was lost in several topics," Donalds said. "They kept asking, I think the moderators asked him several times, 'You have 89 seconds left, you have 34 seconds left, President Biden. Do you want to add to your answer?' You can't have that in our country."

    "I think anybody who loves the United States of America today recognizes it is a national security threat for this man to be responsible for defending the United States of America," Ramaswamy said. "This isn't just funny anymore. This is dangerous."

    When Biden's surrogates, including Sen. Raphael Warnock and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, arrived about 20 minutes later, they were swarmed by reporters and camera crews. The scrum was too deep for this reporter to get to hear their spin.

  • Biden speaks to supporters at Atlanta debate watch party

    President Biden holds a microphone as he speaks to supporters at a debate watch party.
    Biden speaks at a Biden-Harris campaign debate watch party after leaving CNN's studios. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

    Following the debate, Biden briefly spoke to his supporters at a watch party in Atlanta and thanked them multiple times for their support.

    He started by attacking the false claims Trump made during the debate, saying, "I can't think of one thing he said that was true.

    "We're going to beat this guy and I need you in order to beat him. You're the people I'm running for," Biden added.

  • Biden delivers closing statement

    President Joe Biden, speaks during a presidential debate in Atlanta. (Gerald Herbert/AP)
    President Joe Biden, speaks during a presidential debate in Atlanta. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

    Each candidate was allotted two minutes for a closing statement. Biden went first, criticizing Trump. "This guy has increased your taxes," Biden said before moving on to say that Trump wants to get rid of key parts of Medicare.

    As he had earlier in the debate, Biden struggled with his delivery.

    "He wants to get rid of, the ability, to, for, the ability, to, for the ability for us to be able to negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma companies," said Biden, who has had a stutter since childhood.

    Biden's campaign said during the debate that he had a cold, but had not tested positive for COVID.

  • Trump slams Biden and touts record in closing statement

    Trump at the debate Thursday night. (Kyle Mazza/Anadolu via Getty Images)
    Trump at the debate Thursday night. (Kyle Mazza/Anadolu via Getty Images)

    "This man is just a complainer," Trump said, in his closing statement in the first presidential debate. "He doesn't do anything."

    Ripping into Biden over various foreign policy issues, Trump pointed to Israel, Iran, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and China, as well migration across the U.S. southern border. "Our military doesn't respect him," Trump said.

    He went on to tout his own four years in office.

    "What we did was incredible. We rebuilt the military," he claimed. "We're in a failing nation. But it's not going to be failing anymore. We're going to make it great again."

  • Fact check: Trump says Biden indicted him

    Trump: "I wish he was a great president because I wouldn't be here right now. I'd be at one of my many places enjoying myself. I wouldn't be under indictment because I wouldn't have been his political opponent. He indicted me because I was his opponent."

    This claim is false: Trump has repeatedly said, without evidence, that his recent indictments were part of a strategy by President Biden and his administration to keep Trump out of the White House. Biden has no control over the Manhattan criminal court. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the prosecutor who brought the case against Trump, does not work for the Justice Department or any other White House office.

    Read more from the Associated Press: Fact Focus: Trump responds to guilty verdict with attacks and false claims

  • Trump and Biden debate their golf games

    During a discussion about their advanced ages, Biden and Trump found themselves debating their golf games.

    Trump started it by boasting that he recently won two club championships before suggesting Biden couldn't drive a golf ball more than 50 yards.

    Biden countered by saying that when he was vice president, he got his golf handicap down to a 6. As Trump disputed the claim, co-moderator Dana Bash interjected: "Let's not act like children."

  • Fact check: Trump brags about how he 'aced' cognitive tests

    Trump: "I was willing to take a cognitive test ... and I aced them."

    This claim needs context: Trump has repeatedly boasted about his performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment for ears, but that test is intended to detect signs of dementia or cognitive decline, not a measure of intelligence or the kind of test one can "ace."

  • Fact check: Biden claims Trump wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act

    Biden: "[Trump] wants to get rid of the [Affordable Care Act] again. And they're gonna try again if they win."

    This claim needs context: After years of railing against the Affordable Care Act, asking the Supreme Court to overturn it while in office, and promising to come up with a better alternative to it, Trump said in April that he was "not running to terminate" the law commonly known as Obamacare.

    "We're going to make the ACA much better than it is right now and much less expensive for you," Trump said in a video posted to Truth Social in April.

  • Fact check: Biden claims Trump is the worst president in U.S. history, cites historian survey

    Biden: "Look it up, go online, 159, or 58, don't hold me to the exact number presidential historians, they had meetings and they voted who was the worst president in American history, best to worst. They said he was the worst in all of American history. That's a fact."

    This claim needs context: Biden is likely referring to the results of the 2024 Presidential Greatness Project Expert Survey, which did rank former President Donald Trump at the bottom.

  • Fact check: 'China's going to own us'

    Trump: "China's going to own us if you keep allowing them to do what they're doing to us as a country. They are killing us as a country, Joe. And you can't let that happen — you're destroying our country."

    This claim needs context: On May 14, Biden placed tariffs on a number of Chinese goods, including EVs, solar panels, steel, aluminum and medical equipment. For his first three years in office, Biden also elected to leave many of the tariffs in place that Trump had slapped on China.

  • Biden has a cold but tested negative for COVID: Reports

    Biden, whose voice has sounded hoarse throughout the debate, has a cold — but tested negative for COVID, multiple news outlets have reported.

    According to NBC News, two sources familiar with the situation said, "President Biden has a cold."

    Three other sources confirmed the president was also administered a COVID test, for which he tested negative.

    Biden spent days preparing for the debate at Camp David.

  • Fact check: Biden falsely claims that Trump wants to 'get rid of' Social Security

    Biden: "He wants to get rid of Social Security. He thinks that there's plenty to cut in Social Security."

    This claim is false: Trump has said that there may be some room to reduce spending on Social Security and proposed a budget that included some cuts to the program, but has not stated any intention to eliminate Social Security.

  • The scene inside the 'Spin Room' during the debate

    CNN's "Spin Room." (Dylan Stableford/Yahoo News)
    CNN's "Spin Room." (Dylan Stableford/Yahoo News)

    While the candidates debate inside CNN's debate hall across the street, hundreds of media members including this one are watching a live feed of the event that is being simulcast on dozens of temporary flatscreens scattered around the McCamish Pavilion — and on the JumboTron above the floor of the "Spin room," which is currently almost empty.

  • Fact check: Trump says there was 'no terror at all' during his presidency

    Trump: "You had no terror at all during my administration. This place — the whole world is blowing up under him."

    This is false: This is not the first time Trump has claimed the U.S. had no terrorist attacks during his presidency.

    • In 2017, Trump's Justice Department alleged that a mass murder in New York City, which killed eight people, was a terrorist attack in support of ISIS.

    • In 2018, the Justice Department claimed there was evidence of a "domestic terrorist attack" when a Trump supporter mailed homemade explosive devices to Democratic officials and CNN offices.

    • In 2019, Trump's Justice Department claimed an attack that killed three U.S. service members and injured others at a military base in Florida was motivated by an "associate" of al-Qaida.

    • Also in 2019, a gunman, who was targeting Latinos, killed 23 people in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

    Read more from CNN: Fact check: Trump falsely claims the U.S. had no terrorist attacks during his presidency

  • Fact check: Trump and Biden blame each other for inflation

    Trump: "He caused this inflation. I gave him a country with essentially no inflation. ... He destroyed it."

    Biden: "Inflation ... he caused it with his tremendous malfeasance in the way he handled the pandemic."

    These claims needs context: Inflation is primarily the result of macroeconomic trends that presidents have little power to influence. Economists blame two recent factors, the coronavirus pandemic and Russia's war in Ukraine, for recent spikes in prices.

  • Fact check: Trump presidency had 'best environmental numbers ever'

    Trump: "I want absolutely immaculate clean water and I want absolutely clean air, and we had it. We had H2O," Trump said, apparently meaning CO2, a greenhouse gas scientists say is helping to warm the planet. "We had the best numbers ever and we did — we were using all forms of energy, all forms, everything. And yet, during my four years, I had the best environmental numbers ever."

    This claim needs context: While greenhouse gas emissions fell during Trump's term in office, they fell even more during Barack Obama's presidency. Experts also note that the modest decline when Trump was president was aided by the decline in economic activity caused by the coronavirus pandemic, not because of any specific actions taken by the Trump administration.

  • Biden to Trump: 'You have the morals of an alley cat'

    Donald Trump and President Biden onstage at the presidential debate.
    Donald Trump and President Biden participate in the CNN Presidential Debate at the CNN studios in Atlanta. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    At one point during the debate, both Biden and Trump amplified their verbal attacks against one another — with Biden attacking Trump's character and criminal record.

    "The idea that you have the right to seek retribution against any American just because you're president is wrong. Simply wrong," he said. "No president in our history has spoken like that before."

    He later touched on Trump's hush money trial, which centered on accusations of falsifying business records about an alleged affair he had with adult film star Stormy Daniels.

    "You had sex with a porn star. You have the morals of an alley cat," Biden said.

  • Biden refers to Trump as a 'convicted felon'

    President Biden debating on Thursday night. (Gerald Herbert/AP)
    President Biden debating on Thursday night. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

    During an exchange about Jan. 6, Trump argued that his supporters who were charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol insurrection were unfairly targeted, and that Black Lives Matter protesters and other activists in cities such as Portland, Ore., and Seattle are the real "felons."

    Biden used the opportunity to point out Trump's historic conviction in the New York hush-money case.

    "The only person on this stage that is a convicted felon is the man I'm looking at right now," the president said while glancing in Trump's direction.

  • Fact check: Trump claims he offered Pelosi 10,000 soldiers on Jan. 6

    Moderator: What do you stay to the voters who believe you violated your oath of office on Jan. 6 and worry you may do so again?

    Trump pointed to recently released documentary footage of then-House Speaker Nancy Speaker on Jan. 6 saying leaders like herself bore responsibility for not having prepared more for the riot. Trump then repeated a claim he's made multiple times before: "Nancy Pelosi, I offered her 10,000 soldiers or National Guard, and she turned them down."

    This claim is false: As CNN reported, Pelosi "would not even have had the power to turn down such an offer if she had received one — which she has said she never did."


  • Fact check: Biden falsely claims the Border Patrol has endorsed him

    Biden: "By the way the Border Patrol endorsed me, endorsed my position."

    This claim is false: The Border Patrol Union has not endorsed Biden and said in a post on X during the debate, "To be clear, we never have and never will endorse Biden."

  • Fact check: Trump criticizes Afghanistan withdrawal without mentioning his administration's role in the U.S. exit

    Trump: "[Biden] was so bad with Afghanistan. It was such a horrible embarrassment. The most embarrassing moment in the history of our country."

    This claim needs context: Biden’s administration executed the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, but it did so under terms of an agreement the Trump administration reached with the Taliban during the last year of Trump’s presidency.

  • Trump calls Biden 'Brandon' during debate

    Donald Trump gestures during the presidential debate.
    Donald Trump gestures during the debate with President Biden. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

    During an exchange about border security, Biden pointed out that the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents the U.S. Border Patrol, endorsed a bipartisan bill he backed that included additional staffing for it and other agencies.

    "The Border Patrol endorsed me — endorsed my position," Biden said.

    Trump quickly countered, saying the Border Patrol union endorsed him.

    "They endorsed me for president," Trump told Biden before adding a derisive nickname: "Brandon, just speak to them."

    Read more about how "Brandon" came to be via the Associated Press.

  • How would Trump and Biden handle the war in Gaza if reelected?

    Biden has been asked what additional leverage he would use to get Israel and Hamas to end their war.

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been one of the world's thorniest problems — a bloody, intractable dispute over land and statehood that has riven the region and vexed American presidents ever since the Jewish state was established in 1948.

    But Hamas's brutal Oct. 7, 2023, attacks — and Israel's brutal response in Gaza — have taken things to a whole new level.

    What they've done as president:


    What they want to do next:


    Read more here.

  • Fact check: Trump falsely claims Biden is allowing millions of people to come into the U.S. from 'prisons, jails'

    Trump: "I'd love to ask [Biden], and will, why he allowed millions of people to come in here from prisons, jails and mental institutions to come into our country and destroy our country."

    This claim is false: There is no data to support the idea that foreign leaders are emptying their jails and sending former prisoners to the U.S.

  • Biden's voice is hoarse as he talks economy

    Biden’s voice was hoarse while answering the first question of the night about the economy.

    "We have 1,000 billionaires in America," Biden said, calling on them to pay 24% to 25% instead. "We’d be able to raise $500 billion dollars in a 10-year period. We’d be able to wipe out his debt," he added.

  • Fact check: Trump falsely claims that Democrats support "after birth" abortions

    Trump: "They're radical because they will take the life of a child in the 8th month, the 9th month, even after birth."

    This claim is false: Killing a person after birth is illegal in every U.S. state.

  • Fact check: Trump says 'everyone' wanted Roe v. Wade overturned

    Trump: "What I did was, I put three great Supreme Court justices on the court and they happened to vote in favor of killing Roe v. Wade and moving it back to the states. This is something that everybody wanted."

    This claim is false: Many wanted Roe preserved, and opinion polls have shown that a large majority of the U.S. did not want Roe overturned.

  • What Trump and Biden have done so far on abortion — and what they want to do next

    The candidates are being asked about their stances on abortion rights.

    It’s been clear ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022 that abortion would be one of the key issues of the 2024 presidential campaign.

    The GOP generally supports the court’s decision to scrap the constitutional right to abortion — a decision that dismantled 50 years of nationwide legal protection for the procedure and paved the way for individual states to curtail or ban it.

    Democrats, in contrast, oppose the court’s decision and have called for making Roe v. Wade “the law of the land” again.

    But where do Biden and Trump stand?

    What they’ve done as president:

    What they want to do next:

    Read more here.

  • Fact check: Trump overstates strength of the U.S. economy during his presidency

    Trump: "We had the greatest economy in the history of our country."

    This claim is false: While the economy was quite strong for the majority of Trump's term, it was not as strong as in the late 1920s or the post-World War II era, according to gross domestic product and unemployment figures. The economy then collapsed during the final year of his presidency because of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Biden and Trump take the debate stage — without handshakes

    President Biden, right, and former President Donald Trump take the stage at Thursday's debate. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    President Biden, right, and former President Donald Trump take the stage at Thursday's debate. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    As expected, the candidates did not shake hands. They did not shake hands the last time they debated, in 2020, though that was during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Presidential debate starts on CNN

    The first debate of the 2024 presidential election between Biden and Trump has started. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, co-anchors of CNN's "State of the Union," are moderating.

    CNN, which is hosting and airing the debate, has no live audience and will be allowing two commercial breaks — unusual for an already pretty untraditional occasion, given neither candidate has been officially nominated yet.

    The debate rules include:

    • Microphones will be muted throughout the debate except for when it's the candidate's turn to speak.

    • No props or prewritten notes onstage.

    • Candidates will be allowed a pen, a pad of paper and a bottle of water.

  • 6-7 p.m. was best fundraising hour of entire campaign, Biden team says

    Biden officials told outlets including NBC and the New York Times that 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET was the best grassroots fundraising hour of the entire 2024 campaign. They did not provide a monetary amount.

    It surpassed the 5-6 p.m. amount, which had been the previous record, the campaign said.

    The last hour of fundraising raised more money than during the campaign's launch, Biden's State of the Union speech and Trump's 34-count conviction, NBC reported. The Trump campaign reportedly had a financial windfall after he was found guilty in New York last month.

  • RFK Jr. fans set up a lemonade stand outside the debate in protest

    A man and a young child in front of an RV supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s long-shot presidential bid.
    This man is driving his young family around in an RV in support of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s long-shot presidential bid. (Dylan Stableford/Yahoo News)

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. did not qualify for Thursday night's debate. But on the streets surrounding the debate site, his fans were out in full force. One showed up in a large RV with his family. (It's the first stop on what he said will be a summerlong tour that includes stops at both the Democratic and Republican national conventions as well as former President Donald Trump's sentencing hearing in New York next month.)

    A woman at a lemonade stand hands out lemonade behind signs that read: Kennedy 2024.
    A woman hands out lemonade in protest of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. being left off of CNN's debate stage. (Dylan Stableford/Yahoo News)

    Another set up a lemonade stand and handed out free lemonade along with leaflets promoting Kennedy's live debate counterprogramming.

    The lemonade, it should be noted, was organic from Trader Joe's — and was delicious.

    A hand holds a cup of lemonade bearing a sticker that reads: Kennedy for president 2024.
    The aforementioned lemonade. (Dylan Stableford/Yahoo News)
  • Fraternity row students are planning to watch the debate — and play beer pong

    Students at Georgia Tech's Phi Gamma Delta fraternity
    Students at Georgia Tech's Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. (Dylan Stableford/Yahoo News)

    The media check-in for tonight's debate was across from Georgia Tech's fraternity row, and some curious students at Phi Gamma Delta (also known as Fiji) were out on the lawn early as journalists picked up their credentials.

    Brandon, 20, Caleb, 22, and Michael, 21, said they were planning to have a debate watch party at the fraternity house, with some beers of course. (Nearly every fraternity house has a beer pong table set up on their front lawns, and this interview was conducted about 10 feet from Fiji's.)

    The students said they were engaged but still undecided about the race.

    "There's a lot going on, trying to wrap my head around everything and do my research," Brandon said. "I think that's the most important thing, is to make an informed decision."

    The members of nearby Kappa Alpha Order, pictured below, appear to have their minds made up about the election.

    Members of Georgia Tech's Kappa Alpha fraternity
    Members of Georgia Tech's Kappa Alpha fraternity on Thursday. (Dylan Stableford/Yahoo News)
  • Jill Biden says husband is feeling 'prepared' and 'ready to go'

    While attending a fundraiser at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Atlanta hours before the debate, first lady Jill Biden told Democratic donors that President Biden was "ready to go."

    "He's prepared. He's confident. You know what a great debater he is," she said, according to ABC News.

    "We can't stop now. We can't get complacent," she continued. "We've got to keep working together, working harder than we've ever worked before."

  • The 'Spin Room' is filling up with journalists in search of interviews — and snacks

    The CNN
    The CNN "Spin Room" inside McCamish Pavilion. (Dylan Stableford/Yahoo News)

    CNN's "Spin Room" is inside the McCamish Pavilion, an 1,800-seat basketball arena on the campus of Georgia Tech, where I am typing this blog post.

    There are several hundred journalists already inside, with assigned seats in the hall below the mezzanine for journalists like me to watch the debate on screens and speak to campaign operatives on the floor before and after.

    So far only a handful of Trump campaign surrogates, including Corey Lewandowski, have wandered over to the press on the floor. And the main topic of conversation among journalists (aside from the debate of course) is the food options, or lack thereof, inside the arena.

  • Both campaigns to air ads before, during and after debate

    Donald Trump and Joe Biden during the Oct. 22, 2020, presidential debate in Nashville. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Patrick Semansky/AP, Julio Cortez/AP)
    Donald Trump and Joe Biden during the Oct. 22, 2020, presidential debate in Nashville. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Patrick Semansky/AP, Julio Cortez/AP)

    Biden's and Trump's campaigns will air ads before, during and after Thursday night's presidential debate.

    The Biden campaign shared that it has two ads running before the debate. One features Amanda Zurawski, who nearly died twice after being denied care for a miscarriage under Texas's abortion ban; the other has Michigan Sheriff Chris Swanson talking about police officers being attacked in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and ultimately dying.

    The third ad, which will run after the debate, compares Trump being found guilty on 34 felony counts with Biden's achievements over the last four years.

    One of Trump's two ads mocks Biden for physical gaffes, like when he slipped on the stairs while boarding Air Force One, fell off his bike and struggled to put on his jacket on a windy day.

    "Do you think the guy who was defeated by the stairs, got taken down by his bike, lost a fight with his jacket and regularly gets lost makes it four more years in the White House?" a narrator says in the 30-second spot, which will air in swing states and the Washington, D.C., market during one of the two planned commercial breaks.

    "And you know who's waiting behind him, right?" the narrator adds as an image of Vice President Kamala Harris appears on the screen. "Vote Joe Biden today, and Kamala Harris tomorrow."

    The other ad is a more traditional attack ad, slamming what it claims is "Biden's disastrous record that has destroyed the booming Trump economy."

  • Why RFK Jr. won't be participating in tonight's debate

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. addresses the Libertarian Party's national convention in Washington on May 24
    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. addresses the Libertarian Party's national convention in Washington on May 24. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the environmentalist turned noted conspiracy theorist and independent candidate for president, did not meet CNN’s criteria to participate in Thursday’s debate, the network confirmed last week.

    For a candidate to secure a spot on the debate stage, the candidate’s name was required to be on the ballot in states totaling at least 270 votes in the Electoral College, the minimum needed to win the presidency. Kennedy’s is not. (His campaign says he has satisfied the requirements to appear on the ballot in 22 states, with a combined 310 electoral votes, though not all have confirmed that his name will be listed.)

    Candidates were also required to reach a polling threshold of 15% in at least four reliable national polls by June 20. Kennedy did not. (He has received at least 15% in three qualifying polls.)

    In a statement, Kennedy called his exclusion from the debate “undemocratic, un-American, and cowardly.”

    Instead, Kennedy said he would be hosting his own version of the debate — answering the same questions Biden and Trump are asked on CNN.