Trump’s ‘Proud Boys, Stand Back, Stand by’ Comment at Debate Spurs Controversy

Headline Roundup September 30th, 2020

During Tuesday’s presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked President Donald Trump if he was willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and “to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence” in cities like Portland. Trump replied: “Sure, I’m prepared to do it, but I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing not from the right-wing. I’m willing to do anything, I want to see peace.” Pressed by Wallace and former Vice President Joe Biden to “do it,” Trump said: ”Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left.” The Proud Boys, a self-described “western chauvinist” group, reportedly celebrated Trump’s comments; Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio denied they are white supremacists.

Outlets on all sides featured coverage of reactions from politicians and other public figures, many speculating on what Trump meant in saying "stand by." Coverage in some left- and center- rated outlets focused on criticisms from Twitter. Some coverage in right-rated outlets focused on requests for Trump to clarify his comments.

Trump’s ‘Proud Boys, Stand Back, Stand by’ Comment at Debate Spurs Controversy

From the Left
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In a night marked by constant interruptions and blatant fact-fudging, it was a moment that sparked a separate online melee.

Moderator Chris Wallace gave President Donald Trump an uninterrupted opportunity to condemn the nation's biggest domestic terrorist groups: white supremacists. Instead, Trump said they should “stand back and stand by.” What's more, he said, the violence in cities like Kenosha and Portland is a “left-wing problem, not a right-wing problem.”

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From the Center
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President Trump and Joe Biden tried to shift back to their respective campaign themes after a raucous first debate that left prominent members of both parties responding to Mr. Trump’s deflections when asked to condemn white supremacists.

Mr. Biden, the former vice president, spoke Wednesday at a train station in Cleveland as he started a tour across eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania and said the debate proved that Mr. Trump doesn’t understand the lives of working-class Americans. The president, meanwhile, slammed moderator Chris Wallace, a Fox News anchor, and said...

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From the Right
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is knocking President Donald Trump after Tuesday night’s presidential debate in Ohio.

The House speaker, during an MSNBC interview on Wednesday, called the first presidential debate a “sad night for our country” and blasted Trump for not disassociating himself from white supremacist and militia groups, as she put it.

“I lost a lot of sleep last night over that one fact,” Pelosi said.

She continued to declare that Trump has “never respected the dignity of his office and he demonstrated that last night.”

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