Trump, Biden participate in separate town halls

Presidential Debates

This combination of pictures created on October 15, 2020 shows Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden participates in an ABC News town hall event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on October 15, 2020, and US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during an NBC News town hall event at the Perez Art Museum in Miami on October 15, 2020. (Photos by JIM WATSON and Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden squared off, in a way, Thursday night in dueling televised town halls that showcased the differences between the two candidates.

Coming just two and half weeks before Election Day, the night offered contrasts and a national, if divided, audience.

President Trump was defensive about his administration’s handling of the coronavirus, which has claimed more than 215,000 American lives, and evasive when pressed about whether he took a required COVID-19 test before his first debate with Biden. Trump refused to denounce the QAnon conspiracy group.

Biden suggested he will offer clarity on his position on expanding the Supreme Court if Trump’s nominee to the bench is seated before Election Day, but wouldn’t answer the direct question on “packing the courts.” He also denounced the White House’s handling of the virus.

Trump and Biden were supposed to spend Thursday night on the same debate stage in Miami. But that faceoff was scuttled after Trump’s coronavirus infection.

The two men are still scheduled to occupy the same space for debate for a second and final time next week in Nashville.

Watch the debate on NewsNation or NewsNationNow.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 1998 - 2020 Nexstar Inc. | All Rights Reserved.