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What’s at stake for Trump and Biden in final presidential debate

The presidential campaign spotlight is fixed Thursday night on a stage at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will confront each other in person for the first time in weeks during a 90-minute debate. Less than two weeks before Election Day, their final face-off of the contest comes with some new rules. Lisa Desjardins reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The presidential campaign spotlight fixes tonight on a stage at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The two major-party candidates will confront each other for 90 minutes in a climactic debate.

    Lisa Desjardins has our report.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    For President Trump, a pivotal day. A chance to reverse his poll numbers in front of what is likely to be the largest audience either candidate gets in the waning days before the election, the tens of millions expected to watch the final presidential debate tonight in Nashville.

    Mr. Trump will meet former Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading in national surveys. Both men tested negative for the coronavirus today, according to their campaigns.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden:

    Hopefully, it's all worked out, just the way the rules are. I'm looking forward to this.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    The new rule tonight, a mute button. For the first two-minute answer after each question, candidates cannot interrupt one another, and their microphone will be off if they do.

    That's a direct response by debate organizers to the much-criticized first debate.

  • President Donald Trump:

    Why wouldn't you answer that question?

    Former Vice President Joe Biden Because the question is…


    The radical left…

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden:

    Would you shut up, man?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Plenty of issues remain in contention from that debate. For Biden, that includes whether to expand the Supreme Court. He has yet to rule it out, amid a battle with Republicans over the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the bench.

    In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," Biden said he would appoint a bipartisan commission to study the court system.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden:

    And I will ask them to, over 180 days, come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system, because it's getting out of whack.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Out on the campaign trail, Vice President Mike Pence was critical. He held a rally in Waterford Township, Michigan.

  • Vice President Mike Pence:

    He's going to tell us after the election, after millions of Americans have cast their votes, whether he's going to pack the court in what would be the biggest power grab in American history.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    "60 Minutes" also made news, though not by choice, for a separate Trump interview.

    The president released video of it shot by his staff, which CBS said broke their agreement. It contained nearly 40 minutes of sometimes combative back-and-forth, with the president insisting the media is tougher on him than on Biden.

  • Lesley Stahl:

    You know this is "60 Minutes," and we can't put on things we can't verify.

  • President Donald Trump:

    No, you won't put it on because it's bad for Biden.

  • Lesley Stahl:

    We can't put things we can't verify.

  • President Donald Trump:

    Lesley, they spied on my campaign.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    The footage shows he ended the interview a few minutes early.

    Twelve days to go, time is slipping, and intensity rising.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lisa Desjardins.

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