Trump has a history of comparing himself to Lincoln. But after a jab from Biden, Trump clarified, “I didn’t say ‘I’m Abraham Lincoln.'”
Former Vice President Biden calls out President Trump’s race relations record during the final presidential debate.
The mention of Abraham Lincoln’s name on Thursday night became one of the most memorable exchanges in the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
As the debate turned to a discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement, Biden jabbed Trump for his earlier boast that no president since Lincoln has helped Black people more than he has.
“Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history,” Biden said of Trump. “He pours fuel on every single racist fire. Every single one.”
Trump responded: “He made a reference to Abraham Lincoln, where did that come in?”
“You said you’re Abraham Lincoln,” Biden responded.
“No, no. … I didn’t say ‘I’m Abraham Lincoln.'” Trump said. “I said, ‘Not since Abraham Lincoln has anybody done what I’ve done for the Black community.'”
Trump dials it back, Biden defends his son: Takeaways from the final presidential debate
Trump has a history of comparing himself to Lincoln, the country’s 16th president.
His comments Thursday night echoed ones he made earlier this year, when he said he had done more for the Black community than any president, before adding, “Let’s take a pass on Abraham Lincoln.”
Last year, Trump claimed no other president had been treated as badly by the press as he has, including Lincoln.
In 2017, Trump told a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, that he can be more presidential than anyone else who has been president, “with the exception of the late, great, Abraham Lincoln.”
The debate moment became one of the most widely-talked about exchanges on social media:
Contributing: Maureen Groppe, Ledyard King and Michael Collins, USA TODAY; The Associated Press