Donald Trump and Joe Biden Photograph:( Reuters )
The 90-minute televised debate is likely to focus in part on Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, and his push to fill the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the high court
US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden will meet in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday for first debate with presidency on the line.
The highly anticipated matchup comes five weeks before the US election 2020. It is the first of three televised debates that could shake up an already volatile race for the White House.
Fox News star Chris Wallace will moderate the debate. He is a veteran newsman who has a reputation for playing it straight at a network where the opinion hosts skew to the right.
"I am looking very forward to the debate," Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.
The 90-minute televised debate is likely to focus in part on Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, and his push to fill the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the high court.
The re-emergence of Trump's tax history as an election issue, in 2016 he broke a decades-old tradition of presidential nominees releasing their tax returns when seeking the White House, offers Biden another avenue of attack.
The former vice president is trying to turn the tables on Trump, who ran successfully as an economic populist four years ago and is regarded by some observers as having an edge among voters on the issue of who would best manage the economy.
In recent days, Biden has characterised the race as a clash between Scranton, the working-class Pennsylvania city where he spent part of his childhood, and Park Avenue. Trump Tower, which serves as headquarters for the Trump Organization, is located near that tony boulevard in Manhattan.
Trump has painted his economic record in glowing terms, saying his policies were responsible for boosting growth and reducing U.S. unemployment to near 50-year lows prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.
His message, however, has been badly dented by the virus-triggered recession, which has put millions of Americans out of work. Democrats say Trump has mishandled the US response and embraced policies that favored corporations and the rich.
Biden is proposing to hike the corporate income tax and raise taxes on people making more than $400,000 if elected.
Trump, who signed a $1.5 trillion Republican-sponsored package of tax cuts in late 2017, accuses his opponent of pushing a far-left agenda that will destroy the economy.
Trump has said since the 2016 campaign that his refusal to release his federal income tax returns is because he is under audit by the Internal Revenue Service, but the agency has said there is no reason he cannot release his taxes while under audit.