In a highly unusual political climate, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden appeared in separate televised town hall meetings Thursday night.

After forgoing a scheduled virtual debate, Trump headlined a town hall on NBC, while Biden appeared on ABC.

Trump took questions from voters in Miami at an event moderated by Savannah Guthrie, while Biden appeared in Philadelphia at an event hosted by George Stephanopoulos. Both Florida and Pennsylvania are considered crucial swing states.

Here are some comments from both candidates.

Donald Trump

Trump defended the federal government's response to COVID-19. “What we’ve done has been amazing, we’ve done an amazing job,” Trump said, claiming the nation is "rounding the corner" on the pandemic. Cases are rising in 28 states, with the U.S. having the highest death toll in the world from the virus. 

Trump also reiterated some of his favorite conspiracy theories. He said he "didn't know" about QAnon, but noted they are "very much against pedophilia." When asked about committing to a peaceful transfer of power, he falsely accused the Obama campaign of spying on his campaign. "They spied on my campaign and they got caught," Trump said.

Trump defended his decision to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. He said he had not spoken to Barrett about ruling in favor of him in the case of a contested election. "I didn't talk about any of the obvious things that you could talk about, and I think a lot of people in my position might," Trump said. 

When asked by Guthrie why swing voters should choose him, Trump replies "Because I've done a great job."


Joe Biden

“He missed enormous opportunities and kept saying things that weren’t true,” Biden said about Trump's response at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

He also attacked Trump for not wearing a mask. "When a president doesn't wear a mask, or makes fun of folks like me when I was wearing a mask for a long time, then people say it mustn't be that important," Biden said. 

Biden said he is "not a fan" of packing the Supreme Court. 

"If I answer the question directly, then all the focus will be on, what's Biden going to do if he wins, instead of if it is appropriate what is going on now," Biden said. The former vice president said Barrett did not lay out “much of a judicial philosophy" during confirmation hearings.

Biden called his 1994 crime bill a "mistake" but also laid blame on state governments. 

When asked by a mother of a transgender, Biden touched on how his late son, Beau, helped transgenders as the attorney general of Delaware. He also voiced his strong opposition to all forms of discrimination.