Pritzker rips into Trump following CNN debate: 'selfish blowhard'

Following the first debate between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump on Thursday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker released a statement ripping into the former president.

Read the statement below:

"Tonight, voters were presented with a clear choice – a president working hard every day to improve the lives of all Americans or a convicted felon, a selfish blowhard looking out only for himself. The contrast between these two men was clear before the debate – it is even clearer now.

"At every turn, Donald Trump lied, rambled, and misled the American people about what a second Trump term would look like, but voters won’t be fooled. This is a man who brags about ripping reproductive rights away from women, tried to gut healthcare for millions of Americans, shipped jobs overseas, and sold out the middle class to the wealthiest bidders. Trump’s second term will only be worse.

"Americans rejected Donald Trump’s extreme MAGA agenda in 2020 and they’ll do it again in November."

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES - JUNE 27: President of the United States Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump participate in the first Presidential Debate at CNN Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, United States on June 27, 2024. (Photo by Kyle Mazz

Here is what both Biden and Trump said on key issues during the debate:


What Trump has said:

Trump began the debate by highlighting his administration's economic success, stating, "Everything was rocking good." He claimed the U.S. economy was poised to pay down its national debt before the pandemic. Trump also argued that the job growth during Biden’s presidency was merely "bounceback" gains after the pandemic lockdowns. 

He pointed out that nearly 22 million jobs were lost in March and April 2020 due to the pandemic but noted that the U.S. started regaining jobs immediately under his administration, adding more than 12 million jobs from May 2020 through December 2020.

What Biden has said:

Biden described the American economy as "in freefall," contrasting his view with Trump's positive assessment. He emphasized the persistent economic challenges, focusing on the struggles many Americans face today. Biden highlighted that the economic recovery continued and accelerated after he took office, with the U.S. reaching and surpassing its pre-pandemic employment totals in June 2022. 

Since then, nearly 6.2 million more jobs have been added, marking one of the longest periods of employment expansion on record. Biden noted that these jobs were not all "bounceback" positions, as the pandemic reshaped the employment landscape, leading to the Great Reshuffling, where many people switched jobs or careers.


What Trump has said:

During the debate, Trump reiterated his belief in exceptions to abortion bans "for rape, incest, and the life of the mother." He emphasized his role in appointing three Supreme Court justices who were instrumental in overturning Roe v. Wade, returning the decision on abortion rights to individual states. Trump framed this as giving "the people" the power to decide on abortion access, stating, "I put three great Supreme Court justices on the court and they happened to vote in favor of killing Roe v. Wade, and moving it back to the states. Now the states are working it out." 

He also mentioned that he would not block abortion medication if elected and agreed with the recent Supreme Court ruling on the abortion pill. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit challenging the FDA’s regulation of the abortion pill mifepristone, allowing it to be mailed to patients without an in-person doctor’s visit.

What Biden has said:

Biden criticized the decision to leave abortion up to state discretion, calling it "a terrible thing." In response to Trump, he said, "The vast majority of constitutional scholars supported Roe (v. Wade) when it was decided. This idea that they were all against it is just ridiculous." 

Biden highlighted Trump's Supreme Court appointments as pivotal in overturning Roe v. Wade and made the Supreme Court's decision—and Trump's promises to further restrict abortion access—a centerpiece of his reelection campaign. Biden warned that a second Trump term could lead to nationwide abortion restrictions.


What Trump has said:

Former President Donald Trump made several claims about immigration, including that "millions" were admitted from prisons and mental institutions, though this is unsubstantiated. 

He also stated the U.S. had the safest border in history during his administration, but it has now become the "worst border" in U.S. history, with people "dying all over the place." Trump criticized the housing of migrants in "luxury hotels" while veterans are homeless and falsely suggested that Biden was weakening social services because of migrants.

What Biden has said:

President Joe Biden highlighted a 40% drop in arrests for illegal immigration since issuing an executive order suspending asylum.

He emphasized his administration’s efforts to secure a bipartisan border agreement with Congress and criticized Trump’s approach, stating, "We find ourselves in a situation where when he was president, he was taking — separating — babies from their mothers, putting them in cages, making sure they’re the families were separated. That’s not right way to go."

Ukraine Conflict

What Trump has said:

Trump suggested that Russia would not have invaded Ukraine if he had been in office, claiming, "If we had a real president, a president that knew that was respected by Putin, he would have never invaded Ukraine." 

Trump also reiterated his past praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin's tactics and expressed no similar warmth for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whom he recently called a "salesman" for seeking military aid.

What Biden has said:

President Joe Biden pushed back on Trump’s comments about NATO and defense spending, stating, "This is a guy who wants to pull out of NATO." 

Biden emphasized his success in rallying 50 nations to support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion and criticized Trump for lacking understanding of the situation, saying, "He has no idea what the hell he’s talking about." Biden highlighted his administration's efforts in passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes substantial funding for clean energy and combating climate change.

Climate Change

What Trump has said:

When asked about climate change, Trump emphasized his desire for "absolutely immaculate, clean water" and "absolutely clean air," claiming that during his administration, the U.S. had the best environmental numbers ever, though he did not specify what metrics he was referring to. Trump mentioned that under his presidency, the U.S. utilized all forms of energy.

What Biden has said:

Biden called climate change the greatest threat to humanity, criticizing Trump by stating, "He hasn’t done a damn thing" for the environment. Biden highlighted the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022, which allocates billions for clean energy, and described it as the most significant climate legislation ever passed.

Social Security

What Trump has said:

During the debate, Trump cautioned against the potential negative impacts on Social Security if President Biden remains in office. Still, he did not offer specific plans to address the program’s future insolvency.

What Biden has said:

Biden criticized Trump, pointing to a plan from some House Republicans to cut $1.5 trillion in Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age as proof that Trump supports cutting the program. Biden emphasized his commitment to protecting and expanding Social Security by increasing taxes on higher-income Americans.


What Trump has said:

Trump claimed he took two cognitive tests and "aced them," suggesting he is mentally fit for office. Trump remarked, "He took none, I'd like to see him take one, just one, a real easy one." He also stated, "I feel that I am in as good of shape as I was 25, 30 years ago. Actually, I'm probably a little bit lighter. I feel the same."

What Biden has said:

Biden, addressing concerns about his age, compared himself to Trump, stating, "This guy is three years younger and a lot less competent." Biden emphasized his accomplishments, such as job creation during his administration, and criticized the economy he inherited from Trump's administration. If re-elected, Biden would be 86 at the end of his second term, while Trump would be 82 if he wins and serves a second term.

The Associated Press and FOX News contributed to this story. It was reported