“You’ll get to see it,” Trump said repeatedly as moderator Chris Wallace pressed him to commit to a firm timeline. Biden retorted, “When? Inshallah?”
While the Arabic language phrase translates to “God willing,” it also has colloquial connotations of ambiguous commitment.
Biden earlier released his personal income taxes, which show the former vice president and his wife Jill Biden paid about 30 percent of their $985,000 gross personal income.
Trump, on the other hand, has refused to voluntarily release his income tax returns – a presidential custom stretching back decades.
On Monday, the New York Times reported that Trump did not pay any federal income taxes in 10 of the last 15 years. It said the former businessman paid just $750 in 2016 and another $750 in 2017, the year he assumed office.
Trump disputed the report during Tuesday night’s debate, saying he has “paid millions of dollars in taxes, millions of dollars of income tax”.
Social media users were quick to react with humour at Biden’s “inshallah” remark, with many Twitter users posting their reactions instantly.
Joe Biden: “inshallah”
habibis, it’s happening…
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) September 30, 2020
LMAOO did Biden just say Inshallah??? IM SCREAMING pic.twitter.com/mCdmIddlzs
— zaynab ☯︎︎ (@zaynabbashirr) September 30, 2020
DID BIDEN SAY INSHALLAH?!?! #Debates2020
— April (@ReignOfApril) September 30, 2020
Biden dropped an “Inshallah” at the debate. pic.twitter.com/DLrGWR3eGb
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) September 30, 2020
Some referred to it as an “historic moment in America”.
a historic moment in America — inshallah in a presidential debate
— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) September 30, 2020
Others wondered whether Biden had said “in July” rather than the common Arabic expression.
Not only did Biden say “Inshallah”, he used it in the colloquial context meaning “not really” https://t.co/1h1Tba4QtZ
— Shahed Amanullah (@shahed) September 30, 2020
However, Asma Khalid, a national political correspondent for NPR covering the 2020 elections, said she confirmed it with Biden’s campaign.
Okay, for those of you wondering – did Joe Biden really drop an “inshallah” with the appropriate sarcastic usage?
Yes, he did. I confirmed with his campaign – that is indeed what the man said. https://t.co/MqseBsl2Ck
— Asma Khalid (@asmamk) September 30, 2020
And some expressed their surprise while noting that “anything is possible in 2020”, a year marked with unprecedented events.
If my parents had told me when I was growing up that a major presidential candidate would one day say the words “inshallah” in a nationally televised debate, I would have assumed they were crazy. But anything is possible in 2020.
— Shadi Hamid (@shadihamid) September 30, 2020