top of page

A Look into the First Presidential Debate

9.29.20: Cleveland, Ohio

The moment came: President Donald Trump squared off with former Vice President Joe Biden last night in the first of three presidential debates before Election Day. Here are some of the key moments categorized by topic.

COVID: The first round of the debate began with the response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Chris Wallace, the moderator, asked both Trump and Biden to defend their positions on how to best handle the pandemic. Trump said that he was one of the first people to “shut the country down” from China. He attacked Biden by adding that Biden “wouldn’t have the guts to shut down the country.“ In response, Biden painted a picture of people sitting down at the kitchen table, and posed the question, “How many people have a chair empty because they lost a family member to COVID?” Trump told Wallace that we should have a vaccine by November 1, which contradicts the CDC’s estimate. As expected, there was sparring between Trump and BIden- Biden mocked Trump when he asked him, “Are you going to inject bleach into your arm?” (A reference to the task force press conference last spring). Trump then mocked Biden by questioning his intelligence and claiming that Biden “would wear a mask even if he is 200 feet away” (from the next person). In short- very different opinions on COVID- Biden wants a gradual reopening with lots of caution, and Trump wants to restart the economy and believes his rallies are safe since they are “outside.”

Economy: Trump claimed that during his presidency, ”We have had the greatest economy in the history of the country.” He mentioned that he is afraid for a potential Biden presidency because Biden would “destroy” the economy and “shut it down.” Biden argued that only the millionaires and billionaires have profited from the Trump presidency, and called Trump “the worst president that America’s ever had.” Before moving on to the social issues/racism category, Wallace asked the question that Americans have wanted an answer to for a week now: Is it true (President Trump) that you paid $750 in taxes from 2016-2017?) His response: “I have paid millions of dollars” in taxes.

Social Issues/Racism: When asked about combating racism and the African American community, Trump opened up his time on the floor by claiming he “has done more for black Americans than any president ever- including Abraham Lincoln.” He accused Biden of calling African Americans “super predators.” On the other hand, Biden believes that there is systemic racism in this country. He said that we have yet to accomplish equality in this nation. When Trump was asked to condemn white supremacy, he went as far as saying that the right wing extremist groups should “stand back and stand by.”

Law and Order/Protests: Another heated topic of discussion, Wallace asked them about the rioting and looting that is going on in cities such as Portland and Seattle. Trump called the crimes that happen in America a “party issue,” meaning that Republicans are the “best“ at stopping crime. Biden said that he is “totally opposed to defunding the police.” When Biden was asked why he didn’t do more to intervene when the violent protests were happening, he mentioned that he couldn’t step into the situation since he was not in a position of public office at the time.

Climate Change: Wallace noted that Trump and Biden have very different plans when it comes to tackling the issue of climate change. Trump‘s priority is to have “crystal clean water and beautiful clean air,” while Biden’s priority is to have “500,000 electric vehicle charging stations and have 4,000,000 green buildings.” Trump blamed the California wildfires on “poor forest management.”

Election Integrity: The last topic of discussion, the candidates were asked to promise that they “will not declare themselves victors of the election until all of the ballots have been cast.” After this promise, Wallace asked them about the mail in voting, and whether or not that would be a just way to vote. Biden said that people should be allowed to vote in any way that they can, while Trump said that “the ballots are a disaster.” However, the FBI director confirmed that there is no evidence indicating mail in voting to be fraudulent. In short- Trump does not want mail in voting, Biden is fine with it.

Let me know via the comments/email your thoughts on the first presidential debate. Feel free to also check out my instagram page @thatpoliticalkid



bottom of page