First presidential debate involves name-calling and lack of respect

By Evalyn Soungpanya, Advocate Staff

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden met in a heated presidential debate amid the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed issues facing the United States such as healthcare and social justice.

The debate took place Sept. 29 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland from 6-7:30 p.m. PST. The debate was available live on all major platforms.

Chris Wallace of Fox News was the moderator of the debate and the audience was minimized to 900 people due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic and recent racial issues were prevalent during the debate.

The debate quickly erupted in interruptions and name-calling between both presidential candidates as Wallace attempted to manage the two.

At one point, Wallace asked why voters should pick one candidate or the other, and the topic involved intense rebuttals back and forth between Trump and Biden.

Trump insisted on his decision of more conservative judges on federal courts while Biden argued that under the Trump presidency, the country had become “weaker, sicker, poorer, more divided and more violent.”

“He never keeps his word,” Biden interposed.

Trump was then asked to condemn white supremacists, wherein he avoided the subject and the debate spiraled into more of the two candidates talking over another and constant interruptions.

Biden managed to bring up a report about Trump where he privately called soldiers who were killed in combat “losers” and “suckers.”

This led to the subject of Biden’s son Beau, who served in the American military and was deployed to Iraq.

Beau Biden died in 2015 due to brain cancer.

Trump used the mention of Beau to address Joe Biden’s other son, Hunter, who had a public drug addiction. The president tried to use Hunter’s past to ridicule Biden.

“Like a lot of people we know at home, he had a drug problem. He’s overtaken it. He’s fixed it. He’s worked on it. And I’m proud of him,” Biden said.

The topic of releasing a COVID-19 vaccine then arose.

A main theme of Biden’s campaign was the handling of the coronavirus situation. Biden criticized the way Trump has been managing the virus. He claimed Trump tried to diminish the impact of the virus on the country.

Trump said he encourages the vaccine for the virus to come out quickly.

Moderator Wallace asked why Trump ended racial sensitivity training, where the president responded, “I ended it because it’s racist.”

He said these trainings, on things like critical race theory, espoused “sick ideas.”

Biden shot down Trump’s claims by calling him a racist.

The presidential debate was described as a “hot mess” and the “worst debate America has ever had” according to Twitter chatter and forums online.

The constant rebuttals between both candidates and name-calling made the public unsatisfied with the outcome.