2020 First Presidential Debate

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Sam Garcia/El Paisano Media

The first presidential debate of 2020 kicked off in Cleveland, Ohio. President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden were asked about different topics, from their views on healthcare to their policies on climate change.

Last night, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden exchanged heated words in their first presidential debate. The 95 minute discussion, mediated by Chris Wallace, featured fiery exchanges between the two presidential candidates.

Appointing a New Supreme Court Justice

There was the issue of Trump trying to quickly replace deceased Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg with Amy Coney Barrett. Biden said Barrett will attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the seat should be left open until after the election. Trump rebutted, saying the Democratic Party would do the same thing if the situation was reversed. He then accused Biden of running in favor of the Radical Left.

Handling COVID-19 Pandemic

When the discussion shifted to the handling of the COVID-19 epidemic, Biden blamed Trump for America’s massive infection and death rate. He claimed this was caused by him downplaying the seriousness of the situation. The President responded by criticizing Biden’s response to the H1N1 virus a decade ago. He then called out Biden’s apparent lower than average grades from college in an out-of-left-field rant, one of many that took place tonight.

Trump’s Taxes

Trump refused to admit he only paid $750 in federal taxes in the past few years but instead blamed Biden for creating the loopholes he and other billionaires use. Trump then accused Biden’s son, Hunter, of accepting money from Russia; Biden responded and said that rumor was debunked as a Right Wing conspiracy. Trump also disregarded Biden’s deceased son, Beau, and called out Hunter, his other son, for his dishonorable discharge from the Navy from testing positive for cocaine.

Racial Issues in America

Biden called out Trump’s failure to respond to white supremacy in Charlottesville in August 2017 and for calling people on both sides “fine people.” Trump then blasted Biden for calling African Americans “super predators,” and claimed he had more support from the police, military, and Black community than any other Republican president.

Trump also criticized race related law enforcement training because he believes it is racist, radical, and “teaches people to hate their country”. He argued that Biden wants to defund the police and he has no support from them or their unions. Biden insisted he wants to fund the police and restructure Law Enforcement by including psychologists in 911 calls.

Biden claimed that Kellyanne Conway told him riots and heated protests, like in Portland and Seattle, only work in Trump’s favor. He claimed that she believes it makes Democratic cities look weak and under the influence of Left Wing radicals.

At one point during the debate, Chris Wallace asked Trump to condemn white supremacists and right wing militias. Trump hesitated to call out a specific group. He blamed the “Radical Left’ and “Antifa” for the unrest in America.

Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what, somebody’s gotta do something about Antifa and The Left,” responded Trump.

Healthcare

On the issue of healthcare, Trump criticized Biden. He claimed that Biden and the Democrats wanted to “go socialist medicine and healthcare.” Trump also claimed that he and his administration were “cutting down drug prices 80 or 90 percent.” Most of the talk on healthcare centered around Obamacare.

“I got rid of the individual mandate which was a big chunk. That was absolutely the worst part of Obamacare and we will protect people with preexisting conditions,” he said on reforming Obamacare.

In regards to “socializing medicine,” Biden claimed that his plan was to increase Obamacare. His plan calls for adding a public option, where people who qualify for Medicaid would automatically be enrolled in this option. Trump retorted, arguing that this would pose a threat to private insurance and create a government takeover of healthcare. Biden fired back by pointing out that the Trump administration has failed to present its own comprehensive healthcare plan.

“He has no plan for healthcare. He sends out wishful thinking,” argued Biden.

Climate Change Policies

When asked about the fires that recently ravaged California, Trump traced the issue to improper care of forests. He pointed out that “forest cities” in Europe don’t have the same issues with fires as California because they take care of their forests.

“You need forest management, in addition to everything else. The forest floors are loaded up with trees – dead trees – that are years old, and they’re like tinder. And leaves and everything else,” he stated.

Trump was then asked his views on the science behind climate change and how humans contributed to it. He responded by saying that “a lot of things” contribute to climate change, but that to “an extent, yes.” It was noted that Trump had pulled back on certain green policies, like Obama’s Clean Power Plan. That policy limited carbon emissions from power plants. He claimed that these policies were “driving energy prices through the roof.” He also pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord, calling it a “disaster” for America.

Part of Biden’s plan for combating climate change involves rejoining the Paris Climate Accord. He also talked about moving the U.S. toward renewable energy sources and cutting out fossil fuels by 2035. Biden claimed that switching to renewable energy would create new jobs by “making sure the environment is clean.”

“We can get to net zero in terms of energy production by 2035. Not only not costing people jobs, creating jobs: creating millions of good paying jobs,” he said.

Vote Integrity

Chris Wallace asked both candidates about vote integrity, and whether they would urge their supporters to stay calm. Trump claimed that there is an issue of fraud with mail-in ballots. He argued that mail carriers were selling ballots and that these ballots are being trashed, especially ballots with his name.

“I hope it’s going to be a fair election,” he stated.

Biden, meanwhile, argued that people have voted by mail since the Civil War, calling it “the same process” as now.

“No one has established at all that there is fraud related to mail-in ballots,” he argued.

 

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