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A summary of the presidential debates

The rate of views was high, the tension—higher. Millions of Americans watching the two presidential nominees battling to be the United States leader.

On Sept 29, 73.1 million Americans watched as Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump debate live in Cleveland, Ohio, moderated by Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace.

During the fiery debate, Chris Wallace seemed to struggle to keep control most of the night and received widespread criticism after he reportedly “lost control within the first five minutes.”

Most of the chaos is attributed to Donald Trump, with his performance even being labeled as “unhinged and immature.”

The topics ranged from the Supreme Court nomination, to healthcare, to police and race in America.

“I think that she will be outstanding,” Trump said about Amy Comey Barret. “She’s going to be as good as anybody that has served on that court.”

Biden stated that he is not opposed to ACB. However, he stated he believes the people should have some say in who becomes the nominee by voting in elections.

In turn, Trump quoted Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who said, “Senators refusing to vote on President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court should recognize that a president is elected for four years, not three.”

COVID-19 was an unavoidable topic as the two candidates spared over Trump’s efficiency handling the pandemic. Biden criticized the lack of a plan on Trump’s part and stated that his lack of encouraging masks has been detrimental to the country. 

“You can’t fix the economy until you fix the COVID crisis,” Biden said.

Trump hit back, saying more people would have died under Biden as he was not initially supportive of Trump’s plan to shut down travel from China. Trump also called for the shutdown restrictions to be loosened.

Race relations have also been a widespread problem this year. Biden and Trump argued over over-policing, race and protests in the country. Trump claims the protests have mainly been in big cities democratic leadership.

Biden may have gotten some criticism for starting off the night seemingly slow and letting himself get dragged into Trump’s arena and even “playing into Trump’s hand.” 

On Oct 22, the third debate, moderated by Kirsten Welker, was held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, and had more than 63 million views. The first debate had gotten a lot of criticism for the chaos, so the organizers added mute buttons on the microphones so both candidates could speak without being interrupted. 

This debate had six segments for the candidates to discuss— how to fight COVID-19, National Security, race issues, American families, leadership and climate change.

Welker pressed the candidates about on Covid-19, wanting to know how both would lead during the next stage. Trump stated that the spikes across the nations were “now gone.”

“You see the spikes in Europe and many other places right now. If you notice, the mortality rate is down 85 percent,” Trump explained. “The excess mortality rate is way down and much lower than almost any other country. And we’re fighting it, and we’re fighting it hard.”

“And as I say, we’re rounding the turn. We’re rounding the corner. It’s going away,” he added.

One concern Biden expressed was how Trump was being a poor example by not wearing a mask.

“The expectation is we’ll have another 200,000 Americans dead between now and the end of the year. If we just wore these masks, the president’s own advisors have told him we can save 100,000 lives, and we’re in a circumstance where the president thus far and still has no plan, no comprehensive plan,” Biden said, holding up his mask, “And so folks, I will take care of this. I will end this. I will make sure we have a plan.”

Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, has been in the news as of recently for taking money from other countries by using his father’s influence.

Trump alleged the Bidens profited from Hunter’s business dealings with Ukraine and China.

Biden denied all of the allegations by saing, “My son has not made money in terms of…China. [T]he only guy who made money from China is this guy,” he said in reference to Trump. “He’s the only one. Nobody else has made money from China.”

Trump defended himself by pointing out that he, like many businessmen, had a bank account set up in China, but it was closed before he considered becoming president. 

Throughout the debates, Trump reminded the American people that he has accomplished more in his 4 years of presidency, than Biden does in his 47 years of politics. Trump also questioned why Biden didn’t accomplish any of the things he claims he will as president during his time as Obama’s vice president. 

“It’s all talk, but no action with these politicians. Why didn’t you get it done? You had eight years to get it done,” Trump questioned.

The last topic Welker wanted the two candidates to discuss was leadership.

“Imagine this is your inauguration day. What will you say in your address to Americans who did not vote for you?”

For this question, President Trump closed with, “Before the plague came in, just before, I was getting calls from people that were not normally people that would call me. They wanted to get together. We had the best black unemployment numbers in the history of our country. Hispanic, women, Asian, people with diplomas, with no diplomas, MIT graduates—everybody had the best numbers. And you know what? The other side wanted to get together. They wanted to unify.”

Biden closed with “We can grow this economy, we can deal with the systemic racism. At the same time, we can make sure that our economy is being run and moved and motivated by clean energy, creating millions of new jobs. That’s the fact, that’s what we’re going to do… I will say, I’m an American President. I represent all of you, whether you voted for me or against me, and I’m going to make sure that you’re represented. I’m going to give you hope. We’re going to move; we’re going to choose science over fiction. We’re going to choose hope over fear. We’re going to choose to move forward because we have enormous opportunities, enormous opportunities to make things better.”