For many who watched last night’s Trump-Biden Presidential debate, they left the television feeling exhausted.
An unofficial survey by Metro Voice of a small group who viewed the debate found most disappointed and frustrated over Trump’s aggressive style. They were equally dismayed by Biden’s refusal to answer many questions, but especially his habit of telling Trump to “shut up” and calling him various names.
The candidates, between talking over one another, hit on numerous issues, all picked by Wallace, but veered off into numerous others in the 11 minutes per segment allowed for “discussion.” But discussion is not the word most viewers would use to describe what happened.
The official topics included, riots, unemployment, the Supreme Court, the Covid-19 response and mail-in ballots. Other issues came up including the Biden family’s connection to foreign money, Antifa and the Green New Deal.
Trump repeatedly reminded viewers of Biden’s 47-year career in politics and asked him why he’s only now promising to fix the problems that have existed for those five decades.
In those instances where the topics were discussed, Trump is receiving high marks for facts he laid out, including on coronavirus response. Biden, for his part, avoided facts and figures and seemed confused at times then resorted to schoolyard name calling in response to Trump’s attacks. Biden was credited for looking directly into the camera and addressing voters while Trump primarily kept his focus on responding to Biden.
Biden attacked the President’s response to the pandemic saying the president “waited and waited” to act when the virus spread in the United States. Biden, who has been criticized for only appearing for questions with the press for one hour in the mornings, said Trump should “get out of your bunker and get out of the sand trap” and go in his golf cart to the Oval Office to come up with a bipartisan plan to save people.
Biden’s response, according to Wednesday morning pundits, was meant more to deflect from his own bunker campaign style. Many noted that voters can clearly see Trump in the news, working a heavy schedule whether it is meeting with law enforcement, signing peace deals with middle east leaders or visiting inner cities, hit hard by rioting.
When the topic turned to the economy, Biden attempted to paint the economy with a brush only as long as the last six months. Trump reminded Biden and viewers that, until the pandemic hit, the U.S. was enjoying the best economy in 60 years. Biden responded that it didn’t matter and Trump then reminded him that more than 10.4 million jobs have been created in the last four months.
One crucial moment for some voters came when the topic turned to the Supreme Court. Biden repeatedly refused to say whether he would expand the court should Amy Coney Barrett be confirmed. Leading Democrats have called for the court to be “packed” should Biden win and Democrats regain control of the Senate.
A packed court would change 150 years of how the court has operated with a nine-justice system.
Trump may have missed an important opportunity dealing with race relations. Though Trump had repeatedly criticized right-wing groups in the past, Wallace continued a media narrative that Trump has yet to disavow racist groups. Trump has actually called them out on numerous occasions, including on Fox News. Trump could have used the moment to speak directly to African-Americans but either because he was confused by the question being asked one more time, or wasn’t allowed to finish, he only mentioned a group called the Proud Boys.
Biden alleged that Trump is trying to use “everything as a dog whistle to try to generate racist hatred, racist division,” but refused himself to disavow Antifa which is actually behind much of the violence recently. Biden actually claimed Antifa was an “idea” and not a group. Of the over 250 riots in the nation during the last four months, only two instances have included far right groups battling far left groups. The others have been fueled as protests evolved into looting and murders of innocent bystanders.
Trump then asserted that Biden’s work on a federal crime bill in 1994 treated black people “about as bad as anybody in this country.” And later he said that riot-hit cities like Minneapolis are back under control but in other places such as Portland, Democrats refused to allow federal agents there.
“We believe in law and order, you don’t,” Trump said, adding that Democrat-run cities are run by radical leftists “and they’ve got you wrapped around their finger, Joe.”
It was just one instance where Biden refused to answer serious questions.
Trump then pointed to Democrat-run cities such as New York City and Chicago seeing a spike in crime, murders, and shootings, adding that Biden would destroy the suburbs if he was elected.
In one telling moment of the debate, Biden claimed that he was the Democrat Party, but when asked by Wallace if he had called the Democrat mayors of Portland or other cities to have them forcefully stop the looting and rioting, Biden claimed he was just a “private citizen.”
The response was met with amazement by Trump and Wallace. Wallace continued to press Biden on why he had not called the mayors but Biden refused to answer.
In one round that many chalked-up as a Trump win, the topic of Hunter Biden came up.
Trump tied Biden to China, reminding viewers that Biden’s son had questionable business practices in China and Russia while Biden was the vice president.
“And no wonder your son goes in and takes out billions of dollars to manage, makes millions of dollars — while we’re at it, why did the mayor of Moscow’s wife give your son $3.5 million? What did he do to deserve it? What did he do with Burisma?” he asked.
A report from the Republican-controlled Senate Homeland Security Committee detailed Hunter Biden’s business ties in China and his position while he sat on the board of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings, which has long been accused of corruption.
Biden wrongly claimed that the allegations were “totally discredited.” The charges in fact are serious and being investigated by several government agencies and a Senate Intelligence committee.
“My son did nothing wrong with Burisma,” Biden added, claiming that Trump’s position has been “discredited by everyone.”
Trump, though, stopped short of bringing up Hunter’s Biden’s documented payments to a prostitution ring that used trafficked women. That bombshell was released by the Senate committee last week but has largely gone unreported in American media.
Over all, the debate most likely did not change minds. Biden, who some say appeared more presidential, could not answer what he has done in 47 years to fix the problems he is now blaming on Trump. The President, on the other hand, seemed too forceful and because of his interruptions gave Biden time to catch his breath and recover from numerous moments of confusion where he struggled to find the words to speak.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice