“Will you shut up, man?” and “It’s hard to get any word in with this clown” perfectly encapsulates the first general election debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
The debate was 90 minutes filled with interruptions and name-calling, while the moderator, Chris Wallace, struggled to take control of the situation. Biden had a hard time trying to get his points in as Trump continuously interjected.
Wallace asked the candidates about their stances on issues such as the economy, the coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court and more.
With Trump claiming he built the greatest economy in American history, Wallace stepped in to question the president’s tax history. Wallace asked about a report saying he only paid $750 in federal income taxes, but Trump denied the claims and stated that he had paid millions of dollars in taxes.
When asked about their economic plans, Biden said he wanted to eliminate a significant number of taxes while President Trump agreed to continuing his free market approach.
Sophomore Alexa Welch, a student who closely follows politics, said she considers Trump’s policies on the economy as one-sided.
“Trump and Biden look very different at the economy, but coming from a man who has lived his whole life rich and successful, no one else matters to him,” Alexa Welch said.
The coronavirus pandemic was the most heavily discussed topic of the night. Biden said he wanted to support the people by giving out protective gear and providing money to smaller businesses. He also expressed his disapproval of the way Trump opened the economy, schools and businesses so early on.
Trump later boasted about how great a job he did with controlling the pandemic, claiming he saved thousands of lives. He also talked about how he did not think Biden would be capable of handling a global pandemic.
“Trump did not do well handling Covid-19,” Welch said. “He tried blaming it on China which is not morally correct and Biden questioning him definitely made people realize how rude and racist Trump is.
President Trump has been pushing to seat Judge Amy Coney Barett on the Supreme Court before Election Day, which is a part of President Trump’s effort to remake the federal judiciary and add more conservatives into the system. Because the president has already installed two other Supreme Court justices, adding another will shift the balance for years to come.
Trump said “We won the election. Elections have consequences. We have the Senate, we have the White House, and we have a phenomenal nominee respected by all.”
As a response, Biden said “The American people have a right to have a say in who the Supreme Court nominee is… We should wait and see what the outcome of this election is because that’s the only way the American people get to express their view is by who they elect as President.”
Sophomore Meera Malhotra said she believes Americans should have a say in the nomination of Supreme Court Justices.
“Americans deserve the right to decide the leadership in this country.” Malhotra said.
Because of Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, the third presidential debate has been pushed back to Oct. 22, and it will take place at Belmont University in Nashville.