ICYMI (but honestly, how could you have): A Recap of the First Presidential Debate of 2020

If I could sum up Tuesday’s debate in a few words they would have to be: a complete and utter disaster.


As the election approaches, the competition is heating up, and Tuesday’s debate was a clear indicator of this. However, it was also a clear indicator of the fact that this election will be unlike any others before. Polluted with interruptions, insults, and the complete disregard of the moderator and rules of the debate, President Trump and Vice President Biden sounded off this past Tuesday on six different topics: The Supreme Court, Economy, COVID-19, Race and Violence in our Cities, The Integrity of the Election, and The Trump and Biden Records. Moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, the first presidential debate set the tone for the last few weeks leading up to one of the most critical and anticipated presidential elections of our lifetime.


The debate began with Wallace very clearly explaining the rules: after he asks a question, each candidate will have two, uninterrupted minutes to answer, followed by an open discussion. It was evident within the first few minutes of the debate that these rules would not be followed. Even though Trump and Biden were both guilty of interrupting one another, it was President Trump who would not allow Biden to get a couple of words out before he began to talk over him. According to an article published by The Washington Post, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times and Biden interrupted Trump only 22 times.


Wallace did not interject and stop Trump’s interruptions as much as he could have in the first half of the debate, which made for a very frustrated Biden. At one point, Biden asked Trump “Will you shut up, man?”


As the debate continued, it became clear to Wallace that it would be difficult to get his questions answered, so he became sterner. He reminded the President that he agreed to the rules of the debate and that he needed to stop interrupting. The President did not obey, and the interruptions continued, and the anxiety and frustration levels of viewers nationwide rose.


The debate was littered with so many interruptions, that you almost forgot that each candidate was supposed to be addressing the American people and arguing why they are the best fit for the presidency, not having a screaming match.


As far as policy is concerned, here are my biggest takeaways from Trump and Biden:


Trump à

  1. Stands by his decision to appoint Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, believes that with winning the election, comes consequences, one being able to fill a Supreme Court vacancy
  2. Still believes that the head of the CDC was confused when he was asked when the vaccine will be ready even though Trump's appointed officials disagreed with him, he also made fun of Biden for wearing masks all the time
  3. When asked why he ended racial sensitivity training, he said it was because it was racist, also did not condemn White supremacy
  4. When asked about climate change he said he wants “crystal clean air and water,” also blamed increase forest fires on the west coast on improper forest management


  Biden à

  1. He believes that the Supreme Court vacancy should be filled by the next President, refused to answer whether or not he would support ending the filibuster or packing the Supreme Court
  2. He implied that since him and President Obama inherited one of the worst recessions in American history and were able to come out of it, he would be able to do the same post-COVID
  3. Does not stand behind Green New Deal, instead his own “Joe Biden Plan,” and believes that the United States should re-enter the Paris Accord
  4. Has complete faith in the integrity of the election, is not fearful of any fraudulent activity surrounding mail-in ballots.


Make sure to tune into the next presidential debate that will be held on October 15th moderated by Steve Scully and the Vice-Presidential Debate that will be held on October 7th moderated by Susan Page. Let’s all hope for fewer interruptions!!