Student Thoughts on the First 2020 General Election Debate



President Donald J. Trump repeatedly interrupted former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr in the first 2020 presidential debate.

After the completion of this story, President Trump revealed that he has tested positive for COVID-19, just two days after being in close contact with Vice President Biden. This will be covered in a forthcoming story.

This Tuesday, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr and President Donald J. Trump met in the first 2020 General Election debate. While nobody expected a Lincoln-Dougas debate, there were zero remnants of civility present. Trump interrupted Biden’s first response of the evening and never looked back. He attacked Biden’s son Hunter, accusing him of having ties to Russia and being a drug addict. Notably, he refused to condemn white supremacy, asking the neo-facist “Proud Boys” to “stand back and stand by.” For his part, Biden called Trump a “racist” and the “worst president ever.” According to the Washington Post, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, while Biden interrupted Trump 22 times.

Regardless of who one believes was at fault, it is evident that the American people lost the debate. The moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, remarked that it was a “terrible missed opportunity” — no policy was discussed, and President Trump did not lay out an agenda for a potential second term.

Here’s what SHC students had to say:

“The Presidential debate was childish. Neither candidate was professional or polite.” -Katrina Foti ’22

“As Dana Bash of CNN remarked on air, that was a sh*tshow.” -Jonah Bennan ‘23

“It made me embarrassed to be an American.”- Ruby Gillis ‘21

“The debate hurt to watch, Trump is a white supremacist but we already knew that.” -Ian Reyes ‘22 

The true losers of this are the Americans who had to watch a petulant fight.”

— Theo Mai '23

“The debate was an utter mess. The moderator was not able to control the President of the United States, who did not even try to answer questions about policy. Meanwhile, Biden was repeatedly interrupted, and was unable to get his point across. The true losers of this are the Americans who had to watch a petulant fight.” -Theo Mai ‘23

“It was extremely disappointing to see the two possible leaders of our country bickering like children.” -Adelaide Brown ‘22

“Childish and hard to watch. High schoolers could and would be more professional.” -Grace Kretzer ‘21

“It was really disorganized and hard to follow with all the interruptions so I’m glad they’re coming up with new guidelines. Hopefully for the next debate they’ll be able to mute them so they can get out a sentence” -Graham Hart ‘24

“Chris Wallace deserves a raise.” -Xander Patnoe ‘21

“Trump especially showed his true colors under pressure.” -Abby Barkley ‘21

“No matter who you think won, we all lost.” Finn Malone ‘21

Be sure to keep checking for more student commentary on this pivotal election!