September 29, Cleveland, OH—Presidential Candidates Joe Biden and current President Donald Trump debated six main issues for approximately an hour and a half in the first 2020 presidential debate. They discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, the Supreme Court, race and violence in America, their candidate records, and the integrity of the presidential election. Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU) students shared their thoughts on the debate.
Amelia Redfish (Gila River) said, “I think the questions the moderator and both campaigns agreed on were attempted to be answered but were never fully answered. The biggest blunder Trump made when asked about point blank to denounce [W]hite supremacy, he declined.”
Seth Pua (Navajo) said, “I cannot believe that the President would not condemn [W]hite supremacy, I cannot believe the President told a [W]hite supremacist group to stand by, and I cannot believe the President tweeted afterwards for his supporters to watch the polls. I can easily believe Trump could do these things, but it’s absurd that he is the President which apparently represents the American people.”
Jacierra Liston (Seminole Nation of Oklahoma) said, “His inability to condemn [a] [W]white supremacy group, rather greet them warmly and tell them to “stand down” was concerning to say the least. I’m glad to know that Biden recognizes the continued injustices as a result of systematic racism”
Charlie Irwin (Athabaskan) said, “…this debate was undignified. As stated by one of the candidates, this debate was very unpresidential. Though in no way unexpected, the interruptions, rambling, and repetition took time away from voters to understand the candidate’s true agendas.”
Alia Ballou (Navajo and Cherokee) said, “They weren’t professional for their choice of words, at times I could hardly understand what was being said. I liked Biden’s response that the economy should be shut down in order for the spread to decrease. I also liked how he always put the lower classes’ needs first.”