WRITTEN BY: ERIN ALBRIGHT, Staff Writer
With 50 million votes already cast, the final debate before the presidential election took place last Thursday. Republican candidate President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden discussed race, vaccines and the oil industry, among other contentious topics.
Moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker, the debate was held at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. and was praised to be more issue-focused than the previous debate last month.
After distracting interruptions from both candidates during the first debate, a new rule was imposed wherein candidates’ microphones could be muted to prevent talking over one another. Unlike the first debate, both candidates maintained a calmer sentiment throughout the night, possibly due to this new rule.
Biden criticized Trump’s policy, his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his approach to health care, the economy and immigration. In turn, he proposed policy he would enact if he were to be elected.
Trump spoke about how Biden was a typical politician, citing that he failed to solve problems such as systemic racism and the economy during his 47 years in elected office.
The candidates were asked questions on race and how they would solve systemic racism in America.
“I’m the least racist person in this room,” Trump said in response to Biden’s claims that the president has been the main person fueling racial divisions.
Biden continued to speak on his proposed policy to fix racism, things that Trump failed to offer voters according to Biden.
As last Thursday marked the highest number of COVID-19 diagnoses in a single day in America since July 15, Trump yet again emphasized that the pandemic will run its course without intervention.
“It will go away and as I say, we’re rounding the turn, we’re rounding the corner,” Trump said.
In response, Biden held his stance of a much bleaker view of the virus and predicted a “dark winter” to be coming for America.
“Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America,” Biden said.
On immigration problems and the 545 children who have been separated from their parents at the border, Biden stressed the embarrassment this has caused the United States.
The final topic of the night was the oil industry. Oil is a major part of the economy in certain swing states and has the ability to be a deciding factor for many voters.
Biden stated that he hopes to transition away from oil to environmentally-friendly wind and solar options.
“Basically what he is saying is he would destroy the oil industry,” Trump said in response. “Would you remember that Texas? Would you remember that Pennsylvania? Oklahoma, Ohio?”
Both candidates spent the weekend campaigning in critical swing states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.