Dickinson Community Takes a Deeper Look into the Last Presidential Debate of 2020


Left to Right: Vice President Joe Biden, Moderator Kristen Welker, and President Donald Trump at the 2020 Presidential Debate. Courtesy of CNN.

Deon Rosado '24, Staff Writer

Dickinsonians have been reflecting on the last debate of the 2020 presidential race, which took place on Thursday, Oct. 22, despite 50 million Americans having already cast their votes.

President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden conducted the 90 minute debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Both candidates stood twelve feet apart. Their microphones were muted during each other’s allotted speaking time.  

Associate Professor of Italian James McMenamin, who watched Thursday’s debate, said, “I thought that the moderator did a very effective job at asking good questions and providing a platform for both candidates to answer uninterruptedly.”

“I’m actually surprised how weak Trump’s campaign strategy has been this time around,” said McMenamin. “For the first election, he had lots of ideas that I didn’t agree with, but he had ideas. Now I’m not exactly sure what he plans to do. Regardless, I believe he is a horrible leader and the USA needs change. We cannot have another four years of Trump,” he said. 

Of the six topics the Commission on Presidential Debates planned for the night, one of them was immigration. According to the Associated Press, when asked about this matter, President Trump stated, “The children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people, cartels, and they’re brought here and they used to use them to get into our country…we let people in but they have to come in legally.”

Trump addressed his current administration’s plan, stating, “In terms of reuniting these children with their families… we’re working on it very hard.”

In contrast, Biden said, “Five hundred plus kids came with parents. They separated them at the border to make it a disincentive to come to begin with,” adding “And now they cannot find over 500 sets of those parents and those kids are alone. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to go. It’s criminal. It’s criminal.”

William Critchfield ’21, president of the Dickinson College Democrats, said “President Trump’s campaign revolves around misinformation and outright lies that erode the very fabric of our democracy. In contrast [former] Vice President Biden operates a campaign with the goal of returning decency to the executive branch.” 

“Biden has the upper hand, as we now see Republicans turning against Trump for the trouble he has caused to the American people,” said Alvaro Munoz ‘24. “Specifically, not addressing the problem of COVID-19 and racism as much as people would like him to.” I see [the former] Vice President as a clear winner, but anything can happen in politics.”