Round One of Presidential Debates: Who Won?

Like millions of other Americans, I tuned in to round one of the Presidential Debates moderated by Fox’s Chris Wallace. It was unlike any other presidential debate I have ever seen—and I have watched every presidential debate since the JFK vs. Nixon debate in 1960 when I was just a kid growing up in Kansas.

I had a lot of impressions and I was going to list them on my blog, but I received a piece by fellow blogger E. P. Unum and he has enumerated many of the same ringside conclusions I had.

Nevertheless, I have a few thoughts that I will share with you and then I urge you to read Mr. Unum’s impressions below.

First, I thought President Trump was correct when he stated that he was debating both Biden and Wallace. Wallace clearly had an agenda to pepper Trump with tough questions while allowing Biden to repeatedly wiggle free from the hook. For example, Biden categorically refused to answer whether or not he would pack the Supreme Court or ban the filibuster if elected. Okay, next question. Only Trump pressed Biden on that question. Wallace didn’t.

I wish Trump had answered the question about “white supremacy” differently. He should have said that he has already condemned and disavowed white supremacist groups and the KKK. How often does he have to do it? This was clearly a “gotcha” question by Wallace. Why didn’t Wallace ask Biden about his long history of plagiarism? At least that would have balanced out some of the “gotcha” questions a bit.

I wish Trump had pointed out, when asked about his record on race, etc., that during his watch, black unemployment dropped to the lowest point in American history and his “Opportunity Zones” have seeded thousands of businesses for blacks. Then, he should have mentioned the $500 billion he recently earmarked for minority communities.

I wish both men had remained focused on the issues facing our country and eschewed the nasty personal attacks. Pundits on some networks and cable outlets opined that Biden seemed “more presidential.” I disagree. Is it presidential to call the president of the United States before a worldwide audience, a clown, a liar, or a racist? I think not. Yet Wallace never once reproached Biden about his conduct.

Biden stumbled, mumbled, and bumbled his way through the debate while Trump appeared strong and energetic in his responses to Biden’s insults and Wallace’s poisonous barbs.

Did Trump often interrupt Biden? Yes, he did. But you have to ask yourself why? Biden made obviously inaccurate statements about Trump and his administration, which Wallace allowed to stand with nary a demurral. Trump is a scrapper, a harsh and brash New Yorker who gives as much as he gets during an argument. That’s his style and I don’t see him changing anytime soon.

Finally, there is the question of who won. Who won? Nobody. Not Trump, not Biden, not Wallace or Fox News. The entire nasty melee masquerading as a debate was big bust. I am still wiping the mud off my TV screen. Like a lot of folks, I don’t think I learned much about either man or his ideas going forward. There was a lot of talk about the past and very little about what each man is going to do if he is in the White House after January 20, 2021.

Those are some of my impressions. Now, for another assessment, take a look at E. P. Unum’s commentary.


By E. P. Unum

           Well, Round One of the Trump Biden Debates is in the books and it is time to go to the scorecards.

On the surface, that would seem to be a difficult task given all of the interruptions and heated arguments out forth. But, as in most fights, scoring will largely be determined by the number of effective blows landed by each contestant. In the case of Round One of the Trump-Biden Debates, when you sift through the dust and the smoke and the interruptions, the clear winner by a wide margin was President Donald Trump.

Let me explain my scorecard based on facts, not conjecture or suppositions:

  • I do not care who you are, or who you think you are, you do not call the President of the United States a “liar” or a “clown” nor do you act like a tough street hood and tell him to “shut up”. For someone who accuses President Trump of not being “Presidential” (whatever that means) these remarks on a national stage, with millions of people watching from around the country and indeed the world can hardly be considered “Presidential”.
  • Joe Biden refusing to respond to questions about packing the Supreme Court is not at all what you would expect from someone seeking to be the leader of the free world.
  • Joe Biden calling Antifa an “idea” is ridiculous on its face. Antifa is a well-organized communist group with origins dating back to the fall of the Weimer Republic in Germany in the 1930s. They have been filmed handing out weapons in our cities to burn and loot businesses and create turmoil with the objective of achieving transformative change to American society and government. They are a radical group and Joe Biden shaking his head saying “not true”, “not true” is not a sign of leadership. He gave the impression that he really is unaware of what is going on in our country.
  • With respect to the issue of Law and Order, Joe Biden could not respond to questions posed to him about why he would not even say the words “law and order” and could not name a single law and order organization who has endorsed him. Shame on Chris Wallace for pressing a ridiculous question posed to President Trump about whether he would denounce “white supremacist groups”. President Trump has denounced such groups numerous times and that is a fact.
  • I was astounded that there was no discussion whatsoever about the major peace accords reached between Israel and Arab nations in the Middle East and the fact that no such accords were ever reached in eight years of the Obama-Biden Administration.
  • Joe Biden continuously referred to President Trump as a liar. That is really rich. He is a man who has been caught in more lies and exaggerations, plagiarism, and insults directed at people than anyone I have ever seen. His entire life is built on lies and falsehoods.
  • Joe Biden flat out lied when he claimed that he and President Obama was responsible for the success our nation’s economy reached under President Trump.
  • If you listened carefully to the question posed by Chris Wallace about racism in America, Biden said that there was indeed “systemic racism” in America. But if that is the case, when did it start? Joe Biden has been in government for forty-seven years and served under Barack Obama, a black President. Why didn’t he address this issue then? Where has he been for forty-seven years?
  • On the issue of the economy, Biden clearly indicated that “he represents the Democratic Party and what he says is the Party’s policy”. He denied steadfastly that there was no agreement signed between himself and the Bernie Sanders led coalition. Those are bald-faced lies. There are indeed numerous letters of agreement, and in particular, support for the “Green New Deal” although Biden calls it by another name. That plan calls for $100 Trillion in spending…money we do not have….and which will not generate economic returns.
  • But there is much more. Biden reaffirmed that he will raise taxes on Americans to the tune of $4.0 Trillion next year; that he will “on day one of his Administration, repeal all of the Trump tax cuts”; that he will increase taxes on corporations, on stock market gains, on 401-K plans….and he is going to do all this in a period where people are struggling to make ends meet and find jobs. How does this make any sense? Biden said it clearly.
  • But no one in the media today is speaking about this. And when he rambled on about the programs he intended to launch, he spoke glowingly and great pride that his plan called for retrofitting 40 million buildings across America to make them more efficient and emit fewer gasses into the environment. He intends to build 500,000 electric charging stations on our highways so that electric cars can be charged on their travels. I listened carefully to this and asked myself… what cost? And where is the economic benefit to us? Biden clearly wants to drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels but has he thought about where all this electricity is going to come from?
  • Finally, on the subject of economics, Biden exclaimed that his plan of increased taxes will magically create an additional $1.0 Trillion in wealth. I have spent over forty-five years in finance in the private sector and as a college professor. I would like to review those assumptions and calculations because I am scratching my head as to who “the well known financial executives and economists on Wall Street” Biden mentioned in his remarks endorsed his plan.
  • Chris Wallace asked Joe Biden why he has not spoken out against the violence that is so rampant at many of our major cities, virtually all of them democratically controlled. His response is “Hey, here’s the deal, I am not in government anymore, I am not in office….he’s the guy who needs to take action”. That was a well-rehearsed defection but was also a “non-response”. When pressed by Chris Wallace about why Biden did not call governors or mayors to try to get them to take action, Biden responded again that “he is not in office”. In other words….” it’s not my job”. But it somehow it is his job to criticize and second guess the President. Not a good picture because the view is always much different from the cheap seats.

So, on balance, there were an awful lot of compelling issues that surfaced in Round One, and while the pundits and newspapers have called this debate “an embarrassment for the country” I have a very different perspective. Yes, I would have liked fewer interruptions and arguments but the substance was extremely informative, and once you get past the fog of conflict, the points made by President Trump were significant.




About Ronald E. Yates

Ronald E. Yates is an award-winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. Read More About Ron Here