Contrast and Takeaways from Between Trump and Biden Dueling Town Halls

Joe Biden participates at an ABC Town Hall event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, as President Trump participates in an NBC News town hall forum with a group of Florida voters in Miami on Thursday. (Image via Reuters)

For the first time ever, two presidential contenders for the White House didn’t meet on a stage for a presidential debate. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden held two simultaneous Town Halls late Thursday, which ended up showing stark differences between the two.

What We Know:

  • Starting with the Biden Town Hall, he demonstrated a certain level of solidity despite Trump’s insistent description of his rival as someone who has “intellectually diminished”. Trump continues to stand his ground on what he thinks of his opponent and has revealed that he would rather tone it down than switch opinions.
  • Due to the Town Hall’s more relaxed environment, Biden was able to be free of debate restrictions and speak his mind completely. He spent a majority of the hour and a half event laying out a greater context for his thoughts on various controversial topics. One said topic he seemingly wasn’t able to hit harder on during the last debate was the “Green New Deal”. He explained how at this point, his differences in tackling climate change compared to the plan were because he’s just not convinced that harmful emissions can be reduced at the rate the proposal is insisting it will.
  • However, he later stated that the economy would need time to move away from fossil fuels, and proceeded to dive deeper into what he looked into and what would be in store for environmental restoration under his administration. “We can do things like pelletize all the chicken manure and all the horse manure and cow manure and they can be — and take out the methane and use it as fertilizer and make a lot of money doing it,” he said.

  • Something that stood out over his rival Trump, was that instead of persuading voters that his plans are the “right ones,” the result of his performance during the event reassured many followers and those who were skeptical, that he’s mentally capable of running a country. Disproving what Trump has been feeding his audience, without valid evidence, that Biden (Sleepy Joe) is suffering from mental impairment such as dementia.
  • Despite stumbling over some words every now and then, there wasn’t a significant moment where the 78-year-old candidate seemed distracted or lacked a firm memory regardless of his past policy battles as vice president or a senator.
  • Moreover to President Trump, as always, attention-grabbing was not one of his weak points. The Republican crowd seemed eager as always to hear what the incumbent had in store for them. Much like the previous debate, Trump managed to repeatedly interrupt moderator Savannah Guthrie in the same fashion he would have against a rival or past moderator Chris Wallace. He did appear a bit easier going and less tense than when he appeared on stage with Biden just last month.

As a reminder of the last debate, Trump tried to steamroll over Biden and Wallace, with one of the biggest moments of the night where he was asked to denounce white supremacy. The “Proud Boys,” a violent misogynistic hate group, were told by the President of the United States to “stand back and stand by”.

  • Overall Trump’s own comments were to blame for the stark difference in content both Town Halls provided. The difference in substance started when Trump ended up making the event more about his own actions and financial matters, which centered more attention on him the past year, rather than focusing on real policy matters. Ever since his comments on the requirements for Supreme Court nominees, it led many groups such as Democrats, the media, and even Republicans who oppose Trump to believe Judge Amy Coney Barrett was compromised.
  • Trump stated there was no discussion between him and the Supreme Court nominee regarding any precedents prior to her nomination. Another topic he showed restraint in and declined again was his call for overturning Roe v. Wade. In showing reluctance on the matter, he brought up the fact that if he were to reiterate these points, it would come off as him creating an image of trying to sway Barrett.
  • What was clearly left untouched was his attempt to win back the support and votes of all the woman he’s seemingly forgotten about over his past term and that he would rather see Roe v. Wade stay in place. Trump also described the allegedly $400 million in debts he possesses, which he reassures viewers is “a very small amount of money”. Trump made us aware that many of these debts are due soon and did not specifically deny overseas debts.

Other topics such as COVID-19 and QAnon were touched on lightly, so if that wasn’t enough for viewers, the two candidates still have one final debate on their schedule before the big day on November 3. It will take place on Oct. 22, just a week from the Town Halls, in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s reported that one of Guthrie’s colleagues, White House correspondent Kristen Welker, will be the moderator for this final round.