Washington state, Seattle leaders react to first presidential debate
The first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden included a number of heated clashes between the two candidates over the ongoing pandemic, personal attacks about former Vice President Biden’s family, and a discussion over the future of the U.S. Supreme Court.
President Trump, in speaking about the recent protests across the country, did briefly mention Seattle, where he claimed they took back control after sending in federal troops. Local and state government officials took to Twitter to react to this and other notable moments from the debate.
Gov. Inslee, true to his campaign platform for his own presidential candidacy, tweeted early in the afternoon to say that the candidates should address their plans for climate change in the debate that evening, and again during the debate.
The two candidates did eventually answer a question about climate change, during which Trump again touted forest management as a strategy to reduce the wildfires seen along the West Coast in recent weeks. Biden, in his response, said he is not for the Green New Deal, but rather supports his own climate plan, which does include rejoining the Paris Agreement immediately.
In perhaps one of the most talked about moments of the debate, President Trump refused to outwardly condemn white supremacists, telling the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”
Trump also, again, expressed concerns about mail-in voting fraud.
Addressing repeated claims that mail-in ballots would lead to a “fraudulent” election, Washington’s Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican herself, has previously emphasized the importance of assuring the public that the systems in place can sustain a free and fair election.
“I think it’s a disservice to the tens of thousands of election officials that are across the country, both Democrats and Republicans, who are doing this work to try to have fair elections, to throw out information … that would cast doubt on that process,” Wyman told KIRO Radio in August.
Overall, the first debate was full of heated moments and interruptions as moderator Chris Wallace continually tried to regain control. Even the state Superintendent of Public Instruction weighed in on Twitter, reminding young people (and everyone) that debates can be both respectful and productive.
The Associated Press is reporting that the presidential debate commission says it will soon adopt changes to its format to avoid a repeat of the disjointed first meeting between Trump and Biden.
The commission said Wednesday the debate “made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.”
The next presidential debate will be on Oct. 15. The vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris is scheduled for Oct. 7, 2020.