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Pres­ident Donald Trump and Former Vice Pres­ident Joe Biden debated Tuesday night. | Insid­e­Climate News

About 29 million people tuned into the first of this year’s three pres­i­dential debates Tuesday night at 9 p.m. at Case Western Uni­versity and the Cleveland Clinic. Though the numbers were down nearly 40% from 2016 according to Nielsen ratings,  nearly every TV on campus was tuned in to the debate

During the debate, spon­sored by the Com­mission on Pres­i­dential Debates, Demo­c­ratic nominee and former Vice Pres­ident Joe Biden and Pres­ident Donald Trump held the attention of stu­dents all night — and pro­vided political talking points for the rest of the week. 

Though some policies were men­tioned during the two-hour event, most of Tuesday night was filled with what some called “chaos.” In the words of Biden — and senior Matt Fisher — it was “a national embar­rassment.”

A common cri­tique from Hillsdale stu­dents was how fre­quently the can­di­dates inter­rupted each other.

“I thought it was dif­ficult to under­stand any content in the beginning, espe­cially because of the con­tinued inter­ruption of each other,” said sophomore Meghan Schultz.

For others, the debate left them feeling nervous and uncertain about the direction of the country. 

“Every time this happens, I’m always hoping it’ll turn out better than it has before, and I’m always under­whelmed,” said sophomore Hannah Cote.

The can­di­dates addressed six national hot topics ranging from the Supreme Court to the coro­n­avirus and the riots fol­lowing the death of George Floyd. 

Biden claimed that the pres­ident was in the wrong for appointing a new Supreme Court Justice after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18, and should have waited until after the election. 

“The people already had their say,” Trump responded. “I’m not elected for three years, I’m elected for four years.” 

Biden slammed Trump for his response to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

“He knew it was a deadly disease. What did he do? He didn’t tell people or give us a warning because he didn’t want to panic the American people,” Biden said. “You don’t panic. He pan­icked. He still doesn’t have a plan.”

Trump refuted the claim, and when asked about wearing a mask, pulled one out of his coat pocket, to show he is pre­pared to wear one when nec­essary. 

Perhaps the most mem­o­rable part of the debate was the con­stant bick­ering between the two. 

There was a “just shut up man” from Biden, and from Trump, a “let me shut you down for a second Joe.” It was con­stant and seemed to be the main takeaway for many. 

“My overall opinion of the debate is one: American pol­itics is dead. Biden looked like a mod­erate even though very little of what he said was actually mod­erated,” said sophomore John Paul Schlueter. “I think Trump missed the oppor­tunity to rile up his base and influence some mod­erates to support him. At the end of the day, I don’t think there’s a single person whose mind was changed.”

The next pres­i­dential debate will be Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Per­forming Arts in Miami.