US Presidential Debate 2020: Policy Differences…

If you watched the US Presidential Debate 2020 between Donald Trump and Joe Biden hoping for a detailed policy discussion, you would be very disappointed. The debate largely descended into trash-talking, insults and wild accusations. There was some policy discussion to be had, of which I have salvaged from an hour-and-a-half of headache-inducing yelling – and interestingly, the debate segment on climate change was probably the most productive and civil:

Supreme Court

Trump defended his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to succeed the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Biden however would prefer the decision to be delayed until after the outcome of the presidential election to ensure the nominee is reflective of the people’s wishes, which he believes will be registered at the upcoming presidential election.


Trump blamed China for the outbreak of Covid-19 and insisted he did everything he could to protect the US people. Biden disagreed and criticised Trump’s handling of the pandemic, particularly with the fact that over 200,000 Americans have died from the virus and that Trump could have acted earlier and more assertively in implementing restrictive measures.


Trump again blamed China for the state the US economy is in and came out against harsher restrictive measures, believing social distancing, hand sanitisation and the wearing of face masks are enough for businesses to continue service. Biden disagreed, taking a different approach that “you can’t fix the economy until you fix the Covid crisis.”


Trump asserted his position on maintaining law and order in the US through supporting law enforcement and claimed he has done a lot for black people. Biden was critical of Trump’s unwillingness to condemn far-right extremists and believes there is inequality in American society for black people, particularly in how law is enforced in the US.

Climate Change

Trump is sceptical of the causes of climate change and does not believe science has all the answers. Trump would like to see “crystal-clean water and air” and thinks the forest fires could be reduced by better forest management, remarking that if a cigarette were dropped in a western US forest, “the whole forest burns down.” Trump supports planting trees and thinks he is “all for electric cars”, claiming to have “given big incentives for electric cars.”

Biden’s solutions to climate change were for the US to move towards renewable energy, to promote the use of electric cars and for US buildings to be more energy-efficient. Biden also committed for the US to rejoin the Paris Accord.

Election Integrity

Trump is sceptical on the processes in place to ensure electoral integrity, and urged his supporters to be vigilant in how the election is conducted. Biden disagreed with Trump and believes the election will be conducted fairly, committing to accept the outcome even if he loses.

Trump & Biden” by ekaden is licensed under CC BY-SA

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