By: Megan Rose Dickey
This is an opinion column. On Oct. 22, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden debated against one another for one final time before the presidential election.
The debate was held in Nashville at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. NBC journalist Kristen Welker moderated the debate. Due to a more guided discussion and muted microphones, this debate was more civil than the debate on Sept. 29. The two candidates talked about six main topics during the debate. These topics ranged from the pandemic to race to healthcare.
Almost a third of the night was spent discussing how to continue combating COVID-19, especially as the nation heads into what Biden described as a “dark winter.”.
Biden said his plan would have the federal government establish widespread rapid testing, increase contact tracing and mandate national standards and financial backing to maintain safety in opening up schools.
Trump reiterated his belief that the government will most likely develop a vaccine and make available to the public in a few weeks.
“We are learning to live with [COVID-19],” Trump said.
The second topic discussed was the issue of national security. Welker asked about the new report that Russia and Iran are working to influence the election. Trump accused Biden of being paid by Russia, a claim that has been found to be false. Biden stated that he has not taken any money from other countries. Biden then proceeded to ask the president about his potential foreign conflicts of interest in Russia and China, to which Trump did not directly respond.
The candidates also discussed racial injustices within the nation.
“The fact of the matter is, there is institutional racism in America,” Biden said.
The president claimed that he is the “least racist person in this room,” but did not share any policy plans concerning racial injustice.
Next, Welker asked the candidates about their plans to address climate change.
“We have a moral obligation to deal with [climate change],” Biden said.
Trump argued Biden’s plan would hurt the economy by costing the nation trillions and trillions of dollars.
When confronted with his efforts to repeal Obamacare, the president promised he would replace it with a “brand new, beautiful healthcare.” He then accused Biden of supporting “socialized medicine” and decimating the private insurance industry.
Lastly, Welker asked Trump about the recent NBC report that lawyers cannot find the parents of the 545 children who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border by the Trump administration. President Trump argued that these children “are so well taken care of” and said that his administration is working “very hard” to find these parents.
“It’s criminal,” Biden said of the continued separations.
Biden then apologized for the record deportation numbers that the Obama administration had and promised to correct it.
As the debate drew to a close, the two candidates gave their final statements to the nation.
“I’m going to give you hope,” Biden said. “We’re going to choose science over fiction. We’re going to choose hope over fear.”
Trump closed with his own assertion.
“Success is going to bring us together,” Trump said.
As this was the final debate, this will be the last time voters see the two candidates interact with each other before the election. Be sure to vote early, send in your absentee ballot or vote at the polls on Nov. 3.
Megan Rose is a staff writer for the Samford Crimson. She is a sophomore political science and english double major student.