Thursday night the final presidential election debate took place between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
New rules ensured that the two candidate talked over each other less than in previous debates and the exchanges between the two were more dynamic as a result.
Opinions from commentators this morning as to who won the debate appear divided along political lines, however, whilst Biden came across as the more personable of the two, Trump undoubtedly presented the stronger leadership characteristics.
Trump’s tax returns came up. Trump said he would release his tax returns soon. Biden posted out that Trump has a foreign bank account in China. Trump responded by alleging that Biden and his son may have taken money from Ukraine, Russia and China.
Biden stated that he would return to Obamacare, turning it into "Bidencare" but with greater competition between healthcare insurance companies.
Trump said Biden did not do anything over the last 47 years in office, and that he never made anything happen for the country’s health insurance while he was in office [as Obama's Vice President].
The two men differed widely on climate. Trump stated that the Paris Accord was bad for America as it meant that whilst the US had to handicap its businesses, under the Accord Russia could revert to its previous, lower targets, and China didn't have o do anything for years.
Biden stated that he would take the US back into the Paris Accord.
Biden advocated renewable energy. Trump stated that wind grams are bad for the environment, expensive and "kill all the birds".
The President said that Biden was against fracking. Biden then accused the President of lying despite Biden having made clear statements against fracking in the past.
Biden stated that he would run down the oil industry. Trump hit back, pointing out that he had reinvigorated the energy industry, creating jobs that are dependent on it and which enable many workers to earn "huge amounts of money".
Racism and Justice
Biden opined that the US has failed to live up to the promise of equality for all Americans. He cited healthcare, education and opportunities for 'diverse families' as areas where improvements are needed.
Trump said criminal justice and prison reform are at the centre of his policies for helping people of colour, and he wants "tremendous investment" into historically Black colleges.
Throughout the election campaign, Trump has been stronger on immigration and law enforcement and was again last night.
Trump was certainly the stronger character of the two, whereas Biden, whilst dull, came across as the perhaps the more personable. But does the United States need a dynamic character as its President, or someone who is rather vanilla.
Trump let himself down with some silly comments such as "“I take full responsibility. It’s not my fault. It’s China’s fault.” (on Covid) and you;d certainly have smiled a little more. But, Biden stumbled over his words frequently and at times, appeared slightly frail.
Perhaps Americans would rather have a third choice, but overall, the President if the United States has to be strong and dynamic, not simply quiet and likeable.
Trump came out as the victor of this debate and, generally, the winner of the final election debate goes on to win the election, but he has a lot of ground to make up if he's to win.