Donald Trump and Joe Biden faced off in the final presidential debate on Oct. 22, which featured topics ranging from the coronavirus to racial equality in Nashville, Tennessee.
After the first debate’s debacle involving the candidates repeatedly talking over each other, a mute feature was imposed on each candidate’s microphone for their opening statements in each segment.
“It was certainly an improvement over the first [debate],” Erika Moreno, chair of the department of political science and international relations, said.
The moderator, Kristen Welker of NBC, started off the debate with the topic of the coronavirus.
Trump defended his handling of the virus and claimed that there will be a vaccine soon. “We have a vaccine that's coming, it's ready. It's going to be announced within weeks, and it's going to be delivered,” Trump said.
In his first statement of the night, Biden spoke about the 220,000 Americans who have died from the virus.
“Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America,” Biden said.
Trump noted that Biden had criticized him in January for putting travel restrictions on China.
Another topic that caused arguments between the candidates was personal finances.
Trump made claims that Biden and his family have received money from foreign powers including Russia, Ukraine and China and said, “I think you owe an explanation to the American people.”
Biden denied these claims and said to the camera, “It's not about his family and my family. It's about your family.”
Biden also attacked Trump for not releas- ing his tax returns. Trump responded by saying that his taxes are still under audit by the IRS so he cannot release them.
The candidates also discussed health care. Biden said that if the Supreme Court were to overrule the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) he would “pass Obamacare with a public option — become Bidencare.”
“I'd like to terminate Obamacare, come up with a brand-new beautiful health care,” Trump said and added that he wants to “come up with a better health care, always protecting people with pre-existing conditions.”
Another hot-button issue for the candidates was race in America.
“The fact of the matter is there is institutional racism in America,” Biden said.
He added, “We should fundamentally change the system, and that's what I'm going to do.”
When asked by Welker if he understands why families of color fear for their children in America, Trump said he does and added, “Nobody has done more for the Black community than Donald Trump.”
Lauren Bloomquist, junior in the College of Arts and Science and member of Creigh- ton College Democrats, said that she thinks this debate went much better than the previous presidential debate.
“I don't think the debate changed anyone's mind but just enforced their thoughts on who they are voting for,” Bloomquist said. “I think if there were another vice presidential debate that might've changed people's thoughts since that debate was more engaging and productive.”
Moreno said that debates generally do not “move the needle” for who people are voting for.
Moreno said while debates “have the potential to be informative to voters out there who are maybe still deciding,” in today’s environment of polarization, debates tend to be more energizing for a candidate’s already established base.
Election day is Nov. 3 and Bloomquist encouraged Creighton students to vote “because it lets your voice be heard on a national level.”
The Creighton University College Republicans were contacted for a comment but did not respond.