First 2020 Presidential Debate Recap

The Lance sorted through all the chaos and noise to get you the actual substance of the election.


Tala Areiqat

Trump and Biden in a heated debate on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, September 29th, marked the first presidential debate of the 2020 presidential election. The two candidates, the incumbent President Donald Trump (R) and former Vice President Joe Biden (D), faced off in a fierce debate moderated by Fox News’s Chris Wallace regarding six main topics: the Supreme Court, the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, racial issues, both Trump’s and Biden’s records, and the integrity of the election.

For those who missed out on the debate or want a quick recap, here are the key points of  everything you need to know, divided by each of the six segments:



Key points

The Supreme Court


- Nominated conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat.
-Believes the president in office during the full four years should choose the next justice.
Biden- Believes that because there is currently an election going on, the people should have a say in who fills the court seat and wait until after the election to fill the seat.
- Claims Roe v. Wade is at stake if Trump appoints Barrett to fill the seat.
++Fact check: True.
- Believes women’s rights are fundamentally changed under Trump since he wants to remove the Affordable Care Act.


Trump- Blames China for the spread of the virus.
- Claims the vaccine was “weeks” from being ready and that he has spoken to the doctors confirming that it will be ready “very soon.”
++Fact check: False.
- Wants the country to reopen.
- Claims Dr. Fauci said he “saved thousands of lives.”
++Fact check: True.
- Believes democratic states are only shut down because they want to wait until after the election.
- Believes masks are effective but he only wears one when necessary (Example: He did not wear one at the debate because everyone was tested).
- Justifies large rallies for the reason that they are outside and says he has had no problems so far.
Biden- Blames Trump for the reason that the coronavirus deaths and infections are the highest in the world, criticizing his lack of action to take proper measures of precaution.
- Wants to rely on scientific help for Coronavirus management.
- Supports funding schools and business during the pandemic.
- Also supports mask wearing.
- Condemns holding large rallies.


Trump- Favors free market economy, lower taxes, and deregulation.
- Claims Obama’s administration had the slowest economic recovery since 1929.
++Fact check: False.
- If Biden were to win the presidency, companies would not appreciate his termination of tax cuts and move to other countries. This would then lead to a depression.
- 10.4 million people back in the workforce and claims Biden will “destroy this country” if he shuts the country down.
++Fact check: True. Actually, businesses added 10.6 million jobs, but there were also 22.1 million jobs lost from February to April because of the shutdown.
- Believes the economic recovery is V-Shaped, meaning the economy crashed down quickly but bounced back just as quick.
Biden- Claims that he and the Obama administration left a booming economy for Trump, and that he ruined it.
++Fact check: False. It was an overall healthy economy, but growth dipped by 2% in 2016.
- Focuses big government and big taxes (including raising corporate tax to 28%), proposes more than $4 trillion over a decade in new taxes on those making $400,000 and more and corporations.
- Claims his economic plan (based on the analysis done by Wall Street firms) will create seven million more jobs than Trump’s plan in four years and an additional $1 trillion in American growth.
++Fact check: True.
-Does not support the Green New Deal, but rather supports the “Biden Plan.”
- The economic recovery is K-Shaped, meaning the economic recovery benefited the rich but not the poor people and working class.
- The economy cannot be fixed until the COVID crisis is handled.
- Wants to eliminate Trump Tax Cuts.

Race and Violence

Trump- Would not explicitly condemn white supremacists.
- Blamed left and groups associated with the left such as ANTIFA for the majority of violence.
- Criticized Biden for his 1994 Crime Bill for calling African Americans “super predators.”
++Fact check: False. But, Biden used the word “predators” in a speech to support his bill.
- Wants to end racial sensitivity training in schools because it is “teaching people to hate our country.”
- Blames violent crime because democrats who “run these cities” are against law and order.
Biden- Rejected the support for defunding the police, and in fact he believes that law enforcement needs more assistance.
- Claims 1 in 500 African Americans will be killed due to the Coronavirus if the presidency continues under Trump.
++Fact check: True, that is what is projected to happen if current conditions persist.
- He supports racial sensitivity training because people have to be aware of racism in the US.
- For law and order, when done fairly.
- Claims ANTIFA is an antifacist “idea not an organization.”
++Fact check: True.

Trump/Biden Records

Trump- Claims he has paid “millions and millions” of dollars in income taxes in 2016 and 2017
++Fact check: False.
-Claims that he was entitled to privileges of depreciation and tax credits for private developers (which Trump was before he got to the White House).
++Fact check: True.
- Supports his decision of stepping out of the Paris Accords (An agreement sponsored by the United Nations to limit greenhouse gas emissions).
- Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Accords because of the economic burden it had on businesses, workers, and taxpayers
- One Trillion Tree initiative (Combats climate change while restoring forests by planting one trillion trees).
- Believes forests must be managed better, and the lack of management is the main reason for California wildfires.
Biden- Stated that Trump has downplayed the virus referencing Bob Woodward’s interviews with Trump earlier this year.
- Confronted Trump about his tax returns which reveal he only paid $750 in 2016 & 2017.
++Fact check: True.
- Proposes $2 trillion in green jobs.
- Limits on fracking.
- Ending fossil fuel usage to generate electricity by 2035.
- Believes the country can get to net zero in terms of energy production by 2035, which results in the creation of new jobs under his plan.
- Plans to rejoin Paris Accords.
- Used Green New Deal as framework for the “Biden Plan” to create “millions of jobs.” (But does not support the Green New Deal)

Integrity of the Election

Trump- Believes mail-in voting causes inconsistencies in election outcome.
++Fact check: False.
- Claims that nine ballots casted for him were found in a garbage bin in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
++Fact check: True. But, only seven out of the nine ballots were casted for Trump.
- Believes the election will be a “fraud like you’ve never seen.”
- Wants justices to help out with the validity of ballots.
- Recommends solicited ballots or in-person voting.
Biden- Believes mail-in ballots are safe, stating, “[Trump’s] own homeland security director, and as well as the FBI director, says there is no evidence at all that mail-in ballots are a source of being manipulated and cheated.”
++Fact check: True.
- Wants poll watchers to make sure people can vote safely and the polls will stay open until all votes are counted.

The election is November 3, 2020. Register to vote online today.