(CBS4) – It was a chaotic presidential debate on Tuesday night between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the first between the incumbent and his challenger. The two sparred and tussles over topics including race relations, the COVID pandemic, and the safety of the November election, which will feature a record number of mail-in ballots.
“I have never seen a debates so out of control. I’m not sure that anyone learned what kind of president these two would be,” CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd said after it was over. “Trump delivered a constant volley of insults and interruptions and Biden didn’t hold back, calling Trump a ‘clown’ and ‘Putin’s puppy.’ It was 90 minutes of pandemonium.”
Biden called Trump a liar. Trump called Biden a socialist. Both firing off zingers, like “In 47 months I’ve done more than you’ve done in 47 years, Joe” (Trump) and “He talks about the art of the deal, China’s …. perfected the art of the steal. We have a higher deficit with China now than we did before.” (Biden)
There was nothing they agreed on, including health care, the economy and the fight to prevent the spread of coronavirus. They also discussed violent protests and whether or not fraud is running rampant through the election process.
Heading into the debate, most voters had already made up their minds. But 20% of people in a recent survey said the debate would impact their decision. CBS4 political analysts Democrat Mike Dino and Republican Dick Wadhams shared their opinions about that and whether it was the issues or the personalities that mattered more.
“I don’t think it was a game changer for either candidate,” Dino said. “I think each candidate is kind of still where they were before they got to the debate. President Trump has his base and I think Vice President Biden continues to have his lead. And I think personalities really were the winner here. In terms of the issues … they talked over themselves, it was mano a mano to the extreme. And so it was hard to really get any sense of of the issues.”
“When we did get to the issues during this discussion I think that that’s where Trump scored some points,” Wadhams said. “I felt like Vice President Biden was kind of running from his party’s left wing all evening. And I thought Trump did a good job trying to hold Biden accountable for the Democratic Party’s leftist tendencies right now. But I agree with Mike, I don’t think either candidate really did anything to exceed where they already are.”
Wadhams and Dino have run campaigns for several decades, and they both said they have never seen election fraud to any significant degree.
Mike Dino is a Democratic government affairs expert with more than 30 years of experience. He was the CEO of the 2008 Democratic National Convention Host Committee where President Obama received his historic nomination. Dino also served as the executive director of Denver’s Task Force for the 1997 Summit of the Eight.
Dick Wadhams is Republican political consultant who has worked with former Colorado Senator Wayne Allard and former Colorado Governor Bill Owens. He also worked on John Thune’s upset victor over then United States Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota. Wadhams was elected as the Chair of the Colorado Republican Party in 2007 and 2009.