Biden And Trump Debate: 5 Takeaways For Black Voters To Consider


President Joe Biden and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leave the stage at the end of the first presidential debate of the 2024 elections at CNN’s studios in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 27, 2024. | Source: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / Getty

In a presidential debate that arguably produced more questions about the candidates’ cognitive abilities than anything else, there was no shortage of key takeaways from Thursday night’s faceoff between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

The unfortunate part is that very few of them had to do with actual policy and presidential visions.

The fortunate part, however, — for Black folks at least — is that a handful of topics discussed at the debate did center on African Americans, who make up a powerful voting bloc that Biden and Trump are courting relentlessly for support.

Keep reading to find five key takeaways for Black voters to consider following the presidential debate in Atlanta.

Questions about Biden’s cognitive abilities

One of the key takeaways Black voters, in particular, may have after the debate is, simply put, whether Biden is OK. Black voters would not be unique to wonder about that considering anybody who watched the debate clearly saw Biden struggle to answer questions without stuttering and losing his train of thought to the point where even Trump, of all people, called him out over it.

Biden’s performance reportedly sparked concerns among Democrats and calls for exploring options to replace him with another presumptive Democratic nominee, including Vice President Kamala Harris, who fiercely defended Biden’s record during a post-debate interview on CNN.

Acknowledging Biden’s “slow start” to the debate, Harris commended his “strong finish” and argued a president should be judged by his performance as president, not how he acts physically.

Comparing Biden’s debate performance to his time as president, Harris told CNN that she was not going to reduce Biden’s presidency to “the last 90 minutes.”

Ironically, during her defense of Biden, Harris came across as extremely presidential amid questions about whether Biden should drop out of the race following his debate performance.

‘Black jobs’

It took nearly an hour for the debate to turn to Black people, but once it did there was plenty to talk about — it just wasn’t always articulated too well.

For instance, when the candidates were asked about their legacies with Black America, Trump deflected to vilifying immigrants and making the unfounded claim that undocumented immigrants were illegally crossing the southern border and taking “Black jobs.”

The claim from Trump lends further credence to the suspicions he’s not only clueless about the Black unemployment rate — something for which he takes credit for having lowered despite inheriting a thriving economy from former President Barack Obama — but also about the overall Black experience, the latter of which he’s tried to appeal to with racially stereotypical and tone-deaf overtures.

Biden admits Black America is ‘disappointed’ in him

One key moment of the debate took place when moderator and CNN anchor Dana Bash asked Biden about not being able to fulfill the 2020 campaign promises he specifically made to Black voters.

Biden answered immediately: “I don’t blame them for being disappointed.”

The president suggested Black people are disproportionately affected by the inflation — he’s right — that’s occurred on his watch before running down a list of things he’s done to help alleviate the problem.

In this case, while it may not be the answer people wanted, it was at least an honest assessment of the current situation and answered Bash’s question — both rarities in Thursday night’s debate.

On child care

A major issue for all American families is child care. But like most issues in America, child care disproportionately affects Black families, in particular. So imagine how Black families viewing the debate must have felt when moderators steered the debate toward child care and asked both candidates how they plan to address it.

Biden said he wanted “to make it more affordable” in part by increasing the child tax credit. Trump, on the other hand, deflected to irrelevant talking points about how Biden doesn’t like to fire White House employees and did not answer the question despite being asked it three times.

In fact, the only thing Trump said in response to being asked about child care is that he was rated higher as president than Biden, which is a lie.

Trump’s open disregard for the question about child care suggests that will be exactly how he acts toward the important issue if he’s elected in November; prospects that could help Black voters decide for whom to vote in November.

There was no mention of police reform or voting rights

Arguably the most pressing issues for Black voters have consistently included police reform and voting rights at or hovering around the top of the list.

The fact that neither of those topics was brought up by the moderators or candidates could raise some eyebrows from people who have prioritized them; especially considering that both issues have vast implications for Black voters, in particular.

Ironically, Thursday night’s debate came on the backdrop of a controversy that falls along racial lines after CNN denied refusing to give debate credentials to Black media outlets.

There was also no mention of that during the debate despite the Biden Campaign advocating for Black media to be credentialed and holding a gaggle for Black media in the hours before the debate on Thursday.

It was unclear if the issue was resolved.

And when the debate briefly turned to the topic of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), there was no acknowledgment from anyone about how the abrupt scheduling of the debate in Atlanta meant that Virginia State University was among the colleges dropped from the original schedule of 2024 presidential debates.

Had it gone on as scheduled, Virginia State University would have become the first and only HBCU to host a presidential debate. The now-canceled debate at VSU was scheduled to be held on Oct. 1 and would have been the second of three presidential debates this year.


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The post Biden And Trump Debate: 5 Takeaways For Black Voters To Consider appeared first on NewsOne.

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