Presidential Debacle: Golf and Gaffes a Plenty, But Little Said on Real-World Issues

American voters have long told pollsters that they were unhappy with both choices for the new US president… 

Biden vs. Trump

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Last night marked the first debate for the 2025 presidential run between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, held in Atlanta, Georgia. Apart from the fact that it was the first time either candidate had debated since 2020, it was also the first time a sitting president debated a former one. 

Head to Head

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As the debate started, Biden and Trump – who made no secret of their mutual dislike – neither shook hands nor acknowledged each other. Abortion, immigration, and foreign policy were just some of the topics that caused clashes.  

Keep It Civil

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But the debate also took a personal turn when Biden mentioned Trump’s criminal convictions.

Name Calling

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In turn, Trump highlighted Hunter, Joe’s son, and his personal- and public struggles and called Joe a “disaster”. Both candidates took turns calling each other the worst president in history. 

In the meantime, there was little about climate goals and personal finances to help struggling Americans.

The Topic of Golf?

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The bad blood between the two even caused them to start talking about their respective golf games, with Trump bragging about hitting the ball farther while Biden claimed that Trump wouldn’t even be able to carry his own bag. 

Under the Weather

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President Biden, who is three years and seven months older than Trump, struggled with a raspy voice. About halfway through the debate, the Biden campaign informed reporters that this was due to the president battling a cold. 

Lesson Learned or Not?

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Trump was careful to avoid the kind of hostility and interruptions that so badly damaged his first debate in 2020. However, he did repeat statements that weren’t supported by facts, on which Biden was largely unable to corner him. 

Abortion

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For instance, as the topic turned to abortion, Trump claimed, incorrectly, that Democrats support abortions even after babies have been born. 

An Unclear Position

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And while abortion should have been Biden’s strongest topic, he largely failed to explain his party’s position on the subject. 

There Are Exceptions

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Trump, on the other hand, stated: “The Supreme Court just approved the abortion pill, and I agree with their decision to have done that and I will not block it”. However, he did claim that he supports exceptions for incest, rape, and to protect the pregnant mother’s life. 

Ukraine War

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As for the Russia-Ukraine matter, Trump claimed that it never would have happened on his watch. “If we had a real president, a president that knew that was respected by Putin, he would have never invaded Ukraine,” he said. Biden replied, “I never heard so much malarkey in my whole life”.

The Capitol Riot

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When it came to the Jan 6 US Capitol riot, Trump tried to deflect by pivoting to other topics. When pushed on the matter, he stated he encouraged people to act “peacefully and patriotically” before launching an attack on former Democratic House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. 

Shame on Who? 

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Trump then said Biden ought to “be ashamed” for the way the January 6 defendants have been treated after storming the capitol. 

The Israel-Gaza War

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Although Trump didn’t say whether he’d back a Palestinian state, he did claim the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th would have “never happened” if he had been president. “Let Israel finish the job,” he said to Biden.

US for Israel?

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Biden didn’t go into too much detail on the topic, only talking up the US’ close alliance with Israel and noting that America is “providing Israel with all the weapons they need and when they need them.”

Numbers Don’t Lie

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It might be too early to predict how voters will respond, but a flash poll conducted by CNN after the debate showed the odds were in favor of Trump. 

Statistics: Then and Now

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According to the poll, 67% of debate watchers felt Trump won compared to Biden’s 33%. Interestingly, CNN’s poll after the 2020 debate was 53% in favor of Biden compared to 39% for Trump. 

Bad for Biden?

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Right after the debate, Biden’s former communications director Kate Bedingfield said Biden failed to prove he still had the energy and stamina. “There’s no two ways about it, that was not a good debate for Joe Biden,” she told CNN. 

What About Kamala?

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Vice President Kamala Harris tried to shift the focus away from Biden’s performance, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “Yes, there was a slow start, but it was a strong finish”. 

“Extraordinarily Strong”

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Harris added, “And what became very clear through the course of the night is that Joe Biden is fighting on behalf of the American people. On substance, on policy, on performance, Joe Biden is extraordinarily strong”.   

Now What?

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The stakes have definitely been raised for the second (and final) presidential debate scheduled for September 10th. 

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The post Presidential Debate: Golf and Gaffes a Plenty, But Little Said on Real-World Issues first appeared on EcoHugo.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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