As Election Day creeps closer and closer, San Diegans tuned in for the first presidential debate on Tuesday to hear what both nominees had to say on how their leadership would be the best for the country for the next four years.
Inside Hillcrest’s Uptown Tavern restaurant, diners watched as President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden exchanged name-callings, interruptions and remarks on each other’s track records. Both nominees had some choice words for one another, as Trump brought up Hunter Biden’s discharge from the Navy Reserve after failing a cocaine test while Joe Biden referred to the president as a “clown” and told him to “shut up” during the heated debate.
The much back and forth left some viewers feeling like they weren’t given enough substance about the candidates’ policies and vision for the next four years.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” said Alyssa Kress, Vice President of the College Republicans of the University of California San Diego. “To me, the winner of a debate is not the person who trashes the other candidate the most, but the person who actually answers the question. And, you can see that on both sides, it’s just not happening.”
Back at Uptown Tavern, diners told NBC 7 they, too, believed the candidates were too hasty during the first presidential debate of the 2020 election season.
“I thought that President Trump was a bully and I wanted to punch him,” one woman at the Hillcrest eatery said. “My God, he wouldn’t let Biden say a word.”
At least two debate viewers told NBC 7 they wish the candidates had gone about their debate strategy differently.
“I think Biden could have rephrased to be a more understanding candidate,” an Uptown Tavern patron said.
“I expect as two adults, they would learn not to interrupt themselves and as a Republican, I’ll say that I wished that the president listened more,” said Austin Katz, President of the College Republicans of UCSD. “But, it’s to be expected. This is, white gloves were torn off. This is a hotly contested political country and it reflects a lot on how a lot of people feel about this country.”