We Now Know the Topics for the First Trump-Biden Debate, But a Few Things Are Missing

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The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is set for Tuesday, September 29th, and we’re now being told what the topics are. Strangely, Joe Biden’s 47 years of bad foreign policy decisions, such as opposing the Bin Laden raid and supporting the Iran deal, and President Trump’s recent Middle Eastern peace deals, hostage recoveries, and the specter of a Nobel Peace Prize won’t be anywhere on the docket.

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Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News chose the topics for the televised debate at Case Western University and the Cleveland Clinic, though health care per se will not be a topic, either.

Fifteen minutes will be devoted to each of the following debate topics:

  • The Trump and Biden Records
  • The Supreme Court
  • Covid-19
  • The Economy
  • Race and Violence in our Cities
  • The Integrity of the Election

Fox News reports that the presidential debate commission says the topics were announced in advance to give each side a time to prepare “deep discussion of the leading issues facing the country” but the topics could change if the news dictates it.

The two will be able to draw distinctions on the issues of the US Supreme Court, violence in the cities, and the integrity of the ballot.

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Biden and Trump will have clear differences on decisions by the US Supreme Court, such as abortion and gun rights, but it’s unclear if it’s the court’s decisions or the vacancy of the court from Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death that will be highlighted. Democrats have widely discussed packing the court with more members to diminish the voice of the constitutional conservatives on the court. Biden refused to answer a question about packing the courts in a discussion on Monday.


On violence in the cities, obviously Trump sees it as a law and order issue; one of “anarchist jurisdictions” by local leaders, as the Department of Justice put it. Biden will be vulnerable on the issue because he waited far too late to denounce the senseless violence – after areas of Minneapolis and Portland had been burned or taken over by violent rioters.

Either way, both sides will have plenty of time to book up on the issues. Joe Biden “called a lid” on his schedule early Tuesday. His campaign schedule has been unusually light. Maybe he’s prepping for the debate.

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The debates will be commercial-free and run for 90 minutes.

Following Tuesday’s debate, there will be two other presidential debates and a vice presidential debate.

  • Sep 29, 2020, First presidential debate, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
  • Oct 7, 2020, Vice presidential debate, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Oct 15, 2020, Second presidential debate, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, FL
  • Oct 22, 2020, Third presidential debate, Belmont University, Nashville, TN
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Among the topics left out of consideration for Tuesday’s debate are immigration, education, and foreign policy, among others. The Green New Deal won’t be brought up, though wildfires, brownouts, and arsons have afflicted the west coast and more of the same is promised under the Democrats’ favored and far-reaching plans.

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