The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

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The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

First Election Debate 06.27.24 Donald Trump v. Joe Biden

On June 27, 2024, the first presidential debate between former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden took place in Atlanta, GA. The debate was moderated by CNN journalists Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. Throughout the debate, candidates addressed  concerns such as economic inflation and recession, abortion rights, the immigration crisis, the war in Ukraine and the war in Gaza. Some questions were answered directly, while others were redirected or completely ignored. 

Each candidate was given two minutes to answer each question from the moderators. The opponent would then get one minute to respond to the opposing candidate’s answer before it was passed back to the original candidate for a one-minute rebuttal. If the moderators felt their questions weren’t answered, they could give one more minute to the candidates for additional discussion. To prevent the candidates from talking over one another, their microphones were muted throughout the debate when it was not their turn to talk. But this didn’t stop the candidates from speaking their mind and ignoring many important questions. 

To start the debate, Tapper asked the first question to Biden which was about if voters feel they are worse off economically under his presidency than under Trump’s. For example, many Americans can no longer afford basic necessities such as fresh food, menstrual products and basic health care in this post-pandemic world.

“Let’s look at what I was left with when I became president,” Biden said. “The economy was in free fall. The pandemic was so badly handled. Many people were dying and all he said was that ‘it’s not that serious.’ The economy collapsed. What we had to do was put things back together again and that’s exactly what we began to do.”

Biden mentioned how he and his administration created many jobs, such as those in the manufacturing industry. He emphasized the price of housing and food and said that he is trying to fix it.

However, Trump had a different opinion.

“We had the greatest economy in the history of our country,” Trump said about the economy during his presidency. “[Biden] has not done a good job and inflation is killing our country. It’s absolutely killing us.”

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a website that advances federal and state policies, reports that that during the Trump presidential era, “The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and many other non-partisan analysts projected much slower economic growth and smaller increases in most workers’ earnings.”

However, this was during 2020 when COVID-19 hit the world. Because of the pandemic, economic growth slowed significantly. But, from 2009-20, the growth index was 128, compared to the 2001-07 index which was 72. When the economy is growing, that means it’s healthy. However, once Trump was no longer in office and COVID-19 hit, it dropped to 24. Voters concerned with the economy must determine whether to view these numbers as a byproduct of the pandemic or to pin blame on one candidate or another. 

After talks about the economy, Bash brought up the subject of abortion laws. Her first question regarding this topic was about if Trump would block access to abortion medication.

“First off, the Supreme Court just approved the abortion pill, and I agree with their decision to have done that and I will not block it,” Trump said.

Trump went on to talk about his agenda in terms of abortion laws. 

“51 years ago, you had Roe v. Wade, and everybody wanted to give it back to the states,” Trump said. “What I did was put three Supreme Court justices on the court, and they happened to vote in favor of killing Roe v. Wade and moving it back to the states.”

Trump discussed giving each state their own ability to decide what they should do with abortion laws. He stated that each state is different, and if they want abortion to be banned, then they can do what they think is best for their state. 

Biden, however, wholly disagreed.

“This idea that they’re against [Roe v. Wade] is just ridiculous,” Biden said. “We’re in a state where you could be six weeks pregnant and you don’t even know if you’re pregnant or not. But you cannot see a doctor and have him decide what your circumstances are and if you need help. The idea that states are able to do this is a little like giving civil rights back to the states.”

Trump ultimately said that abortion laws should be up to the states to decide, but he would put legal limits on how late a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy. For example, if the woman is eight or nine months pregnant, she may not get an abortion. He had the same mindset for a woman who gave birth to a child and wished to terminate it despite it already being out of the womb. 

Biden, however, said that he wants everyone to have a choice, but he does not support late-term abortion and would put legal limits on when a woman can abort a fetus. 

The debate then moved on to discussion regarding the immigration crisis. The first question on this subject was regarding if voters should trust Biden to solve the ongoing crisis happening in the country. For example, many American citizens are being affected by illegal immigrants in cities such as Chicago and New York.

“We worked very hard to get a bipartisan agreement,” Biden said. “It not only changed all of that, but it made sure you were in no situation to come across the border with the number of border police there are now. I’ve changed the law in a way that there are 40% fewer crossing the border illegally.”

However, Trump disagreed with Biden’s handling with the border.

“We had the safest border in the country,” Trump said. “All he had to do was leave it, but he decided to open up our border to people that are from prisons. People that are from mental institutions. We [also] have the largest number of terrorists coming into our country from all over the world. We had the safest border in history, and now we have the worst border in history. People are dying all over the place.”

If Trump wins his presidency, he intends to carry out the largest domestic deportation movement in history. He was asked if he intends to deport every undocumented immigrant in the United States, such as those who have lived here for years and are undocumented or those who have a spouse that is an American citizen.

“We have to get a lot of these people out, and we have to get them out fast,” Trump said. “They are going to destroy our country. Just take a look at where they’re living. They’re living in luxury hotels in New York City and other places, but our veterans are dying on the streets.”

After debating about domestic issues, it was time to move on to America’s involvement in foreign affairs. 

When it came to the war in Ukraine and Russia, Trump stated that he believes the ongoing three-year war would have never happened if he was in office due to his close ties with Russian leader Valdimir Putin. Trump also claims that he will make sure the war is resolved before he comes into office if he wins the election. Biden, however, disagrees and believes it would’ve happened regardless of who was in office and believes it will take time for the war to end.

Next, they argued about Israel’s war on Palestine and America’s role in it. Biden discussed all the money that U.S. has given to Israel to try to support them, thus hoping to end the war. However, Trump once again brought up how the war never should have started and would’ve never happened if he was in office at the time. 

After these topics, both candidates seem to avoid questions regarding childcare and addiction to opioids. However, when it came to the climate crisis, it wasn’t ignored. 

Trump was asked if he would take any action to slow climate change, and his response was straightforward. 

“I want absolutely immaculate clean water and I want absolutely clean air,” Trump said. “And we had that. During my four years, we had the best environmental numbers ever.”

Biden strongly disagreed with that statement.

“I have passed the most extensive climate change legislation in history,” Biden said. “We are in a situation where the idea that he is claiming to have had the cleanest water is a lie. He didn’t do a thing for the environment.”

The two candidates continued going back and forth on this topic but, their focus then changed to migration and retirement assets. 

Biden said that he is working hard to keep social security, medicare and medicaid up and running for American citizens and claimed that Trump is trying to get rid of them all together. Trump, however, says he would like to provide Americans with these promises, but migrants are taking away this opportunity by being eligible for retiree’s money.

After all of this, each candidate gave their closing statements.There was a coin toss to determine who would speak first, and it went to Biden. 

“[For seniors], we got the price of insulin down to $35 instead of $400,” Biden said. “That reduced the federal debt by 160 billion dollars in 10 years. I’m going to make that available to every senior. I’m going to make sure we have childcare and increase the credit people have for childcare. I’m going to fight inflation and make sure people are given a break.”

Trump then had his opportunity to close.

“He talks about all this stuff, but he hasn’t done any of it in three years,” Trump said. “We’re living in hell. The whole country is exploding because of you. They don’t respect you, and they have to respect their president. They don’t respect you throughout the entire world. What we did was incredible. We’re in a failing nation, but it’s not going to be failing anymore. We’re going to make it great again.”

The next presidential debate between Trump and Biden will be hosted by ABC News on Sept. 10, 2024, at 8 p.m. CST.

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Sophie Ponce de Leon
Sophie Ponce de Leon, Co-Editor-in- Chief of Print and Co-Copyeditor
Name: Sophie Ponce de Leon   Position: Co-Editor-in-Chief of Print and Co-Copy Editor   Graduation year: 2025   A few sentences about me: I love politics and will definitely always say a woman would make the best president. I love reading, writing, eating and sleeping. Also, I’m a hopeless romantic so… hit me up please.   My favorite…   Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Show: Lucifer Animal: Red fox Hobby: Crying Book: Once upon a broken heart by Stephanie Garber Food: French fries Song: I wish I was the moon by Neko Case Band / Artist: Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Fiona Apple

Jasper Paulson
Jasper Paulson, Broadcast Executive, Ad and Business Design Executive, and Co-Copyeditor Executive
Name: Jasper Paulson   Position: Co-Copy Editor, Broadcast Executive, Ad and Business Design Executive   Graduation year: 2025   A few sentences about me: I might seem like I’m busy, but I always have time to talk about a good book. Other than journalism, I do marching band and dance nearly all year round. I’m looking forward to my senior year here and can’t wait to see what wonderful things the Krier is going to do while I’m still here!   My favorite…   Movie: Any of the Saw movies Show: Heartstopper Animal: Hyena Hobby: Reading! Book: False Prince by Jennifer E. Nielsen Food: Not a food, but Coca Cola Song: Tell Me that You’re Okay by NOAHFINNCE Band / Artist: NOAHFINNCE