WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTHI) - A lot of people are voicing concern and even frustration after the first presidential debate. The Presidential Debate Commission says it will make changes to the structure and format of the next debates.
Many around the country from both sides of the aisle were left speechless after Tuesday night’s debate. WTHI’s social media pages were lighting up in response to what happened.
Albeit entertaining, Indiana State University Political Science Associate Professor Matthew Bergbower says the debate lacked substance.
“I was a bit disappointed in the amount of bickering that went on between the two candidates and the lack of substance that was just able to get produced by the moderator,” Bergbower said.
Rose-Hulman student Lucus Bendzsa agreed that most of the blame should be put on moderator Chris Wallace.
“It’s unfortunate the way it played out. I wish it could have been a little bit of a cleaner debate,” Bendzsa said, “I think Chris Wallace had a lot to do with that. If he would have established some control from the beginning, allowed some better time for rebuttals, and had been a little more flexible on when to move to different topics, I think it would have been a lot smoother.”
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Bergbower says interrupting is a part of President Donald Trump’s strategy. He says it worked for him in 2016 and says there’s no surprise that Trump doubled down on this strategy on Tuesday night.
He and Brendza shared their general reactions with News 10.
“The rules that were presented before the candidates just didn’t work last night. They are looking at how they can make it better for the next two [debates],” Bergbower said, “This is a crazy scenario but it’s almost like you have to put them in a glass booth.”
“What do you expect from a businessman from New York?” Bendzsa quipped, “This is how they operate in Manhattan all the time. This is a standard, run-of-the-mill day in Manhattan. Then you have Joe Biden who is a career politician and been in office for 47 years. He’s used to dealing with people like Trump all the time.”
Bendzsa and Bergbower agree that Tuesday night’s debate didn’t sway anybody one way or the other. They did share their perspectives on what voters should look for moving forward.
The first debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden has just wrapped up. Who do you believe won?
“I want to be educated. I’m all about substance. I’m all about policy,” Bergbower concluded, “I’m not looking for the eight-second soundbite. I’m not looking for something to be put on a t-shirt. I’m not looking for the catchphrases.”
“I think, as a voter, the most important thing is to look at the policies,” Bendzsa agreed, “Look past all the charades and the debates and focus on the policies. I’m looking forward to the next debates. It’s good TV. Grab some popcorn.”