Mississippians ranging from scared to confident after explosive first presidential debate


COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Wild, a circus, two toddlers fighting and disappointing are just some of the ways people have described Tuesday night’s presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Questions surrounding issues like the coronavirus, the Supreme Court and social justice seemingly took a back seat to insults, interruptions and finger-pointing.
And north Mississippians have some strong opinions about what they saw.

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“Terrible,” “Unique,” “Like two men arguing outside a gas station,” and “[Wondering] if it would come to blows,” are just some of the ways people in Columbus described the debate.

Mississippi University for Women Political Science Professor Dr. Brian Anderson says President Trump may have accomplished more of what he wanted, he called the debate an ugly draw.

“I’m worried that many Americans would walk away from that not feeling very informed and not feeling very inspired,” he says.

That was certainly the case for MUW sophomore Alicia Jefferson.

“I don’t know what to say. I am scared,” Jefferson confided. “Personally, I am very scared.”
Jefferson says she was particularly disheartened by Trump’s refusal to directly condemn white supremacists.

Henry May of Brooksville didn’t mince words when sharing his feelings about the President.
“Well he’s racist,” May says. “That’s all. He’s a stumped down racist. He can’t help it.”

Samuel Houston, who says he supports President Trump, believes the situation is not that simple.

“In order to bring the country together, why do you continue to divisively talk about that there is an issue,” he asked.

Samuel’s mother Linda called the question a no-win situation for Trump.

“No matter what his answer is, someone’s always going to attack it,” she says.

The two say they believe Trump showed off his big personality Tuesday, which they think will help at the ballot box.

“He’s fighting the mediator, he’s fighting the media, he’s fighting everyone on all bases,” Samuel says.

However, Dr. Anderson believes the candidates vying for the Oval Office should focus less on fighting and more on the issues.

“Is it going to add more acid to the mix or will it be something that helps clarify what these candidates stand for,” he said, musing on the outcome of the next debate.

That next meeting between Trump and Biden will be in Miami on October 15.

The vice presidential debate is next Wednesday in Salt Lake City, Utah.