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Sen. Rand Paul described Tuesday’s first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden as an “exhausting” affair that did little to provide candidates’ real views and policies to voters who remain undecided.
“It was exhausting even to watch, much less participate in,” Paul, a Kentucky Republican, told Fox News host Neil Cavuto. “I frankly don’t think that it was that informative.”
Characterizing Tuesday’s raucous debate as a sort of “mini-war,” Paul suggested that the Commission on Presidential Debates change to an interview-style type of format for the remaining two events.
The commission announced the following day it would be making some changes to “ensure” there is a “more orderly discussion” of the issues.
“Why don’t we do a 30-minute interview with each candidate in separate rooms?” Paul suggested. “Don’t put them in the same room, but really try to get a little bit more of an in-depth conversation and challenge them and push them to answer questions more completely.
“I really would rather see a long-form interview,” Paul continued. “I’d do 30 minutes with each. An hour-and-a-half is, frankly, too long.”
“I don’t think that it was that great for the people in the middle, those who are undecided,” he went on. “I don’t think that there was a lot garnered last night that might convince you either way.”
Paul then pivoted to some of the substance of Biden’s answers or, in the case of ‘packing’ the U.S. Supreme Court, his refusal to say one way or the other.
“I think that’s a pretty important question because I think that’s a pretty dramatic change to our form of government,” the junior U.S. senator from the Bluegrass State observed.
“I think, frankly, the media oughta force him to answer that question,” he said.
Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, also refused to answer whether or not she would support an effort to dramatically expand the number of Supreme Court justices, presumably with nominees who are left-wing in their stances on political issues.
“We are 35 days away from an election that is probably the most important election of our lifetime and our children’s lifetime. There is nothing about these next 35 days that Joe or I will take for granted, and so the focus right now is on reminding people that we have this election that is very much in play,” she said.
As for Trump’s frequent interrupting of Biden, Paul said it would be wiser for the president to let him speak because it likely would reveal more flip-flops such as when the former vice president claimed he did not support Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s massively expensive “Green New Deal.”
However, the Biden campaign website notes the nominee “believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face.”
“That rebuke to the left-wing needs to be out there and aired,” Paul said.
The senator went on to address the president’s comments regarding the Proud Boys, a right-wing group that has been falsely characterized as a white supremacist hate group.
“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are, you’ll have to give me a definition,” the president said in response to a question from moderator Chris Wallace.
“Whoever they are, they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work,” he added.
Noted Paul: “I think that the point needs to be made explicitly that we are unequivocally opposed to white supremacy or any kind of political ideology based on race.”
In a brief exchange with reporters outside the White House on Wednesday, Trump expressly condemned white supremacy.
Asked whether he denounces white supremacists after failing to categorically and clearly condemn them at the first presidential debate, Pres. Trump says, "Any form of any of that, you have to denounce." https://t.co/9HOF3puGEh pic.twitter.com/b86zjzR3ej
— ABC News (@ABC) September 30, 2020
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