With the original debate between President Donald Trump and presidential candidate Joe Biden canceled due to Trump’s health concerns after contracting COVID, the presidential candidates looked towards a town hall format.
In a town hall format, the candidate and moderator sit on stage while the moderator chooses either a journalist or citizen in the crowd to ask the candidate a question. This solution provided more information on the candidates' viewpoints as opposed to the first presidential debate which was filled with both candidates interrupting his opponent.
Both President Trump and NBC received criticism for making a conscious decision to schedule their town hall at the same time as Biden’s on ABC.
In both town halls, questions were mainly geared toward COVID relief and the economy. Biden emphasized the need for masks.
“We can avoid future lockdowns if we wear masks. We can also save 100,000 lives,” said Biden.
Trump cited evidence of a recovering economy by noting that both GDP and jobs are on the rise. He also claimed to have a big announcement Nov. 1 on how to get the country back on track.
Another large point of controversy was the harsh questioning Trump received from the moderator Savannah Guthrie. Guthrie berated Trump over his handling of COVID 19 and his behavior at the debate. In contrast, Biden’s received no backlash from his moderator George Stephanopoulos.
Topics such as corporate tax and race relations were also discussed during both hour-long Q&As. With the next debate scheduled for Oct. 22, it has not yet been announced whether the town hall format will stay or the two candidates will clash face to face again.