News

Atlanta voters measure Trump & Biden’s weaknesses ahead of Presidential debate

ATLANTA, Georgia — It’s almost time for the presidential debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. The Washington Examiner spoke to voters in Atlanta about each candidate’s weaknesses heading into the debate. Atlanta voters from both Trump and Biden campaign events said they looked forward to watching at least part of Thursday’s […]

ATLANTA, Georgia — It’s almost time for the presidential debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. The Washington Examiner spoke to voters in Atlanta about each candidate’s weaknesses heading into the debate.

Atlanta voters from both Trump and Biden campaign events said they looked forward to watching at least part of Thursday’s debate on CNN. However, people had different views on how each candidate would fare behind the podium.

“I’m most looking forward to the tone of this debate to see how President Trump behaves, or if he can,” Georgia state Rep. Esther Panitch said.


Janet Prioleau at the Atlanta Trump campaign office opening
Janet Prioleau at the Atlanta Trump campaign office opening on Tuesday, June 25, 2024 (Amy DeLaura/Washington Examiner)

Janet Prioleau, a lifelong Democrat who has become a Trump supporter, said there was nothing Trump could do to prevent her from voting for the former president.

“If Biden comes at him with the “convicted felon” [attack] and Trump claps back at him, you know, what can you say?” Prioleau said.

Robert Patillo, Civil rights Attorney and Democratic analyst, speaks to Washington Examiner about the upcoming debate. (Amy DeLaura/Washington Examiner)

Civil rights attorney and democratic analyst Robert Patillo feels the rules behind the CNN debate are a weak spot for Trump.

“Trump is very much going to be on the defensive in this debate,” Patillo said. “Because this is not his forum. He is very much a crowd speaker. He’s a rally speaker. Being stuck in a small room with a podium, no audience for feedback, with questions and answers, and the microphone is turned off? This is not his strongest venue.”

See also  Lawmakers unite behind Trump in wake of rally shooting
Georgia state Rep. Esther Panitch, a democrat who serves Fulton County, speaks with Washington Examiner about the upcoming debate (Amy DeLaura/Washington Exmainer)

Panitch agrees this debate does not play to Trump’s strengths.

“Without the energy of an audience with him, he lives off that energy,” Panitch said. “He’s very good at that. Feeding that energy, and he won’t have it this time.”

“What will be interesting to see is how he does when you have to have a debate. You can’t use liners, zingers, and insults,” Patillo said. “But you’re gonna have to have questions with fact checks directly behind that.”

Gloria Barker speaks to Washington Examiner at a Trump campaign office grand opening event on Tuesday, June 26, 2024 (Amy DeLaura/Washington Examiner)

Gloria Barker, a former educator and counselor, believes CNN designed the debate to be harder on Trump and easier on Biden. Especially with one of the rules being the person who is not speaking will have their microphone cut off, preventing any instant rebuttal. 

“I don’t know if it’s going to be fair, and it should be a fair debate for both of them,” Barker said. “They should have their opportunity to say how they feel and what they’re fighting for. And give them an opportunity to do it and not cut everybody off.”

Prioleau, who is also an educator, is skeptical Biden can fight off concerns about his age with this performance. The President is giving fewer press conferences and speeches. It seems as if there has been an increase in incidents of Biden being caught on camera stumbling, stuttering his words, or losing his train of thought altogether. 

See also  Youngkin condemns assassination attempt of Trump as ‘an affront against our liberty’

“Biden is really interesting in his age,” Prioleau said. “Can he handle this debate with Trump?”

The President is only three years older than Trump, at 81 and 78, respectively. However, Panitch, a Democrat, knows that placing the two side-by-side onstage is a weakness for Biden.

“I’m looking for Joe Biden not to lose this debate,” Panitch said. “Hold the line. Talk about his accomplishments. And don’t let Donald Trump distract him!”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

While Patillo believes this debate will not change many people’s minds, it is still historical.

“For the first time in 134 years, we’re not having to guess and speculate as to what one person will do in the White House versus the other,” Patillo said. “We have two, four-year records that we can compare, and very much this is the tiebreaker historically that we’re going to look to look towards.”

Naomi Lim contributed to this report.

Share this article:
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter