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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Indian-American supporters of Trump and Biden divided over outcome of first presidential debate

Indian Americans, who account for one per cent of the country's population, but are increasingly getting active in domestic politics, organised watch parties, mostly virtual, to watch the first of the three presidential debates between Trump and Biden.

By: PTI | Washington | September 30, 2020 4:08:15 pm
US Presidential Debate 2020 Highlights: Trump claims he paid ‘millions’ in income tax, Biden tells him to ‘Shut Up’US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their first 2020 presidential campaign debate held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, US, September 29, 2020. (Reuters)

Indian-American supporters of President Donald Trump said the Republican leader “sealed the deal” at the first presidential election debate while the community members supporting his Democratic challenger Joe Biden asserted that the former vice president made a “successful case” to occupy the White House for the next four years.

Indian Americans, who account for one per cent of the country’s population, but are increasingly getting active in domestic politics, organised watch parties, mostly virtual, to watch the first of the three presidential debates between Trump and Biden.

President Trump and Biden began the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday with heated exchanges over health care, the coronavirus and the future of the Supreme Court.

“President Trump seals the deal for his re-election, crushing Biden at the debate. Game over”, said Al Mason, co-chair of the Trump Victory Indian American Finance Committee.

Indian American attorney from California Harmeet K Dhillon slammed debate moderator Chris Wallace, a popular Fox news anchor, for allegedly taking sides. “Chris Wallace is a disgrace. Republicans need to stop allowing the slanted media to have any role in debates in future years”, tweeted Dhillon, co-chair of Lawyers for Trump and co-chair of Sikhs for Trump.

However, Biden’s supporters said that during the debate the former vice president successfully made the case that Trump is thoroughly undeserving of another four years.

“The choice in this election could not be any clearer,” Neha Dewan, national director of South Asians for Biden, said.

“In the debate we saw two very different men with polar opposite temperaments and divergent governing philosophies. We saw Joe Biden a statesman on debate stage and what a president looks like. Who was, calm, steady, strong, resilient. Biden proved that he has what it takes to lead us out of the mess Trump has made”, said Ajay Jain Bhutoria, National Finance Committee member, Biden for President 2020.

But Trump’s supporters disagreed. “Biden’s few major flaws were exposed as he refused to answer the law and order and Portland protests. He won’t answer Supreme Court judge he won’t answer”, said Raj Bhayani, founder of SuperPAC American4Hindu.

“President Trump was forthright in explaining his achievements in his close to four years term in appointing 300 Federal judges and possibly appointing three Supreme Court judges, a historic opportunity”, said Sampat Shivangi, a member of the Indian Voices for Trump.

During the debate, the two leaders frequently interrupted each other with angry interjections, with Biden eventually snapping at Trump “Will you shut up, man?”

That was after the president badgered him over his refusal to comment on whether he would try to expand the Supreme Court in retaliation if Trump’s high court pick, Amy Coney Barrett, was confirmed to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“Tonight’s presidential debate was without much of decor but contentious as expected with angry exchanges including not so polite words by Biden ‘will you shut up man’,” he said.

“One of the most entertaining and combative sessions and Trump came in fully charged up and Biden was defending – on racial issues, law and order, enforcement and economy – Trump was a winner”, said Sridhar Chityala.

“The Green New Deal – what a mess by Biden. He has made a compelling case on ballot voter fraud and no response from Biden”, he said.
“Truth Alone Triumphs! What I saw was a hardworking president whose actions speak for themselves”, said Dr Shoba Chokkalingam.

Harini Krishnan, a California Co-State Director for South Asians for Biden and organiser of a virtual debate watch event, noted that Trump failed to make a case for his re-election.

“Vice President Biden spoke directly to the American people tonight about issues that are impacting us most, while President Trump’s message to America was essentially that he would be a rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell’s judges. Americans everywhere are seeking competency, normalcy, and decency in their leadership, and Vice President Biden showed he can deliver that if he is elected along with Senator Harris,” said Krishnan.

“It was particularly galling that the president of the United States could not unequivocally condemn white supremacy when presented with the opportunity to do so, and in fact, appeared to call for violence,” said Deepa Sharma, Communications Co-Chair for South Asians for Biden.

“With our community experiencing a significant uptick in violence and hate incidents, South Asians all across America reject President Trump’s unacceptable views, and will make that known at the ballot box this November,” she said.

Trump’s supporter Mukesh Modi said that the president should look right into camera and talk so it should feel that he is addressing to American citizens. “As per my opinion trump did better as he was debating with two democratic Biden and Chris”, he said.

“Biden lied every sentence. Biden dropped out of his first presidency because of plagiarism”, alleged Deepak Nandi, a Trump supporter.

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