The Candidates On the Issues–in their own words

Compiled by Kate Diuguild ‘22, Lauren Hill ‘22, Nick Schade ‘23, Hailey Sepulvado ‘22, Dylan Sondike ‘24, and Sudha Sudhaker ‘21


The Covid-19 Pandemic

President Donald Trump:

“We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” ( January 22, 2020 in an interview with CNBC)

” I don’t wear a mask like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from him and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen,” referring to Joe Biden. This comes days before the President and First lady tested positive for Covid-19.

(September 29, 2020 at the first presidential debate)

Former Vice President Joe Biden:

President Trump is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health challenge… The outbreak of a new coronavirus, which has already infected more than 2,700 people and killed over 80 in China, will get worse before it gets better. Cases have been confirmed in a dozen countries, with at least five in the United States. There will likely be more.” said Joe Biden. (January 27, 2020 in an interview with USAToday)

“He panicked, or he just looked at the stock market — one of the two — because guess what: a lot of people died, and a lot more are gonna die unless he gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker,’’ Biden said referring to Trump. ( September 29, 2020 at the first presidential debate)


Climate Change

President Donald Trump:

“As to whether or not it’s man-made and whether or not the effects that you’re talking about are there, I don’t see it.” (November 26, 2018 at  a Washington Post interview in DC discussing climate change)

“I want crystal clean water and air. I want beautiful clean air. We have now the lowest carbon… If you look at our numbers right now, we are doing phenomenally. But I haven’t destroyed our businesses. Our businesses aren’t put out of commission. If you look at the Paris Accord, it was a disaster from our standpoint.” (September 29, 2020 at the first Presidential debate responding to What do you believe about the science of climate change)

Former Vice President Joe Biden:

“And there’s no more consequential challenge that we must meet in the next decade than the onrushing climate crisis. Left unchecked, it is literally an existential threat to the health of our planet and to our very survival.” (July 14, 2020 during a clean energy speech given in Wilmington, Delaware)

“Hurricanes don’t swerve to avoid red states or blue states. Wildfires don’t skip towns that voted a certain way. The impacts of climate change don’t pick and choose. That’s because it’s not a partisan phenomenon. It’s science, and our response should be the same.” (September 14, 2020 during a speech given outside Wilmington, Delaware Museum of Natural History)


Race and Racial Justice

President Donald Trump:

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen…when the looting starts, the shooting starts” (May 29, 2020 in a tweet after protests roared across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death).

Trump calls the Black Lives Matter movement a “symbol of hate” (July 21, 2020 in a tweet after the Mayor of NYC announced that a Black Lives Matter mural would be painted on 5th avenue)

Former Vice President Joe Biden:

“We can not leave this moment thinking we can once again turn away from racism that stings at our very soul, from systemic abuse that still plagues American life.” (June 9, 2020 through a livestreamed video played at George Floyd’s funeral in Houston,TX)

“There is systemic injustice in this country, in education, in work, and in law enforcement” (September 29, 2020 at the first presidential debate)


Gun Control/Rights

President Donald Trump:

“Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again – a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.”(February 17, 2018 in a tweet after the the school shooting in Parkland, FL)

“LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It’s under siege!,” (April 17, 2020 in a tweet attacking Virginia’s democratic governor and lawmakers)

Former Vice President Joe Biden:

“He [Donald Trump] says that guns are not the problem in mass shootings. [Trump says] the issue is mental health. It’s a dodge. Hatred isn’t a mental health issue. I can tell you, as the guy along with Senator Dianne Feinstein who got the assault weapons ban and the high-capacity magazines ban in this country for 10 years, if elected president we will do it again. We will do it again.” (August 7, 2019 at a campaign stop in Iowa)

You’re full of sh**. I did not—no, no, shush. Shush. I support the Second Amendment.” (March 10, 2020, on a campaign stop when accused of actively trying to end the Second Amendment and take away guns)



President Donald Trump:

“If we win back the House, we’re going to produce phenomenal health care. And we already have the concept of the plan, but it’ll be less expensive than Obamacare by a lot.” (June 12, 2019 during an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulus at the White House in Washington)

“My plan expands affordable insurance options, reduces the cost of prescription drugs, will end surprise medical billing, increases fairness through price transparency, streamlines bureaucracy, accelerates innovation, strongly protects Medicare, and always protects patients with preexisting conditions.”(September 24, 2020 at a rally at Charlotte Douglas International Airport)

Former Vice President Joe Biden:

“I think one of the most significant things we’ve done in our administration is pass the Affordable Care Act.I don’t know why we’d get rid of what in fact was working and move to something totally new.” (July 13, 2019 in Londonderry, NH)

“You get full coverage [with the Affordable Care Act], and you can stay with your plan if you like it. You can stay with your employer-based plan, or you can move on [to a government plan]. I think it’s the quickest, most reasonable, rational and best way to get to universal coverage.” (July 15, 2019 at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa)


College Cost and Student Debt 

President Donald Trump:

…I will sign a memorandum directing the Department of Education to eliminate every penny of federal student loan debt owed by American veterans who are completely and permanently disabled.” (August 21, 2019 at the AMVETS National Convention in Louisville, KY)

To help our students and their families, I’ve waived interest in all student loans held by the federal government agencies and that will be until further notice. That’s a big thing for a lot of students that are left in the middle right now.” (March 13, 2020 during a national speech at the White House)

Former Vice President Joe Biden:

“If you’re attending a public university, college university, as well as a private HBCU historic black college or minority serving institutions, I’ve already called for immediate canceling of a minimum of $10,000 of their student loan debt now under this crisis and allow them to borrow so they can cope with this crisis.” (April 13th 2020 at a Livestream Meeting with Sen. Bernie Sanders)

We’re going to make sure that four year college tuition of a state university is tuition free for any family making less than $125,000. Community college would be free and programs and training will be free as well.” (October 2, 2020 at speech in Grand Rapids, MI)