Republicans, Democrats sound off on what candidates should say
People have already started voting, and the divisive political climate is enough to make one wonder whether there are any undecided voters left as the Nov. 3 election approaches.
Whatever the number of undecided people, local Republicans and Democrats have weighed in on what issues their respective presidential candidates should address at the final presidential debate on Thursday.
Santa Barbara County Republican Party chairwoman Bobbi McGinnis told the News-Press that President Donald Trump should use the debate as an opportunity to delineate a stark contrast between the economy under his leadership to that under the previous administration.
“It was a very slow recovery in the eight years they were in office,” Ms. McGinnis said of the economy under President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrat challenging President Trump.
The GOP chairwoman added that the president should emphasize that he is the “law and order” candidate and is against the defunding of police and sheriff’s departments across the country.
“Those are the two big things that I think President Trump needs to hit home, and I hope he hits it out of the park,” she said.
Andy Caldwell, the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture & Business executive director, said President Trump should go after the issues of taxes and family values, as there is “a clear delineation between the two parties” on them.
Mr. Caldwell, a Nipomo Republican running against U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, said President Trump should mention the Democrats’ support for repealing the Trump tax cuts.
As for family values, Mr. Caldwell said the president should bring up Mr. Biden’s recent comments at his ABC town hall that 8-year-old children should be able to change their gender.
Mr. Caldwell added that the president should mention the Democratic candidate’s son Hunter Biden’s dealings with energy firms in Ukraine and China.
The COLAB executive director said the Oct. 14 New York Post story revealing the younger Biden brokered a meeting between his VP father and a board adviser of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma begins to reveal “the dirty, dirty details” of corruption from Mr. Biden, who took part in “influence peddling” so his son could “reap millions of dollars in transaction.”
Mr. Caldwell, who’s a News-Press columnist, said the former vice president has taken part in “the worst corruption I’ve seen in my entire lifetime.”
“Hunter Biden would have qualified for none of those contracts,” Mr. Caldwell said. “He was not an expert in anything he was selling. Joe Biden is what they were selling vis a vis Hunter Biden’s involvement.”
Santa Barbara Democrats unanimously told the News-Press that Mr. Biden should convince undecided voters that he is the superior candidate by pointing out the shortcomings of President Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Santa Barbara County Democratic Party chair Gail Teton-Landis told the News-Press that due to 200,000 Americans succumbing to the coronavirus and Mr. Biden convincingly demonstrating needed leadership qualities throughout the campaign, he doesn’t really need to do that much during the final debate.
“He has already demonstrated throughout this election cycle that he has what this country needs to pull us out of the nightmare of this pandemic and the economic recession that it brought about,” she said.
David Atkins, the California Democratic Party region 10 director and Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee south vice chair, agreed that Mr. Biden should continue to bring up President Trump’s “failure in addressing the pandemic.”
Though Mr. Atkins doesn’t think there are many undecided voters left, he said the former vice president should capture those voters by continuing to do what he has been doing, promising to “govern responsibly in a way that respects and protects every American.”
State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, said that because the public is hungering for a plan on how to get through the COVID-19 crisis, Mr. Biden should articulate his plan just as he did at his ABC town hall.
“I think the public is very well aware of the inadequacy of the Trump response or lack of response to the virus,” she said. “I think Vice President Biden articulated a plan during his town hall, and I suspect he will articulate it again.”