Local political party committees on presidential debate

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Emma Heaton
Published: Updated:

On Thursday, the two contenders for president squared off in a 90-minute debate.

Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden staked their claims on important topics like immigration, the economy and abortion.

At the end of those 90 minutes, both Democrats and Republicans had watched as President Biden seemed to ramble and lose track of his thoughts.

Then came this consensus: According to the headlines, Democrats are discussing replacing Biden on the presidential ticket.

Biden’s performance raised concerns that he is too old to serve. But does Southwest Florida feel the same way as the rest of the nation? WINK News spoke to local Democratic and Republican groups about the debate.

Local Republicans believe Democrats should cut their losses, but local Democrats say Biden finished the debate stronger than he started and they’re rooting for him to stay in the White House another four years.

“What we witnessed last night was an absolute disgrace, put on the world stage for everyone to see,” said Michael Thompson, chairman of the Lee County Republican Party.

“I don’t think it was a debate at all,” responded Jane Schlechtweg, chair of the Collier County Democratic Party.

The headlines show: Democrats are discussing replacing Biden on the presidential ticket. Political expert Aubrey Jewett said it is unlikely Democrats will put a new nominee in his place, and even if it were considered, finding and preparing a new candidate would be no easy feat.

Local Democrats agree, which is why they’re doubling down in their support.

“No. It’s too late in the game for another Democrat to step in. And like I said, the administration has proven itself and why would I want to change that? Why? Why would we want to in the middle of this election cycle, change who we support? Biden is the best choice for America, period,” said Schlechtweg.

Meantime, Thompson said Democrats need to think about what’s best for the country, and not for each party.

What are the next steps for Democrats? Jewett said it is not time for the party to panic completely.

There is still a possibility for Biden to make a comeback in future debates, similar to Ronald Reagan in 1984. But Biden is still in the race.

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