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Elections

The first presidential debate was held Tuesday

Below are some key moments from the debate.

Brandon Moseley

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President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, right, are running for president in 2020.

The first presidential debate was held in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden.

Below are some key moments from the debate. The two candidates bitterly disagreed on what would happen in the election due to the unprecedented amount of mail in election ballots.

Two more debates are planned before the Nov. 3 general election.

On Trump’s Supreme Court nomination

“Elections have consequences, we have the Senate, and we have the White House,” Trump said. “She is outstanding. … We won the election, and we have the right to do it.”

“The American people have a right to say who that nominee is,” Biden said. “We should wait and see what the outcome of this election is.”

“Are you going to pack the court, Joe?” Trump asked.

“I am not going to answer that,” Biden replied.

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On the Democratic health care reform plan

“Your party is socialist,” Trump said of the Democratic health reform plan.

Biden said that the public option was just for those that qualify for Medicaid.

“It is only for people who qualify for Medicaid. The vast majority of the American people would not be in that option,” Biden said. He denied Trump’s charge that the Democratic health care plan was socialist.

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“I am the Democratic Party,” Biden said. “The platform is what I say it is.”

On the Republican health care reform plan

“We are going to let our governors go to other countries to buy drugs,” Trump said of his plan to reform health care.

“Everything he is saying tonight is a lie,” Biden said. “He is a liar, everyone knows it.”

“I want to give them better health care at a better price,” Trump said. “Obamacare was not good. We got rid of the individual mandate.”

“He has no plan for healthcare,” Biden said. “Like everything else he is talking about, he does not have a plan.”

On the coronavirus pandemic

“200,000 dead, over 7 million are infected,” Biden said of the COVID-19 crisis. “The president has no plan.”

“We should be providing the money the House has passed so businesses can stay open,” Biden said. “You need to get out of your bunker, get out of your sand trap.”

“The governors said I did a phenomenal job, most of them said that,” Trump said. “We are weeks away from a vaccine. Therapeutics are already underway.”

“I have spoken to the companies, and we can have it a lot sooner,” Trump said of when the vaccine will be available.

“I have spoken to the scientists, and they will have a vaccine real soon,” Trump said.

Biden criticized Trump’s campaign rallies.

“He has been totally irresponsible, the way that he has handled the crowds, the way that he has handled the social distancing,” Biden said.

“We built the greatest economy in the world. We shut it down because of the China plague,” Trump said. “They have got to open these states up. It is very sad what is going on with divorce and alcoholism.”

“He is going to be the first President in American history to leave office with fewer jobs than when he became President,” Biden said. “You can’t fix the economy until you fix the COVID crisis.”

On Trump’s tax returns

Trump claimed that he paid millions of dollars in taxes in 2016 and 2017 when asked about a New York Times story that showed he paid just $750 in federal income taxes.

“You are the worst President America has ever had,” Biden said.

“I have done more in 47 months than you have done in 47 years,” Trump replied.

Trump said that Biden was not smart and finished last in his college class.

On the economy

“My economic plan would create seven million more than his plan would and would create a trillion more in growth,” Biden said.

Biden said that he wanted to raise the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from the current 21 percent.

“You will lose half the companies that poured in and will have the greatest depression you have ever seen,” Trump responded.

On crime rates, protests and racial justice

“We believe in law and order, and you don’t Joe,” Trump said.

“Violence in response is never appropriate,” Biden said of some Black Lives Matter protests that have turned violent.

“What I support is the police have the opportunity to deal with the problems that they face, and I totally oppose defunding the police,” Biden said.

“Name one law enforcement group that supports you,” Trump said.

Trump when asked if he would condemn racists and white supremacists, said “yes.” But when asked about the Proud Boys, he said that they “should stand back and stand by,” adding a qualifier that most of the problems are coming from the far left.

Biden called Trump a racist and accused of using 1950s racist dog whistles.

On who should win and why

“There has never been an administration or a president that has done more than I have done in three and a half years,” Trump said of why he should be re-elected.

“Under this President we have become weaker, sicker, poorer, and more violent,” Biden replied.

On climate change

“As far as the fires, you need forest management,” Trump said when asked if climate change was causing forest fires in the West. “If you had good forest management you wouldn’t be having that problem.”

“We can get to net zero energy production by 2035 while still creating jobs,” Biden said.

“That is more money than our country could make in one hundred years,” Pres. Trump said of Biden’s environmental plan.

“The Green New Deal is not my plan,” Biden replied. “The Biden plan is different from what he calls the Green New Deal.”

Biden said that he would get the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Accords.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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Elections

Trump Truck and boat parades this weekend

Brandon Moseley

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Trump boat parade

As Election Day draws near, Alabama Republicans are excited about promoting the re-election of Donald J. Trump as President and the election of Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate. This weekend two pro-President Trump events are happening in the state. There will be a truck parade from Ashland to Phenix City on Saturday sponsored by the Clay County Republican Party, while there will also be a boat parade on Wilson Lake in the Shoals sponsored by the Colbert County Republican Party on Sunday.

The pickup trucks will assemble at the Ashland Industrial Park in Clay County, 8240 Hwy 9, Ashland. There is a pre-departure rally at 10:00 a.m. central standard time. The trucks will depart at 11:00 a.m. and then proceed on a parade route that will take them into the bitterly contested swing state of Georgia. The Trump Pickup Parade will wind through east Alabama and West Georgia traveling through LaGrange and Columbus before concluding near the Alabama/Georgia line in Phenix City, 332 Woodland Drive, Phenix City at approximately 2:00 p.m. central time. Speakers will begin at 3:00. Trump flags will be on sale at the event.

The Phenix Motorsports Park will be hosting what sponsor hope could possibly the world’s largest Pickup Tuck parade in U.S. history that is routing over 50 mile through Georgia in effort to “pickup” President Trump’s numbers in GA.

A number dignitaries have been invited to address the Phenix City rally, including Coach Tuberville. Former State Sen. Shadrack McGill, Trump Victory Finance Committee member former State Rep. Perry O. Hooper Jr., and Paul Wellborn, the President and CEO of the largest Family owned Kitchen Cabinet manufacture in the USA are among the featured speakers who have committed to speak at the event.

Entertainment will be provided by: Charity Bowden, an up and coming country music singer who was the runner up on “The Voice”. Charity will sing ‘I am Proud to be an American’ as well as songs from her Voice performances. The McGill Girls will also perform. The three beautiful and talented sisters will be singing patriotic songs in three part harmony. Geoff Carlisle, a professional DJ will be keeping the crowd pumped with music and entertainment.

Following the speakers and the entertainment there will Trump truck-vs- Joe Bidden truck races down the drag strip for the finale.

The Northwest Alabama boat parade will be on Sunday. The boats will gather at 2:00 p.m. near Turtle Point and then the flotilla will parade around the open waters of Wilson Lake til 3_00 p.m.. There will be a contest for best decorated Trump boats.

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Trump supporters have held a number of large boat parades across the state to show their support for the re-election of Pres. Trump.

Boat parade sponsors say that this parade will be: pro-American, pro-law enforcement, pro-military.

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Elections

Opinion | Doug Jones’s pathway to victory: Substance over lies

Jones said his work in the Senate should prove to the people of the state that party matters less than productivity. 

Josh Moon

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Alabama Sen. Doug Jones speaks during the Democratic National Convention.

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones believes voters will ultimately see through Tommy Tuberville’s lazy campaign and lies, and that enough of them will be moved by his work over the last two years to send him back to D.C. 

Jones’ comments came during a lengthy interview on the Alabama Politics This Week podcast. He also discussed his plans to address some of Alabama’s most pressing issues and also praised Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican.  

But it was Jones’ comments about Alabama voters — and whether too many of them are incapable of moving away from the Republican Party — that were most interesting. Jones still believes there are open-minded voters in the state, and that there isn’t enough attention being paid to polls showing a growing dissatisfaction in Alabama with President Donald Trump. 

“There are a number of things that Donald Trump has done that people (in Alabama) don’t agree with,” Jones said. “There are a number of things that he’s done that’s hurt Alabama and that they’re not OK with. That’s where I come in.”

Jones said his work in the Senate, where he’s sponsored the most bipartisan legislation over the last two years, should prove to the people of the state that party matters less than productivity. 

“I tell everyone, you owe it to yourself to look at every candidate and every issue,” Jones said. “I do that. I’ve been a Democrat all my life but I don’t think that I have ever pulled a straight lever. Because I look at every issue. I will tell you that there have been times that I didn’t vote for people who are Democrats for whatever reason — I just couldn’t do it. I think we owe it to ourselves to do that.”

Jones had the perfect example to drive the point home. 

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“Y’all all know our state auditor, Jim Zeigler? Jim wasn’t always a Republican. Jim’s first runs for office were as a Democrat. 

“I rest my case.”

You can listen to the full interview at the Alabama Politics This Week website, or you can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Elections

Trump to visit Pensacola tonight

Trump is making a push in Florida in the final weeks of the election, and Northwest Florida is part of his strategy.

Brandon Moseley

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President Donald Trump speaks at the Republican National Convention

Neither presidential candidate is likely to visit Alabama before the general election, as both campaigns accept that Alabama will be certainly in President Donald Trump’s camp on election day no matter what else happens. While Alabama is not a swing state, Georgia and Florida are both in play, and both campaigns are devoting enormous resources there.

Trump is making a push in Florida in the final weeks of the election, and Northwest Florida is part of his strategy. Trump will be just across the Florida-Alabama state line visiting Pensacola and is scheduled to address supporters at the ST Engineering hangar beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

The doors open at 4 p.m. and the event begins at 7:00 p.m.

The president’s rally tonight comes right after a visit to Pensacola last week by Second Lady Karen Pence and is one of many Florida campaign events planned for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump arrived in Florida after Thursday’s final presidential debate with Joe Biden. He is scheduled to hold a campaign event in The Villages before traveling to Pensacola. The president will spend the night at his Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago and will vote early Saturday.

The vice president will hold rallies in Lakeland and Tallahassee on Saturday. Florida has 27 electoral college votes. It would be very difficult for Trump to get the 270 electoral college votes necessary to win without winning Florida.

Democrats warn that attending a Trump rally could be dangerous due to the coronavirus threat.

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“The last thing Floridians need is for Donald Trump to host more potential superspreader rallies across our state,” Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo said in a statement on the rally in Pensacola. “What we do need, however, is a president capable of putting Floridians ahead of his own self-interest and get this pandemic under control.”

Most recent polls have Trump trailing Biden in Florida. Tickets are required to attend the rally.

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Courts

U.S. Supreme Court rules Alabama can ban curbside voting

“The District Court’s modest injunction is a reasonable accommodation, given the short time before the election,” the three dissenting justices wrote. 

Eddie Burkhalter

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(STOCK PHOTO)

The Supreme Court, in a 5-3 decision, allowed Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill to ban curbside voting, staying a district court injunction that had allowed some counties to offer curbside voting in the Nov. 3 election amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Supreme Court’s majority in its order declined to write an opinion, but Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonya Sotomayor’s five-page dissent is included.

The lawsuit — filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Alabama and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program — was brought on behalf of several older Alabamians with underlying medical conditions.

“The District Court’s modest injunction is a reasonable accommodation, given the short time before the election,” the three dissenting justices wrote. 

Sotomayor, who wrote the dissent, closed using the words of one of the plaintiffs in the case. 

“Plaintiff Howard Porter Jr., a Black man in his seventies with asthma and Parkinson’s disease, told the District Court, ‘[So] many of my [ancestors] even died to vote. And while I don’t mind dying to vote, I think we’re past that – We’re past that time,’” Sotomayor wrote. 

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill on Wednesday applauded the Supreme Court’s decision. 

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“I am proud to report the U.S. Supreme Court has now blocked a lower court’s order allowing the fraudulent practice of curbside voting in the State of Alabama,” Merrill said in a statement. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked diligently with local election officials in all 67 counties to offer safe and secure voting methods – including through the in-person and mail-in processes. I am glad the Supreme Court has recognized our actions to expand absentee voting, while also maintaining the safeguards put into place by the state Legislature.”

“The fact that we have already shattered voter participation records with the election still being 13 days away is proof that our current voting options are easy, efficient, and accessible for all of Alabama’s voters,” Merrill continued. “Tonight’s ruling in favor of election integrity and security is once again a win for the people of Alabama.”

Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, expressed frustration after the ruling in a tweet.

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“Another devastating loss for voters and a blow for our team fighting to ensure safe voting for Black and disabled voters in Alabama. With no explanation, the SCOTUS allows Alabama to continue making it as hard as possible for COVID-vulnerable voters,” Ifill wrote.

Curbside voting is not explicitly banned by state law in Alabama, but Merrill has argued that because the practice is not addressed in the law, he believes it to be illegal. 

A panel of federal appeals court judges on Oct. 13 reversed parts of U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon’s Sept. 30 order ruling regarding absentee voting in the upcoming Nov. 3 elections, but the judges let the previous ruling allowing curbside voting to stand. 

In his Sept. 30 ruling, Kallon wrote that “the plaintiffs have proved that their fears are justified” and the voting provisions challenged in the lawsuit “unduly burden the fundamental Constitutional rights of Alabama’s most vulnerable voters and violate federal laws designed to protect America’s most marginalized citizens.”

Caren Short, SPLC’s senior staff attorney, in a statement said the Supreme Court’s decision has curtailed the voting rights of vulnerable Alabamians.

“Once again, the Supreme Court’s ‘shadow docket’ – where orders are issued without written explanation – has curtailed the voting rights of vulnerable citizens amidst a once-in-a-century public health crisis. After a two-week trial, a federal judge allowed counties in Alabama to implement curbside voting so that high-risk voters could avoid crowded polling locations,” Short said. “Tonight’s order prevents Alabama counties from even making that decision for themselves. Already common in states across the South and the country before 2020, curbside voting is a practice now encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It should be a no-brainer to implement everywhere during a pandemic; the Alabama Secretary of State unfortunately disagrees, as does the Supreme Court of the United States.”

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