Last night, Nashville played a part in history as Belmont University hosted the final 2020 Presidential debate. Streets filled with demonstrations and protests, national media set up camp and two presidential candidates arrived in music city with the hopes of winning America’s vote.

After some previously announced changes, Thursday’s debate was a stark contrast to the first meeting of these candidates in late September. Muted mics and stricter segments gave voters a chance to hear each candidates’ policies and plans.

“This is a completely different debate than the first debate and I am really happy about that,” said political science professor Susan Haynes to the Q&A audience at SGA’s virtual debate watch party.

“I was expecting just the chaos of the first debate where I couldn’t even weigh-in, just because you could hardly tell what was being said.”

The 90-minute debate consisted of 15-minute segments on topics such as COVID-19, foreign policy, the economy, race, climate change and more. Key moments of the night included President Trump’s talk of an upcoming Covid-19 vaccine, he said “We have a vaccine that’s coming, it’s ready.”

Currently, the FDA has not yet made approval for a Covid-19 vaccine. Four US clinical vaccine trials are in Phase 3 including Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.

The FBI’s investigation on foreign election interference was brought up as part of the foreign policy segment of the debate. “They will pay a price if I’m elected,” said Former Vice President Biden, speaking on the interference by China, Russia and Iran. “They’re interfering with American sovereignty. That’s what’s going on.”

One of the more “viral” moments of the night went to Joe Biden’s “Abraham Lincoln here” joke during a discussion on race in America. “Nobody has done more for the black community than Donald Trump. And if you look, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said, afterward adding, “I’m the least racist person in this room.”

Once Biden was given his time to respond, he began with the hit: “Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history.”

However, the joke was lost over Trump whom once Biden finished his response said, “You made a reference to ‘Abraham Lincoln here.’ Where did that come in?”

“You said you’re Abraham Lincoln,” said Biden.

“No, no, I said not since Abraham Lincoln has anybody done what I’ve done for the Black community. I didn’t say I’m Abraham Lincoln.” Trump said.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>&quot;I&#39;m the least racist person in this room,&quot; Pres. Trump says.<br><br>&quot;Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we&#39;ve had in modern history,&quot; Joe Biden sarcastically responds. <a href=”https://t.co/zkoTdi6727“>https://t.co/zkoTdi6727</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Debates2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw“>#Debates2020</a> <a href=”https://t.co/MI1KhQtJqT“>pic.twitter.com/MI1KhQtJqT</a></p>&mdash; ABC News (@ABC) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1319465032355352577?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw“>October 23, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Outside the debate venue, protesters and demonstrators took to the streets to support their chosen candidates and call for action. Everything from Anti-abortion groups to Black Lives Matter demonstrators created a melting pot of several different beliefs and ideas.

Be Better Belmont, a group demanding the university take steps to sever itself from Core Civic, organized alongside other groups.

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