Local Republican Party leader weighs in on first debate

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Last night’s debate has been called a dumpster fire among other things by political analysts but included many topics voters should keep in mind.

The first round of presidential debates were filled with one liners, insults and plenty of interruptions, leading many voters to confusion about who really won the debate.

“I wasn’t particularly fond of the bickering back-and-forth,” said Fayette County Republican Party vice chairman Austin Haynes. “I don’t think that really was productive, but as far as substance, I think [President] Trump won the debate.”

The night started off with a rule reading, giving each candidate two minutes each per answer. While the President kept interrupting, democratic nominee Joe Biden didn’t keep his comments to himself in response, telling the president to shut up and calling him a clown.

“Everybody who supports Biden says Donald Trump is a very unprofessional, but I think the attacks such as ‘you’re a clown,’ or ‘shut up, man,’ isn’t professional either.”

When asked about telling white supremacists to stand by, Haynes defended President Trump’s intentions.

“In the past he has called them down,” Haynes said. “Nobody wants violence. I don’t think anyone wants violence. I think, for the most part, he did [denounce them.]”

In the debate, Biden also strayed from the left-wing, announcing that he does not support the Green New Deal. Haynes says that isn’t enough to win his vote.

“We need to remember that the Biden Administration means the coal industry and natural gas are gone. That’s what’s covered the state…and we can’t afford to lose them.”

WOAY reached out to the Fayette County Democratic Party for their take on the debate but were unable to schedule an interview before deadline

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.