Arizona VIPs rip debate

Controversial presidential debate/Getty Images

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen | Arizona Republic

If Arizona voters tuned in to the first presidential election debate to get a better understanding of where President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden stand on the issues confronting a nation in crisis, they likely left dismayed.

Republican and Democratic Arizona political analysts said the candidates’ relentless attacks on each other, their cross-talking, insults, and outright disregard for debate rules took center stage in the first of three scheduled debates.

There were no issues specific to Arizona in the debate, but the lack of decorum that overshadowed the event likely did little to help Trump, who set the aggressive, argumentative tone, reverse his standing with those he needs to win over or win back.

“Joe Biden met the bar,” said Kirk Adams, a Republican and former chief of staff to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. “He exceeded the very low bar of expectations that ironically were set by the Trump campaign. He went toe-to-toe with the president. … If you’re looking for a reason to vote for Joe Biden, or if you’re looking for a reason to not vote for Donald Trump, you might have gotten it tonight.”

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