‘Appalling’: Winnipeg debate teacher discusses American presidential debate

Winnipeg debate teacher John Robinson gave Tuesday’s American presidential debate a failing grade.

“President (Donald) Trump would be an F, I would think — perhaps an E-, whereas I think vice-president Biden was probably a B+ or A- given the situation. I don’t think his presentation was ideal,” said Robinson, who teaches at St. John’s Ravenscourt and is the president of the Manitoba Speech and Debate Association.

Robinson called the debate appalling.

The president kept trying to change it into a kind of a personal argument more than anything else,” he said.

Read more: 2nd U.S. presidential debate will have new rules to aid ‘orderly discussion’

“The essence of a debate is of course that each person has a chance to present their views and then you respond — but he was constantly attempting to cut off his opponent. Debates don’t work that way.”

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Tuesday evening saw the first of three 90-minute debates between President Donald Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden in the lead-up to the Nov. 3 American presidential election — with consistent interruptions.

Now, the second and third debates will have new, unspecified changes to the debate format to maintain order and avoid chaos, said the Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonpartisan group that has organized the events since 1988.

Robinson said the chaos of the Tuesday debate was “a pity.”

“It probably will turn a lot of people off watching the next ones and it is a chance for everyone to hear what the other side has to say,” he said.

— with files from Reuters

Click to play video 'First presidential debate marked with insults, clashes in ‘disastrous’ night' First presidential debate marked with insults, clashes in ‘disastrous’ night

First presidential debate marked with insults, clashes in ‘disastrous’ night

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