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Ky. politicians react to comments made at first presidential debate

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Posted at 8:49 AM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 08:48:59-04

Millions of people watched the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Many had a strong reaction to what was said and what was not said.

Criticizing the combative nature of the debate crossed party lines, Sen. Rand Paul called it "exhausting" and State Rep. Charles Booker tweeted only about twenty minutes in that it seemed the two leaders needed "a timeout and a reset."

However, some political leaders did find specific points to focus on. Gov. Andy Beshear zeroed in on one comment from Trump when he urged his supporters to go to the polls and “watch very carefully.” He was referencing the idea of voter fraud.

Beshear said the general public will not be allowed in polling locations to observe.

“That is not legal in Kentucky,” he said. “In Kentucky, you're only allowed to be in that polling location if you are a worker, if you are a kid going with that active voter or if you are a certified challenger under state law that's KRS 117-315. To do that you have to be registered. You get training.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also focused on one of Trump's comments and agreed with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott that it was unacceptable for the president to not condemn white supremacy.

“[Senator Tim Scott] said it was unacceptable not to condemn white supremacists and so I do so in the strongest possible way,” said McConnell.

Congressman John Yarmuth also jumped in, tweeting “‘Stand back and stand by' isn't a condemnation, it's an order from a superior."

However, reactions weren't just aimed at the president's comments. WDRB reports Paul said Biden’s refusal to answer whether he supports adding more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court was an important moment.

The senator also tweeted that he agrees with Trump that Biden and Democrat governors want to keep the country shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a comment on the overall debate, Paul said a different debate format would give each candidate more time to respond and interact. The Commission on Presidential Debates has said there will be changes made to future debates to ensure a more orderly discussion.