Danny Bressler, New York, N.Y.: The background on the debate stage said “The Union and the Constitution Forever” while Trump was trying to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the upcoming election, calling it “rigged.” That was a bit ironic.
Jeff B. Richards, Albuquerque: I was mesmerized by the president’s expressions. At times he would have that stony expression, even when Biden was describing something like a huge number of deaths. No flicker of emotion. The more I watched, the more unsettled I felt.
Leander Ballwart, New York, N.Y.: Even though Trump was a bull in a china shop, at least he had stamina which, unfortunately, Biden lacked for the most part. Subconsciously, this will matter a lot to the average voter.
Benjamin Cohen, Austin, Texas: Biden made the most shocking and arrogant statement of the night: “I am the Democratic Party.” Throughout the debate Biden bought into Trump’s premise that the “radical left” is scary and dangerous. As a former Bernie supporter who’s come to identify as “leftist,” I felt that Biden essentially told me I wasn’t wanted or needed in his coalition.
Mary Bogart, Sturgis, Mich.: Two things: Trump repeatedly calling the vice president “Joe,” especially at the beginning of the debate, and Trump going down the rabbit hole on voting near the end. It was like he was trying to get every conspiracy and outright lie in before his time ran out.
Nancy A. Shinabargar, Reno, Nev.: Biden just seemed to drift. Why not punch Trump back? How can Biden fight for the U.S. against aggressive world leaders? Trump was as good as Reagan in using television and threw many punches.
Jennie Brown, Trinidad, Calif.: There wasn’t much that I would call small in that debate. It was loud, abrasive and out of control. I felt Biden really did want to speak to the American people, he was earnest in that desire, whereas Trump had a scorched-earth approach. It was exhausting to sit through.