Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump, Who Are Our Presidential Candidates?

Joe+Biden+vs.+Donald+Trump%2C+Who+Are+Our+Presidential+Candidates%3F

Lizelle Langtiw, '21

Americans will choose their president in November as COVID-19 continues to rampage across the country. With Donald Trump running for reelection and Joe Biden running against him as the Democratic presidential candidate, many Americans are wondering who these candidates are and what they stand for. 

Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. was born on November 20, 1942, and comes from humble beginnings. His father had a low-income job, and Biden struggled with public speaking because of his stuttering. However, Biden overcame his problems with public speaking and was the first in his family to attend a university. After double majoring in History and Political Science at the University of Delaware, Biden earned his law degree from Syracuse University and continued to pursue politics.

In contrast to Biden’s childhood, Donald Trump grew up in the house of real-estate business tycoon Fred Trump. At the age of 13, young Trump was sent to military school where he was reprimanded several times for misbehavior. Following his graduation from military school, Trump attended University of Pennsylvania for his bachelor’s degree in economics.

Although Trump had no previous political record, he did become a television personality by starring in “The Apprentice,” a show which judged the business skills of various contestants. In addition to his celebrity status, Donald Trump built upon his father’s real-estate empire through opening the Commodore Hotel and numerous casinos in Atlantic City. The current net worth of Donald Trump as stated by Forbes is $2.5 billion. Even with a net worth in the billions of dollars, The New York Times states President Trump paid $750 in federal taxes during 2016 and 2017 and has filed for bankruptcy numerous times. Furthermore, Trump has been heavily criticized for his rampant spread of misinformation during his 2016 presidential campaign and presidency.

Unlike President Trump, Biden does have a political record. He served as Vice President for Barack Obama and his political career consists of several successful senatorial campaigns. The 2020 presidential election marks his third attempt at the presidency.  Biden has suffered harsh backlash from voters because of the conduct of his committee during the hearing of Clarence Thomas and the testimony of Anita Hill in 1991.

Biden’s current campaign promises focus on gun control, LQBTQ+ equality, use of clean energy, and racial equity across America. The primary focus of Biden’s campaign is the protection of the Affordable Care Act which was designed to reduce the cost of health insurance coverage for those who qualify. As for Biden’s reliability to follow through on his promises, US History teacher Rita Guritz states, “I do believe that Joe Biden would stay true to his promise of a public option for health care. I personally met him in 1986 when I was a Page in the US Senate, and I have always found him to be a thoughtful ‘man of his word.’”

Meanwhile, President Trump’s campaign remains focused on harsh immigration legislation, removal of the payroll tax, the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine along with the restoration of America’s economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, Biden’s strong political career and campaign promises display him as a well-qualified candidate who is capable of clashing against President Trump’s strong personality and business persona.