Local political expert weighs in on the first presidential debate calling it a ‘disaster’


BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden is being called chaotic, unorganized and a plain mess.

Local political expert Ted Lina says the debate was a disgrace and is using it as a learning lesson inside the classroom.

“A disaster. It was the worst debate that I have ever seen,” Lina said. “It left me speechless, depressed and angry. I went to bad last night and I couldn’t believe it.”

Lina teaches American government at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. He’s even run a few debates at the high school. He says he knows what makes a good debate and that Tuesday night’s first presidential one was anything but that.

“It’s an insult to the political process, to the office itself and to the citizens at large,” Lina said. “I’m not over playing that. I’ve watched virtually every debate for several decades and I’ve never seen anything even close to this.”

He also says the moderator Chris Wallace struggled to keep things under control.

“On one question as it got worse and worse, he threw in the towel. He said ‘President Trump I’m going to ask you a question on race, you don’t have to answer it you can say what you want.’ Who says that during a debate as the moderator?” Lina asked.

He says one positive takeaway from the debate is he’ll use it as a teaching lesson for his students on what not to do during a debate. He hopes the next debate between Trump and Biden will be better.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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