September 30, 2020

350 Action Responds to the First Presidential Debate

Washington, DC — The first presidential debate took place tonight in Cleveland, Ohio. The presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, were asked about the pandemic, the Supreme Court, election integrity, racial injustice, recent protests, the economy, and the climate crisis. Viewers watched as Trump used his usual tactics of bullying, disruption, and creating chaos to avoid answering questions on his abysmal record from the last four years, while Biden tried to remain issue focused and calm, speaking directly to the people.

350 Action North America Director Tamara Toles O’Laughlin gave the following response: 

“Tonight made one thing clear: Donald Trump is afraid of losing so he’s retreated to bully and cheat his way through the election by creating mass chaos. Trump attempted to distract from his own wide-ranging negligence on healthcare, the economy, and racial and climate injustice by resorting to interruptions, misinformation, and bulldozing. In one of the most stunning moments of this tumultuous debate, Trump refused to condemn white supremacists and militias when asked, telling them to “stand back and stand by.” We cannot afford four more years of this ineptitude and blatant disregard for our communities. The American people deserve better than a debt-laden millionaire who cheats, while driving our country further into chaos. We deserve leadership that can deliver us a just recovery, and prioritize people and planet.

“As heat waves and wildfires engulf the West Coast and in Colorado in flames, toxic smoke spreads across the country, and a record breaking hurricane season continues, the moderator finally raised the climate crisis in the debate, a testament to the pressure of our movement. In response, Joe Biden spoke directly to voters, most of whom support climate action. He laid out his plans for addressing the climate crisis, the pandemic, and racial and economic injustice. Biden made clear that climate action will boost the economy and generate millions of good jobs, despite misinformed claims from his opponent. Going forward, we’d like to see Biden show he’s listening to our movement by committing to real solutions to address systemic racism, such as defunding the police, and comprehensively addressing the climate crisis through unequivocally supporting the Green New Deal. 

“This is it. We’ve got 34 days to get to the polls and vote for a livable future.”


350 Action is throwing its weight behind efforts to get out the vote. If you’d like to learn more about these efforts, click here: 

On Weds, September 30, 350 Action’s sister organization is hosting the Stronger than Storms: Climate & Just Recovery Forum,’ bringing together community leaders from impacted communities on the frontlines of demanding and building a Just Recovery on the ground.