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Here’s what Arizona political leaders thought about the presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News listens as President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

PHOENIX –  Arizona political leaders reacted Tuesday after the first of three presidential debates between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

The two met on the debate stage in Ohio to express their views on the economy, coronavirus, the Supreme Court and other topics.

Arizona Republicans like state GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward were quick to voice their support for Trump.

“The choice in this election couldn’t be more clear: President Trump will uphold the rule of law in our nation, negotiate better and fairer trade deals that put American workers first, and demonstrate that he is the man to lead out great American comeback,” Ward said in a statement.

Republican U.S. Rep Debbie Lesko touted Trump for building up the economy and the military.

Arizona Democrats had different view on how the debate played out.

Trump was frequently put on the defensive and tried to sidestep when he was asked if he was willing to condemn white supremacists and paramilitary groups.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, who was in attendance at the debate, denounced the president for his unwillingness to do so.

When it came to election result integrity, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs defended the state’s ability to have safe elections.

“I just wanna say, I’m not sure who the president was referring to when he said these people aren’t equipped to handle it, but election officials across AZ absolutely are,” Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs tweeted.

The next presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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