In the first debate for the presidency of the United States, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden swapped verbal punches over American manufacturing jobs. 

"They said it would take a miracle to bring back manufacturing,” Trump said last night. “I brought back 700,000 jobs. They brought back nothing. They gave up on manufacturing." However, Biden claimed "manufacturing went into a hole" before the coronavirus pandemic. 

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) says the manufacturing slowdown is actually a matter of finding qualified workers. Manufacturing companies would say, according to the congressman, “We would be building a new facility, we’d be doing more but we just can’t find enough workers.”

Of last night’s debate, Gallagher called it “more just an all-out verbal brawl.”

“I’m not sure it changed anybody’s minds,” the congressman told Cheddar. “It probably forced a lot of people to change the channel.”

Still Rep. Gallagher stressed the importance of presidential debates. He said they allow for important policy disagreements to be discussed openly, like policing in America. “I think there’s a meaningful disagreement between both candidates on the issue of law and order, how we can support our police,” Gallagher told Cheddar. 

Gallagher serves his state’s 8th district, an area in northeast Wisconsin which includes Green Bay. It’s just north of Kenosha, which has recently been at the center of the conversation over systematic racism in America’s police force. In August, police shot Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, seven times in front of his children in broad daylight. The state saw widespread protests in the wake of his shooting. 

Gallagher said he believes there are dangers to the “demonization” of police officers after incidents like Blake’s. “Our cops are not all evil racists that wake up every day trying to hurt people because of the color of their skin,” the congressman said. “They want to keep the community safe and we've got to keep those relationships healthy.” 

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