The Quincy Institute’s Guide to the Presidential Debate


CONTACT: Jessica Rosenblum, [email protected], 202.800.4662

In anticipation of this Thursday’s presidential debate between President Joe Biden and presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump, experts at the Quincy Institute have put together guidance for the candidates on how to answer the most pressing foreign policy questions being raised in this election cycle. 

“We are happy to provide candidates with policy and messaging recommendations from our expert staff on foreign policy issues that are of critical importance to the American people — U.S. military spending, U.S.-China relations, and America’s role in the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East,”  said Lora Lumpe, CEO of the Quincy Institute.

To frame these issues, the organization identified four questions that the candidates might receive during the debate. They are as follows: 

  1. Is a defense pact with Saudi Arabia in the U.S. national interest?
  2. How long should the US continue to send aid to Ukraine? 
  3. How do we compete with China and avoid conflict with it?
  4. Are we spending enough on defense?

Experts from the Quincy Institute addressed each of these critical questions, providing a guide for the respective candidates that rejects militaristic policies and embraces restraint-minded alternatives. One can find the full guide here.

“As these conflicts absorb seemingly unlimited resources from Washington, while many Americans struggle at home, the need to take U.S. foreign policy in a new direction — centered on advancing the safety and prosperity of the American people — is stark and urgent,” Lumpe added.