In the September 29th, 2020 debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the debate moderator, Chris Wallace, asked each candidate about the next Supreme Court appointment.

WALLACE: "Our first subject is the Supreme Court. President Trump, you nominated Amy Coney Barrett over the weekend to succeed the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the court. You say the Constitution is clear about your obligation and the Senate's to consider a nominee to the court. Vice President Biden, you say that this is an effort by the president and Republicans to jam through an appointment and what you call an abuse of power.

My first question do both of you tonight why are you right in the argument you make and your opponent wrong, and where do you think a Justice Barrett would take the court? President Trump, in this first segment, you go first, two minutes."

TRUMP: "Thank you very much, Chris. I will tell you very simply we won the election; elections have consequences. We have the Senate, we have the White House, and we have a phenomenal nominee..."

There are two reasons I think this quote is impactful. First, the word "consequences" in the political context has a negative connotation. The expression "elections have consequences" is most often used to highlight the negative consequences of an election. Second, Trump is connecting his capacity to make appointments (and do other things) with Republican control of the Senate. For these reasons, I would expect this quote from Trump to be used in ads by various (US senatorial and presidential) campaigns and Super PACs in the 2020 election.

Has a clip of Trump saying this quote been used in any 2020 US election ads?

  • 5
    Trump isn't the first. See this for example.
    – DK Bose
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


Yes - Planned Parenthood released a short advert in the weeks after the September 29th debate entitled Elections have Consequences: Donald Trump has taken us backwards.

It begins with the clip of Trump taken from the debate, and goes on to present headlines from Trump's presidency - 'Surge in family separation at border - CNN', 'Trump Administration asks Supreme Court to strike down Affordable Care Act - NYT', and '"It affects virtually nobody": Trump erases coronavirus victims as US death toll hits 200,000 - Vox'. Finally, the video ends with a call to vote President Trump out of office.

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