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Presidential debate: how the candidates used the replicas and who they chose as recipients

One of the novelties of the two presidential debates prior to the October 22 elections, in which the candidates to occupy the Casa Rosada debated their proposals for the electorate, was the “right of reply.” It was a resource that added dynamics to the interventions and allowed for more exchange between Javier Milei, Sergio Massa, Patricia Bullrich, Juan Schiaretti and Myriam Bregman. In this second debate at the Faculty of Law of the UBA, the predefined topics on which they debated were “Security” and “Work and Production”in the first block; and “Human Development, Housing and Environmental Protection”In a second. The recipients of the responses reflect which rivals each candidate chose to debate the pre-established topics.

The first to exhaust his five right to reply was Schiaretti at 40 minutes. Milei followed 10 minutes later, and Massa a minute later, at 9:51 p.m.

Bullrich’s first exhibition on Security received four requests for replicas: from Bregman, Schiaretti, Milei and Massa. The La Libertad Avanza candidate accused the Juntos candidate of “deforming” her statements. She “she Not only does she live clinging to the lies that her campaign team tells her, but she shows an impressive lack of flexibility. We propose that the weapons law be respected as it exists and not as it acts today, full of restrictions that only favor criminals. It seems like she’s very tight, please let go a little.”, he pointed out. And he added: “We also do not propose the sale of organs, we say that there are 7,000 people waiting for a transplant and potential donors, there is something that does not work in the middle and that generates a lot of corruption. Or is it that you like corruption?”.

In that same thematic axis, Massa received a reply order from Bullrich, which in turn generated another from Massa. The Juntos candidate complained about his constant mention of his management in the municipality of Tigre as mayor, and snapped: “You have been in government for four years. Don’t talk about Tiger”. He also questioned him: “You increased homicides by 60% in Rosario, you released drug traffickers, you generated the worst insecurity crisis. Are your numbers given to you by Insaurralde, who told you that the yacht he bought is worth 500 pesos? You can’t do good security if your partners are corrupt. “You defended Scapolan, a defender of drug trafficking,” in reference to the prosecutor dismissed for his ties to drug trafficking Claudio Scapolan.

Patricia Bullrich (Credit: Adrián Escandar)
Patricia Bullrich (Credit: Adrián Escandar)

During his presentation on Security, Milei received a request for replicas from Bullrich – which in turn generated another from Milei – and from Schiaretti.

On the topic of Work and Production, Massa received four requests for replicas during his exhibition: Bregman, Milei, Schiaretti and Bullrich. This economic axis was the one in which she received the most criticism and she did not come out as successful as in the first debate in Santiago del Estero. In his reply, Bregman questioned the head of the Treasury Palace about what retirees earn. “These days people are very desperate, they live with uncertainty and the minister has already signed a higher rate with the IMF for after the elections. I would like to ask the minister if he can live on 124,000 per month like a retiree lives, bonus included.”.

Bregman and Massa in the debate at the UBA (Credit: Adrián Escandar)
Bregman and Massa in the debate at the UBA (Credit: Adrián Escandar)

Milei questioned the ruling party candidate who forgot about “capital” and warned about the fall in productivity: “I want to point out the construction problem in Massa’s proposal that only talks about workers. If you forget about capital, productivity is going to be very low. Due, 30% of formal workers are below the poverty line. “He made no reference to the production that is falling apart as a result of his government.”

In his reply, Schiaretti blamed Massa for “being a fool when it comes to production and employment.” The governor of Córdoba reminded him that he was “the minister who took inflation from 65 to 140%; The dollar that was at $250 is $900 in parallel; He has so many exchange rates because in the Central there is no reserve, they are -10 like in Chinchón. We must help SMEs that are suffering from unfair competition for the import dollar. We must take care of SMEs and not what the current government does.”

In her reproach to Massa for the economic situation, the former Minister of Security left one of the phrases that had the most impact on the networks in reference to Matias Tombolini, Secretary of Commerce of the Minister of Economy, since the minister “pureed” the economy: “A dollar for a thousand mangoes, hyperinflation, anguish. You enter a store and you have already spent five thousand pesos. You left two million more poor. You talk about production when at Customs you have to get ready for a SIRA (Import System of the Argentine Republic) and you have a ‘Tongolini’ who tells you who is first in line. Is that the Argentina you want for production? You said you were going to take the potatoes off the heat and you mashed us. Instead of getting us out of the emergency, you dig a bigger hole.”

Bullrich’s reply generated two others from Massa and Milei. The libertarian questioned her about the meeting of who would be his Minister of Economy, Carlos Melconian, with Massa: “Argentina has stocks and, deep down, it is a source of corruption. It is a covered subsidy for importers. I am surprised by Bullrich’s approach, not because of Massa’s bestialities but because of the fact that His potential Minister of Economy, Melconian, joined forces with Mrs. Massa to take care of the SIRA, that is, take care of one thing: corruption. Is this how you want to change?”.

Massa’s led to a series of crossed replies with Schiaretti, which resulted in Schiaretti exhausting the five he had available. Massa questioned whether the Córdoba deputies had supported in Congress “many of the taxes that were created between 2015 and 2019, which put a dent in the heads of SMEs and producers.” The governor of Cordoba reproached the Minister of Economy for not having declared the dairy industry a regional economy. Because many of the taxes that were created between 2015 and 2019, which put a dent in the heads of SMEs and producers, The deputies of Córdoba voted.

Schiaretti and Bullrich (Credit: Adrián Escandar)
Schiaretti and Bullrich (Credit: Adrián Escandar)

Milei’s presentation on this thematic axis led to a reply from Bregman, who had a counter-reply from the libertarian to the FIT candidate, and exhausted his five responses. The La Libertad Avanza candidate questioned her by quoting the Austrian economist Friedrich August von Hayek: “he was so wise, he said: ‘If socialists knew about economics, they would not be socialists.’ “It’s your case, Myriam.”. And he argued: “You talk about reducing the working day to create jobs, so why don’t we take it to one hour per day and there will be employment for everyone? It is like saying that the Law of Gravity is modified with a decree.”

This last reply provoked another from Massa to criticize Milei’s response to Bregman, and thus the official candidate ran out of replies at the end of the first block. “You’ve come this far, stop disrespecting women because it seems to me that even though they think differently, they have the right to have a different opinion than you. Show your authoritarian trait. What Milei proposes is a labor market where women have no possibility of development, where the youngest have to go to the precarious market. Where we return to a regime of slavery.”

Javier Milei in the second electoral debate (EFE/ Agustín Marcarian POOL)
Javier Milei in the second electoral debate (EFE/ Agustín Marcarian POOL)

When presenting on Human Development, Housing and Environmental Protection, Massa received two requests for responses from Bregman and Bullrich.

The Juntos candidate launched at him: “Only Kirchneristas, your friends, can buy houses. I’ll remind you again. There are two million more poor people since you arrived. Today no one can buy a house, pay rent. The only ones who buy houses are the Kirchneristas, your friends. “We are going to work so that those who steal have a conviction, and so that human development no longer depends on the corrupt.”

During Milei’s presentation in this third thematic block, the two candidates also asked for the right to reply, which were the last ones they had available. Bregman thus exhausted this option at 22:10 and Bullrich at 22:18 in the second block.

The leftist candidate questioned the LLA candidate about the complexity of his presentation on that issue: “Andor I didn’t understand anything. She got it from Yahoo! Answers. What he was throwing at him, he saideither. The destruction of the planet is one of the clearest examples of the irrationality of the capitalist system that Milei defends. He defends the autonomy of companies to pollute. Let him cackle. Let him say what he wants.”

Bullrich accused him in his last right of reply for the way in which he had referred on different occasions to different sectors of society. “Human development is starting by respecting people. You call someone who thinks differently than you a Mongolian, you insult Catholics and Jews, you call the elderly ‘pissed old men’, you show chainsaws and distribute violence among young people. You also mistreat women. And Massa, you don’t have to defend us. “We can defend ourselves.” He thus responded, at the same time, to Massa’s questioning of Milei about the way he treated Bregman.

According to the regulations agreed upon between the five candidates, the right to reply is the opportunity they had to respond to another on a certain topic, when they felt questioned, or to replicate some aspect of their intervention. Up to a maximum of five responses could be requested in total during the entire debate, while one of the candidates was speaking, expounding on one of the thematic axes. They could request it by activating a lighted button that only the requesting candidate saw and that reported the request to the control. The requests were granted by the moderators respecting the order of the requests. The duration of each replica was 45 seconds.

Only once the candidate’s presentation on the topic had concluded was the candidates’ right to reply given rise and once this space had concluded, the next one continued with the thematic presentation, according to the order previously established by draw.

In the first presidential debate, which took place at the Forum Convention Center in Santiago del Estero, the thematic axes were: Economy, Education, Human Rights and Democratic Coexistence. All candidates used their 5 opportunities for the right to reply and social networks were filled with memes due to the surprise generated by this new resource and its dynamics.

The first to exhaust them was Milei, just 34 minutes after the start of the debate. The second was Massa. Both the La Libertad Avanza and Unión por la Patria candidates used their 5 opportunities for the right to reply in the first block.

The next to exhaust it was Bullrich. The Together for Change candidate was succeeded by Bregman, who decided to use her last right of reply to intervene in the Human Rights and Democratic Coexistence bloc regarding State terrorism.

The last to exhaust his 5 opportunities for the right to reply was the governor of Córdoba, who preferred to allocate him to respond to the Minister of Economy.

Visualizations: Andrés Snitcofsky

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