University of Utah to Host 2020 Vice Presidential Debate

University of Utah to Host 2020 Vice Presidential Debate

October 13, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


– Yeah, excellent. I’ll get us started, Governor. Good morning. Thank you so much for being with us. I want to recognize colleagues who are with me today, Governor
Gary Herbert, right here, Utah Senate Majority Whip Dan Hemmert, Utah Senator Jerry
Stevenson, who’s with us, Thomas Wright, who’s the co-chair of the Utah Debate Commission, and Jason Perry, the
university’s Vice President for Government Relations and also Director of
the Hinckley Institute. I am delighted that the
Commission on Presidential Debates has selected the University of Utah to host the 2020 vice presidential debate. The debate is scheduled for October 7th, right here in the Nancy
Peery Marriott Auditorium at Kingsbury Hall, and will be broadcast to millions around the world. This is the first time a national debate will be hosted in Utah. This is the first time a national debate will be hosted in Utah. Kind of a big deal. We are the only Western state to host one of the debates leading up to next year’s presidential election. Hosting a debate is a tremendous honor. We’re thrilled to be able to
showcase the University of Utah and the great State of Utah. I’m especially excited for our students who will have the
opportunity to participate in an essential part of
the political process. It will be an incredible
educational experience for them. Civic engagement is a core
value of our democracy, and students will be able to see firsthand how being involved in the
political process matters. It’s now my pleasure to
welcome Utah’s governor, Gary Herbert, to share a few remarks. (applauding)
– Thank you. Well, thank you, President. I want to emphasize this really
is a significant occasion for the State of Utah, and I’m pleased to be a
part of this announcement of having the first-in-history vice presidential debate here. I also wanna recognize
those who’ve made it happen. This is not something that
just happens overnight. This is something that’s been
in the works for many years, and our Utah State Debate Commission, working with the Vice
Presidential Debate Commission and the University of Utah, have been able to put together a package
that they’ve said, “This is a great place to have a debate.” Beautiful campus here, great scenery. The great hall we have behind us that we’ll be able to host this event, and an opportunity for us not only to host an event where we have a debate on issues for the vice
president candidates, but also an opportunity
for us to showcase Utah, again, the successes we’ve had. We are a good example, and so
there’s an opportunity for us, in fact, to elevate the conversation and showing about the successes of Utah, which can be, we would hope, replicated around the
country in other states. Our success economically, our increasing and broadening
largest-in-the-nation middle class, upward mobility, the opportunity for people to succeed as
they apply themselves. Again, I appreciate the
fact of that opportunity more than about anything else. We have a proven record of hosting. We’ve hosted some really
significant events. We all remember 2002
and the Winter Olympics. So hosting is something we do. We are a very friendly
people here in Utah. By polling, we’re very optimistic people, care about our neighbors. Volunteerism will be a
part of this effort too. So again, an opportunity
to showcase the quality of life of Utah and the quality of the people that reside
here in this great state. So to say that this is the first time and we’re excited about the opportunity is probably the understatement of the day. We’re ecstatic about the opportunity to host this vice
presidential debate in 2020. We congratulate all those
who’ve made this possible and we’re looking forward to 2020 and that opportunity here in Utah. So thank you very much. (audience applauding) – Thank you. To echo some of the governor’s words, thank you to the University of Utah. Thank you for the Utah Debate Commission. And I’m probably gonna
butcher this last one, but thank you for the Commission
on Presidential Debates. Utah is officially, with this, no longer a flyover
state, which is awesome. I’m hoping that we see, from this, an increase in civic engagement. Debates are a critical component
of the democratic process and it’s an opportunity for students, or anyone, to come and see firsthand our election process in action. And it’s kind of like we go
the Superbowl of politics. And echoing the governor
and everyone else, I’m really excited we got this and really excited to showcase the state. And thank you for coming. (audience applauding) – My name is Thomas Wright. I’m the co-chair of the
Utah Debate Commission and I could not be more thrilled to stand here at Utah’s
flagship university in the beautiful Presidents Circle in front of Kingsbury Hall to announce this vice presidential debate. We wanna thank the Commission
on Vice Presidential Debates for selecting Utah. I wanna thank my co-chair, Karen Hale. As you know, the Utah Debate
Commission is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that
actually started in 2013, having general election
debates in the State of Utah. And back then, five years ago, it was our dream to have
a presidential debate in the State of Utah, and
we started working on it. And with the help of our board, which is a consortium of media partners and university and colleges, we have formed this great
Utah Debate Commission that is now front-and-center, and we approached the University of Utah. And without their help, this
really would not have happened. So I wanna thank President Watkins. I wanna thank Jason Perry and their teams for helping the Utah
Debate Commission connect with the Commission on
Presidential Debates to make this a possibility. And finally I wanna thank Governor Herbert and legislative leadership, both President Adams and Speaker Wilson and their respective teams,
as well as Governor Herbert. This is a example of what the
nation can learn from Utah. We have a great lifestyle in Utah, we have great values,
and we’re great people. And one of the reasons that we have this presidential debate coming to Utah is because we know that,
when we work together and no one really cares
who gets the credit, that we can do amazing things. And that’s an example for the world, that’s an example for our nation, and it’s certainly an example for Utah. So we’re proud to play
our small part in this, knowing that everyone standing
here played a big role and many people behind the scenes. And so let’s show everybody what we have. It’s Utah’s time again to
be on the national stage. We’re thrilled about that
’cause we have a lot to add and a lot to share, and other states and places around the world could learn a lot from the State of Utah. We’re really excited about this, and thank you for being here. (audience applauding) – We’re grateful for you
all being here today. We’re happy to take a couple questions. (audience member speaking inaudibly) I’ll address some of that. So there is a cost to the
Commission itself for the debate, and a lot of it depends on the setup for this particular facility. The University of Utah will
be providing the facilities and there’ll be a pretty
serious fundraising effort over the next year to take care of the rest of the costs associated with hosting this event. – [Audience Member] So how
much does it cost, though? – Historically these debates cost somewhere between five and
six million dollars total. (audience member speaking inaudibly) The legislature has
already given $2.5 million for the effort. – Well, I supposed that’s it. – I guess that’s it.
(laughing) Big day for the State of Utah.
– Sunny day. Enjoy the weekend. – Indeed. Thank you for being here.
– Thank you for being with us. (audience applauding) – You did a good job. – Good job.
– Well done. Governor, thank you. – President.
– Thank you so much.