By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A graduate student at Barry University is speaking out about his appearance on NBC’s Town Hall meeting Monday night with presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying he wanted to know what Biden would be able to do for his young generation.

Mateo Gomez had the last question of the night for Biden at the Town Hall meeting at the Perez Art Museum by Biscayne Bay and was introduced as a “first time voter who came to the U.S. from Colombia at the age of 2.”

Gomez told Biden, “If you win in November, there will be a 56-year age gap between you and myself. My generation, Generation Z, is growing up with school shootings, police brutality, and protest and the inability to earn a livable wage even when you hold an advanced degree like myself. How can someone like yourself, an older white male, represent my generation over the next four years? And please Mr. Vice President, can you guarantee me the American dream still exists?”

Biden responded, “I guarantee it and look with age comes wisdom.”

Biden said he was the only candidate speaking for his generation and said he realized that “your generation is really behind the 8-ball. You get all those degrees and wind up with all this debt and you get in a position where you can’t get a job because no one’s hiring and if they are hiring they are paying low wages.”

Biden said students from families earning less than $125,000 and who attend public universities would get $10,000 “knocked off on their student debt” and said first-time homebuyers would get a $15,000 credit.

“We want to make sure we recognize you and advance you,” Biden said. “My children, my grandchildren,” said Biden. You’re the future. The future is you and I am counting on you.”

Gomez, who is from Aventura and who is working for an MBA at Barry University, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “If we look at today’s Generation Z we can a lot of social media going on making this generation very political. We are very political. When I asked Joe Biden that question it was not my question, it was Generation Z’s question.”

The age gap is a big deal, he said. Trump is 74 and Biden will turn 78 on Nov. 20.

Gomez, who has no party affiliation, is undecided.

“I am waiting for President Trump to speak and the biggest concerns for me are what his health care policies are,” he said. “Because of the age gap, I would say tomorrow’s debate is going to be critical. I want to see what Kamala Harris and Mike Pence have to say in connection to Generation Z. I come from Colombia and my parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents all lean in different directions.”

The Town Hall meeting featured undecided voters.

D’Oench asked Barry University political science professor Sean Foreman about undecided voters.

“To be honest,” he said, “I don’t think undecided voters are where it’s at right now. At this point, if you are undecided, I am not sure what’s going to make up your mind. There’s a very clear difference between the candidates and what their parties represent, so there are very few undecided voters. It is hard to find them out there. What the camps need to do is turn out the decided voters. They know who they are and they have to get that vote out.”

With 29 electoral votes, Florida could again play a pivotal role in the presidential election.

Foreman said, “We are the largest swing state. We know how the other two big states are going to vote. Florida could go either way. Our last several presidential elections have been less than a 1% difference, so every vote makes a difference.”

That’s why Foreman expects the candidates or their family members or their surrogates to be in South Florida almost every day until the election.

Gomez said he takes his vote very seriously.

Peter D'Oench

Comments