The first presidential debate was Monday, September 27. The first 30 minutes were strong for Donald Trump, but his calm rhetoric soon gave way to attacks with blithe. Hillary Clinton negotiated the terrain carefully – as always – but brought up points with weight later in the debate.
The Debate was split into 3 categories: Achieving Prosperity, America’s Direction and Securing America.
Lester Holt, host of NBC Nightly News and moderator, started the debate by asking how each candidate would bring more jobs home. Hillary was the first to address the query, stating that she would like to raise the minimum wage and bring about equality by taxing the most rich among us.
Trump vied for reducing taxes on companies and lowering taxes on the rich, after all it is the rich who make the jobs, as he says. Neither candidate is in favor of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, though Trump hedged that Clinton was in favor of the deal calling it “the gold standard” until she heard that Trump was against it.
Blows were shared as the category ended. Holt asked Trump about his unreleased taxes, to which he replied that he has released a 104 page “financial statement of sorts” and that “when secretary Clinton releases her 33,000 emails that she deleted… I’ll release my tax returns”. Clinton skirting around this, called trump’s maneuver “a bait-and-switch”, and listed reasons for the secrecy including “he doesn’t want you to know he pays nothing in federal income tax” to which Trump retorted “that makes me smart” and later “ It would be squandered too, believe me.” Holt then brought up Clinton’s email scandal which in turn she apologized for.
Holt’s new section on race relations asked: “How do you heal the divide?” Clinton began a rather heady speech on criminal justice reform, ending privatized state prisons, the one billion dollars she has proposed to retrain police officers, keeping guns away from people on the terrorist watch list and reiterating that she has never been in favor of eliminating private gun ownership. She ended by saying that “Everyone should be respected by the law and everyone should respect the law.”
Trump largely agreed but added the seemingly out of reach phrase “law and order” to Clinton’s mechanical speech. He then endorsed “Stop and Frisk,” a controversial law in New York that Holt accurately said was “ruled unconstitutional in New York because it largely singled out Black and Hispanic young men.” After a mayor change, however, the case was dropped before the appeal was finished.
Trump continued to say that “Stop and Frisk” lowers crime and that the Democratic Party continues to let down the African-American community.
The category was led out with a confrontation on President Obama’s birth certificate. Trump seemed to accept that Obama was born in the United States, if only to get to real issues, though he maintained that it was Clinton who led the charge since she was also running for president at the time. Clinton pointed out that Trump persisted without any evidence, even when the birth certificate was made public in 2011.
Holt diverted the haranguing politicians to cyber security. Both candidates agreed that the United states has to get tougher on cyber espionage and stop ISIS from radicalizing on the internet. Trump blamed President Obama for pulling troops out of Iraq and that not taking all of their oil left a vacuum for ISIS to form. Clinton maintains that Ex-President George Bush made those agreements and that the Iraqi government refused to extend the invasion and included that we must work better with NATO.
Trump attacked the other nations of NATO for not paying enough, as the United States now contributes 73 percent of their budget. Clinton praised Article Five of NATO stating that the other countries helped with the invasion of Iraq.
As the final segment, Holt inquired on the state of US nuclear affairs. Trump opted for a more up-to-date nuclear arsenal under the guise of “preparedness” and argued that we cannot be “the policemen of the world.” Clinton maintained that Trump has no plan and that we need to work with others.
The debate denigrated towards its conclusion with Trump saying that he didn’t believe that Clinton looked like nor had the stamina to be president. Clinton flouted this by referring to her tenure as Secretary of State. Trump fired back, “Hillary has experience but it’s bad experience.” Clinton vituperatively retorted, “Well, one thing Lester, is you know, he tried to switch from looks to stamina but this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers.” Trump ended by citing “vicious” Clinton’s commercials. Both candidates, regardless of their differences, said they would support whoever is elected president.