The Race Continues

Rundown of the first presidential debate between Trump and Clinton, September 2016


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License

Donald Trump, Republican candidate and Hillary Clinton, Democratic candidate

The first Presidential Debate of 2016 hit off with both candidates walking on the stage to shake hands, Hillary Clinton from the left, Donald Trump from the right.


Many important topics were brought up during the debate, and both candidates brought up many issues that have been at the forefront of the campaign. The first topic of the night brought up by NBC’s Lester Holt, dealt with the prosperity of the nation, that is, the economy. Hillary Clinton focused on the future with new policies she believes will help the country which include building a new economy that works for everyone, that creates better jobs with rising incomes, and jobs that invest in our futures, such as infrastructure, clean energy, and technology. She also said the economy needs to be made more fair, such as higher national minimum wage and closing the gender gap.


Trump focused on the faults of Obama’s terms as President; bringing up jobs leaving the country, such as Ford, and therefore losing thousands of jobs. His plan is to reduce taxes for big and small businesses from 35% to 15%, calling it a “beautiful, beautiful thing to watch.”


Hillary responded that Trump’s plan would be a more extreme version of trickle down economics and would not help the economy, only helping the top class. Clinton also brought up that 8 years ago was the worst recession since the Great depression due to the policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy.


Another key topic that nobody was surprised came up, was the issue of Clinton’s emails and Trump’s tax returns. When Trump brought up her emails, Clinton apologized about her poor decision to use a private email server when secretary. She then brought up Trump’s tax returns as possibly hiding something terrible that he doesn’t want the people to see. He says it is because of his audit, but many have revealed that you don’t need to wait to release tax returns while in audit.


There were many more aspects of the debate including:

  • Race in which Trump advocated for stop-and-frisk laws and how the ruling that they were unconstitutional was wrong.
  • President Obama’s birth in which Trump was a key supporter in the release of Obama’s birth certificate release and the rumor that he was not a U.S citizen, but had been born in Kenya.
  • Gender in which Hillary brought up Trump’s obvious sexism in his name calling, belittling, and often lude remarks about women.
  • Gun Laws in which the candidates agreed that anyone on a watch list or no-fly list should not be allowed to purchase a gun.
  • Cyber Security and defence in which Clinton attacked Trump’s temperament as being unfit to have access to nuclear weapons. Trump responded that he would “not take anything off the table,” but that he would also not use the arsenal until completely necessary.
  • Terror in which Clinton addressed Trump’s intolerance of Muslims and his plans to ban them from the country creating an un-needed hostility.
  • And candidate health with Trump addressing Hillary’s recent health issues on the campaign trail. He emphasized “stamina” repeatedly while she responded that until he has had the experience she has had of traveling constantly and negotiating with other countries, THEN he could talk to her about stamina.


One aspect of the debate that was clear within the first half hour, was that it was not going to be smooth. From the very first topic, you could see that Trump was determined to speak his mind whether it was his turn or not, having to be repeatedly told it was Clinton’s two minutes to speak. However, it was also apparent that both candidates were going to finish anything they had to say, both having spoken over Holt as he tried to move the debate along with new topics. It was obvious early on that Holt did not have much control, leading the debate to become a who-can-talk-louder-over-the-other-person fight. For those who watched the debate on a channel that opted for split screens, you could view a candidate’s face while the other was speaking to see their reactions, which was quite comical to be truthfully with Hillary’s looks of “really?” and Trump’s indignant huffing.


What could also be seen throughout the debate was how at the beginning, Trump was on the attack. However, he did not stay on message, got many of his facts wrong (as revealed by fact checks during and after the debate), and seemed to lose his edge as the night drew on. On the flip-side, what he did get correct was impressive and the fact that he was going up against a seasoned politician is definitely an aspect to take into consideration. Clinton also appeared to come out on the attack, many on Twitter in love with her red power suit showing she was out to win. Even when berated and talked over by Trump, Clinton held herself with surprising poise, always smiling and making jokes from Trump’s comments about her. She stayed on message, talking about important policies, answering the questions from Holt, and spoke her mind fluently with many facts and figures.


In the end, whether you are a Trump supporter, a Hillary supporter, or not even planning to vote for either of the two, the debates coming up promise to bring much discussion and are sure to be filled with entertainment.

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