First Presidential Debate Wrap Up

The Southerner

On Monday night, a record breaking 84 million Americans tuned in to watch the first presidential debate, and is considered one of the fiercest presidential debates in modern times. The moderator, Lester Holt, designed the debate in three segments: America’s prosperity, America’s direction, and America’s security. Throughout the debate, the candidates attacked each other’s character. Clinton tried to frame Trump as a racist, sexist, big businessman, and Trump tried to expose Clinton as a career politician.  


The first crossfire occured occured when the candidates discussed the American economy, such as trade and energy. Clinton dubbed Trump’s economic plan “Trumped up Economics.” Trump repeatedly attacked Clinton’s 30 year career, particularly focused on Clinton’s changing support of Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership. Trump argued for less regulations on business, that in his view drive jobs out of the country faster. Clinton attacked Trump for his abuse of the recession, recalling that he said he wanted it to happen so that he could make more money.


The debate then focused on immigration and race relations. Trump defended police searching tactic stop and frisk, claiming that it slashed murder rates in New York. Clinton responded that it was ruled unconstitutional. Trump insisted on better relations with communities and police stating that our African American communities are in the, “worst shape they have been, ever.”

Clinton defended her stance on eliminating debt for disadvantaged families and broadening refinancing on student debt. The two candidates began a heated discussion about gun control. Trump defended the second amendment and Clinton argued for increased controls to limit the homicide rate. Trump conceded in the debate that some, such as those on the no fly list, ought to be barred from purchasing guns.


On America’s security, Trump reinforced his belief that other countries, such as Japan, Korea, and majority of NATO, were not doing enough to advance American interests (due to America’s funding of international organizations). Trump highlighted China’s reluctance to denounce North Korea as their ally and claimed that he was responsible for NATO expansion of anti-terror departments (he wasn’t). Clinton defended the government’s deal with Iran, despite Trump lambasting it as “the worst deal ever,” stating a need to increase cooperation in the Middle East.


Both candidates attacked the other, many times overlooking questions Lester asked. “She has 30 years of experience, but its bad experience,” Trump said. Clinton responded with her own qualms about Trump’s previous remarks, “the woman you called ‘little miss piggy’ and ‘little miss housekeeping’ is voting this election.”

While Trump and the Republican party felt confident with the debate, a recent CNN poll found 62 percent of viewers felt more confident in Clinton’s nomination.