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9/26 Presidential Debate Recap: Digs, Disrespect, and Dumb Ideas

Photo via Wikimedia under the Creative Commons License

Photo via Wikimedia under the Creative Commons License

Erica Stambaugh, Journalist

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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had their first official debate (read: squabble) on September 26th at Hofstra University. The candidates were supposed to discuss their views on the economy, America’s direction, and national security. Continue reading for a picture of what actually went down.

In my opinion, HRC took the first shot by calling Trump’s economic plan “trumped up trickle down.” In short, Trump’s plan involves cutting taxes for businesses and companies in hopes that it will create jobs and investment.

Next, Clinton delved into Trump’s daddy issues. She contrasted her hard working middle class father with Trump’s rich father who loaned Trump $14 million to start his business.

Trump, his face now extra tomato-y, countered with accusing HRC of being in large part responsible for issues with NAFTA and other trade agreements, and subsequent loss of American jobs and growth of the national debt.

Still comparing economic plans, Clinton succinctly said, “Independent experts have looked at what I’ve proposed and looked at what Donald’s proposed, and basically they’ve said this, that if his tax plan, which would blow up the debt by over $5 trillion…we would lose 3.5 million jobs and maybe have another recession.”

On a tangent argument about solar panels and clean energy, HRC suggested getting ahead of the prospective industry of the near future by building five hundred million solar panels, to which Donald Trump frankly said, “You can’t do what you’re looking to do with $20 trillion in debt.”

The next few minutes consist of Donald Trump firing accusations about things Hillary should have done, and things she should not have done. Moderator Lester Holt is getting stressed.

I have a feeling that, by the end of this evening, I’m going to be blamed for everything that’s ever happened.”

— Hillary Clinton

Why not?”

— Donald Trump

Etc., etc., then Trump and Clinton talk taxes. Clinton wants to increase taxes on the wealthy, claiming the upper class doesn’t pay their fair share; while Trump advocates a tax cut on the wealthy, claiming that will cause them to stimulate the economy by investing in companies, subsequently creating jobs.

Then things get personal when Trump says “I will release my tax returns– against my lawyer’s wishes- when she [HRC] releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted.” By now, Hillary Clinton is a pro when it comes to avoiding talking about those emails, so she redirects by accusing Trump of withholding his tax return info because he’s perhaps not as rich or charitable as he claims, he may be concealing debts to Wall Street and foreign banks, and he may not have paid any federal income tax.

Trump used this opportunity to defend his”tremendous income,” but “not in a braggadocios way.” Braggadocios is indeed a real word, but it’s guaranteed to make the user sound like a tool.

Clinton next brought up all the people who’ve worked in/on Trump’s businesses, yet claim to have gone unpaid for their services.  Trump denies this, and goes on to talk about his projects that have been completed under budget and ahead of schedule, suggesting he could go about solving the nation’s debt crisis with the same kind of savvy.

The candidates discuss race relations in the next segment. Clinton advocates police retraining, criminal justice reform and tighter gun control. Trump ambiguously suggests “law and order” and suggests reinstating the stop and frisk strategy.  Lester Holt mentions stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York because it was a discriminatory practice. The rest of that portion was mostly civil between the two candidates, but neither Trump or Hillary talked much about practical strategies for their respective goals.

Trump has routinely questioned Obama’s status as an American citizen; HRC uses this as evidence for Trump being a racist. He brings up Hillary’s uncivil treatment of Obama from when she was running against him in the 2008 Democratic primaries.

The candidates talk about securing America next, specifically about cyber security. Clinton talks about hackers and Putin’s bromance with Trump. Trump talks about “the cyber,” and his son, who “is so good with these computers, it’s unbelievable.” Great job, both of you, for having no strategies for dealing with cyber warfare because you are both so old. (Clinton is 68, Trump is 70). Let’s talk about ISIS next.

Trump purports that Clinton and Obama are responsible for the inception of ISIS because of the power vacuum created when American troops left Iraq. Clinton plays the George W. Bush card, saying it was not the decision of the Obama administration. The candidates argue about whether Trump supported the Iraq War in the first place. Trump defends his position over Clinton’s by virtue of “having a much better judgement than she does… I also have a much better temperament than she has, you know?” To which Clinton said, “Whew, ok.” Clinton illustrates Trump’s temperament with “a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear code…”

The candidates move on to discuss who is more presidential. Trump doesn’t believe HRC looks presidential or has the kind of stamina required for the job. To which Clinton says, ” As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.”

If you reached the bottom of this article, you probably have a respectable amount of stamina as well.

 

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