A Recap of the First Presidential Debate

The first Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was held Sept. 26, 2016. Lester Holt, the host of NBC News, moderated it. The debate was held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

The debate was split into three sections: 1. achieving prosperity, 2. America’s direction and 3. securing America. After introducing the candidates, the debate transitioned to the first topic, concerning how the candidates would create jobs. Clinton stated that she would ensure that the economy is fair for everyone by closing corporate loopholes and creating new jobs for small businesses and investing in renewable energy to promote growth in the economy. She stated that she would raise the minimum wage and guarantee equal pay for men and women. Trump answered the question by stating that he plans to bring jobs back to the United States. He plans to keep jobs in the U.S. by reducing corporate taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent for all companies and small businesses. He stated that he wants us to renegotiate trade deals to maintain jobs in the U.S.

After discussing how to bring back jobs to the U.S. and mention of Trump’s tax returns and Clinton’s emails, the discussion topic shifted towards gun laws and gun control. Trump suggested that we implement stop and frisk laws. These laws have been viewed as unconstitutional as they are an example of racial profiling.

Clinton spoke about increasing background checks and preventing those on the no-fly list from obtaining a gun. She advocated for additional training for police officers. Trump referred back to the stop and frisk laws to end gun violence. They transitioned to the topic of race in America, which quickly became a discussion on whether or not President Obama is a U.S. citizen followed by personal attacks on both candidates.

The second section of the debate was securing America, which consisted of Clinton discussing how the U.S. should combat cyber attacks from other countries. Trump connected cyber warfare with ISIS and stated that we need to improve our cyber security. Clinton transitioned to how she would defeat ISIS by increasing the U.S.’ use of air strikes against them and preventing them from increasing their influence by way of the Internet. Trump remarked that we should have taken their oil supply to stop ISIS. He transitioned to discussing NATO and stated it should be focusing on fighting terror in the Middle East. Holt proceeded to ask Trump about his previous support for the Iraq war before the invasion in 2003.

The two candidates then discussed sanctions on Iran with the beginning of the final segment of the debate: securing America with a discussion of America’s nuclear weapons. The candidates discussed how to approach Iran’s potential of acquiring nuclear weapons. Trump stated he would discard the option of using a nuclear weapon while Clinton remarked how nations view the U.S. during an election season. The last question in this section was about equal pay for equal work with Clinton discussing her policy while highlighting Trump’s rhetoric against women.
The final question of the night was the most shocking. Holt said, “are you willing to accept the outcome (of the election) as the will of the voters?” Both candidates replied yes to the question. The debate subsequently concluded. The next debate between Clinton and Trump will be held on October 9th at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dylan Jones

Dylan is a senior history and political science major. He is a staff writer for the Hilltop Monitor as well as Scholastic Chair for Lambda Chi Alpha at William Jewell, a member of Christian Student Ministries and a member of Phi Alpha Theta and Pi Sigma Alpha academic honor societies.

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