On Sept. 27, our two presidential candidates put on their boxing gloves for their first ever debate for the nation to see. After Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went back and forth to answer the questions NBC’s Lester Holt asked, the question that America was left with was “Who won the debate?” The biggest question of the night was who won the debate? The Ledger’s twitter poll concluded readers thought Clinton was the winner.
Before bringing the attention to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Holt revealed, “The questions are mine and have not been shared with the commission or the campaigns.” Questions about jobs, Trump’s tax returns, Clinton’s emails, and race in America were asked. Holt often had to cut in, redirect and repeat the questions to receive answers.
When Trump was asked about his tax returns, the Republican candidate claimed that he couldn’t release them since they were under audit. Trump averted to Clinton saying his tax returns would be released against his lawyer’s advice only when Clinton released her emails. “Clinton could be talking about anything in her emails, it really doesn’t matter,” says UW Tacoma student Katherine Bazan-Santos. Admitting that she hadn’t made the best choice with the emails, Clinton brought the attention back to Trump’s release of his tax returns.
Tax returns let you know the candidates’ yearly incomes, investments, or who they owe money to. Without Trump’s tax returns, we have no idea what Trump actually does with his money. When Clinton was given the chance to speak, she claimed everyone has released their tax returns and the IRS made it clear that Trump could release his tax returns while they were under audit.
In the next portion of the debate, Holt brought up race in America. He started by asking Clinton if she believed police are “implicitly biased against black people”. Clinton responded by saying, “I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police. I think unfortunately too many of us in our great country jump to conclusions about each other.” She continued by saying, “But when it comes to policing, since it comes to literally fatal consequences, I have said that in my first budget we would put money in that budget for implicit bias by retraining police officers.” Clinton went on to talk about how one of the president’s focuses should be on mental health. She insisted that police want the help and the training. Afterwards, Holt directed the attention towards Trump, then he brought up fact that Clinton used the term “super predator” for young black youth. “They are often connected to big drug cartels, they are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often kinds of kids that are called super predators — no conscience, no empathy.” This was from a speech Clinton gave in 1994 to support the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. She did refer to children as super predators, but she directly linked African American children to that term. Trump then brought up Stop-and-Frisk, saying, “You’re talking about taking away guns, well I’m talking about taking away guns from gangs and people who use them.” He continued to say that Stop-and-Frisk had a “tremendous” effect. Clinton rebutted, claiming crime has continued to drop under the current New York mayor. Trump interrupted, claiming this was false. Trump went on to talk about how the black community has been used and abused by Democrats to gain votes.
After trying to redirect the two candidates once again, Holt moved on with his next question.
“Mr. Trump,” he began, “for five years, you perpetuated a false claim that the nation’s first black president was not a natural-born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy.” He went on to say Americans have accepted that President Obama was a citizen for years and asked Trump why it took him so long to do the same. Trump talked about how Patty Doyle went to Kenya and failed to obtain President Obama’s birth certificate, repeatedly attempting to return the conversation back to Secretary Clinton. However, he claimed that when he did involve himself with the president’s birth certificate, he was successful in obtaining the certificate. After taking credit for exposing Obama’s certificate, Trump quickly changed the subject, saying he wanted to focus on bringing jobs back and closing our borders. Holt interjected by saying, “The birth certificate was produced in 2011. You’ve continued to tell the story and question the president’s legitimacy in 2012, ’13, ’14, ’15…as recently as January. So the question is, what changed your mind?” Trump responded by saying that nobody really cared about the issue and he was the one that was able to produce President Obama’s birth certificate. “They went over this when he became president . . . We’re picking a new president, it’s not as relevant as something like Trump’s tax returns,” said Amber Schindler, a UW Tacoma student who saw the debate. Clinton fueled the conversation by saying he started his political career on the basis of a “racist lie” because the people he wanted to bring “into his folds believed it or wanted to believe it.” She went on to remind the audience that at the start of his career, he was sued by the Justice Department for not renting to African Americans in one of his developments. Trump responded by saying they settled the lawsuit with “no admission of guilt.” Another UW Tacoma student, Saaid Mohamed, commented, “Trump doesn’t contribute to the black community, I think he’s racist.”
The next section was titled, “Securing America.” Clinton said cyber security would be one of the biggest challenges for the next president. She brought up that there were two adversaries: people who hack for “commercial reasons” so that they can make money and cyber attacks against our country. Clinton claimed that this was their preferred method of “wreaking havoc and collecting information”. She went on to say that America would not stand by and let them go after our public or private information, but she didn’t want to engage in a “different kind of warfare.” Secretary Clinton fired one final shot, saying it was shocking Trump invited Russia to hack American establishments. Holt turned his attention back to Trump, saying his was endorsed by many generals and ICE (National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council), which was incorrect for only a few members endorsed him. He continued, saying we have no clue who the DNC Hackers are. He added, “…it could also could be someone sitting in their bed who weighs 400lbs.”
For the final question of the night, Holt asked the candidates if they would accept the outcome of this election. Clinton claimed that she will support the outcome of the election and encourages that Americans get out there and “vote as if their futures depended on it because it does”. When Holt asked Trump the same question, he claimed that he wanted to “Make America great again.” With that being said, Holt concluded the debate and the candidates came together one more time to shake hands.