Who Won the Debate?
Last night’s widely watched debate, hosted by NBC anchor Lester Holt, took place at Hofstra University in New York and was carried by all of major broadcast and cable networks, Univision, PBS and live streaming. The event was sponsored by the commission on presidential debates, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization. The ninety-minute-long debate was divided into six segments, each 15 minutes long, and explored topics such as achieving prosperity, America’s direction, and securing America. The questions were written by Lester Holt and audience members were invited to applaud only to welcome the candidates and congratulate them at the conclusion. In the end, both candidates had their strong points and their weak points, so who technically won?
Hillary was the first to launch into her opponent, stating that “Donald was very fortunate in his life and that’s all to his benefit. He started his business with fourteen million dollars borrowed from his father and he really believes that the more you help wealthy people, the better off we will be and that everything will work out from there. I don’t buy that. I have a different experience. My father was a small businessman. He worked really hard, he printed drapery fabrics on long tables where he pulled out those fabrics and he went down with the silkscreen and dumped the paint in and took the squeegee and kept going.” Donald responded to Hillary’s statement with, “Well, for one thing and before we start on that my father gave me a very small loan in 1975 and I built into a company that’s worth many many billions of dollars with some of the greatest assets in the world and I say that only because that’s the kind of thinking that our country needs.”
Throughout the debate, the candidates disagreed on topics. Trump criticized Hillary’s plans for the economy, “…you are going to approve one of the biggest tax increases in history. You are going to drive business out.” Regarding Hillary’s plans on defeating ISIS, Trump says, “She tells you how to fight ISIS on her website. I don’t think General Douglas MacArthur would like that too much.” Trump went after her on the mess in the Middle East and the Iran deal. “You started the Iran deal, that’s another beauty, where you have a country that was ready to fall, I mean they were doing so badly, they were choking on the sanctions. And now they’re going to be actually probably a major power at some point pretty soon the way they are going.” Of Iran, Hillary said, “I spent a year and a half putting together a coalition that included Russia and China to impose the toughest sanctions on Iran. And we did drive them to the negotiating table. And my successor John Kerry and President Obama got a deal that put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program. Without firing a single shot. That’s diplomacy. That’s coalition-building.” Meanwhile Hillary dug her heels in deep by saying of Trump, “So he has a long record of engaging in racist behavior. And the birther lie was a very hurtful one.” She also challenged him on the issue of topics including his relationship to women, referring to his reference to a woman as “Miss Piggy” and to a Latina as “Miss Housekeeping.” Trump defended himself and called Hillary’s negative campaign ads “untrue” and “misrepresentations.” Hillary described Trump’s attitude about nuclear weapons as “cavalier” and “deeply troubling.”
According to multiple news outlets, Hillary was declared the winner of the debate. While perhaps she was viewed as slightly more hard-hitting, it’s important to consider the liberal bias of the media. One general consensus among viewers is that both candidates did a decent job of representing their points of view, yet neither swayed voters from one party to another. Many expected Trump to lose his calm demeanor and were surprised that he maintained his composure. When Trump questioned Hillary’s ability to make deals and her stamina, Hillary pushed back with “Well, as soon as he travels to one hundred and twelve countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire, a release of dissidents, and opening of new opportunities and nations around the world or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.” Meanwhile, during the debate, she questioned his temperament to which he replied, “I have a winning temperament.” Some people suggest that Trump appeared somewhat softer than expected, missing opportunities by failing to bring up Benghazi and some of the other scandals which plague Hillary’s campaign. When the issues of Trump’s failure to disclose his tax returns and Hillary’s 33,000 missing deleted emails turned came up, Trump stated that he will show his returns when she releases her emails. Don’t hold your breath for them any time soon.