The Presidential Debate

An overview of the October 26th debate


BennettR, Staff Reporter

The 2016 Presidential race is known to be one of the most unorthodox races in years past. The tides have changed recently with both candidates popularity growing closer. According to the FiveThirtyEight 2016 Election Forecast, Hillary Clinton has a popular vote of 46.3% and an electoral vote of 273.0. Donald Trump is coming in slightly behind with a popular vote of 45.2% and a 264.7. And then there is the Libertarian delegate whose numbers drop quite a bit below with a popular vote of 7.2% and an electoral vote of .03%. For users who are unclear about what these figures represent; the electoral college, which is made up of 538 electors cast votes to decide the President and Vice president of the United States in this coming election. The popular vote is just as it sounds, the population votes for their candidate and the winner is whomever has the most votes. This will not be a complete coverage of the debate, but a look at the key points made by the candidates.  

The debate started off with a segment known as “Achieving Prosperity.” This segment was addressing which candidate could better put money back into the pockets of American Workers.

“We have to build an economy that works for everyone not just those at the top.” said Clinton, “I want to invest in you… We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also guaranteed equal pay for women’s work.”

The same question was directed to Trump. Trump started off with a comment on exporting jobs in America.

“Our Jobs are fleeing the country.” Trump said, “They are going to Mexico and other countries… China is using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild their own… Thousands of jobs are leaving the country. Hillary and I agree on that. We probably disagree about numbers. We have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us and we have to stop our companies from leaving.”

Lester Holt, the moderator for the evening, then asked Trump more directly how he planned to bring back jobs.

“First thing you do is stop the companies from leaving,” Trump said,.“That is a big big factor.”

In the midst of the debate, Trump attacked one of the accords that former President Bill Clinton signed, NAFTA, stating that it was, “the worst trade deal, maybe signed anywhere but certainly ever signed in this country.” To which Clinton answered that it was just his opinion and not accurate.

When questioned about releasing his tax returns, Trump responded that he was under a routine audit and he would release them after. Holt then pointed out that “the IRS has stated that during an audit you’re perfectly free to release your taxes.”

Trump used the momentum of undisclosed information to point out one of Clinton’s biggest problems in the public eye.

“I will release my tax returns, against my lawyers wishes,” Trump said, “When she releases her 33,000 deleted emails.”

Clinton brought the argument back to the initial question of unreleased tax returns.

“You have to ask yourself, ‘Why won’t he release his tax returns.’” Clinton said after establishing there was no legal reasoning not to. On the topic of her deleted emails, Clinton stated, “I made a mistake in using a private email. If I could do it over I would obviously do it differently but I am not gonna make excuses, it was a mistake and I take responsibility for that.”

The next segment brought up by Holt was talking about America’s direction, firstly with Race. Secretary Clinton opened up this section.

“Race remains a significant challenge in our country,” Clinton said. “ Unfortunately, race determines too much. It often where they live, what kind of education they get and how they are treated in the criminal justice system… We have to do two things: We have to restore trust. We have to work with the police. We have to make sure they respect the communities and that their communities respect them. And we have to tackle the issue of gun violence.”

The same question was posed to Trump.

“We have to stop the violence and we have to bring back laws and order,” Trump said. “We have to be very strong and we have to be very vigilant. We have to know what we are doing. Right now our police are afraid to do anything.”

The debate went on with multiple points made by each candidates and each one getting rather heated with each other.

One of the last points brought up by Holt was whether or not the candidates supported the nuclear foreign policy. Trump was the first to respond.

“We are not keeping up with other countries,” Trump said. “I would like everybody to just get rid of nuclear weapons. I would not do the first strike. I think the once the nuclear alternative happens, it’s over. At the same time, we cannot take anything off the table.”

The point was then directed to Secretary Clinton.

“It is essential that America’s word be good,” Clinton said. “So I know that this campaign has caused some questioning and some worries with many leaders across the globe, but I want to, on behalf of myself and a majority of the American people that our word is good. It is also important that we look at the global situation. There is no doubt that we have other problems with Iran but personally i’d rather deal with the problems having put that lid on their nuclear program than still to be facing that.”

Holt then addressed that one of these candidates would not win the election and asked if they would be willing to accept the decision as the will of the voters. Starting with Clinton

“I support our democracy.” Clinton said, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but I certainly will support the outcome of this election and I know Donald is trying very hard to plant doubts about it but I hope the people out there understand this election is really up to you.”

Then the question went to Trump.

“I want to make America great again,” Trump said. “We are a nation seriously troubled. We are losing our jobs, people are pouring into our country. I want to make America great again.I will be able to do it.  I do not believe Hillary will but if she wins, I will absolutely support her.”

The next presidential debates are scheduled for October 9th at Washington State University in St. Louis and October 19th at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.