Breaking Down the Debate


Goldman, David. Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump Shakes Hands with Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton after the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University. Digital image. The Most Memorable Moments from the First Presidential Debate. Los Angeles Times, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.

On September 26, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off against each other in the first of three presidential debates. Hosted by Lester Holt, this debate was the first time the American people got a chance to compare each candidate side by side. The debate lasted approximately one and a half hours and covered a wide range of issues, from financial policies to global warming.

The opening segment of the debate was about “achieving prosperity.” Clinton and Trump both started on equal footing, presenting their views and plans to create jobs and obtain wealth for the nation. However, it went downhill from there for Trump. Clinton attacked Trump on many issues such as his tax returns, tax trump-global-warmingplan, temperament, and his views on the treatment of women. Trump was unable to answer many of Clinton’s attacks successfully, often using childish diversionary tactics. For example, when Clinton challenged him to release his tax returns, Trump answered that he will once she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted. Trump attempted to rebut against Hillary about her email scandal, rather unsuccessfully. For that matter, very few of Trump’s attacks ended up being successful. He stated that he “believes she (Clinton) does not have the stamina to be president.” Her response was that “As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, he can talk to me about stamina.” Additionally, Trump contradicted himself multiple times, such as when he denied that he had said that “global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese” when he clearly has multiple times. This not only hurts the billionaire’s credibility, but also sheds uncertainty over his character.

The lowest point of the debate for Trump was after his criticism of his opponent for preparing for the debate. The former secretary of state responded that “Yes I did (prepare for the debate). And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president.” It is undeniable that this debate was a nightmare for Donald Trump that only got worse as it wore on. Not only did it highlight Clinton’s political experience and readiness, but it also reflected Trump’s weaknesses. Without a doubt, the first presidential debate went to Hillary.