With just 18 days until the 2016 election, last night’s debate was the final chance for candidates to make their mark on undecided voters. And make their mark they certainly did. If you didn’t catch the debate, or simply need a refresher, don’t worry – Valley has you covered.
The third and final presidential debate was held last night at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with Chris Wallace, political commentator from Fox News, as the moderator. The format consisted of six 15-minute segments, allowing a two-minute response to each question from each candidate, followed by an open discussion for the following 11 minutes.
The debate began with welcoming Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to the stage. Chris Wallace then posed the first topic of discussion – the supreme court. The question focused on where each candidate wants to see the Supreme Court take the country, and how the constitution should be interpreted.
Hillary Clinton responded by saying that, “The kind of people who I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on behalf of our rights as Americans.”
Donald Trump responded to the same question, stating ,”The justices that I am going to appoint will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bent. They will be protecting the second amendment. They are great scholars in all cases and they’re people of tremendous respect. They will interpret the constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted and I believe that’s very important.”
With respect to the second amendment, Donald Trump said he was “very proud to have the endorsement of the NRA” (the National Rifle Association), while Hillary Clinton stated that she “respects the second amendment,” but believes we need “comprehensive background checks, to close the online loophole, and close the gun show loophole.”
The second topic, one that has created immense divide among the candidates, was immigration reform.
Donald Trump spoke first, stating proudly that he has been endorsed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.), and that, “We have to have strong borders, and keep the drugs out of our country.” He also touched on his famous plan to “build the wall,” because, “we’re going to secure the border. We have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get them out.”
Hillary Clinton then replied by saying that she has “been for border security for years,” and that, “getting rid of any violent person, anybody who should be deported, we should deport them.” She also stated that, “We will not have open borders.”
Chris Wallace then interjected, questioning Clinton’s stance on the issue. He revealed that, in a transcript of a speech Secretary Clinton gave to a Brazilian Bank (for which she received $225,000), released via Wikileaks, she stated, “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.”
She then attempted to refute her quote, by saying she was referring to “energy trade with the rest of the world,” and changed focus to Trump’s apparent alliance with Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.
The third topic was economy. Wallace asked the candidates both to, “Please explain why you believe your plan will create more jobs and growth for this country and your opponent’s plan will not.”
Clinton responded first, saying that she has an economic plan that includes raising the minimum wage, cutting college tuition at public schools for families whom make less than $125,000 per year, and ensuring that large corporations and the wealthy “pay their fair share.”
Trump stated that his economic plan involves negotiating better trade deals, bringing jobs back to the U.S., and cutting taxes for businesses.
There was then a deep banter between both candidates, surrounding whom is more “fit” to lead the country. Hillary Clinton defended herself by claiming that Donald Trump has no respect for women, bringing up alleged sexual misconduct cases against him. She also claimed that he, “never apologizes or says he’s sorry for anything.”
Donald Trump defended himself by claiming that Hillary Clinton has had 30 years to make a change for the country, and believes that she has not done so – adding that, while she was running the State Department, $6 billion allegedly “mysteriously” disappeared. He also touched on her destroying over 33,000 emails – some of which were determined to contain “classified material.”
Towards the end of the debate, Donald Trump touched on how he believes the election is rigged, how he plans to fight ISIS, replace and repeal Obamacare, improve our inner cities, and strengthen our military. Hillary Clinton expressed her plans to have an intelligence surge that protects us at home, a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria, not let refugees into the US who are not vetted, defeat ISIS, and expand on Obamacare.
Finally, the debate ended with closing statements from both candidates. Clinton ended by saying that “we need everybody to help make our country what it should be, to grow the economy, to make it fairer, to make it work for everyone.” Trump ended with “We are going to make America strong again and we are going to make America great again and it has to start now. We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama, and that’s what you get when you get her.”
Phew! What a heated, yet well balanced debate. Both candidates have been in it to win it from day one, and this debate surely did not disappoint (as earlier debates have). But as they say, third time’s the charm, right?