US Presidential Debate: Clinton & Trump Spar over Race, ISIS, Jobs
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton faced off for the first time on Monday in a presidential debate. (Photo: Rhythum Seth/<b>The Quint</b>)
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton faced off for the first time on Monday in a presidential debate. (Photo: Rhythum Seth/The Quint)

US Presidential Debate: Clinton & Trump Spar over Race, ISIS, Jobs



  • Donald Trump clashed with Hillary Clinton during the first presidential debate of the 2016 elections on Monday.

  • They constantly interrupted each other in a vigorous back-and-forth on the debate stage at Hofstra University, as polls showed them locked in a tight race.

  • The two clashed over the US economy, ISIS, gun control, Clinton’s use of a private email server and Trump’s unwillingness to release his income tax returns.

Concluding Arguments

Both candidates concluded the first presidential debate by saying they will accept the outcome if the other wins.

Clinton spoke directly to viewers and said, “It’s not about us, it’s about you.”

Trump, however, initially dodged moderator Lester Holt’s question abut accepting the result if his rival wins, saying he would make a “seriously troubled” America “great again.” He added: “I’m going to be able to do it. I don’t believe Hillary Clinton will.”

But Trump finished his answer by saying that if Clinton wins, “I will absolutely support her”.

Trump’s Temperament

If Clinton aimed to get under Trump’s skin in the first 30 minutes of the debate, the Democratic nominee appeared to succeed. Clinton often put Trump on the defensive, saying he had “rooted for” the collapse of the housing industry and had considered climate change to be a hoax.

Later on, Trump said he had a “winning temperament,” prompting Clinton to respond: “Whew. OK.”

‘Clinton Does Not Have Stamina to Be President’

Trump said that Clinton doesn’t have the “stamina” to be president.

Clinton hit back strongly at Trump’s assertion.

She also said the remarks were sexist and reminded the audience of Trump’s past comments dubbing women “pigs” and other derogatory names.

As soon as he travels to 112 countries for negotiations or even 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk about stamina.

Trump has questioned whether Clinton has the physical fitness to be president and he addressed the question to her directly during the debate.


Trump said NATO needs to “go into the Middle East with us” to combat the Islamic State. And he took credit for NATO focusing resources on combating terrorism.

“There are 28 countries of NATO and many of them aren’t paying their fair share. I am all for NATO but they have to focus on terror also. I think we have to take NATO to the Middle East”.

Attacking each other on foreign policy, including ISIS, cyber warfare and nuclear war, Clinton said:

We’ve gotta do everything we can to vacuum up intelligence from the middle east. Work closely with our allies. We’re working with NATO. We need to cooperate with Muslim nations, Muslim communities that who Donald has constantly alienated.

She further said that “Donald’s cavalier attitude on nuclear weapons is deeply troubling”.

War of Words over ISIS

Responding to Clinton’s remarks, Trump asserted that “had we taken the oil (from Iraq), ISIS would not have been formed”. He added that “Obama’s policies made the ISIS stronger”.

Trump attacked Clinton on her desire to “squeeze” ISIS out, saying that, “she’s been trying to take ISIS out a long time, but they wouldn’t have been formed if US had left troops behind”.

Clinton said that defeating ISIS and taking out its leaders would be a top priority as president.

She said she’s hopeful the ISIS would be pushed out of Iraq by the end of the year. She stated that the US could then help its allies “squeeze” the terrorist group in Syria.

ISIS is using the internet to radicalise. We have to intensify our airstrikes against ISIS. Support our Arab and Kurdish allies in taking out ISIS. Hoping within the year we’ll be able to push ISIS out of Iraq.

On Cyber Warfare

Reacting to Clinton’s views on cyber attacks, Trump said:

Clinton warned against the spread of cyber-attacks in the United States, particularly from Russia.

The Democratic nominee said that the United States “is not going to sit idly by” and let hostile nations attempt to hack public or private information.She called out Russia and slammed Trump’s frequent praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Clinton also criticized Trump for inviting Russia to hack into her emails.  

Trump Asking Putin to Hack into Emails is Unacceptable: Clinton

Raking up the controversy over her ‘deleted emails’, Clinton said that Trump asking Russian President Putin to hack into her emails is problematic and “unacceptable”.

When Clinton Called Trump a Racist

Trump claimed he has “developed good relations with the African American communities,” and done a great job of it.

Trump said black voters have “nothing to lose” by supporting his candidacy but he was forced to answer for his claim that Obama was born outside the United States

As her rebuttal, Clinton dubbed Trump, well, a racist.

He has started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen. There’s absolutely no evidence. Donald started his career in 1973 being sued by the justice department for racial discrimination. He has a long record of engaging in racist behaviour.  

On Gun Control

Retaliating to Trump’s jibe about Clinton not agreeing to the “stop and frisk” policy for political reasons, Clinton got back with a sarcastic remark of her own.

Trump cited the controversial “stop-and-frisk” policing tactic as a way to bring down crime. “Right now our police are afraid of doing anything,” he said.“In New York City we had over 2000 murders and it was brought down to 500 murders because of stop and frisk”.

While Trump advocates that “we take guns away from immigrants”, Clinton retaliated saying that the country needs a a systematic criminal justice system to end the “gun epidemic”.

The Racial Divide

In response to Clinton’s remarks about race as a challenge in the country, Trump asserted:

We have to stop the violence, bring back law and order. In Chicago over 4000 people have been killed since Barack Obama came to power. We have gangs roaming the streets, and often they’re illegal immigrants. And they have guns. We have to protect our cities.  

Talking about the racial divide in the country, Clinton said:

Race remains a significant challenge. Unfortunately determines too much. Got to do several things at the same time. We need to restore trust between communities and police, work to make sure police is using best training, well-prepared, use force only when necessary. Everyone should be respected by the law and everyone should respect the law.

She further added that she has called “for criminal justice system reform. We’ve gotta get guns out of the hands of people who should not have them”.

Trump’s Tax Returns and Clinton’s Emails

Clinton savaged Trump with a lengthy explanation of why Trump won’t release his tax returns, concluding he’s got something to hide.

Clinton warned that perhaps Trump hadn’t paid any federal income tax at all, noting that some of Trump’s income tax returns in the 1970s showed he had paid no federal income taxes in certain years. Trump disclosed the returns to New Jersey casino regulators.

Clinton took responsibility for using a private email server as Obama’s secretary of state and gave Trump nowhere to go.

This came after Trump said he would release his tax returns if Clinton put out what he called her “33,000 deleted” emails, Clinton said, “I made a mistake using a private email” server. Trump interjected, “That’s for sure,” prompting Clinton to respond, “I take responsibility for that.”

The ISIS Card

‘Donald Trump, You Live in Your Own Reality’

Delivered with a smile, Clinton came prepared with pithy lines to undercut Trump’s case on the economy.

In an early exchange, Clinton said Trump would push for “trickle-down” tax cuts that would only benefit the wealthy, calling it, “trumped-up trickle-down.”

She also said that, “Donald Trump you live in your own reality”.

Moderator Lester Holt asked Trump how he plans to keep jobs in the country, in response to which he said:

“We have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us, we cannot let it happen”. He also accused Clinton of not having a “plan” for the country’s economy. 

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump began the US first presidential debate by laying out their plans on how they plan to put more money in the pockets of the American voters by growing the economy.

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump took on each other for the first time on Monday in a presidential debate that may emerge as one of the most watched political showdowns in US history.

The surprisingly tight race for the White House and the clash in styles between well-known but polarising foes has generated wide interest in the potentially pivotal encounter, which comes six weeks before the 8 November election.

The size of the audience is expected to be higher than the highest recorded viewership for presidential debates — 80 million for the 1980 encounter between Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan.

Read more on the presidential debate here.

How Presidential Debates Can Cut Through Empty Rhetoric

Presidential debates have traditionally offered yet another media-driven spectacle to highlight candidates’ personalities and messages. But this year they offered an important opportunity to force both nominees to face a direct media interrogation.

Throughout the campaign, both nominees have used entertainment forums — from appearances on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon to cameos on Saturday Night Live to Twitter feeds — to bypass the mainstream media and bring their message directly to voters in an unfiltered and unchallenged manner.

Read the full story here.

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Reuters)
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Reuters)

History shows that a single bad debate performance can alter the trajectory of a US presidential race.

Read the full story here.

US Presidential Debates: From Kennedy-Nixon to Clinton-Trump

The rhetorical contests, which first appeared on television in 1960, have provided some of the most memorable moments and quotations in modern American political history.

The Quint took a look at the highlights from the last five decades.

  • 1960: The first televised American presidential debate, which pitted Republican Vice President Richard Nixon against Democratic nominee John F Kennedy.
  • 1976: Democrat Jimmy Carter faced off against unelected incumbent President Gerald Ford.
  • 1980: Carter appeared only in the second debate with Republican Ronald Reagan after boycotting the first one because it included a third-party candidate, John Anderson.
  • 1992: This year’s three debates became the first time three candidates — Bush, Democrat Bill Clinton, and independent Ross Perot — shared the platform.
  • 2000: Vice President Al Gore and Republican contender George W Bush took part in three debates.
Former US President George W Bush. (Photo: AP)
Former US President George W Bush. (Photo: AP)

Read the rest of the story here.

Follow our World section for more stories.