Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump
and his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton have clashed during their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hampstead, New York.
Trump, a real estate tycoon making his first run for public office,
said Clinton’s long years of service represented “bad experience” with
few results and suggested her disavowal of a trade deal with Asian
countries was insincere.
For Trump, 70, the debate was a chance to appear disciplined. For
Clinton, 68, it was an opportunity to reassure voters she could be
trusted. It remained to be seen how voters would judge their
In a sign investors saw Clinton as the winner, Asian shares recouped
early losses on Tuesday and the dollar edged away from a one-month
trough against the yen. Markets have tended to see Clinton as the
candidate of the status quo.
In one of the more heated exchanges, the two candidates attacked each
other for the controversy Trump stoked for years over whether President
Barack Obama was born in the United States.
The president, who was born in Hawaii, released a long form birth
certificate in 2011 to put the issue to rest. Only this month did Trump
say publicly that he believed Obama was U.S.-born.
“He (Trump) has really started his political activity based on this
racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen.
There was absolutely no evidence for it. But he persisted. He persisted
year after year,” Clinton said.
Trump repeated his false accusation that Clinton’s failed 2008
presidential campaign against Obama had initiated the so-called
“Nobody was pressing it, nobody was caring much about it … I was
the one that got him to produce the birth certificate and I think I did a
good job,” Trump said.
African-American voters overwhelmingly support Clinton, but Trump in
recent weeks has said he believes his policy agenda would benefit them
and said the policies of Obama and Clinton had failed to help black
He said Clinton’s arguments were disingenuous.
“When you try to act holier than thou, it really doesn’t work,” Trump said.
Clinton wore a red pantsuit, and Trump wore a dark suit and a blue
tie to the encounter that could shift the course of the tight race for
the Nov. 8 election. She called him Donald. He called her Secretary
Clinton for much of the debate before switching to her first name.
Toward the end of the debate, Trump said Clinton did not have the endurance to be president.
“She doesn’t have the look, she doesn’t have the stamina,” he said.
Citing her own public record, Clinton retorted: “As soon as he
travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a
release of dissidents … or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of
a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.”
Each accused the other of distortions and falsehoods and urged viewers to check their campaign websites for the facts.
Clinton called the New York businessman’s tax policies “Trumped-up
trickle-down” economics and Trump accused the former secretary of state
of being “all talk, no action.”
“I have a feeling I’m going to be blamed for everything,” Clinton,
the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S.
political party, said during one tough exchange.
“Why not?” retorted Trump, a former reality TV star.
Clinton knocked Trump for not releasing his income tax returns and
said that decision raised questions about whether he was as rich and
charitable as he has said. She noted that the few years of tax returns
he had released showed that despite his wealth, he had paid no federal
“That makes me smart,” Trump said.
“I have a tremendous income,” he said at one point, adding that it
was about time that someone running the country knew something about
Clinton criticized Trump for failing to pay some of the business
people with whom his company had contracted. She said she had met a lot
of people who had been cheated by her opponent.
Trump said such incidents of non-payment had taken place when the work was unsatisfactory.
Trump attacked Clinton for her trade policies and said she would
approve a controversial trade deal with Asian countries despite opposing
it as a candidate.
“You were totally in favor of it, then you heard what I was saying,
how bad it is, and you said, ‘Well, I can’t win that debate,’ but you
know that if you did win, you would approve that,” he said.
Clinton rejected the criticism.
“Well Donald, I know you live in your own reality, but that is not the facts,” she said.
Moderator Lester Holt struggled to rein in the candidates, with
discussions about trade policy suddenly shifting to the fight against
Islamic State as Trump accused Clinton of giving away information to the
enemy by revealing on her website how she planned to defeat the group.
Clinton said that unlike Trump, she at least had a plan for fighting
Opinion polls have shown the two candidates in a very tight race,
with the latest Reuters/Ipsos polling showing Clinton ahead by 4
percentage points, with 41 percent of likely voters.
A second Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday showed half of
America’s likely voters would rely on the debates to help them make
Two other presidential candidates – Libertarian Gary Johnson and
Green Party candidate Jill Stein – were not invited to take part in the
debate because neither had obtained at least 15 percent support in
national polls, the threshold established to qualify.
Democrat Hillary Clinton accused Republican Donald Trump of racism, sexism and tax avoidance on Monday during a heated presidential debate that could reshape the 2016 campaign for the White House.
Trump and Clinton began their first face-off Monday in what many pundits presumed would be the most-watched debate in history ahead of the November 8 election.
The two clashed over plans for growing US economy, with Clinton accusing Trump of pushing economic policy that favored the rich at the expense of the middle class.
“The kind of plan that Donald has put forth would be trickle-down economics all over again. And in fact it would be the most extreme version, the biggest tax cuts for the top percents of the people in this country that we’ve ever had. I call it Trumped-up trickle-down, because that’s exactly what it would be. That’s not how we grow the economy,” she said.
Trump criticized Clinton for her trade policies, saying she has had decades without making lives better for Americans.
“We have to renegotiate our trade deals and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs,” he said.
Trump said Clinton’s economic plan is “all talk, no action, sounds good, never going to work.”
Trump slammed Hillary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, for approving the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“Your husband signed NAFTA, one of the worst things that ever happened in the manufacturing industry,” Trump said. “You go to New England or Ohio or anywhere, you see devastation because of NAFTA.”
His aggressive approach put Clinton on the defensive, and he went on to accuse her of supporting President Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), a controversial trade agreement between several Pacific Rim countries that Clinton now opposes after having initially hailed it.
“You were totally in favor of it, then you heard how much I was against it and you said you couldn’t win,” Trump said.
“That’s just not accurate,” Clinton responded. “I was against it once it was finally negotiated and the terms were laid out.”
He shot back: “You called it the gold standard of trade deals. You said it’s the finest deal you’ve ever seen, and then you heard what I said about it and all of a sudden you were against it.”
“Well, Donald, you live in your own reality, but it is not the facts,” she retorted.
Clinton censures Trump for ‘racist lie’
Clinton accused Trump of launching his political career based on the “racist lie” that President Obama was not born in the United States
She blamed him for having a “long record of engaging in racist behavior” and saying that the “birther lie was a very hurtful one.”
“It can’t be dismissed that easily. He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen,” she said.
“There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted year after year because supporters, people he was trying to bring into his fold either believed it or wanted to believe it,” she added.
Last week, Trump finally acknowledged that President Obama was born in America, not in Kenya as he used to claim.
He, however, did not apologize to Obama for his leading role in the so-called birther movement, which was launched by Republicans to discredit the nation’s first African-American president, and didn’t explain what caused him to change his view.
Trump’s campaign has been marked by controversial statements, including disparaging remarks about women, Mexican immigrants and Muslims.
He has also proposed a temporary ban on Muslim travelers and called for racial profiling of 3.3 million American Muslims.
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hampstead, New York. (Photo by AFP)
He attacked Clinton over her use of a private email server as secretary of state and she criticized Trump for not releasing his tax history.
“I’m not going to make any excuses, it was a mistake,” Clinton said referring to her use of private email.
She also said Trump is “trying to hide” his tax history, adding, “it must be something really important, even terrible.”
Trump reacted by saying, “I will release my tax returns against my lawyer’s wishes when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted.”
Clinton also accused Trump of having a “long record of engaging in racist behavior” and criticized him for putting into question the citizenship of President Barack Obama.
“He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen. There was absolutely no evidence for it. But he persisted. He persisted year after year,” Clinton said..
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hampstead, New York. (Photo by AFP)
Trump, in response, raised Clinton’s tough critiques of Obama during their 2008 primary battle.
“You treated him with terrible disrespect and I watch the way you talk now about how lovely everything is, … it doesn’t work that way.”
“When you try to act holier than thou, it really doesn’t work,” the business mogul added.
On Daesh, Trump blamed Obama and Clinton for creating the terrorist group after the US pulled out its troops from Iraq, leaving “a vacuum the way they got out of” the country.
“They wouldn’t have even been formed if they left some troops behind,” Trump said.
Trump, however, did not reveal his plan for defeating Daesh, with Clinton saying, he had no plan at all.
“Well, at least I have a plan to fight ISIS (Daesh),” Clinton said, noting the US needs to intensify US airstrikes against Daesh and work with Turkish and Kurdish forces to fight the terrorists.
Clinton doesn’t have ‘stamina’ to be president
Hillary Clinton fainted minutes after arriving at the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum on September 11, 2016 in New York City. (Video grab)
Trump again questioned Clinton’s well-being, saying she lacks the mental and physical stamina to run the country.
“I said she doesn’t have the stamina. And I don’t believe she does have the stamina. To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina,” Trump said.
Clinton fired right back, “Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a release of dissidents… or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.”
Clinton, 68, was forced to abruptly leave a 9/11 memorial in New York on September 11 due to an apparent medical episode.
A video of the incident surfaced of the Democratic nominee appearing to stumble into a black van during her departure. However, several analysts observed that Clinton didn’t faint that day, she collapsed.
The incident fueled speculations about Clinton’s health, an issue that has been haunting her ever since she suffered a blood clot in her brain in 2012.
The next two debates of the US presidential candidates are scheduled for October 9th and 19th.