Presidential debate rundown

A recap of the first presidential debate


Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump kicked off the first presidential debate on Monday night. NBC Nightly News anchor Lestor Holt moderated the debate, which took place at Hofstra University. Experts projected 100 million viewers would watch the televised debate.

The candidates interrupted each other while speaking during the debate, with Holt often unable to interject. They debated on a wide range of topics, including the nation’s economy, taxes, race relations and ISIS.

The nation’s economy

Trump said he would bring jobs back from Mexico and China and cut tax rates on business owners from 30 to 15 percent. Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, said she would create jobs by investing in infrastructure and clean energy. Clinton’s plans addressed growing income inequality by an increase in national minimum wage, paid family leave and increased taxes for the wealthy.

Clinton accused Trump of stating he hoped the housing market would collapse so he could make money from it in 2006.She also accused him of not paying “millions in federal income tax.”

Trump promised to release his tax forms as soon as Clinton released her 30,000 deleted e-mails. Clinton acknowledged that having a personal email account was a “mistake.” Trump refuted her response, saying, “That was more than a mistake. That was purposeful.”

Race relations

Holt asked the candidates how they would work to heal the racial divide in the country.

Both candidates agreed that police in inner cities are in need of support. But while Trump emphasized the need for “law and order,” Hillary called for a reform in the “systemic racism in our criminal justice system.”

Trump also suggested reinstating “stop and frisk policing,” which was declared unconstitutional on the grounds that it racially profiled African-Americans and Hispanics. He defended this ruling by saying the decision was made by, “a very against police judge.”

Holt asked Clinton if she thought police specifically held implicit racial biases towards minorities. Clinton said she thought all people “jump to conclusions,” not just police.

Neither candidate proposed a specific plan to bridge the racial divide.

National security

Holt asked how each candidate would keep the U.S. safe through cyber-warfare. He asked who was behind the cyber attacks on the U.S. and how candidates would keep it safe.

Clinton attributed the attacks to Russia, while Trump said it could be anyone – China, Russia or “some 400-pound person sitting on their bed.”

Trump admitted the problem of “cyber” is a very difficult challenge.

“I have a son. He’s 10 years old. He has computers, he’s so good with these computers it’s unbelievable,” Trump said. “The security aspect of cyber is very tough and maybe it’s hardly doable.”

The candidates also addressed how to deal with ISIS. Clinton called for increased airstrikes, while Trump pointed to what he believes is Clinton’s role in creating ISIS.

“Hillary has experience, but it’s bad experience,” Trump said.

Trump said Clinton and President Barack Obama were responsible for creating ISIS because they created a power vacuum in Iraq after Obama pulled troops. Clinton argued that Trump alienates key allies in the fight against ISIS.

“Donald has consistently insulted Muslims abroad, Muslims at home, when we need to be cooperating with Muslim nations and with the American Muslim community. They're on the front lines, they can provide information to us that we might not get anywhere else,” Clinton said.

Closing remarks

Clinton criticized Trump’s treatment of two other key voter demographics: women and minorities towards the end of the debate.

“One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest... he called this woman miss piggy. Then he called her miss housekeeping, because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name, her name is Alicia Machado and she has become a U.S. citizen and you can bet she’s going to vote this November,” Clinton said.

Trump pointed out Clinton’s “hundreds of millions of dollars” spent in negative campaign ads about him. He said he had considered saying something “really rough” to Clinton and her family, then decided not to because it was “inappropriate and not nice.”

Holt asked the candidates how they would feel if they lost the election.

Both candidates said they would support the democratic process and support their opponent as president.

The next presidential debates will take place on Oct. 9 and Oct. 19.

Sarah Crowley is the assistant news editor and can be reached at