Presidential debate covers policy, personal attacks


Molly Dotson

Audience members laugh at Donald Trump’s rebutal to a question reguarding his tax information during the Presidential Debate Monday in Lumpkin Auditorium. Addison Bounds (grey Adidas shirt), a senior marketing major, said he thought this part of the debate was especially laughable because Trump’s response was “just very off topic.”

Samuel Nusbaum, Administration Reporter


The first presidential debate was full of policy and personal attacks, as well as plans for the future.

Students gathered Monday night in the Roberson Auditorium in Lumpkin Hall to watch the two presidential candidates discuss topics including the economy, national security and race relations in the United States.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, talked about investing in the people’s future to create jobs. She said she wants to close corporate loopholes which will help get money into the economy and invest in renewable in order to make the United States the clean energy powerhouse.

Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, said jobs are fleeing the country and heading to countries such as Mexico, China and countries in the Middle East. He aims to make sure America looks good enough that companies will not outsource their jobs to other countries because he sees other countries as using outsourced U.S. jobs as rebuilding China.

Trump also said he would re-negotiate the U.S.’s trade deals.

Clinton said her economic plan would create jobs, while Trumps would cause the U.S. to lose jobs.

When discussing taxes, Trump said he would get rid of taxes, which hurt the wealthy, stating those are the people who create the jobs which fuel the economy.

Clinton responded by saying Trump is advocating for trickle-down economics, similar to what President Ronald Reagan had advocated for during his presidency.

Debate moderator Lester Holt asked questions on the controversies surrounding each candidate, including the refusal of Trump to release his tax returns and Clinton’s email scandal.

Trump said he is under an audit, which he claims is a common occurrence for him and he cannot release his tax returns.

He said, in a show of spectacle, he would release his tax returns against his own lawyers’ advice if Clinton would release all of the emails she has kept hidden during the investigation against her personal email server.

Lester interjected, saying it is possible for a person to release their tax returns while under an audit.

Clinton said Trump should release his tax returns because all other presidential nominees whether they have won or not, have done so. She said because Trump has kept his to himself, he must be hiding something.

When it came to race relations, the two candidates did agree on one topic.

They both agreed the relationships between communities and the police departments of the country have deteriorated, and part of fixing the problems of gangs and gun violence in the country is to heal those wounds.

Clinton said there must be better training for the police in scenarios where force will be necessary.

Trump said many people are living in horrible conditions and cited the number of deaths in Chicago since President Barack Obama has taken office as an example of people living in horrible conditions. He also said many of the gang members were in the country illegally.

A point Trump made stirred some controversy in the auditorium of Hofstra University, where the debate was held.

He said the police practice of stop and frisk worked and should still be used. Stop and frisk was used by the New York Police department as a way to make sure a pedestrian was not armed while they were talking to an officer.

The practice was ruled unconstitutional and the practice was abandoned.

As far as the email scandal Clinton was part of, she said she regrets setting the server up and she would not make the server again if she could go back in time.

Trump said setting up a private email server is not something that is done on accident and was upset how many of her people pleaded the fifth during the hearings.

Jay Abell, a political science major said he wished Trump could be more descriptive on certain topics such as the economy. Abell said he would have wanted to hear how Trump would create jobs.

Abell thinks Trump won the debate by a slim margin, though is not the biggest fan of him.

“He was not my first choice during the primaries,” Abell said.

Abell said he liked Jeb Bush, but is sticking with his party and voting Republican.

Abell said he agreed completely with Clinton in regards to her comments on race and the police.

Kelli Halfman, a graduate student and communication studies major, said she thinks the debate as a whole was interesting and that Clinton won the debate.

She said the constant personal attacks were interesting and comical.

While she thinks Clinton told the audience what they wanted to hear, she had a different view of Trump.

“I feel like he deflected a lot,” Halfman said.

She also said Trump was rude and interrupted a lot.

After the debate had ended, a vote was held as to who had won the debate, with Clinton winning soundly among those present.

Samuel Nusbaum can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].