Presidential candidates face off in first debate


Hillary: Photo by neverbutterfly via Wikimedia Commons/ Trump: Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

The candidates faced off at the first presidential debate in pursuit of becoming the next commander-in-chief.

Silvia Burian, Writer

The first presidential debate for the 2016 election began with commentary from John Dickerson, moderator of Face the Nation, who summarized the debate as that which “most closely approximates the formality of the presidency.

The first question asked to the candidates: “Why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American workers?”

Clinton answered first and said, “The central question in this election is really what kind of country we want to be and what kind of future we’ll build together.

“First we have to build an economy that works for everyone. Not just those at the top. We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also, finally, equal pay for women. I also want to see more companies do profit sharing. And I want us to do more to support people who are struggling to balance between family and work. So let’s have paid family leave, earned sick days, affordable child care and debt free college. How? By having the wealthy pay their fair share and close the corporate loopholes.”

She acknowledged her opponent and said, “You have to judge us, who can shoulder the immense, awesome responsibilities of presidency, who can put into action the plans that will make your life better. I hope that I will be able to earn your vote on November 8th.”

Trump responded, “Our jobs are fleeing the country. They’re going to Mexico. You look at what China’s doing to our country in terms of making our product. They’re devaluing their currency and there’s nobody in our government to fight them. And we have a very good fight. We can’t allow that to happen anymore.

“Under my plan I’ll be reducing taxes tremendously from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies small and big businesses. That’s going to be a job creator like we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan. We have to renegotiate our trade deals and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs”

Clinton responded, “Well, I think that trade is an important issue. Of course, we are 5 percent of the world’s population; we have to trade with the other 95 percent. And we need to have smart, fair trade deals. We also, though, need to have a tax system that rewards work and not just financial transactions.

“And the kind of plan that Donald has put forth would be trickle-down economics all over again. In fact, it would be the most extreme version, the biggest tax cuts for the top percent of the people in this country than we’ve ever had. I call it trumped-up trickle-down, because that’s exactly what it would be.”

Clinton talked about the differences between her and Trump’s upbringing and said that she wants to do more for the middle class by investing in education, skills, better qualities of life and more growth. “That’s the kind of economy I want us to see again,” she said.

Holt asked Trump how he was going to tell manufacturers that have left the U.S. that they have to come back to which Trump replied, “We have to renegotiate our trade deals. When they sell into us, there’s no tax. It’s a defective agreement. It’s been defective for a long time, many years, but the politicians haven’t done anything about it.”

Holt again asked the Republican candidate as to how he plans to bring companies back to America. Trump responded that companies would be wrong to think that they can manufacture products outside of the U.S. and sell them in the country without a tax.

“And what you do is you say, fine, you want to go to Mexico or some other country, good luck. We wish you a lot of luck,” Trump said.

Clinton asked viewers to remember where the country was eight years ago and pointed out “that was in large part because of tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off of Wall Street, and created a perfect storm. Now, we have come back from that abyss.”

She said that independent experts have looked at both her and Trumps proposals and have stated that under his tax plan, the country’s debt would blow up by $5 trillion. Under her proposed tax plan 10 million new jobs would be generated because her focus will be in making investments that will grow the economy.

The emcee asked the two candidates the final question for the debate: “One of you will not win this election. So my final question to you tonight, are you willing to accept the outcome as the will of the voters?”

“Well I support our democracy. And sometimes you win and sometimes you lose,” Clinton responded. “But I certainly will support the outcome of this election.”

She spoke directly to the voters and concluded, “This election is really up to you. So I sure hope you will get out and vote as though your future depended on it, because I think it does.”

Trump responded, “I want to make America great again. We are a nation that is seriously troubled. We’re losing our jobs. People are pouring into our country.”

He was prompted by Holt to answer the question to which he answered, “Look, here’s the story. I want to make America great again. I’m going to be able to do it. I don’t believe Hillary will. The answer is, if she wins, I will absolutely support her.”