7:20 pm, Sep.28, 2016, Hong Kong
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had major differences over the issues of tax, job, security and even their “temperaments” during the First Presidential Debate on Monday evening, setting another record in America’s history as its theatrical style defied conventions.
The two candidates quickly started to exchange fire over the first issue – tax policy, as Clinton questioning Trump’s massive tax reduction for all businesses from 25% to 15% to be only benefiting big corporates and would widen the wealth gap. She continued her criticism by calling his plan the “trumped-up trickle-down”. Trump then attacked his opponent for not doing her job in getting fair trade deals when Clinton was Secretary of State.
In order to create jobs for American people, Clinton proposed to address this issue by building infrastructure, rising incomes, and equal pay for women, yet Trump put the blame on immigrants and other countries including Mexico and China of “stealing jobs” from America.
However, that was far from the only time Trump pointed finger at others for America’s economic problems. Apart from holding Secretary Clinton and the Obama’s administration responsible for $800 billion a year in trade deficit, he also accused Janet Yellen, President of Federal Reserve System, of manipulating interest rates for political reason.
When it comes to combatting ISIS, Trump slashed Obama and Clinton for creating a vacuum that ISIS took advantage to form and develop when the US troop got out of Iraq. Clinton reputed that Trump supported the invasion of Iraq and indicated the priority was to take out the ISIS’s leadership. The two also disagreed in US providing military protection for allies such as Japan and South Korea, as Trump insisted they should pay the US for its protection.
As for defending national security, Clinton expressed her deep concern about the recent cyber-attacks coming from Russia and suggested Trump was “praiseworthy” of Vladimir Putin. When it came to Trump’s turn, he was “very proud” of getting endorsements by many admirals and generals, and cyber security was important, but gave no particular plan. Then he defended Russia by, again, pointing finger at others, saying “it could be Russia, but it could also be China.”
And it turned a bit more personal: after blaming Clinton for almost everything and interrupted her speech for numerous times, Trump went on to say that she had a problem with her temperament and she lacked the “stamina” to be president. Clinton took it with a laugh, and later revealed his sexist comment of calling a woman in a beauty contest “Miss Piggy”.
In term of honesty, the former Secretary of State admitted she made a mistake of using private email for classified information, while Trump still refused to give his tax returns for an undergoing audit by the IRS, despite the fact that anyone is free to submit tax returns during audit, which left his opponent suspecting that he was not as wealthy or charitable as he claimed.
Held in Hofstra University, New York, the 90-minute debate started at 9pm East Time, with NBC’s Lester Holt as moderator. The debate were divided into six segments to explore three major topics, namely achieving prosperity, America’s direction and securing America, where the candidates were given two minutes to answer questions from Holt.