Hillary was seen as stiff and unemotional before the first U.S. Presidential debate. Political observers wanted her to smile often and play to the camera and be more approachable. When Trump bragged about his superior temperament over Clinton, which got laughs from the crowd. Hillary gave out a loud “Woo! Ok!” gave a quick shoulder shimmy and beaming smile that indicated very visually that she had clearly won the first debate held at Hofstra University last September 26, 2016.
Based on a CNN/ORC Poll of debate watchers 62% thought Clinton won the debate over 27% for Trump. A group of undecided voters were also assembled by CNN in the swing state of Florida. 18 out of 20 people in that group thought Hillary handily won the debate over Trump.
After the smile and shimmy she very calmly and clearly talked about how NATO stood with U.S. troops after 9/11. For every exaggeration, for every generalization, every monosyllabic nonsense from Trump like “Why not?”- In reference to blaming everything on his opponent, Hillary responded with clarity and facts.
Temperament & Ignorance of Foreign Policy
Trump repeatedly criticized the Iran proposal signed by President Obama and assailing Hillary’s temperament. She then enumerated her own role as Secretary of State, “Iran was weeks away from having enough nuclear material to form a bomb. They had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle under the Bush administration. They had built covert facilities. They had stocked them with centrifuges that were whirling away. And we had sanctioned them. I voted for every sanction against Iran when I was in the Senate, but it wasn’t enough. So I spent a year-and-a-half putting together a coalition that included Russia and China to impose the toughest sanctions on Iran.
And we did drive them to the negotiating table. And my successor, John Kerry, and President Obama got a deal that put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot. That’s diplomacy. That’s coalition building. That’s working with other nations.”
In the same breath she gave a clear example of why Trump is unfit to be President, “The other day, I saw Donald saying that there were some Iranian sailors on a ship in the waters off of Iran, and they were taunting American sailors who were on a nearby ship. He said, you know, if they taunted our sailors, I’d blow them out of the water and start another war. That’s not good judgment.”
Apart from words, there was tremendous irony in Trumps actions, while taking numerous sips of water; he questioned the ‘stamina’ of Clinton. He also sniffled countless times almost every single time he began to speak. Which led people to wonder if he had a cold or as Steven Colbert has implied may be cocaine related.
He said, “She doesn’t have the look. She doesn’t have the stamina. 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.”
Hillary did not sip water once and spoke in a strong crystal clear voice. She also smiled easily perhaps at more times during any campaign engagement. She bit back, “As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.” Which was followed with applause.
Hillary’s best weapon was Trump’s own words, their absurdity, incoherence and effectively used them against him. Although she was factually right she didn’t sound condescending. The actual statements of Trump are funnier than any stand up comedian could make up. But the fact that he has managed to garner supporters and has become the Republican Party’s standard-bearer takes the humor out of it with the possibility of him being elected as president.
The Donald flip-flopped on the issue of nuclear weapons. She called him out on it and had this exchange:
CLINTON: … of what we heard Donald say has been about nuclear weapons. He has said repeatedly that he didn’t care if other nations got nuclear weapons, Japan, South Korea, even Saudi Arabia. It has been the policy of the United States, Democrats and Republicans, to do everything we could to reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons. He even said, well, you know, if there were nuclear war in East Asia, well, you know, that’s fine… TRUMP: Wrong. CLINTON: … have a good time, folks. TRUMP: It’s lies.
CLINTON: And, in fact, his cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is so deeply troubling. That is the number-one threat we face in the world. And it becomes particularly threatening if terrorists ever get their hands on any nuclear material. So a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes, as far as I think anyone with any sense about this should be concerned. TRUMP: That line’s getting a little bit old, I must say. I would like to…
CLINTON: It’s a good one, though. It well describes the problem.
Ever since Japan was bombed at the end of World War II killing 146,000 in Hiroshima, 80,000 in Nagasaki and injuring thousands more, the world has seen the destructive power of the Atom bomb or nuclear weapons. Throughout the cold war in the 1950s to the 80s the world was under threat from the possibility of nuclear holocaust. Both the Soviet Union and the U.S. had hundreds of inter continental ballistic missiles spread around the globe. Each of them has a nuclear warhead thousands of times more powerful than the original A-bomb. There have been many pacts from Russia, the U.S. and other nations since then to decommission these extremely dangerous weapons of mass destruction. Today the more nations or groups who have nuclear weapons (their proliferation) the greater the chance of humanity blowing itself up.
This is a basic concept that seems to escape Donald Trump. As a nominee, he was asked about how he would handle the problem of North Korea developing its own nuclear weapons. He responded to Anderson Cooper in a CNN Republican Presidential Town Hall suggesting that South Korea and Japan should arm themselves as well with nuclear weapons. This wild statement caused a lot of security experts such as former CIA director Michael Morell to call Donald Trump as a huge threat and risk to the U.S. if he were to be President. “President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated. In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”
50 former cabinet members and security experts of Republican Administrations echoed the assessment. Among them Michael V. Hayden, a former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency; John D. Negroponte, who served as the first director of national intelligence and then deputy secretary of state; and Robert B. Zoellick, another former deputy secretary of state, United States trade representative and, until 2012, president of the World Bank and Two former secretaries of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff. They all signed a letter stating Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.” They warn, “would be the most reckless president in American history.”
Perhaps the most offensive comments by Trump were the ones defending his derogatory comments towards women that he tried to defend in vain. It wasn’t just the content of what he was saying but more on how he conducted himself throughout the debate. He interrupted Hillary a total of 52 times. Even when there were supposed to be designated 2-minute portions where the candidates were supposed to speak, uninterrupted.
CLINTON: You know, he tried to switch from looks to stamina. But this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers, who has said… TRUMP: I never said that.
CLINTON: …. women don’t deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men.
TRUMP: I didn’t say that.
There was an audible sigh of disbelief from the crowd after Donald tried to explain himself, “You know, Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials. Some of it’s said in entertainment. Some of it’s said — somebody who’s been very vicious to me, Rosie O’Donnell, I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.” He dug himself into a hole faster than he could get out of and he didn’t even realize it. Not even after the debate claiming to reporters that he did well.
Hillary also had a bombshell revelation with one of Trump’s own beauty pageant candidates. Alicia Machado of Venezuela won Miss Universe in 1997.
CLINTON: One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman “Miss Piggy.” Then he called her “Miss Housekeeping,” because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name. TRUMP: Where did you find this? Where did you find this? CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado. TRUMP: Where did you find this? Where did you find this? CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado. TRUMP: Where did you find this? CLINTON: And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet… TRUMP: Oh, really? CLINTON: … she’s going to vote this November. (APPLAUSE)
Trump Criticizes Former Miss Universe | Alicia Machado Speaks Out
Post debate Trump never denied making those statements that are patently offensive for being not only sexist but racist as well. By calling her “Miss Housekeeping” he generalized Venezuelans and Latinos as being ‘housekeepers’. He went on the Bill O’Reilly show saying: “I will bet you if you put up and added up all the time I spoke to her, probably less than five minutes. I had nothing to do with this person, but they wanted to fire her. I saved her job because I said that’s what I was going to do. Look what happened? Look what I get out of it? I get nothing.”
Ana Navarro is a Republican Strategist and commentator and former Ambassador To the United Nations Human Rights Commission in 2001. Navarro succinctly gauged the damage of Trump’s reaction to Machado, “The Hispanic community was very familiar with Alicia Machado. We remember when this happened. We remember when she was made to work out in public like a guinea pig and calling her an eating machine. These were not allegations. This was widely covered at the time. Hell hath no fury like a Latina who was called fat. He could have admitted after the debate it was the wrong thing to do and he should have moved on. He’s got a gap with women, He’s got a gap with Hispanics. If you think destroying this woman trying to link her with all sorts of things is going to help him any, it doesn’t.” The comments were made during Anderson 360.
Ana Navarro nails Trump: He needs to work out if he wants to attack women for their weight
Jake Tapper of CNN along with several analysts was most shocked at how Hillary was able to elicit a clear admission of guilt from Trump on the Tax issue. His statement of him being ‘smart’ in NOT paying federal taxes was very categorical and mystifying that he would do so openly:
CLINTON: Well, I think you’ve seen another example of bait-and- switch here. For 40 years, everyone running for president has released their tax returns. You can go and see nearly, I think, 39, 40 years of our tax returns, but everyone has done it.
We know the IRS has made clear there is no prohibition on releasing it when you’re under audit. So you’ve got to ask yourself, why won’t he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be. Third, we don’t know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks.
Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.
TRUMP: That makes me smart.
CLINTON: So if he’s paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools or health. And I think probably he’s not all that enthusiastic about having the rest of our country see what the real reasons are, because it must be something really important, even terrible, that he’s trying to hide.
After the debate the New York Times revealed that Trump had a $916 million dollar loss based on a 1995 tax return. As a reaction he again made the same admission of guilt calling himself a ‘good businessman’ for not paying federal taxes. The loss goes against the very heart of the Trump claim of being an ultra successful businessman. The loss will also allow him to legally not pay federal taxes for 18 years, a claim which he denies.
Trump’s own statement on race had a grain of truth admitting that he’s attempted to mend fences with the African American community ‘the last little while’: “When you talk about healing, I think that I’ve developed very, very good relationships over the last little while with the African-American community. I think you can see that. And I feel that they really wanted me to come to that conclusion. And I think I did a great job and a great service not only for the country, but even for the president, in getting him to produce his birth certificate.”
Racism for Trump is not just a matter of making off hand comments through the campaign and through the years. His racial prejudice is something that he practiced as a real estate mogul. He was actually sued by the U.S. Justice Department as bared during the debate:
CLINTON: Well, just listen to what you heard. And clearly, as Donald just admitted, he knew he was going to stand on this debate stage, and Lester Holt was going to be asking us questions, so he tried to put the whole racist birther lie to bed.
CLINTON: But 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. There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted, he persisted year after year, because some of his supporters, people that he was trying to bring into his fold, apparently believed it or wanted to believe it.
But, remember, Donald started his career back in 1973 being sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination because he would not rent apartments in one of his developments to African-Americans, and he made sure that the people who worked for him understood that was the policy. He actually was sued twice by the Justice Department. So he has a long record of engaging in racist behavior. And the birther lie was a very hurtful one. You know, Barack Obama is a man of great dignity. And I could tell how much it bothered him and annoyed him that this was being touted and used against him.
But I like to remember what Michelle Obama said in her amazing speech at our Democratic National Convention: When they go low, we go high. And Barack Obama went high, despite Donald Trump’s best efforts to bring him down.
Michelle Obama: ‘When they go low, we go high’
Sometimes keeping track of the Donald’s lies can be tiresome. But others are clear and just a Tweet away. When Hillary mentioned his stand on climate change:
CLINTON: They’ve looked at my plans and they’ve said, OK, if we can do this, and I intend to get it done, we will have 10 million more new jobs, because we will be making investments where we can grow the economy. Take clean energy. Some country is going to be the clean- energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.
TRUMP: I did not. I did not. I do not say that. CLINTON: I think science is real.
TRUMP: I do not say that. CLINTON: And I think it’s important that we grip this and deal with it, both at home and abroad. And here’s what we can do. We can deploy a half a billion more solar panels. We can have enough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new modern electric grid. That’s a lot of jobs; that’s a lot of new economic activity.
Trump repeatedly denied it saying you’re wrong and no. But a very quick check of his official Twitter account shows, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” The Tweet was dated Nov 6, 2012.
Sometimes the debate was more an effort in futility with Trump sounding insane or juvenile at best:
TRUMP: And I will tell you, you look at the inner cities — and I just left Detroit, and I just left Philadelphia, and I just — you know, you’ve seen me, I’ve been all over the place. You decided to stay home, and that’s OK. But I will tell you, I’ve been all over. And I’ve met some of the greatest people I’ll ever meet within these communities. And they are very, very upset with what their politicians have told them and what their politicians have done.
CLINTON: I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And, yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that’s a good thing. (APPLAUSE)
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U.S Presidential Debate Full Transcript from Washington Post
New York Times – Trump’s $915 million dollar debt from 1995 Tax Return
Alicia Machado talks about Trump
A Letter From G.O.P. National Security Officials Opposing Donald Trump
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