by Jonathan Moniz, Staff Writer
On Monday September 26th, the campus was invited to a viewing for the Presidential Debate of 2016. The first of the election season, large crowds of students attended, filling the seats and leaving many standing.
The debate was between the two presidential candidates for the year of 2016, Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, with NBC anchor Lester Holt moderating. Many have been widely anticipating this debate, as it was the most viewed event on television, with over 80 million Americans watching.
The viewing began at 8:00 p.m., with a podium set up and the projectors on with the pre-debate show airing. The broadcast that the viewing used was CNN’s broadcast, with various commentators from the news show talking about each candidate’s various points and strategies to be employed throughout the debate, as well as who was more likely to succeed where. The students had many opinions on this themselves.
Many of the students had ranging opinions on the event, and preferred different candidates, and on the candidate’s party.
“Trump presents nothing of the Republicanism I believe in,” said George Beshara, a sophomore Finance major. He commented on how he thought Trump had the advantage, noting his tendency to use ad hominems and personal attacks. With the debates having so much of a showmanship air, Beshara thought Trump had the advantage.
Ross Jacques, a first year Engineering major and Cole Sabourin, a first year English major, echoed his thoughts, noting Trump’s more honest style. However, they commented on how both were hated closely, and the candidates people supported were often the lesser of two evils to them.
Lizzie St. Brice, a first year undeclared who was leaning towards political science, “thought it would be closer…. but that Clinton would win.” She cited Clinton’s background in the government and foreign affairs as proof of her better candidacy than Trump.
Before the debate began, Interim Chancellor Helm made an appearance at the event and made a speech about the oncoming debate, encouraging students to apply the skills they had learned in class with debates here at this event.
From there, two students came up and performed a mock debate, listing the reasons each candidate relied upon with their platform, and entering in some talking points. They discussed many of the reasons that each candidate listed that appealed to their supporters.
Then the debate began, with Lester Holt entering in and first urging the audience not to cheer or clap, so as to have a productive debate. He then welcomed and announced Clinton and Trump into the debate room. Clinton received the first question of the night: “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 works?” Holt asked.
She responded with focusing on her past and her father as a small business owner, then urged for income equality by giving tax breaks to the middle class, and having the wealthy pay their fair share. She phrased this as being the responsibilities of a president.
Trump responded by speaking about exporting jobs, companies seeking work elsewhere, illegal immigration stealing jobs here, and reducing taxes for everyone from 35 percent to 15.
From there, they went back and forth on various policy issues, discussing topics such as climate change to gun control. Memorable moments were on the less policy focused issues like when Trump brought up Clinton’s emails, which she apologized for, and when she brought up his tax returns. When she revealed Trump had not paid taxes for two years and cited his reluctance as proof of him not having paid any federal income tax, Trump replied, “That makes me smart.”
Both candidates frequently ran over their time and did not comply strictly with the Holt’s rules, particularly during the rebuttal setting. There were also moments when Trump mentioned Clinton’s super predator comment and how Clinton recalled the time when he called a beauty pageant winner “Miss Piggy”.
The next presidential debate is on Sunday, October 9, and will be hosted by Anderson Cooper of CNN.