Clinton bests Trump in first face-to-face debate
HEMPSTEAD, New YorkU.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton emerged victorious over her Republican rival, Donald Trump, during the first face-to-face debate broadcast live, according to the results of a snap poll.
A CNN/ORC snap poll said 62 percent of respondents felt Clinton won and 27 percent believed Trump was the winner of the Sept. 26 debate during which Clinton accused Trump of racism, sexism and tax avoidance, thus putting him on the defensive.
Trump, a real estate tycoon making his first run for public office, said Clinton’s long years of service represented “bad experience” with few results and said she lacked the stamina to serve as commander-in-chief.
Clinton was under pressure to perform well after a bout with pneumonia and a drop in opinion polls, but her long days of preparation appeared to pay off in her highly anticipated first 90-minute standoff with Trump.
Trump, a former reality TV star who eschewed a lot of debate practice, was strong early on but appeared to become repetitive and more undisciplined as the night wore on in front of a televised audience that might have reached upwards of a record 100 million people.
Opinion polls have shown the two candidates in a very tight race, with the latest Reuters/Ipsos polling showing Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points with 41 percent of likely voters.
A second Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sept. 26 showed half of America’s likely voters would rely on the debates to help them make their choice.
Trump said Clinton did not have the endurance to be president but avoided mentioning her bout this month with pneumonia.
“She doesn’t have the look, she doesn’t have the stamina,” he said.
Clinton retorted: “As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire, a release of dissidents ... or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.”
Turning to race in America, Trump called for a “law and order” approach to reducing violent crime in minority neighborhoods and continued to defend the controversial “stop and frisk” policing tactic.
“We have to stop the violence, we have to bring back law and order,” he said, adding that Hispanics and blacks are “living in hell” because of the crime in their neighborhoods.
Clinton, however, took issue with Trump’s reliance on a “law and order” approach, saying that what is needed is a larger effort to reform the criminal justice system and “restore trust” between the police and the communities they serve.
“Race remains a significant challenge in our country,” she said. “Unfortunately race still determines too much.”
And on Islam, Clinton lambasted her rival who previously advocated for a full ban on Muslim migration to the U.S.
“Donald has consistently insulted Muslims abroad, Muslims at home when we need to be cooperating with Muslim nations and with the American Muslim community,” she said. “They’re on the front lines, they can provide information to us that we might not get anywhere else.”
Trump responded by saying, “we’ve been working with them for many years and we have the greatest mess anyone’s ever seen.”
Trump and Clinton did agree on one thing: individuals on no-fly lists or government watch lists should be prevented from purchasing a firearm.
The real estate mogul and former top diplomat’s next square-off will be on Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis.
Two other presidential candidates – Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein – were not invited to take part in the debate because neither had obtained at least 15 percent support in national polls, the threshold established to qualify.
Clinton vows to work with Turkish, Kurdish fighters against ISIL
U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has vowed to work with Turkish and Kurdish forces in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), speaking in the first face-to-face live debate with her Republican rival Donald Trump on Sept. 26.
“We need to intensify U.S. air strikes against Islamic State [ISIL], work with Turkish and Kurdish forces … We need to work more closely with allies on counterterrorism,” Clinton said.
“Working with the Middle East for many years and it’s still a total mess,” Trump said in response. “NATO started focusing on counterterrorism because of my criticism. Clinton was there when the Islamic State [ISIL] organization was ‘a little infant’ and is not going to stop them now.”
Clinton said more effort is required to prevent the radicalization of would-be ISIL operatives outside of the Middle East and promised to step up military action against the group.
“We also have to intensify our airstrikes against ISIL and eventually support our Arab and Kurdish partners to be able to actually take out ISIL in Raqqa and their aim of being a caliphate,” she said, referring to the group’s de facto capital in Syria.
“We’re making progress. Our military is assisting in Iraq. And we’re hoping within a year we’ll be able to push them out of Iraq and really squeeze them in Syria … I would also do everything possible to take out their leadership,” Clinton added.