ICYMI: Third and Final Presidential Debate

The third and final debate, moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News, brought up some of the most polarizing issues of this election, including the Supreme Court, immigration and the economy. The candidates started the debate appearing the most composed they have been throughout the past two debates and the election in general, but quickly turned to personal attacks.

On the Supreme Court and each of the candidate’s potential to appoint new judges if elected, a salient issue considering the current vacancy on the court. Mrs. Clinton promised to appoint judges who will protect marriage equality, abortion rights and overturn Citizens United. “The Supreme Court should represent all of us” and “needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy,” she said. Mr. Trump said he will choose judges with conservative values that will protect gun-rights and overturn the Roe v. Wade abortion decision. “It’s all about the constitution, the way it was meant to be interpreted,” he said.

On immigration, Mr. Trump called for a wall and major deportations. He criticized his opponent for wanting to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants and claimed that if elected, he will build a wall to “keep drugs out of our country,” he said. “We have some bad hombres here.” Mrs. Clinton defended her immigration plan, which includes border security as well as reform. “We are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws,” she said. “We will have secure borders, but we will also have reform.”

Courtesy: Wall Street Journal


On the economy, Mr. Wallace asked each candidate why their respective plans will create more jobs. Mrs. Clinton proposed raising taxes for the wealthy and working to present more opportunities for the middle class. “When the middle class thrives, America thrives,” she said. Mrs. Clinton said she would raise the national minimum wage, ensure equal pay for women and build an education system that goes through college by making college debt-free for families with low incomes. Mr. Trump replied that Mrs. Clinton’s tax plan “is a disaster,” and instead proposed lower taxes and less government regulation. Personal attacks quickly escalated when he blamed Mrs. Clinton and her husband for The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which was implemented during President Bill Clinton’s time in office. Mrs. Clinton responded by stating that Mr. Trump used Chinese steel and aluminum for his buildings. Mr. Trump replied asking why Mrs. Clinton did not “make it impossible for me to do that” during her 30 years in office. “I’m happy to compare my 30 years of experience…with your 30 years,” Clinton responded, after mentioning that while she was bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice, Mr. Trump was “hosting the ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’”

When the issue of Mr. Trump’s treatment of women arose, he stated that the claims made by nine different women that he groped or kissed them without their consent “have been largely debunked.” He accused these women of lying for “fame” or on behalf of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. “I believe it was her campaign that did this. She hired people to be violent, cause fights and do bad things.” Mrs. Clinton replied that the American people should be clear about “what we expect from our president,” and quoted Mr. Trump’s defense that these women weren’t attractive enough for him to make such advances. “Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger,” she said. “He goes after their dignity, their self-worth and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like.”

The debate wrapped up as Mr. Wallace asked how the candidates planned to approach the national debt and quickly turned into a name-calling match between the candidates. Mr. Trump claimed he would “repeal and replace Obamacare,” while Mrs. Clinton reiterated her plan to raise taxes on the wealthy, “unless [Mr. Trump] can figure out a way to get out of it,” she added. Mr. Trump replied calling her “such a nasty woman.”

Given one minute to respond, the candidate’s closing remarks summed up their goals for presidency. Mrs. Clinton appealed to all Americans, regardless of party affiliation, stating, “We need everybody to help make our country what it should be.” She repeated her goal to “stand up for families” by creating jobs and bettering the education system. Mr. Trump reiterated his slogan to “Make America Great Again” by improving the military and enforcing stricter immigration policies. “Our inner cities are a disaster. You get shot walking to the store,” Trump said. He claimed he will help people of color more than Mrs. Clinton could “in 10 lifetimes.” He wrapped up his closing remarks stating, “We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama and that’s what you get when you get her.”  

According to CBS News, Mrs. Clinton won the debate, though the debate did not change most voters’ opinions. With the election less than 20 days away, voters must remain informed and remember to vote on November 8th. For voters registered in Leon County, visit leonvotes.org to view sample ballots and find out where to vote on Ele