The first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump took place on the 26th of September. The event was held at the Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, at 9 p. m. The democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and the republican Donald Trump confronted in an heated debate over some important topics. This first debate was an opportunity for the Americans to know more about the political proposals and the personality of the two leaders. The presidential elections are scheduled for the 8th of November and the popularity of the candidates may be significantly influenced by their performance in the three presidential debates.
The debate lasted 90 minutes, and was divided into three main topic areas: achieving prosperity, America’s direction and securing America. As regards the first topic area, the candidates were asked to express their position on jobs. Clinton proposed to build an economy that works for everyone and not just for those at the top. She wants to create new jobs by investing in infrastructures, innovation, technology, clean renewable energy and small businesses. Furthermore, Hillary proposed to make the economy fairer by raising the national minimum wage, introducing earned sick days, paid family leaves, and free college. On the other hand, Donald Trump argued that the main problem related to jobs in the U.S. is that companies are fleeing the country. This happens because of the high taxes that they have to pay in the U.S. Then, the two candidates were asked to express their vision on taxes. Donald Trump affirmed that he would cut taxes on companies from 35% to 15%. In his opinion, this measure would attract companies in the country as well as creating new jobs. While Clinton expressed a different perspective on taxes. She said that her plan is to raise taxes on wealthy and cut taxes on small businesses and lower social classes. Her purpose is to create a more consistent middle class. At this point of the debate, Trump was asked to explain why he refused to release his tax returns. Even though it is not an obligation for candidates, it is a tradition followed by U.S. Presidents in order to promote financial transparency. He replied saying that he will release his tax returns when Hillary releases her emails.
Concerning the second area, America’s direction, the two candidates were asked to give their opinion about race relations in the country. Hillary Clinton said that the first challenge is to restore trust between the communities and the police. This goal requires a criminal justice reform and a restriction of the possibility to buy weapons. Conversely, Trump affirmed that he would bring back law and order in the country, empowering the police and using methods like the “Stop and frisk”. It is a practice used by the police officers in which they stop and question a pedestrian, then frisk him for weapons. However, Clinton argued that this method was declared unconstitutional.
Referring to the third area, securing America, the candidates were asked to talk about the issue of cyber attacks. Clinton said that cyber security will be one of the biggest challenges of the next President. She accused Russia of being responsible for one of the recent attacks to U.S. information. On the contrary, Trump affirmed that it is not sure that was Russia who stole the information. After that, they were asked to talk about the prevention of home grown terrorism and ISIS. On this topic Trump affirmed that ISIS is the result of the disaster made in the Middle East by the previous U.S. governments. He criticized a foreign policy based on military intervention and the NATO alliance, which requires a great economic contribution from the U.S. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton expressed her support to the foreign policy of President Obama, and she reminded the importance of NATO for the security of the U.S., as well as the others alliances and treaties that the U.S. signed with foreign countries.
At the end of the debate, a poll expressed a 62% of support for Hillary Clinton and a 27% of support for Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton appeared to the public much more prepared about her political program and at the same time she managed all Trump’s attacks by smiling and keeping calm. On the contrary Trump reacted to Hillary’s accuses in a much more spontaneous way, even raising his voice. The next debates between the two candidates, scheduled for the 9th and the 19th of October will be fundamental to known who will be the next President of the U.S.