With a commanding effort Hilary Clinton has decisively won the first presidential debate halting Donald Trump’s momentum. He interrupted Clinton a total of 26 times and he spoke over the moderator Lester Holt. In addition to his well-known, albeit strange, speaking style, Trump punctuated his incoherent rants with snorts.
Clinton started the debate by mentioning the jobs associated with clean renewable energy and she mentioned the veracity of climate change. Here is an excerpt from her opening remarks: “First, we have to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. That means we need new jobs, good jobs with rising incomes. I want us to invest in you. I want us to invest in your future. That means jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean renewable energy and small business because most of the new jobs will come from small business.”
She went on to say, “Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis. He said back in 2006, “Gee, I hope it does collapse because then I can go in and buy some and make some money.” Well, it did collapse.”
Trump interrupted her saying, “That’s called business, by the way.”
Soon after that Clinton mentioned that “independent experts” said Trump’s economic plan would “blow up the debt by over $5 trillion and would in some instances disadvantage middle-class families compared to the wealthy…we would lose three and a half million jobs and maybe have another recession.” These same experts said that Clinton’s economic plan would deliver “10 million more new jobs because we will be making investments where we can grow the economy.”
Clinton went on to say, “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.”
While Trump interrupted her again claiming he did not say that, a quick fact check reveals that he did.
Clinton went on to say, “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 said, “She talks about solar panels. We invested in a solar company, our country. That was a disaster. They lost plenty of money on that one.” Presumably, he was referring to Solyndra. What Trump did not say is that solar energy has been growing at breakneck speed around the world and in the US. Nor did he mention that solar is now the least expensive form of energy in the world.
“Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality,” Clinton said. She later added, “we need to have strong growth, fair growth, sustained growth.”
Trump indicated that he was opposed to doing anything to combat climate change because in his view it hurts the economy. He also said that he wants to get rid of government regulations inferring that they interfere with corporate profits.
The outcome is really no surprise. This is what you expect when you have a debate between the most and the least qualified presidential candidate in US history.
“[J]ust listen to what you heard.” Clinton said. “You have to judge us. Who can shoulder the immense awesome responsibilities of the presidency? Who can put into action the plans that will make your life better? I hope that I will be able to earn your vote on November 8th.”
This is but the first debate. We would do well to remember that Ronald Regan lost the first Presidential debate and so did Barack Obama. We also need to remember Trump has taken some beatings in the past but he has always returned like some immortal zombie.
Even if we can get beyond the racism, misogyny and xenophobia, Trump was anything but presidential in the first presidential debate. Trump may sound like an average man, but the question Americans need to ask themselves is, do they really want such an ill-prepared, ill-informed, individual to be commander and chief?