2016 Election: The First Presidential Debates

by Jasmine Hanna-Funk

This election has sparked a renewed interest in the leadership of our government and countless jokes about Donald Trump’s hair. Although some of our candidates’ ideas and scandals have been overplayed and dramatized in the past few months, these candidates’ policies deserve some thought before November 8th. On September 26th, the first presidential debate was held, and it was a mixed bag for both parties. The debate broke records for the most viewed presidential debate of all time.

You can watch the first debate here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=855Am6ovK7s

Many advocates for racial equality voiced their opinions on Donald Trump’s comments about stop and frisk. He said he thought stop and frisk was a great policy that had helped lots of people and should be reinstated, that was quickly shut down by Clinton when she reminded him that it was deemed unconstitutional.

You can read about the Cleveland Police department endorsing Trump here: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/10/cleveland_police_union_overwhe.html

You can also read criticism of the Cleveland Police for the endorsement here: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/10/protest_against_cleveland_poli.html

Trump was also put under scrutiny for calling black and Latino neighborhoods in America “hell,” for complaining about the state of U.S. airports, and calling America a third world country.

Hillary Clinton was criticized by Trump for pausing her campaign tour a few days earlier, and she responded quickly stating that she took the time to prepare for the debate. Although some critics and political sciences determined that Clinton had won the debate, there are some protests from Fox News.

Here’s a Fox News article suggesting her microphone was a “coughing prevention device”: http://insider.foxnews.com/2016/09/29/hillary-clinton-conspiracy-theories-swirl-after-first-presidential-debate

Here’s an insider article accusing the moderator of bias: http://insider.foxnews.com/2016/10/06/laura-ingraham-second-debate-between-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-hannity

The second presidential debate was on Sunday October 9th at Washington University, and if you couldn’t make it out to St. Louis then it’s be available to stream on YouTube from the link below. Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper moderated.

Here’s the the second debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRlI2SQ0Ueg

If you don’t want to watch the whole video, here’s a link to the transcript if you want to find specific questions or comments: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/10/us/politics/transcript-second-debate.html?_r=0

This debate was a little different because of its town hall format, which means that undecided American citizens could ask pre-approved questions to the candidates. Clinton and Trump were allowed to walk around and approach the audience while speaking.

Although the second debate wasn’t as viewed as the first, there was plenty of criticism for each candidate. Most of the attention to given to Trump after his 2005 video released of “locker room talk” that sparked controversy. In response to this video, Trump held a conference with the women that accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault as well as a rape victim that was involved in a case that Hilary Clinton worked as a defense attorney.

Here’s a link to a fact checking site that tracked the debate: http://www.factcheck.org/2016/10/factchecking-the-second-presidential-debate/

Here’s a link to the SNL skit based on the debate: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/10/16/saturday_night_live_does_the_second_presidential_debate_clinton_mistresses_trump__women.html

And for those of you who are old enough, please remember to vote!

(Editor’s Note: this article was completed before the final presidential debate)

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