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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Final debate of US Presidential Election

What happened in Vegas was heard across the globe on Monday morning as nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced each other at the final 2016 presidential debate. US Presidential rivals Clinton and Trump faced off just 20 days before Americans vote for their next president on November 8.

The debate at the University of Nevada was focused on six topics: debt and entitlements, immigration, economy, the US Supreme Court, foreign hotspots and fitness to be president.
This debate was the last time Clinton and Trump had a chance to share their vision for America and demonstrate their presidential strengths.

1. Unusual Guest
A few hours before the debate, Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tweeted a picture with one of his guests at the event— Barack Obama's Kenyan born half-brother Malik Obama, who is a supporter of the Republican nominee.

2. Hot Button Issue: Vladimir Putin, Russia
When Wallace asked Clinton about Wikileaks, it became all about Russia.
Clinton accused the Russian government of engaging "in espionage" and asked if Trump will condemn Russia. He reiterated that he does not know Vladimir Putin but that it would not be a bad thing if Russia and the United States (US) got along to tackle ISIS. Pressing his button on the issue, Clinton said, “That’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.” 

To which Trump called her the “puppet” and, in what sounded like praise, said, “Putin has outsmarted her every step of the way”. Twitter-obsessed Trump didn't let the 90-minute debate stop the tweets from flowing.

3. US Supreme Court: Abortion, marriage equality and Second Amendment
On the Supreme Court, Clinton said she strongly felt the need to stand on the side of the American people. "For me, that means that we need a supreme court that will stand up on behalf of women’s rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, that will stand up and say no to Citizens United, a decision that has undermined the election system in our country because of the way it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system."

In a softer tone, Trump said as president he will appoint justices that are pro life and will protect the Second Amendment. Both Trump and Clinton made arguments in support of their stance on abortion. Clinton said that the government should not be making a woman's choice and that she will protect their right and defend Roe V Wade and Planned Parenthood.

Trump, who is pro life, said that he thinks its terrible that a woman could terminate her pregnancy even in the ninth month. “Hillary can say that's ok, that's not ok with me,” he said.

4. Building a wall
On immigration, Trump said “amnesty is a disaster” and there needed to be a strong border. “I want to build the wall”, he said, “We have no country if we have no border.”

Clinton argued that when Trump met with Mexico's president he “choked” and didn't raise the issue of building a wall. On the other hand, Trump claimed that Clinton wanted the wall. She corrected him saying she was for border security. She alleged that he used illegal immigrants to build Trump Tower and threatened them with deportation for paying them low wages.

5. On Nuclear Weapons
Clinton reminded the viewers that when the president gives the orders (to launch nuclear weapons), it must be followed. Ten people who have had that responsibility, she claims, said that they wouldn't take orders from Trump.

Trump went on to list all the US admirals that have endorsed him. He then switched topics and talked about being ripped off for defending other countries, saying that the US can no longer afford to do so.

6. On Economy
For once, Trump and Clinton stuck to the topic and made strong arguments and attacked each other on their policy. Clinton spoke of helping middle class America thrive and making sure women got equal pay. Trump argued, “Her plan is going to raise taxes... her tax plan is a disaster,” adding, "We’re gonna cut taxes massively... we’re gonna cut business taxes, we’re gonna start the engine rolling again.”

7. Trump strikes Hillary's experience
Trump attacked Hillary's 30-year experience in Washington. "The one thing you have over me is experience but its bad experience. You talk but don't get anything done... If you become president, this country is going to be in some mess," he said. 

Clinton fought back, listing her 30 years of experience, while simultaneously questioning how he spent his time during the same period. At one point, she said that when she was in the situation bringing down Osama (bin laden), he was hosting the reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice.

8. Fitness to be President
On Trump's fitness
When asked about the women that have come forward accusing him of sexual misconduct, Trump blamed Hillary and accused the women of wanting fame. “I didn't apologise to my wife cause I didn't do it,” he said.

Hillary says that Donald has shown who he really was.“I think it's really up to us to be clear who we are and how are country is. America is great because American is good,” she said.

The audience laughed when Trump calmly said,“Nobody has more respect for women than I do”. Hitting back at Clinton, he said, "We should not focus on fiction”. Instead, he said that the focus should be on her “crooked campaign”.

On Clinton's fitness
When questioned about her email use as Secretary of State, Clinton said “Everything I did as Secretary of State was in furtherance of our country’s interest and our values."

Attacking the Clinton Foundation, Trump called it a “criminal enterprise”. About the foundation, Clinton talked about HIV/Aids treatment it had provided and said she was proud of the work that they have achieved through the foundation. 

“The Clinton foundation spent 90% of all the money that is donated on behalf of programs around the world... I’d be happy to compare to the Trump foundation that took money from other people and bought a six-foot portrait of Donald,” she hit back.
9. Final remarks
In their final statements for the night, Clinton and Trump reinforced their mission to the American people.

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