WASHINGTON — Some of the memorable moments from the first U.S. presidential debate featuring Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Beauty queen, ugly words:
Clinton confronts her opponent for once calling a Miss Universe, “Miss Piggy,” because of her weight gain, as well as, “Miss Housekeeper,” for her Latina origins. Trump interjects, “Where did you find this?” Clinton continues: “Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet she’s going to vote this November.”
Clinton’s contortions on trade:
Trump presses her to explain her flip-flops on trade policy. She once called the Trans-Pacific Partnership the gold standard of trade deals. Now she opposes it. Clinton defends her old words; she said them before the deal was done. So Trump presses some more, seeking to exploit a rift between Clinton and her most powerful campaign ally. Trump asks three times: If this deal is so bad, “Is it President Obama’s fault?”
History of racism, alleged:
Clinton refers to his family company being sued by the federal government in the 1970s for not renting apartments to blacks. The suit was settled, with conditions. She ties that to more recent behaviour: “He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen… So he has a long record of engaging in racist behaviour. And the birther lie was a very hurtful one. You know, Barack Obama is a man of great dignity. And I could tell how much it bothered him and annoyed him that this was being touted and used against him.”
Hot air on global warming:
Clinton chides her opponent for calling global warming a Chinese hoax. Trump denies saying it. He’s not telling the truth, and gets busted immediately. Thousands of people start circulating a tweet four years ago where Trump said exactly that: global warming was a Chinese hoax. He’s called global warming a hoax many other times.
Trump says: “I also have a much better temperament than she has.” Some partisans in the audience laugh and groan.
Trump’s tiny tax bill:
When asked about evidence he paid no income tax some years, Trump replies: “That makes me smart.” Later, when he complains about crumbling roads and bridges, Clinton shoots back: “Maybe because you haven’t paid any federal income tax for a lot of years.”
Fighting ISIS since the ’60s:
Trump criticizes her for releasing too many details about how she’d fight the so-called Islamic State, saying it gives the enemy advance warning. Then he adds: “No wonder you’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.”
Tit-for-tat on tax returns:
Clinton asks why he hasn’t released his returns, like other candidates: Is it because he’s less rich than he claims? Does he give less to charity? Does he owe money to foreign interests? Or maybe he pays no taxes? Clinton says he’s hiding something.
Trump shoots back: “I will release my tax returns… when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted.”
Running on stamina:
Trump says his opponent doesn’t have the look to be president, or the stamina. She replies: “As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee (about Benghazi), he can talk to me about stamina.”
Fat chance it was the Russians:
Trump gets annoyed when she mentions his supposed camaraderie with Vladimir Putin. He says there’s no proof it was Russians who hacked the Democratic party’s emails. Then he offers a colourful description of who else it might be: “She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia â€” maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.”
Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press