US 2016 Presidential Election: Trump, Clinton Clash in First Debate, Clinton Wins
As both nominees exchanged rhetoric on competing views of the world at the first of the three presidential debates, a CNN poll found 62 per cent of viewers thought Hillary Clinton won the debate, compared to just 27 per cent who said the same of Donald Trump.
Trump traded ideas on competing world views at the first of the three debates at Hofstra University on Long Island near New York City.
He took the offensive on economic policy at the start of the debate, repeating his vows to reduce taxes from around 35 percent to a maximum of 15 percent on US businesses. He also repeated his criticisms of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] as being destructive for US industry and jobs.
For her part, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton countered that Trump's tax reduction plan would put an additional $5 trillion on the US government's debt and claimed her own economic plan would create 10 million new jobs.
Clinton also sought to defuse the growing concerns about the annual US $800 billion trade deficit with the rest of the world by saying she would appoint a special prosecutor to enforce free trade agreements.
However, Trump reminded Clinton that her plans include raising the tax burden on the American middle class.
The two also traded criticisms on personal issues when Clinton called on Trump to release his tax returns.
Trump said he would do so when the US Internal Revenue Service completed its audit of his businesses and he countered by saying he would still release them when Clinton released the 33,000 emails she had deleted from her private server during her years as secretary of state.
Trump also charged that the deletion of the emails by Clinton was done deliberately and not by accident.
Clinton wrote off the use of a private server as a "mistake" and also defended her health and stamina saying she had travelled to 112 countries during her years as secretary of state while Trump had not.
Trump warned that the United States was currently functioning in another economic bubble and he predicted that another serious economic crisis could begin as soon as current Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellin increased interested rates by any significant degree.
Trump also charged that the United States had spent $6 trillion in the Middle East on policies of military intervention and nation-building supported by Clinton under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama with nothing to show for them.
The money could and should have been used to rebuild the decaying domestic infrastructure of the United States, Trump charged.
Clinton also said the issue of cyber-threats would be one of the biggest to face the next US president and she claimed there was "no doubt" that Russia had used cyber-attacks against US organizations.
Clinton also accused Russia of "probing" US reactions to its alleged cyber-intrusions.
Trump, however, countered Clinton had not proven that either Russia or any other state actor had carried out such intrusions, especially against the US Democratic National Committee [DNC]. He noted the hacked DNC emails revealed that Democratic Party officials systematically favored Clinton over her challenger Senator Bernie Sanders.
On Middle East policy, Clinton expressed strong support for the Kurds and saying the United States must maintain its backing of them and its Arab partners against the Islamic State terrorist group.
Trump countered that Clinton deserved major responsibility for the rise of Daesh since she, as secretary of state, along with Obama, had implemented policies that left power vacuums in both Iraq and much of Syria, allowing Daesh to become established in the first place.
Clinton further emphasized her experience of government especially her four year as secretary of state. Trump admitted that she had accumulated experience, but he charged that it was "bad" experience.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team