First Presidential Debate Brings Record Viewers

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by Sophia Tan

Candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had their first debate in their race to become president at Hofstra University on Monday, September 26, bringing in a record 24 million viewers, according to Nielsen data.

The event, featuring Trump in his first debate, was also the highest-rated telecast in the nearly 20 year history of the Fox News Channel, a spokeswoman said.

It’s safe to assume that the last presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had the country at the edge of their seats. With two of the most disliked candidates in US presidential history, viewers were interested to see what either side would bring to the table.

The debate was organized into three categories: achieving prosperity, America’s direction, and securing America. With each topic, the candidates were asked a series of questions in which they had approximately two minutes to respond.

On the subject of reaching prosperity, Clinton focused on the middle class, strongly advocating a system of distributing the wealth and benefitting the poor. “We have to build an economy that works for everyone,” said Clinton, “not just those at the top.” Trump, on the other hand, spoke mostly on the issue of how we need to stop our jobs from leaving the country, claiming that countries like Mexico and China are “using us as a piggy bank.” Trump also showcased his plan for his significant tax cuts that he claimed to be “the biggest since Ronald Reagan’s.”

When asked about America’s direction, Clinton addressed issues concerning racial inequality and police brutality. In her words, we must “restore trust between our communities and the police.” Trump pushed for increased law and order, and went so far as to state that gangs roaming the streets were in many cases “illegally here,” also adding that “stop and frisk” was not considered to be racial profiling, contrary to studies done that proved such tactics to be unconstitutional.

On the topic of securing America, Clinton addressed issues involving terrorism, specifically ISIS and its cyber attacks. She plans to use ISIS’s tactics against them, by hacking its hackers through technological advances. According to Clinton, her objective is to “do everything to take out their leadership.”

Trump’s response generally consisted of blaming Obama and Clinton for the creation of ISIS, saying that “under President Obama, we’ve lost control of things that we used to have control of,” and adding that “they [ISIS] wouldn’t have even been formed if they [Obama and Clinton] left some troops behind, like 10,00 or maybe something more than that.”  In agreement with Clinton, he also intends to crack down on cyber warfare in order to further expose and eradicate ISIS hackers.

Both Trump and Clinton presented many ideas for viewer consideration and the behavior displayed by each will serve as a precursor for future debates.

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