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Rediff News  All News  » News » Taxes, email scandal and more. What happened when Clinton and Trump sparred

Taxes, email scandal and more. What happened when Clinton and Trump sparred

Last updated on: September 27, 2016 11:10 IST

The highly anticipated matchup between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump finally happened, and it didn’t disappoint.

Here are all the highlights from the first presidential debate.

On jobs

Clinton says we need to build an economy “for everyone, not just those at the top,” citing her plan to create jobs in infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and clean renewable energy. “We also have to make the economy fairer,” including raising the national minimum wage, instituting corporate profit sharing and paid family leave, affordable college and making sure and “making sure the wealthy pay their fair share.”

Clinton retorted, “US jobs are fleeing the country.” Citing China’s devaluation of its currency, Trump adds, “They are using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild their country. We can’t allow it to happen anymore.”

On policy, he said, “Under my plan, I'll be reducing taxes tremendously, from 35 per cent to 15 per cent for companies, small and big businesses. That’s going to be a job creator like we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan. It’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch.”

Taxes and emails

Hillary Clinton said she’s taking responsibility for using a private server to get State Department emails.

When Donald Trump said he would release his tax returns if his opponent released what he called her “33,000 deleted” emails, Clinton said, “I made a mistake using a private email” server.

Clinton said Trump has a simple reason he won't release his tax returns: He’s got something to hide. She noted that some of the Republican nominee’s income tax returns in the 1970s showed Trump paid no federal income taxes in certain years.

On racial unrest

Both candidates are asked how to improve race relations.

Clinton emphasised restoring trust between communities and police, reforming police practices and taking guns away from people who shouldn’t have them. She said the police should be prepared to use force only when necessary. She said gun violence is the leading cause of death among young African-American men.

Trump said Clinton won’t use the words “law and order,” which is “what we need in our country.” African Americans and Hispanics “are living in hell” in certain communities, he said. He also reiterated the need to “take the guns away” from “bad people.”

When Clinton said it’s unfortunate that Trump paints such a “dire picture” of these communities, he audibly sighed. Clinton cited statistics that African Americans are more likely to be arrested, charged and put in jail for the same offenses as white Americans. “We cannot just say law and order. We have to come up with a plan,” including ending mandatory minimum sentences and private prisons. She also cited “common sense gun safety provisions” and preventing people on the terror watch list from buying guns.

On Obama’s origins

Clinton said Donald Trump started his political career by claiming US President Barack Obama was born outside the United States. Clinton accused Trump of spreading a “racist lie” that our “first black president” was not an American citizen.

She added, “He has a long record of engaging in racist behaviour.”

Trump responded by recalling bitter debates between Clinton and Obama during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. He said Clinton treated Obama then with “terrible disrespect.” He said, “When I got involved, I didn't fail.”

Foreign policy

Clinton says Trump has been “very praiseworthy" of Russian President Vladimir Putin and said things that have shocked America's national security rank and file. “That’s why I was so shocked when Donald publicly invited Putin to hack into Americans,” she said.

Trump touts his foreign policy pedigree by citing endorsements from some admirals and the agency that represents border patrol agents. He also questions whether Russia was behind the hacking. 

On Islamic State, Clinton outlines her plan including to prevent online recruiting, supporting airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. Trump said Obama and Clinton created a vacuum in Iraq and Libya. 

Clinton counter to Trump is that Trump’s only plan for defeating IS is “secret” and that he doesn’t have one.

The moderator also asked Trump to explain a prior comment that Clinton doesn’t have a presidential “look.” Trump repeated his contention that Clinton “doesn’t have the stamina” to become president. She cited her experience as secretary of State, having traveled to 112 countries and negotiated a peace deal and cease fire. When Trump spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee “he can talk to me about stamina,” she said.

Image: Patrons fill the Capitol Lounge two blocks from the US Capitol to watch the first presidential debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images