Fox News anchor Chris Wallace moderated the third and last presidential debate. Trump donned a suit and a red tie while Clinton wore a white dress, with large buttons and firm shoulders.
The event saw both candidates firm about their stances, similarly to past debates. In this debate, however, the candidates could not move from their podiums, which forced them to respond only with their voice and hand gestures rather than draining energy by walking, sitting, or looming behind the other candidate like a shark.
The Constitution’s current issues: Guns and abortion
Wallace started the debate by asking the candidates their stance on naming the next Supreme Court justices and if they believed that the constitution must be interpreted as it is written or if it’s open to interpretation.
Clinton was allowed to answer first and started by greeting the moderator and the audience. She responded that court rulings must favor women and the LGBT community, not wealthy companies. And even if the president has a say in who to nominate for the court, she reminded the audience that it is the Senate who concedes the selection.
Wallace prompted Trump to answer, who complained that two judges have already talked ill about him, something that had not ever occurred for a presidential candidate. Trump brought forth the issue of the Second amendment and that it must be interpreted as it is written. He stated that his selection of Supreme Court justices will protect the amendment as it stands.
As the topic shifted to gun possession, Clinton stated that even if when she supports the Second amendment, tens of thousands die every year due to misuse of a firearm. This is why the Democratic candidate is calling for stricter background checks and terminating gun shows; although the Second amendment should be defended, there must be a parallel effort to defend the lives of the people at risk.
Donald Trump disregarded Clinton’s intentions and added that the NRA supports his ideas for gun possession, based on his claim that Chicago has enough regulations in that sense and still has unprecedented levels of violence.
Then the candidates were asked about abortion. Wallace emphasized the Roe v. Wade case, where the U.S. Supreme Court decided 7 to 2 that a woman has a right to have an abortion under the Fourteenth amendment, where the woman could abort if her health would be endangered. Trump said that he was against abortion, even after he had already said the contrary, and that he would try to revert the Roe v. Wade decision.
Clinton instead referred to the idea that women must have the right to perform the most important decision when it comes to their health. She strongly asserted that the government should not be involved in a decision that involves a mother choosing her child’s life over her own or vice versa.
Trump then leveraged on Clinton’s response to say that she’d be in favor of pulling out a 9-month-old baby out of her mother and that he will never agree with that. Hillary Clinton instead referred to the mothers she had met and the countries she has visited, where women are forced to abort, which shows the foundation of her belief that governments should not take such decision.
The candidates’ final statements on borders and walls
Wallace suggested the theme of immigration and reminded the candidates and the audience of Trump’s intentions on building a wall, while Clinton talked about easing the approval of citizenship for immigrants.
The Republican candidate stood by his intention of building a wall to keep drug traffickers, murderers, and rapists out of the national territory. He reminded listeners that the border patrol endorses his views. But Clinton referred again to meeting a young girl that was born in the U.S., but her hard-working parents had not, parents that worked all their lives to give their girl a bright future.
Hillary Clinton stated that she would not want to split a family that is only beneficial for the U.S.’s workforce and cultural diversity, but the former secretary of state also referred to the Mexican president refusing to pay for the wall on the south border. Clinton assured that she would present her immigration plan at least 100 days after she gets elected.
Wallace then quoted a WikiLeaks document where Clinton gave a paid speech in Brazil saying that she dreams of open borders and commerce. Hillary Clinton quickly recognized the quote and responded that the following lines of the speech revealed that she was actually talking about energy, seeing that the U.S. trades primarily with its neighbors. But then she took the question and directed it towards the source of the information since U.S. intelligence officials assure that Russia was behind the leakage of the documents appearing on WikiLeaks.
Clinton stated that Trump condones Russia’s activities of espionage against America. Trump responded that he does not know Putin, but that better relations with Russia to attack ISIS would be highly beneficial. Wallace stopped Trump and tried to pressure him into openly condemning Russia interfering in the U.S. internal affairs. He succeeded, but Trump managed to remain open about his link to Putin’s regime even if his former campaign manager is known to have worked with pro-Russian sectors in Ukraine.
Who will bring more jobs and improve taxes?
The debate switched to economics. Clinton stood by her plan of empowering the middle class by helping small businesses and providing a better education for them to obtain better jobs, while Trump intends to cut taxes for the wealthy, which would result in a $33 million deficit.
Trump argues that Clinton’s tax plan would increase them by 100 percent, while there is a need of cashing in what other countries owe to the U.S. He also brought back NAFTA and blamed it for the critical loss of jobs. Trump’s plan is to cut taxes for large companies so they can hire more people, while Clinton intends to promote growth and competition, something that even Trump proposed for dealing with Obamacare in the past debates.
Even if Clinton’s rise in taxes would only affect those that earn over $250,000 a year, Wallace compared her plan to the stimulus package introduced by Obama, which was one of the least successful in almost 80 years. Hillary asserted that Obama inherited a damaged economy, and that indeed, her plan derived from Obama’s. While Trump complained that jobs are fleeing to China and Mexico, Clinton reminded him of his purchase of Chinese steel and aluminum, hiring foreign people instead of Americans.
Donald Trump then called on Hillary to say why she has not done anything in her 30 years of experience, but she answered with determination that while she was working against discrimination in the 1970’s, Trump’s real estate company was being sued for rejecting black customers, when she was in Beijing fighting for women’s rights, Trump was insulting Miss Universe, and when she was busy helping hunt down Bin Laden, Trump was in the first episode of The Apprentice. Trump defended himself by saying that if he ran the country like he ran his company things would be better, which can be considered coherent since his company and casinos have been involved in several racist scandals.
Sexual assault accusations and ‘rigged elections’
Wallace then chose to address the elephant in the room, or more precisely, the many women that accuse Trump of being a sexual predator. Trump alleges that these cases have been “demystified” and that Clinton and Obama had already sent violent people to sabotage the Republican candidate’s public appearances, so it would not be strange if the same had occurred for these women that accuse Trump. Then he referred to the fact that Clinton’s email scandal is real and proven.
Clinton addressed Trump’s tactic of turning to another subject just as he felt cornered or unable to answer. She reminded the audience of Trump mocking a disabled reporter and making racist remarks about a judge, which according to her, shows a concerning pattern that incites violence.
After discussing the activity of the Clinton Foundation and addressing that Trump’s contribution to charity could not be proven because of him not releasing his tax return statements, Trump was asked if he would recognize the results, seeing that he has labeled the election process as rigged against him, which prompted Obama and Bill O’Reily to tell him to “stop whining.”
The candidate let Chris Wallace know that he would examine the decision at the right time, so he cannot commit to recognizing the results.
The final segments: The Middle East, Medicare
Then the candidates were asked about international policy, seeing that Russia has made important advances in Syria which are resulting in increased tensions with the United States. But the U.S. is present in Iraq, so Wallace asked the candidates about what would they do after the city of Mosul is liberated.
Clinton clarified that she would not send ground troops but that she would press on to not fall into Russia’s political trap. Trump called Clinton “stupid” for her blatantly saying that Mosul would be taken back, arguing that that’s just a prop to look good in front of voters.
Aleppo, Syria’s capital, was incessantly bombed by Russia until a humanitarian ceasefire was enacted. Clinton is in favor of enabling a no-fly zone while Obama is against; Wallace suggests that the no-fly zone would introduce the U.S. into a war, and asked if a Russian plane violated the no-fly zone was going to forcibly go down. Clinton stated that the no-fly zone must occur but after a series of negotiations.
The last topics of the debate were the GDP and the modification of Medicare. Trump assured that the GDP could be driven up to 4 percent, mainly because biased politicians and not businessmen are in charge of the country’s economic measures. He also talked about removing Medicare because insurance premiums are incessantly rising and draining the federal budget.
Clinton responded by proposing taxing the wealthy and increasing the funds destined to social security. But that all of that must go in hand with improving work benefits for low-income sectors and women.
Finally, Chris Wallace asked the candidates to deliver their closing statements, seeing that this was the last presidential debate.
Clinton called on to everyone that was seeing the transmission that she needed their help to achieve a fair country. She reminded her working close to the presidency for years and assured that her vocation was to bring better jobs, better education, and better incomes for all Americans.
Trump closed by saying that Clinton takes money from who she means to control. He chanted his “Make America Great Again” slogan, calling for the strengthening of the armed forces, and doing more for minorities than what Clinton says she will do, because if she were to be elected, the U.S. would be submitted to 4 more years of Obama.
The candidates stepped down from their podiums. Clinton reached out to the audience and greeted them as she smiled, while Donald Trump remained on stage as his family stepped on the stage and gathered around him.