by Alex Malm ’17
After months of sparring between the two presidential candidates, through Tweets, speeches, and attack ads, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off in three debates leading up to the November 8 election. The debates were held on September 26 and October 9 and 19.
All eyes were on Donald Trump to win over voters in the states where he was trailing Clinton in the polls. He was specifically trying to gain more votes among women and minorities. In the past, many people have criticized Trump for his attitude. This includes his fellow Republicans who wanted him act more presidential by only talking about the issues instead of directly attacking Clinton during the debates. This did not happen however, Trump continued with the same attitude throughout the three debates.
By the third debate, more allegations had come forward about Trump. An Access Hollywood tape from 2005 that emerged right before the two presidential candidates faced off showed Trump making lewd comments towards women. Since then, other women have come forward about the way Trump treated them. Many leaders called on Trump to apologize about his comments during the third debate. However, when the moderator, Chris Wallace, asked Trump to speak on the emergence of this tape, he chose to defend himself, calling the women liars and saying after the election he was going to sue his accusers.
Many people believe Hillary Clinton won the set of debates. Though some argue that she didn’t prove her authenticity because she avoided directly addressing the email scandal that so many Americans are wondering about. Even though Hillary Clinton took a massive amount of attacks from her opponent, she minimized the damage by not feeding into Trump’s words. In one exchange they had, Trump said to
Clinton he was going to hire his own special prosecutor to look into her situation, referring to her email exchange as Secretary of State. Clinton responded with how it was a good thing that he wasn’t in charge of the law and Trump responded with, “Because you’d be in jail.”
Clinton also made her fair share of attacks on Trump. During the segment in the third debate, when the moderator asked about illegal immigration, she made a statement that incriminated Trump. She claimed he hired illegal Mexican workers to build the Trump tower in Las Vegas, and then didn’t pay them. Trump never disputed this claim when it was his chance to talk. Clinton was perceived as to arrogant at times, and this impacted her image negatively.
The election on November 8 will determine which candidates will be the next president of the United States, but so far it does not seem that the debates will be any indication of what the final result will be.