The third and final presidential debate took place at last night at 2am UK time, with Hillary Clinton claiming over half of the public’s support against Trump.
The previous two debates have been characterised by interruptions and shouting-matches, with Republican nominee Donald Trump especially quick to attack his opponent, but this time he managed to dodge Hillary Clinton’s provocations – except the occasional interruption of “wrong”.
Moderator Chris Wallace’s firm approach to the debate’s topics received a lot of praise. He navigated the debate through the hotly anticipated topics of immigration, gun control and fitness to be president.
“No cheers, boos or other interruptions so we and you can focus on what the candidates have to say” -Moderator Chris Wallace, Fox News
The first heated exchange was over gun rights. Clinton clarified her stance on supporting the Second Amendment while calling for stricter gun laws.
Trump on the other hand opposes all limits on assault weapons, and argued that while Chicago has “the toughest gun laws in the United States, probably you could say by far, they have more gun violence than any other city”.
“We have 33,000 people a year who die from guns. I think we need comprehensive background checks, need to close the online loophole, close the gun show loophole.” – Hillary Clinton
Abortion rights was another topic that defined the candidates. Trump implied he wants to use his supreme justice appointments to overturn the federal protection for women seeking abortion by appointing “pro-life justices”. He was especially against late-term abortions.
Hillary Clinton defended the right of women to make their own decisions in accordance to their health.
Immigration has been a hot topic throughout in both campaigns. Trump’s plans to build a wall between the US and Mexico has received a lot of attention, with last night being no different.
Clinton has remained quiet about any specific plans to curb the illegal immigration.
Trump argued that the US needs stronger borders to stop the drugs coming through the southern border, and said, if he became president, his first act would be to tackle drug lords in the country.
“We have no country if we have no border.” – Donald Trump
Clinton raised her concerns that such plans would “rip families apart” and said that rounding up the 11 million undocumented people living in the US to send them away on trains and buses would require massive resources. She also poked at Trump, claiming that he exploited undocumented workers on his building constructions.
Candidates were then seen to lose their cool as talk turned to the US-Russia relationship, particularly President Vladimir Putin. Trump said getting along with Russia would be great for the US, as the two major powers could go after ISIS together.
Clinton called Trump ‘Putin’s puppet’ – a claim repeatedly denied by Trump. The US-Russia relationship was a big talking point, as several American security officials have claimed that Russia was behind the recent hacks.
Wallace moved on with questions on economy. Clinton’s plans rely on government spending and supporting the middle class and small businesses. She wants to focus on clean energy, and raise minimum wage.
“I think when the middle class thrives, America thrives.” – Hillary Clinton
Trump wanted NATO partners to start paying more to the US, and to re-negotiate trade deals to increase free trade. He also wants massive tax cuts to encourage people to earn more and businesses to grow, while Clinton’s plan would mean a raise in taxes.
“We’re bringing our jobs back.” – Donald Trump
One of the expected topics was the candidates’ stance on women. Trump has been under fire lately because of the lewd comments he made on a video in 2005.
Many women have since come forward saying Trump has acted inappropriately towards them. He denied the statements to be true claiming that he “doesn’t even know those women”.
Trump has also said that Bill Clinton’s previous behaviour, defended by Hillary, was equally bad to his.
The Republican claimed that the accusations had been “largely debunked” and said that the Clinton campaign was behind them or the women were after fame.
As the conversation drifted away from the original topic, Clinton never talked about the Trump’s accusations towards the Clinton couple. However, she was very vocal to oppose Trump’s behaviour.
“Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self-worth, and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like. So we now know what Donald thinks and what he says and how he acts toward women. That’s who Donald is.” -Hillary Clinton
Clinton came as a close winner after the third and final presidential debate in the CNN poll.
— CNN (@CNN) 20 October 2016
Towards the end, the debate got more and more intense, with both sides exchanging blows on topics such as the Clinton foundation, Trump’s taxes and the US involvement in foreign conflicts. Who do you think won the debate?
Who do you think one the third and final debate? #debatenight
— US Election 2016 (@USA_Votes) 20 October 2016