Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (l) and Republican nominee Donald Trump exchange during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, Sept. 26. The first of four debates was moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt (c). (Joe Raedle/AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump battled it out in front of millions of undecided American voters over racism, terror and temperament in their first presidential debate, Sept. 26, with the media declaring the Democratic nominee as the winner of the fiery contest, write Lalit K. Jha and Yoshita Singh. – @siliconeer #siliconeer #2016USPresidentialPolls #Trump #Hillary #HillaryClinton #DonaldTrump #TheDonald
Hillary Clinton was projected as the winner of the first presidential debate against Republican Donald Trump for being more confident and knowledgeable, though not without flaws, against an “ignorant” non-politician.
“The first debate proved again that only one of the candidates is fit to be president,” The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote after the 90-minute debate here that attracted millions of viewers.
“Monday night’s debate told the story of this year’s presidential race. The Republican primary process failed, producing a nominee who cynically or ignorantly sells a warped view of reality, disqualifying himself with practically every overheated sentence.
“The Democrats, meanwhile, nominated a flawed but knowledgeable, confident and even-tempered politician,” the influential daily commented.
Trump seemed “incapable of moving beyond his slogans which, as ever, were based on his bleak view of the United States,” the Post said.
New York Times said Trump frequently showed “impatience and political inexperience” as Clinton pushed him to defend his past denigration of women and President Barack Obama.
“Trump repeatedly interrupted Clinton and at times talked over her throughout the debate, making slashing attacks that surely pleased his Republican base but may have been putting off to women and undecided voters,” it said.
The report said that Trump’s strongest moments came early in the evening, when he put Clinton on the defensive over her support for free trade agreements that he argues have cost Americans jobs. “But on issues of race and gender, Trump was less sure-footed.”
CNN said Clinton delivered a “strong performance in which she demonstrated a command of policy and a sense of humor, smiling through some of Trump’s strongest attacks. She delivered the best zinger of the night in response to criticism from Trump for staying off the campaign trail recently.”
The first of a series of three presidential showdowns, which was anticipated to have watched by a record 100 millions people, was also the most-tweeted debate ever, exceeding 2012’s 10.3 million mark.
The Silicon Valley-based social media company said the number of tweets exceeded the 10.3 million messages sent about 2012’s first presidential debate. As many as 62% of the conversation was about Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), while another 38% was about Clinton (@HillaryClinton).
Meanwhile, Facebook said 79% of the conversation was about Trump and 21% was about Clinton. The social networking giant said the “top social moment” of the debate was when Trump said his strongest asset is his “temperament.”
Campaigns for both Clinton and Trump also clashed over his preparedness for the debate, with the latter’s campaign manager saying he had come prepared and showed “great restraint in the face of fire and lies.”
Clinton campaign criticized Trump for being “unprepared” for the debate and having “no real plans” for the future.
The 90-minute clash, watched by an expected television audience of up to 100 million, saw the 68-year-old former Secretary of State and the 70-year-old Republican nominee, who have attacked each other for months in separate campaigns, taking the stage together here for the first time to woo a substantial chunk of voters who remain undecided ahead of the November 8 polls.
The CNN/ORC poll declared Clinton as the clear winner in the first of a series of three debates, with a massive 62% of voters giving an edge to the Democrat over the reality TV star, who was deemed winner by only 27%.
The two candidates indulged in a series of combative, acrimonious exchanges as the battle turned personal, with the controversial real estate mogul questioning the “stamina” of the former secretary of state after her recent bout of pneumonia.
Clinton was seen smiling through the insults and landed jabs of her own to put Trump on the defensive over his temperament, refusal to release his taxes and his past comments on race and women in the debate that set netizens talking about the showdown in huge numbers.
Trump said he will release his tax returns if Clinton releases her 33,000 emails deleted by her from the period when she was the secretary of state in the first term of the Obama Administration.
“As soon as she releases them, I will release,” he said when he was being grilled for not releasing his tax returns.
The two leaders clashed as they came face-to-face for the first of the three high-stake presidential debates at Hofstra University in Hempstead, about an hour’s drive from New York City and projected themselves as best-prepared to lead the nation just six weeks before the election.
Clinton accused Trump of being “anti-women” and challenged his allegations that she lacked the stamina to be the commander-in-chief as the real estate mogul said “she does not have the stamina.”
“She doesn’t have the look. I said she doesn’t have the stamina. And I don’t believe she does have the stamina. To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina,” Trump said in response to a question during the first presidential debate.
Clinton hit back, saying: “Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a release of dissidents… or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a Congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.”
She said the “racist lie” perpetuated by her rival about Barack Obama of not being a natural-born citizen “bothered and annoyed” the U.S. President, whom she called a man of “great dignity.” She slammed Trump’s long record of engaging in “racist behavior” and said “the birther lie was a very hurtful one.”
Clinton Fears Emergence of Nuclear Suicide Bombers from Pak
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has expressed concern over the possibility of emergence of nuclear suicide bombers from Pakistan if jihadists get access to the country’s atomic weapons, a media report has said.
“We live in fear that they’re going to have a coup, that jihadists are going to take over the government, they’re going to get access to nuclear weapons, and you’ll have suicide nuclear bombers. So, this could not be a more threatening scenario,” the New York Times said, quoting Clinton as saying in an audio being hacked from Democratic Party’s computers.
“Pakistan is running full speed to develop tactical nukes in their continuing hostility with India,” the former secretary of state told a closed door fundraiser in Virginia in February, the paper reported, citing 50-minute audio that appeared on the website of The Washington Free Beacon.
During the fundraiser, responding to a question on modernization of nuclear weapons, the daily said, Clinton went beyond the question to warn of an emerging nuclear arms race, naming Russia and China as well as Pakistan and India.
“This is one of the most dangerous developments imaginable,” Clinton said.
Such remarks from the former secretary of state gains significance in view of an interview of Pakistani Defense Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif to the local TV channel in which he threatened to unleash nukes against India.
“If our safety is threatened, we will annihilate them (India),” Asif had said.
The United States appears to have taken a strong note of Asif’s recent statements on use of nuclear weapons.
“Nuclear capable states have the responsibility to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities,” a state department official told PTI when asked about the statements being made by the Pakistani leader.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had said while India has generally shown responsible behavior with nuclear technology, China conducts itself professionally, nuclear weapons in Pakistan are entangled in history of tensions.
Meanwhile, in an opinion ‘Consequences of Pakistani Terrorism: Raids signal that India won’t tolerate more attacks in Kashmir,’ The Wall Street Journal warned that Pakistan increasingly risks becoming a “pariah state” if it continues with policies.
It said if Pakistan wants to prevent an escalation of violence it needs to shut down the terror groups it continues to support. “That should start with Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, two major jihadist groups that operate openly in Pakistan and are prime suspects in these attacks,” it said.
“Both groups are supported by its military despite being on United Nations lists of terrorist organizations,” the daily said in the hard-hitting opinion piece, a day after India carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir against terrorists planning to sneak into the country.
The Journal noted that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has consistently offered closer economic and diplomatic ties to Pakistan as long as it stops supporting terrorism.
Pakistan, it argued, needs a new vision centered on improving the lives of its people.