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First Clinton-Trump presidential debate: clash of equal rivals

September 27, 12:50 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
Analysts have noted that neither of the rivals made incorrect statements, nor blatant errors, although both of them accused each other of distorting facts
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©  AP Photo/David Goldman

WASHINGTON, September 27. /TASS/. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump proved to be worthy rivals as they faced off for the first time in Monday night’s debate.

The US political scientists had forecasted that this outcome would be favorable for Trump who as a newcomer in big politics has to convince American voters that he can be entrusted with a presidential seat and the post of a commander-in-chief.

The Republican presidential nominee coped with the task although Clinton tried to prove during the 1.5-hour long discussion that her adversary was not fit to be president or to have his finger on "the nuclear button."

Candidates trade jabs

At the end of this harsh discussion, Trump said Clinton did not have the "stamina" to be the president of the United States. Boasting about his campaign travels, Trump said: "You decided to stay home and that’s okay," hinting at Clinton’s recent mysterious disease that was reported to be pneumonia but lasted for just several days.

Clinton fired back, "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."

Speaking about Clinton’s experience as the former First Lady and Secretary of State, Trump said: "Hillary has experience, but its bad experience,"

Analysts noted that neither of the rivals made incorrect statements, nor blatant errors, although both of them accused each other of distorting facts.

Domestic issues

The debate was mostly devoted to US domestic economic and social-political issues.

Trump said that African Americans and Hispanics in US cities are "living in hell," because they are under the risk of being shot in the streets. Clinton accused her rival of a racist lie as he earlier questioned Barack Obama’s US citizenship.

Clinton lashed out at Trump for refusing to release his tax returns, saying: "There's something he's hiding." Trump said he would release his tax returns, if Clinton released all her emails that he said were deleted when she was Secretary Of State.

Speaking on hacker attacks on the US, Clinton again accused Russia, while Trump said: "It could be Russia but it could also be China. It could be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds."

Ally or global policeman?

In the final part of the debate devoted to foreign policy, the candidates were asked if they were ready to revise Washington’s strategy stating that the US can deliver nuclear strike on another country first. Trump said: "I would certainly not do first strike. Once the nuclear alternative happens it's over. At the same time, I can't take anything off the table."

Clinton said: "Words matter. I want to reassure our allies in South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them." "It is essential that the world knows America's word is good."

Trump said: "We cannot be the policeman of the world. We cannot defend people when they're not paying us."

Opinion polls show that Clinton and Trump are now neck and neck in key states. Preliminary estimates showed that some 100 million people watched Monday’s debate, and if this is confirmed then the previous record of 80.6 million viewers of the 1980 debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan will be beaten.

The presidential candidates will have two more rounds of debates on October 9 in St. Louis and on October 19 in Las Vegas.

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