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Trump and Clinton Enter the Final Stage

Glenn Rohrbacker

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Wednesday night marked the final time Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would be on stage together, at least for the foreseeable future. Moderated by Fox News’s Chris Wallace, this debate was the last time the candidates could make their case to the American people, and it was much more fast-paced and detailed than the previous two.

The candidates opened by discussing their plans with the Supreme Court. Secretary Clinton began by outlining here plan for balancing the supreme court in a way that would represent the American people.

“The Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful and the wealthy,” she said.

Donald Trump was second to speak, and sharply contrasted Secretary Clinton’s plans for the reshaping of American policy.

“They will interpret the Constitution the way the founders wanted it, and I believe that is very very important,” he rebutted.

Going off of one of the topics of great concern for the Supreme Court, the 2nd Amendment, was a direct contrast between the two candidates.

Clinton stressed her support for common sense gun legislation.

“We need comprehensive background checks, we need too close the online loophole and the gun show loophole,” she said.

Trump had a different idea in mind. Touting his NRA endorsements, he strongly opposed Secretary Clinton’s attempts to restrict the 2nd Amendment. Trump also showed his support for a national “open carry” law.

The next controversial issue to be discussed was one of the most complicated in American politics: Abortion.

“I don’t think the government should be stepping in on these very personal issues,” Secretary Clinton started.

This is one of the first times when Clinton and Trump have really gotten into the weeds on tough issues, and began to fall into their traditional party beliefs, which has been rare this election.

Wallace then moved on to one of the most divisive issues between the candidates, which is immigration.

“We need strong borders,” Trump said.

He brought with him four mothers of people who were killed by illegal immigrants. He goes on to attack Clinton or her plans for amnesty, stressing the danger of having open borders.

Trump finished his talking point by saying, “We have some bad hombres here.”

“When it comes to the wall Donald talks about building, he had a meeting with the Mexican President. He didn’t even raise it. He choked,” Clinton attacked.

The candidates then moved to the issue of Russia. Clinton brought up the claim that Russia is behind the Wiki Leaks attack on the US election.

Wallace then swiftly moved to the topic of the economy. Secretary Clinton laid out the industry areas where she would create jobs, including clean energy and infrastructure. She also highlighted her plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, free college tuition, and equal pay for equal work, echoing many of the platform points of Senator Bernie Sanders, who’s supporters she hopes to bring with her to the polls.

Trump declined to answer this question on the economy, but returned to the previous topic of negotiating deals with countries like Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

He then went back to his typical hits of bringing jobs back from Mexico and renegotiating trade deals – especially the ones put in place by President Bill Clinton.

“He doesn’t get the credit he deserves,” Clinton said about Obama’s response to the financial crisis that started off his presidency.

“There is only one person on this stage who has shipped jobs to Mexico, and that is Donald. Donald has exported jobs to 12 countries, including Mexico,” Clinton attacked.

The candidates sparred over specifics on economic policy, arguing over trade and jobs and how they relate to the American people.

“You talk, but you don’t get anything done Hillary,” Trump responded, “If you become President, this country is going to be in some mess.”

Wallace then opens the discussion about the “fitness” to be commander-in-chief. He begins the conversation by questioning Trump on the recent allegations of sexual assault by over 9 women.

“I believe it was her who got these people to step forward,” Trump said about these allegations.

Clinton brings up the details of the fallout of these allegations, trying to appeal to the women who are still undecided, hoping to outline the clear differences between the character of each candidate.

“Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Trump responded.

Trump then moved to the inevitable – Clinton’s emails.

Clinton points out his pivot, and goes back to all of the controversial moments of the Trump campaign, which are now famous in their very nature.

“This is not one thing, this is a pattern of divisiveness and darkness,” Clinton added.

Wallace then brings up the claims that the Clinton Foundation used a “pay to play” mechanism during Clinton’s time as Secretary of State. Clinton defended her foundation and outlined the benefits and progress it has helped make.

“It’s a criminal enterprise,” Trump attacked.

Clinton then added that she would gladly compare her foundation with the Trump Foundation, which has come under fire recently for not being as charitable as Trump claims.

The conversation then turned to the most popular topic of the week, Trump’s claims that the election is rigged.

“The media is so dishonest and so corrupt. They poison the minds of voters,” Trump claimed.

Trump was asked the same question that he was asked at the first debate – whether or not he would accept the outcome of the election.

“I’ll have to see at the time,” he said, shocking the audience.

Clinton goes off on Trump’s lifelong claims of having things being rigged – the primaries, his lawsuits, and even the Emmy’s.

Wallace steered the debate back tot he issues, this time looking at foreign policy, specifically the military operations in the Middle East.

“I’m going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria,” Clinton started.

Trump blamed Clinton for the initial loss of Mosul and for taking troops out during her tenure in the Obama Administration.

“Mosul is going to be a wonderful thing, and Iran should write us a latter of thank you,” he said.

Trump then continues his praises of foreign controversial leaders, including Putin, Assad, and Saddam Hussein.

“Let’s be clear about what the threat is and how to defeat that threat,” Clinton said about dealing with terrorism.

The last topic of the night is dealing with the national debt. Wallace pointed out the fact that Trump’s economic plan would raise the national debt more than Secretary Clinton’s.

“If you look at the debt, I paid for everything I’m proposing. I do not add a penny to the national debt,” Clinton added.

Clinton lays down her plan again to take money from the upper class and the most wealth Americans, in order to revitalize the middle class.

Wallace pressures the candidates on the solutions that would be needed to save Social Security and Medicare, which would include tax increases and benefit decreases.

Trump somewhat dodges the question, going back to his core economic points.

Secretary Clinton points out the differences in the two candidates plans on healthcare and the national debt.

“Such a nasty woman,” Trump responded to Clinton’s attacks.

“I would like to end it on a positive note,” Wallace said.

He then asked the candidates to make closing statements – which they had not prepared.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (and Gary Johnson and Jill Stein) have 19 days to convince the country that they will be the best next step for the United States of America.

Glenn Rohrbacker, Editor-in-Chief

Glenn Rohrbacker is a junior at the University of New Haven studying communications with a concentration in journalism and minors in Political Science...

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