The latest Washington-Post/ABC News poll found 74% of Americans planned to watch what could be one of the most-viewed events in US political history. Here are 12 of the more spirited back-and-forths they heard at Monday night's presidential debate at Hofstra University:
- The two tussle over a loan: Hillary Clinton: "He started his business with $14 million, borrowed from his father." Donald Trump replies, "Well, for one thing ... my father gave me a very small loan in 1975."
- China: Clinton: "Take clean energy. Some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real." Trump: "I did not. I do not say that."
- Trump really goes after Clinton's tax plan: "I'm going to cut taxes big league, and you're going to raise taxes big league, end of story." Replies Clinton, "That [Trump's claims] can't be allowed to stand." She recommends people head to her website, which is fact-checking the debate.
- An odd ISIS exchange: Trump: "Just go to her website. She tells you how to fight ISIS. I don't think Gen. Douglas MacArthur would like that." Clinton: "Well at least I have a plan to fight ISIS." Trump: "No, you're telling the enemy everything you want to do. No wonder you've been fighting ISIS your entire life."
- During a discussion on tax increases: Clinton: "I have a feeling by the end of this evening I'm going to be blamed for everything that's ever happened." Trump: "Why not?" Clinton: "Yeah. Why not. Just join the debate by saying more crazy things."
- Trump's tax returns come up: Trump: "I will release my tax returns, against my lawyer's wishes, when she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted." Clinton: "I think you've just seen another example of bait and switch here. For 40 years, everyone running for president has released their tax returns."
- Clinton speculates why they haven't been released yet: "Maybe he doesn't want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he's paid nothing in federal taxes..." Trump: "That makes me smart."
- On Trump's business: Clinton: "I've met dishwashers, painters, architects, marble installers, drapery installers, who you refused to pay when they finished the work you asked them to do. We have an architect in the audience who designed one of the clubhouses ... it’s a beautiful facility, and you wouldn't pay. I’m certainly relieved that my late father never did business with you." Trump: "It's all words, it's all sound bites. I built ... an unbelievable company."
- A tussle between Trump and moderator Lester Holt: Trump: "I did not support the war in Iraq. That is mainstream media nonsense put out by her." Holt: "The record shows otherwise." Trump: "I have much better judgment than she has. I also have a much better temperament. I think my strongest asset maybe by far is my temperament." Clinton: "Whew! OK!"
- On Donald fueling the Barack Obama birther conspiracy: Trump: "I was the one who got him to produce the birth certificate ... I think I did a good job." Clinton: "Donald just ... tried to put the whole racist birther lie to bed but it can't be dismissed that easily. ... He has a long record of engaging racist behavior and the birther lie was a very hurtful one."
- On the Iran deal: Clinton: "Donald never tells you what he would have done. Would he have started a war? Would he have bombed Iran? He should tell us what his alternative will be. He says he has a secret plan. The only secret is he has no plan." Trump: "Hillary will tell you to go to her website and read all about how to defeat ISIS. Right now it's getting tougher and tougher to defeat them, because they're in more and more places." (Trump earlier: "You were secretary of state when [ISIS} was a little infant. Now it's in over 30 countries, and you're going to stop them? I don't think so.")
- Holt asks Trump about a comment he made about Clinton: Trump: "She doesn’t have the look. She doesn’t have the stamina to be president." Clinton: "Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, the release of dissidents ... or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee he can talk to me about stamina."
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