AJA SOURS; News Writer; soursan@plu.edu

The highly-anticipated first presidential debate aired Monday, Sept. 26 and voters from both sides of the aisle went to the Associated Students of Pacific Lutheran University and Mast Media viewing party for the debate in the Cave to watch the Trump versus Clinton drama unfold.

The candidates discussed creating jobs, tax cuts, the national debt, race relations, cyber warfare, nuclear weapons and other prominent topics. Both candidates held their stance in the debate and fought for their beliefs about policy, which lead to some memorable quotes and facial expressions.

Before the debate, Maria Chavez, a PLU Associate Professor of political science, said she was “expecting Trump to be Trump and give us examples of post-truth politics” and “Clinton to be her detailed, knowledgeable, distant self.”republicanlogo-svg

The candidates weren’t the only ones clashing in the debate. The moderator, Lester Holt, had the job of asking questions and monitoring the wandering speeches of Trump and Clinton.

After Holt asked Trump about releasing his tax returns, Trump responded, “When she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted, as soon as she releases her 33,000 emails, I will release my tax returns.”

The audience applauded, which broke debate decorum.

Senior Bastian McKeen said he wasn’t “too sure the moderator did a good job” and said he could have done better at stopping the candidates from talking out of turn, mentioning,“Trump seemed to want to get in the last word”.

After Trump commented on Clinton’s lack of a “presidential look,” she responded, “As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities and nations around the world or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.”

PLU cdemocraticlogoommunity members were excited to share their opinions on the debate.

Arda Bulaka, a field organizer for Democratic congressman Denny Heck, said he was “looking forward to see how Clinton will juxtapose scandals against Trump’s scandals.” Bulaka also said he was “watching the debate because of a fear of Donald Trump.”

One of Clinton’s most notable wordplays was, “The kind of plan that Donald has put forth would be trickle-down economics all over again. In fact, it would be the most extreme version, the biggest tax cuts for the top percent of the people in this country than we’ve ever had. I call it Trumped-up trickle-down, because that’s exactly what it would be.”

When asked about his control of nuclear weapons, Trump said, “I think my strongest asset by far is my temperament. I have a winning temperament.”

McKeen said he wasn’t impressed by the debate.

The self-proclaimed “staunch Hillary supporter” said he expected “Hillary to be much stronger than Donald Trump,” but it was “not the greatest debate.”

The next debate, which will air on Oct. 9, leaves voters with a difficult decision to make on Nov. 8. ◼︎

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