Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shook hands center stage at Hofstra University Tuesday night for the first presidential debate, just 43 days before Election Day.
The respective Republican and Democrat nominees spoke on a variety of topics, including taxes, Clinton’s infamous email server, racial issues and ISIS.
“Donald, it is good to be with you. I hope I will be able to earn your vote on November 8th,” Clinton said to her opponent Tuesday night.
Debate moderator Lester Holt began the evening with the topic of international trading, which led to Clinton positioning herself as the middle class candidate, while claiming that Trump borrowed $14 million from his father to start his first business.
“Some country is going to be the leader of clean energy,” Clinton said. “We can deploy half a billion more solar panels … we can build a new modern electric grid. That’s a lot of jobs. I try to be very specific.”
The first interruption between the candidates came from Trump, 16 minutes into the debate.
“I am a great believer in all forms of energy,” Trump said. “But our energy politics are a disaster. You can’t do what you are looking to do with $20 trillion in debt.”
Holt transitioned the debate to taxes, where he questioned Trump about releasing his tax returns. Trump said he would release his tax returns when Clinton releases her 33,000 emails. The comment resulted in applause from the audience, who was instructed to remain quiet during the debate.
“Maybe he’s not as rich as he claims to be,” Clinton said about Trump’s tax returns. “Maybe he is not as charitable as he claims to be. Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people to know that he has paid nothing in federal taxes.”
Clinton also criticized Trump on the issue of racial relations in America, stating, “Donald paints such a negative picture of black communities in our country.” Clinton said she thinks “common sense gun measures” would help fight crime.
Holt called on Trump to defend his recent acknowledgment that President Obama was born in the United States.
“I think I have developed very good relationships over the last little while with the African American community and I think they wanted me to come to that conclusion,” Trump said.
Clinton said “the birther lie was a hurtful one,” to which Trump criticized Clinton’s 2012 campaign for its tactics against Obama.
Holt focused the last hour of the three-hour debate on securing America and the fight against ISIS.
“Under President Obama we have lost control over things we used to have control over,” Trump said. “We created the internet but ISIS is beating us at our own game (with the internet).”
Clinton said that she would do everything possible to take ISIS out of leadership.
Holt concluded the evening by stating that one of the candidates would not win the presidency, and asked Clinton and Trump if they would be supportive of America’s decision regardless of the outcome.
“I support the democracy of the United States,” Clinton said.
Trump focused his answer on his own strengths, stating that he believed Clinton did not have the stamina to be president. However, he supported America’s decision.
The next presidential debate is October 9 at Washington University.