Final debate underscores deep divide between candidate
WASHINGTON (October 20, 2016) — The final debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton continued to show the deep divide over how they would lead the country.
The 90-minute debate began calm and policy-focused, but devolved into a bitter and deeply personal confrontation, hewing to the pattern of the previous two face-offs.
Trump called Clinton a “nasty woman,” while the Democrat panned him as “unfit” to be commander in chief.
The candidates clashed repeatedly over their drastically different visions for the nation’s future.
Trump backed Supreme Court justices who would overturn the landmark Roe vs. Wade ruling, while Clinton vowed to appoint justices who would uphold the decision legalizing abortion, saying, “We have come too far to have that turned back now.” (See video below)
On the discussion of Supreme Court picks and abortion:
“The difference between them [on abortion] is so great – and I felt that the exchange demonstrated that. Mrs. Clinton is fully all-in for abortion for all nine months – and she did not back down on that. Mr. Trump was firm. Even though he may not understand all the technical parts, he understands that the baby in the womb being ripped out of the mother [during a partial-birth abortion] is wrong … he just did not bend. [That exchange] truly did exemplify their positions on abortion.”
Sandy Rios, talk-show host
“There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Mrs. Clinton has never met an abortion that she couldn’t life with – although every abortion she can live with causes the death of an unborn human being. [She has confirmed] she is the most radically pro-abortion candidate for president in the history of our country. Saying that Hillary Clinton is going to reduce abortions is like saying we’re going to reduce anemia by electing Count Dracula.”
Dr. Richard Land, president
On Donald Trump’s performance:
“I think it was [Trump’s] strongest debate of the three. I think on major themes – the border, our trade policy, our lack of economic growth, the weakening of our military, the dangers we’re facing around the world, Clinton corruption – I think he was very strong throughout the night and scored quite a few points.”
Trump pressed Clinton on immigration, accusing her of wanting an “open borders” policy, a characterization she vigorously disputes. The Republican, who has called for building a wall the length of the U.S.-Mexico border, blamed some “bad hombres here” for drug epidemics around the country, and promised “we’re going to get ’em out.”
Both were asked if they would consider tax increases or benefit cuts to support Social Security and Medicare programs. Trump said he would cut taxes and repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but he did not detail any plans for Social Security or other entitlement programs. Clinton said she would put more money in the Social Security trust fund through increasing taxes on the wealthy and other methods and promised not to cut benefits. She also argued that the Affordable Care Act has extended the solvency of Medicare and said she would work to bring costs down.
Despite Clinton’s favorable electoral map, she has struggled throughout the campaign to overcome persistent questions about her honesty and trustworthiness. In the election’s closing weeks, she’s begun appealing to Americans to overcome the deep divisions that have been exacerbated by the heated campaign, saying onstage Wednesday that she intended to be a president for those who vote for her and those who do not.