Ten minutes prior to the start of the first 2016 Presidential Debate, I decided to park my rear at a widescreen TV, front and center inside J. Black’s, a bar residing in the West Sixth Street District of downtown Austin. I went for the debate, but I stayed for bingo and beer (although according to my waiter, I didn’t look like a “beer drinker”—I decided to order an array of beers throughout the night in retaliation).
By Nicole Scallan
It goes without saying that #DebateNight was preceded with reluctance and cringing anticipation, mostly from hopeless voters who consider this election’s candidates a “farce” to be reckoned with — we’ve got the receipts to prove it.
Because there’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo floating around the interweb before, during and following the presidential debates, we decided to hit the highlights in terms you’d understand: via gifs, memes, and Tweets that just might keep your head from exploding for the duration of the debate (the operative word being *might*).
The night began with moderator and NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt asking each candidate about their plans for the economy. Clinton wants to raise minimum wage and equal pay for women’s work. Trump thinks the US is losing jobs to Mexico and China, and wants to re-negotiate trade deals to keep them from “stealing” companies and jobs from Americans.
Hill responded by saying that the U.S. needs a tax system that “rewards work and not just financial transactions,” initiating the first shade-throw of the night referring to Trump’s tax policy as “Trumped-up trickle-down.” She follows it up by calling attention to the $14 million Trump borrowed from his father.
Trump: “My father gave me a very small loan in 1975…”
Clinton called out Trump for profiting off the housing crisis. He interrupted her and says that “that’s called business.” Clinton basically calls him delusional and says that he’s living in his own reality.
Trump’s Taxes vs. Hillary’s Emails
Things start getting juicy when Holt acknowledges that Trump has yet to release his tax returns. Trump reassures the audience that they have nothing to fear, announcing that after a “routine audit,” he’s ready to show the world his tax returns under one caveat: if Hillary releases her 33,000 emails. The audience applauded.
Hillary said Trump pulled the ol’ bait-and-switch. “For 40 years, everyone running for president has released their tax returns,” she says. Hill brought out the receipts (almost literally) recalling when Trump turned over his tax returns a few years back while trying to obtain a casino license. The verdict? He’d paid no federal income tax.
Trump interrupted (don’t worry, this wasn’t the last time he interrupted Hillary) again to say, “That makes me smart!” Trump was a winner in his heart, but the Twitterverse felt differently.
Trump’s incriminating interruptions had Hill like:
Fact-Checking? “You’re Wrong” — Donald Trump
Perhaps the biggest spectacle of the night was Trump insistent “you’re wrong” anytime Hillary or Holt hit him with that fact-check, the most notable being his denied claim that climate change was a hoax. “I did not. I did not. I do not say that,” Trump says. But devoted Tweeters say otherwise.
After Holt segues into race relations, Trump rattled off on a spiel about “law and order,” saying that the implementation of stop-and-frisk in Chicago brought the crime rate down. Holt reminded Trump that stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.
Trump: No, you’re wrong.
Holt: But racial profiling-
Trump: No, we have to take guns away from these people that have them and they are bad people that shouldn’t have them. These are felons.
But don’t worry, it’s not like he’s said other blatantly racist things in the past or anything. .
Trump mentioned a drop in murders since stop-and-frisk thanks to Mayor Bloomberg in NYC, but that the current mayor terminated it. Hillary acknowledged that crime and murders continue to drop under New York’s current mayor.
Trump: No, you’re wrong. You’re wrong.
Hillary: No I’m not.
The night wrapped up with Holt asking each candidate a final question: “Are you willing to accept the outcome as the will of the voters?” Hillary responded saying she supports our democracy and whatever the outcome of the elections may be. Holt turns it over to Trump.
Trump: I want to make America great again. *rambles about deportation and immigrants becoming citizens due to corruption*
Holt: Will you accept the outcome of this election:
Trump: I want to make America great again. I’m going to be able to do it. I don’t believe Hillary will. The answer is, if she wins, I will absolutely support her.
After last night’s back-and-forth bickering, basically everyone in America is like: