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Clinton and Trump meet for final presidential debate of 2016

Clinton and Trump meet for final presidential debate of 2016
Photo via Twitter

Donald Trump and Sec. Hillary Clinton faced off in the third and final presidential debate tonight at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

Chris Wallace, the first Fox News general election moderator in the network’s history, started off by asking about the inevitable Supreme Court appointments in the coming presidency.

Wallace pointed out the relevance of this topic, seeing as the president will “in effect, determine the balance of the court for what could be the next quarter century.”

“I feel that, at this point in our country’s history, it is important that we not reverse marriage equality, that we not reverse Roe v. Wade, that we stand up against Citizens United, we stand up for the rights of people in the workplace, that we stand up and basically say, ‘The Supreme Court should represent all of us,’” Clinton said.

Trump instead said he would appoint a justice or justices who will have a “conservative bent.”

“We need a Supreme Court that, in my opinion, is going to uphold the Second Amendment, and all amendments, but the Second Amendment, which is under absolute siege,” Trump said.

Wallace used Trump’s response to steer the debate toward gun control, a topic which the candidates disagree about as much as — if not more so than — they typically disagree about most things.

Clinton repeatedly mentioned her time in Arkansas and then New York as proof that she is pro-guns, to an extent.

“There’s no doubt that I respect the Second Amendment, that I also believe there’s an individual right to bear arms,” Clinton said. “That is not in conflict with sensible, commonsense regulation.”

Trump, who has been avidly endorsed by the NRA, opposes any limit on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He used Chicago, once again, to validate his point since the city with the highest level of gun control also has one of the highest rates of gun violence.

The conversation then turned to another hot topic — abortion.

When asked if he would overturn Roe v. Wade, Trump evaded the question repeatedly, despite Wallace’s persistence. Trump did go on to clarify that the decision would go back to the states if it were to be overturned.

Clinton reiterated that she is a firm supporter of Roe v. Wade and went on to criticize Trump for being in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood.

Wallace changed the topic once more to the subject the two arguably disagree most about.

“Mr. Trump, you want to build a wall; Sec. Clinton, you have offered no specific plan for how you want to secure our southern border,” Wallace said. “Mr. Trump, you are calling for major deportations. Sec. Clinton, you say that, within your first 100 days as president, you’re going to offer a package that includes a pathway to citizenship.”

Trump began by calling Clinton’s plan for amnesty a disaster.

“In the audience tonight, we have four mothers … I’ve gotten to know over a period of years whose children have been killed, brutally killed by people that came into the country illegally,” Trump said.

Clinton followed Trump’s lead with an anecdote of her own.

“I was thinking about a young girl I met here in Las Vegas, Carla, who is very worried that her parents might be deported, because she was born in this country but they were not,” Clinton said. “They work hard; they do everything they can to give her a good life.”

After hotly debating for quite some time about whether or not Clinton wants open borders, the candidates moved on to discuss their plans for economic and job growth. Both criticized the other in their statements — either for raising taxes or increasing federal debt with their respective plans.

At the last debate, Trump brushed off the comments made in the leaked 2005 video of him as “locker room talk.” Since then, however, several women have come forward with stories of Trump kissing and groping them without their consent.

“Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Trump said. “Nobody.”

Clinton countered that he had addressed these allegations in recent rallies with comments implying these women were not attractive enough to be telling the truth.

“First of all, those stories have been largely debunked,” Trump said. “Those people — I don’t know those people. I have a feeling how they came. I believe it was her campaign that did it.”

Overall, there were many familiar subjects — whether it was that small loan Trump received from his father, that Trump once said some inflammatory remarks implying Mexicans are inherently criminals or that Clinton is a liar. Wallace, however, did as he had planned while moderating.

“I would rather have the two candidates speaking to each other,” Wallace told Fox News anchor Brit Hume, “than speaking to me.”

About The Author

Rachel Iacovone

Rachel Iacovone (yah-cuh-voe-nee) is a fourth-year journalism student at Florida Gulf Coast University. She was born and raised in the Sunshine State, which may not be obvious considering her pale skin and less-obvious vitamin D deficiency. Also made less obvious by her skin tone — her Hispanic heritage. She can be found at the Eagle News copydesk or out shooting events around campus with one of her seven camera bodies. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and others-proclaimed hipster, proud Christian and bleeding-heart Liberal and an obvious fan of contradictions.

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