The "Anti Trump" or "Never Trump" movement has been dying as the lasting power of Donald Trump was evident. All the national and key state polls were even after Hilary and the DNC outspent the Republican opponent 10:1. I could see the hand writing on the wall for the coming debate. Hilary prepared.. Donald did not.. She was going to win but all Donald had to do was to maintain and the race would most likely be unchanged till election. But a helping hand came from a man I respected but now question his impartiality. At first I didn't notice.. the debate started with A SUBJECT posed to both candidates. (summarizing) " Economy Hilary you said.... Donald you want a tax cut.. defend it..." Then giving them both a chance to duke it out. Then a change that I only noticed after the debate... The following questions are the actual transcript of the debate with Lester Holt's questions (few responses for brevity sake):
.......I will ask the same lead-off question to both candidates and they will each have up to two minutes to respond. From that point until the end of the segment, we will have an open discussion. The questions are mine and not been shared with the commission or the campaigns. The audience here in the room has agreed to remain silent so that we can focus on what the candidates are saying. I will invite you to applaud however at this moment as we welcome the candidates. Democratic nominee for President of the United States Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee for president of the United States Donald J. Trump.
2: 1st question
So, let's begin. We’re calling this opening segment achieving prosperity and central to that is jobs. There are two economic realities in America today. There's been a record six straight years of job growth and new census numbers show incomes have increased at a record rate after years of stagnation. However, income inequality remains significant. And nearly half of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Beginning with you, Secretary Clinton - why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American workers?
This was to BOTH candidates.. Hilary gave the best answers on a spirited "back and forth" however the "Facts" of Six years of job growth and incomes have increase are not entirely factual. Averaging the "increase" AND the decrease (not including Obama's 1st 2 years during the correction) 200,000 tops with not all those who lost jobs got them back at the same level. It is still a recovery but by every matrix till this point the poorest recovery in history. He appeared to paint a "rosy" picture of the economy.. If that was the case then why is the economy and terrorism are the highest concern for voters?
Three more caveats. This is a long string of solid job growth, Burtless notes, but not extraordinary. Job gains in the mid-1990s, as well as the late 1970s, often reached into the 300,000s, even the 400,000s — levels rarely seen in this recovery.
"These long strings of employment reports are good, but they're not spectacularly good as I think you would judge the employment reports for much of the 1990s after about 1993 or so," says Gary Burtless, senior fellow in economics at the Brookings Institution. "It's not spectacular, but they're nonetheless quite good."
In addition, he points out, labor force participation and the employment-population ratio are still disappointingly low (despite March's gains). Once (slash if) those bounce back, then the recovery will seem more real.
Another point: this is private-sector job creation. The government has had a shakier job creation record during the recovery. At this point, it has created jobs for five consecutive months.
In addition, while most of those economists surveyed thought the stimulus' effects would be good in the long term, early one quarter of economists said they were "uncertain" whether the long-term potential costs of the stimulus would outweigh the benefits.
Whatever potential knock-on effects an economic policy might cause, Holtz-Eakin adds, a president has to claim responsibility for the good and the bad.
"They should get some credit, some blame," said Holtz-Eakin.
CorrectionApril 3, 2016 An earlier version of this story stated that the Federal Reserve maintained near-zero interest rates for six years. In fact, it was seven. http://www.npr.org/2016/04/03/472745523/fact-check-the-white-houses-private-sector-job-streak
3: Next question
You are unpacking a lot here. And we’re still on the issue of achieving prosperity. And I want to talk about taxes. The fundamental difference between you two concerns the wealthy. Secretary Clinton, you’re calling for a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans. I’d like you to further defend that. And Mr. Trump, you’re calling for tax cuts for the wealthy and I’d like you to defend that. The next two minute answer goes to you, Mr. Trump.
Still to me very even handed and Hilary gave the best answers... Donald clearly did not prepare but for Donald he was doing "OK".. Then the change:
Mr. Trump, we're talking about the burden that Americans have to pay, yet you have not released your tax returns. And the reason nominees have released their returns for decades is that voters will know if their potential president owes money to -- who you know owes it to, and any business conflicts. Don't have Americans have a right to know there are any conflicts of interest?
Now THIS is truly a fair question... I applaud it.. My only problem with it?.... It was "personal" and that in itself IS NOT the problem. There was no "follow up question" for Secretary Clinton... non it was now "Donald v the Moderator".... it continued:
of your taxes. You're perfectly free to release your taxes during an audit. And so the question does the public’s right to know outweigh your personal... (Donald interrupts)
So it's negotiable?
It's not negotiable. No, let her release her emails. Why did she delete 33,000 emails?
I will let her answer that. But let me just admonish the audience one more time. There was an agreement. We did ask you to be silent so it would be helpful for us. Secretary Clinton?
Secretary Clinton responds with (summary) Your taxes need to be released.. your hiding something... Lester asked about the Taxes.. NOT Ms Clinton.. She followed up (she should) on the tax question to Mr. Trump.. He is now on Defense.
He also raised the issue of your emails. Do you want to respond to that?
Now He did not ask ANY questions about Emails... only asked if Secretary Clinton would "want to respond to what Donald "mentioned" What?
Mr. Holt allowed Mr Trump to respond to Hilary email response..... 2 minutes allotted and we move on.
Well, we’re well behind schedule so I want to move to our next segment. We move into our next segment talking about America's direction. Let's start by talking about race. The share of Americans who say race relations are bad in this country is the highest it's been in decades. Much of it amplified it by shootings of African-Americans by police, as we have seen recently in Charlotte and Tulsa. Race has been a big issue in this campaign and one of you is going to have to bridge a very wide and bitter gap. So how do you heal the divide? Secretary Clinton - you get two minutes on this.
Even handed both got the question both get a chance to respond Again Secretary Clinton gives the populace answer ... then a follow up question for Donald.. again.. NONE For Hilary. Again... Moderator v Donald
Your two minutes have expired but I do want to follow up. Stop and Frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.
Donald responds with disagreements on the unconstitutional assertion on the defense. Back and forth with Mr. Holt while Hilary smiles. Lester goes to Ms Clinton for the response to Mr Trump.. but no follow up question.. she gives a mini speech on "Black communities" The next question "Not a follow up" starts with a compliment then a question:
Secretary Clinton last week you said we’ve got to do everything possible to improve policing to go right at implicit bias. Do you believe that police are implicitly biased against black people?
It was a "yes or no" question... Are you racist?.. No.. Do you think police are racist? Well let me explain. Clinton needs no help.. she had the debate hands down.. At this point.. any questions to Hilary was phrased like that. and Donald is on defense after his response to Hilary.
Mr. Trump for five years you perpetuated a false claim of the nation's first black president was not a natural-born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy. In last couple weeks you acknowledge what most Americans have accepted for years, the president was born in the United States. Can you tell us what took you so long?
If you stayed with my article to this point you begin to see the pattern. This was not a "follow up".. but a direct question in which there is no question even close toward Ms Clinton.. non.. it was Moderator and Clinton v Donald the rest of the night.
I will let you respond, that’s important. But I just want to get the answer here. The birth certificate was produced in 2011, you continued to tell the story and question the president's legitimacy in 2012, 13, 14, 15, as recently as January. So the question is, what changed your mind?
Follow up again:
I'm sorry. I’m just going to follow up. I will let you respond because there is a lot there. We're talking about racial healing in the segment. What do you say to Americans -- (Donald responds)
Well, just listen to what you heard.
Hilary launches into (summary) you deny your a birther but you still are and in 1973 you had a lawsuit over your racist practices. 1973?... WHAT?
Mr. Trump, you can respond then we’re going to move on in a second. (He responded .. Two minutes)
Our next segment is called securing America. And we want to start with a twenty first century war happening every day in this country. Our institutions are under cyber attack, and our secrets are being stolen. So my question is, who's behind it? And how do we fight it? Secretary Clinton, this answer goes to you.
These questions was nearing the end... and again these are verbatim from the debate. So This questions goes to Secretary Clinton first and this is were it devolves... Hilary put in attacks toward Donald in many of her answers.. Donald would Respond then respond to the "attack". I totally admit that Donald is a "Dog with a Bone" if you throw a little bait he will attack it so this his his failing and his alone. He does not have to respond to the "bait" but the fact that some of the "baiting" came from Lester as a 'question' he has no choice but to respond to the questions at hand.. one could say they were all fair questions and follow ups and I don't disagree.. but there was no parody in this and Clinton was given "yes or no" question with few if any followups. I sum with the rest of the exchanges with little commentary.
Mr. Trump you have two minutes of the same question -- who’s behind it and how do we fight it? (Response then Clinton response)
You mention ISIS and we think of ISIS as over there. But there are American citizens who have been inspired to commit acts of terror on American soil. The latest incident, of course, the bombings we just saw in New York and New Jersey, the knife attack at a mall in Minnesota in the last year, deadly attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando. I’ll ask this to both of you. Tell us specifically how you prevent homegrown attacks by American citizens. Mr. Trump. (He responds, clinton responds even)
Follow up for Trump, none for Clinton
Mr. Trump a lot of these are judgment questions. You had supported the war in Iraq before the invasion. (Trump denies)
Follow up for Trump... same line of questioning.. none for Clinton
My question is, since you supported it, why is your judgment…. (Trump responds but denies support)
Moderator v Donald
The record shows otherwise.
Moderator v Donald.. another follow up, none for Clinton
Why is your judgment better than… (Again he responds outlining his view on Iraq)
Moderator v Donald This has ceased being a debate.. it is now a Interview.
My reference was to what you said in 2002. My question was why is your judgment any different than Mrs.Clinton's? (Again Donald responds)
The above exchange I am lost for words to describe.. Then Lester is ask for Clinton's RESPONSE TO DONALD... REALLY?
(LAUGHTER) (She goes on to respond with a back and forth with Donald
We need to move on. (Donald finishes a statement)
Which leads my next question as we enter our last segment here, still on the subject of securing America on nuclear weapons President Obama reportedly considered changing the nation's long-standing policy on first use. Do you support the current policy Mr. Trump you have two minutes on that. (Mr. Trump responds. then Ms Clinton.. a small back and forth as Mr Trump squeezes more airtime to answer security question.)
Next question.. To Donald only? What?
Mr. Trump, Secretary Clinton became in the first woman nominated for president by a major party earlier this month. You said quote she doesn’t have a presidential look. She's standing here right now. What you mean by that? (Donald responds with "Stamina")
The quote was, “I just don’t think she has a presidential look…”
Let’s let her respond
Her response was very good.. even garnered applause from the crowd... since there wasn't a question to her to answer.
Lester closed the questioning and Secretary Clinton added the (summary) insults via Trump toward women. Then the last question: to both.
One of you will not win this election. So my final question to you tonight are you willing to accept the outcome as the will of the voters Secretary Clinton (same to Trump)
All right well that is going to do it for us. That concludes our debate for this evening - a spirited one. We covered a lot of ground, not everything as I suspected we would. The next presidential debates are scheduled for October ninth and Washington University in St. Louis and October nineteen at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The conversation will continue. A reminder, the vice presidential debate is scheduled for October fourth at Longwood University in Farmville Virginia. My thanks to Hillary Clinton and to Donald Trump and to Hofstra University for hosting us tonight. Good night everyone.