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Clinton, Trump at First Debate: Was It All America Expected?

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at the First Presidential Debate

It was a showdown millions of Americans have been anticipating ever since Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton emerged as the Republican and Democratic nominees for the presidency.

Debate moderator NBC's Lester Holt navigated the candidates through three main issues, including achieving prosperity, America's direction, and securing America.

Watch CBN Correspondents David Brody and Jenna Browder's post-debate analysis:

Money on the Table

The debate fired off with questions about how each candidate plans on securing more jobs for Americans. Trump's strategy is to keep American companies from seeking cheaper work outside of America, while Clinton proposed taxing the wealthy to "build an economy for everyone."

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But the stage heated up when Holt questioned the candidates about their tax returns, specifically asking Trump why he has yet to release his to the public. 

"I will release my tax returns against my lawyer's wishes when she (Clinton) releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted," Trump fired back, drawing audible cheers from the crowd. 

Clinton's emails have been a constant pressure point in her campaign, leading many Americans to question their trust for the Democratic nominee. 

"I made a mistake using a private email," Clinton responded. "I take full responsibility for that." 

Clinton skirted the issue and neither candidate addressed the email scandal again throughout the entirety of the debate. 

Battling High Racial Tensions

Another hot topic was the issue of race. The questions came under the shadow of several deadly police shootings of black men in recent weeks that has left America divided and frustrated. 

Both candidates agree they must work to restore trust between communities and the police, but they took very different stances on how to lower high crime rates in cities like Chicago. 

Clinton pushed for more gun regulation. 

"The gun epidemic is the leading cause of death among African American men," Clinton argued, saying dangerous people should never be allowed to own guns.

Although Trump agreed that there needs to be better vetting of gun ownership, he emphasized "law and order" and better policing.

"We have to be very strong and we have to be very vigilant," he added. 

But Clinton believes Americans need to be more vigilant about how they interect with their Muslim communities and questioned Trump's own sentiments about Muslims.

"Donald has consistently insulted Muslims abroad and Muslims at home when we need to be cooperating with Muslim nations," she said. "We need to have close working cooperation with law enforcement agencies in these communities, not be alienated and pushed away as some of Donald's rhetoric unfortunately has led to"

Waging the War on Terror

Both candidates agreed to be vigilant against terror threats abroad and at home. 

"We have to intensify our air strikes against ISIS," Clinton said, including taking out top ISIS commander Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. 

But Trump questioned why in her more than 30 years of political experience she is just now considering this option.

"You were there and you were secretary of state when it (ISIS) was a little infant, now it's in over 30 countries and you're going to stop them? I don't think so," Trump said.

Clinton is known for using her decades of political experience as a leg up over political outsider Trump. But Trump believes it is her experience that is precisely the reason Clinton is unfit for the presidency. 

"Hillary has experience," Trump said. "But it is bad experience," he said, citing the Iranian nuclear deal. He calls the deal "one of the worst deals" any country has ever made. 

Both of the candidates were eager to defend their turf right up the the last seconds of the debate, raising the anticipation many Americans have for the second round of debates next week. 

Earlier in the evening social media was swarming with talk of fact-checking Trump. The social talk continued after the debate with most people posting in favor of their candidate.

CBN News Chief Political Correspondent David Brody tweeted a brief analysis of both, saying Clinton "stayed calm" with a solid performance but sounding scripted.

He tweeted Trump "started strong, then lost focus... but I'm sure his base loved fighting spirit."

While Americans are left to decide who won their vote, one thing is clear: the fight for the presidency is not over yet.


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