The first debate of the 2016 campaign was divided by NBC into three sections. Sabrina Siddiqui and Ben Jacobs investigate who won each of them
Round one: Achieving Prosperity
Hillary Clinton focused early on policy, laying out an economic agenda that called for reducing income inequality by raising the minimum wage, closing the gender pay gap and eliminating corporate tax loopholes. But she did not miss the opportunity to go after Donald Trump for being the first major-party nominee in more than 40 years to refuse to release his tax returns.
The Republican candidate managed to put his Democratic rival on the defensive on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, forcing her to explain why she came out against the landmark 12-nation trade agreement last year after previously supporting it. But Clinton was able to overcome the question in part because Trump repeatedly shouted over her attempts to answer it placing the focus instead on his aggressive posture. SS
Donald Trump was strongest early in the debate, when he hit familiar talking points on trade and put Clinton on the back foot, having to defend her flip-flop on TPP and the controversial legacy of Nafta, the free trade agreement signed by her husband that many in the industrial midwest feel has cost manufacturing jobs. An off-key rehearsed line from a stilted Clinton about Trumped-up trickle down economics represented a brief window into what the debate might have been like if Trump had been able to act like a normal candidate for more than 10 minutes.
But the Republican nominee took Clintons bait and played defense on personal attacks almost immediately. After Clinton said: He started his business with $14m, borrowed from his father, Trump immediately responded, rather than turn the focus back on to trade, perhaps his strongest issue. BJ