TMR’s Presidential Debate Diary

TMR tuned into the first of the three American presidential debates and gives the following account of how it all went down:

(NB: times are in AWST).

8.50am – I’ve just tuned into Sky and their panel includes Kristina Keneally, David Spears, Ross Cameron and Peter van Onselen. They’re talking about whether the moderator should be calling out the candidates’ lies on the run or whether Hillary is going to have to jump in on all of Trump’s lies. With respect, the opposite will be a bigger problem. Great to see the media bias is up and running nice and early.

8.55am – TMR has the over/under on Hillary freak outs at 1.5. (Ed: she actually did very well all up and was probably juiced up on extra medication).

9.03am – We should have started by now. What’s happening?

9.04am – For those watching live at Hofstra University, watch out for triggers:

Hofstra University has posted a “trigger warning” sign to warn students about the potentially disturbing content that may be discussed during Monday night’s presidential debate.

According to CBS New York reporter Tony Aiello, a sign inside of the student center at Hofstra reads, “Trigger warning: The event conducted just beyond this sign may contain triggering and/or sensitive material.

Sexual violence, sexual assault, and abuse are some topics mentioned within this event. If you feel triggered, please know there are resources to help you.”


9.05am – An we’re finally under way as the candidates come in. Hillary’s come in a red Kim Jong Un number, while Trump has gone for the typical black suit, blue tie getup. The moderator is Lester Holt.

9.06am – Oh dear, Lester’s first question couldn’t have been more leading – he refers to there having been ‘6 years of straight employment growth after stagnation’ – but inequality is a problem. Over to you Hillary…


Hillary dribbles on with the usual well-rehearsed dribble, but most telling is that she wants to raise the minimum wage and have the ‘wealthy pay their fair share’. Yep, that’ll create jobs.

Hillary says she’s happy to be here with Trump. She’s wasted no time notching up her first blatant lie.

9.09am – Trump goes straight into the ‘they took our jobs’ line, saying that the US needs to stop jobs being ‘stolen’ by Mexico and China. He also wants to stop companies leaving the US for cheaper locations elsewhere. Very nationalistic stuff and a clear plug to his main target audience.

9.11am – Hillary wants a tax system that ‘rewards work’ – but also wants to raise the minimum wage? She claims that Trump wants to bring in ‘trickle down’ and calls it ‘Trumped up trickle down’. Her strategy team were clearly up all night devising that one. Expect to hear it come out a few more times.

PS: what exactly is wrong with trickle down?

Hillary then goes on a tangent about how hard her dad worked. Clearly hard work is not a genetic thing.

9.12am – Trump counters with his own, ‘my dad’ story so that he can tell everyone how he turned his family empire into a multi billion dollar success.

Trump then complains about Mexico taxing America on the way in, but that America not taxing on the way back.

Trump then asks Hillary if it’s ok to refer to her as ‘Secretary Clinton’. Weird. Sorry Donald, but the gentleman ship sailed off a long time ago for you. Don’t bother.

Trump then says he wants to limit Amercian companies leaving to Mexico by imposing a tax on what they produce in Mexico and sell back into America. Yes, that’s a Republican telling everyone he wants to bring in tariffs. Colour me confused.

9.17am – Hillary gets a free kick to bash Trump’s tariff. She starts off well by talking about not going back to failed policies of the past. However, she then goes on a baseless ramble about creating 10 million jobs and building half a billion solar panels. Eh?

9.19am – Trump maintains his ‘keep companies in the USA’ line and unleashes his first ‘shut up and let me talk’ to Hillary. Also whips out his first zinger on how Hillary has had 30 years to think about this.

Also says: ‘your husband signed NAFTA which was one of the worst things…’.

9.22am – Trump completely rips into the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement . Hillary joins in and says she was against the TPP when it was signed. Trump calls her out and says she was all for it. Hillary denies this. Trump goes further and asks ‘was it President Obama’s fault then?’. Hillary is less than convincing here.

9.23am – Trump says Hillary has no plan, to which she retorts by saying she has written a book and that he can go and buy it!

Undeterred, Trump claims Hillary’s extra regulations will destroy businesses and that his tax cuts will be the biggest since Regan.

Hillary incredibly tries to tell everyone she’s going to cut regulations. Probably not the best time to tell people to go to her website for a live fact checker on Trump’s claims. That said, Trump looks a bit taken aback and can only tell people to go to his website in retort.

9.26am – The debate is supposed to be on the economy at the moment, but somehow Trump and Clinton get into a stoush over ISIS. Trump hammers Hillary: ‘No wonder you’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life!’

Lester brings them back to the economy.

9.28am – Clinton says she was expecting to get ‘blamed for everything’. Trump says ‘why not?’. The over/under on Trump’s childish interjections for each debate is 9.5 by the way.

9.29am – Hillary keeps rubbishing trickle down. ‘Broad based inclusive growth’ is apparently what is needed. In other words, communism.

9.31am – Lester has a crack at Trump for not releasing his tax returns. Trump isn’t convincing with his ‘I’ll do it later, I did my own 104 page statement’ response.

Trump tries to change the subject to trade deals. Lester doesn’t let him get away with it.

Trump ends up saying ‘I’ll release my tax returns against my lawyer’s wishes when Hillary releases her 33,000 emails’. Take that.

The audience cheers and Lester tells them to shut up. Let’s see if he does the same when Hillary’s cheer squad makes some noise.

9.35am – Clinton takes the chance to claim that Trump has dodgy finances. Not wise Hillary. Not wise.

This is really unproductive discussion. How are Trump’s personal finances important to Americas future?

Hillary says she ‘made a mistake’ using a private email server.

9.37am – Trump is given two choices to attack Hillary on: the email server or her finances. Trump chooses the server and says it wasn’t a mistake, but done on purpose. Says her staff took the 5th and so forth.

He either forgets to talk about Hillary’s dodgy finances and the Clinton Foundation or elects to keep it for later.

Trump then turns his personal finances into a line that it’s about time we had someone running the country who has an idea about money. He goes on:

‘We owe $20 trillion and we’re a mess. We haven’t even started’.

‘We could have rebuilt the country twice by now’.

‘We don’t have the money because it’s been squandered because of your ideas’.

He’s right of course.

9.39am – Clinton comes back with ‘we’d have more if you paid your taxes’. Some in the crowd cheer for Hillary. Will Lester admonish them too? Don’t bet on it.

Hillary then claims that Trump has ‘stiffed’ people in his business and that he’s taken bankruptcy ‘six times’.

Things are starting to get a little dirty now.

9.41am – Trump says ‘I built an unbelievable company… But on some occasions, we used laws of the nation to our advantage’. Not a good look Donald. Back out now.

9.44am – It’s official, Lester has failed to tell the crowd off for cheering Hillary. Hmmm.

9.45am – The subject changes to race. Hillary keeps up the rehearsed answers – ‘we need to build trust, between communities and the police… more training… we have to bring communities togther… police need to respect communities and communities need to respect them… get guns out of the hands of people that should not have them’.

It’s all very fluffy and uninspiring stuff. Not a single real policy in any of it.

Trump responds with ‘we need law and order’. Claims to have the support of police groups. ‘We have to stop the violence…’.

He says using ‘stop and frisk’ in Chicago may work. Then has another go at ‘illegal immigrants’ with guns.

Trump doesn’t really offer much more substance than Hillary as to how he would solve the problem.

9.48am – Lester tells Trump that ‘stop and frisk’ was held unconstitutional.

Trump says the new Mayor (of New York) – (TMR: a rabbid leftie) – refused to go on with the case (i.e. appeal). While that may be true, the current status is obviously that a competent court has held the policy as being unconstitutional. What else do you have Donald?

Trump doubles down on stop and frisk. Keeps naming places such as Chicago and Ferguson where there are problems.

Claims the current government’s policy is unfair to African American and Hispanic people. He may be right, but he offers no substance as to how the current policies work against them or how things can improve. He really should consult with Thomas Sowell.

9.51am – Hillary reinforces the unconstitutionality of stop and frisk. Unless and until it is challenged and successfully appealed, she’s right. Trump needs to offer something else.

Hillary tries to go for ‘victim gold’ and says white people doing the same thing as black people don’t get punished, while the black people do get punished. This is disingenuous to says the least when you look at the gun and homicide stats.

Hillary also says she wants to close all privately run jails as jails should not be there to run at a profit. In other words, they should be run and inefficiently funded by the government so that less criminals can be housed and the ones that are housed are kept as comfortable as possible. What a joke.

9.54am –  Hillary says we need to stop people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. Something tells me they don’t go to Walmart to buy their weapons Hillary. Keep guessing.

Trump agrees with Hillary’s watch list/no fly list position. Talk about meaningless.

9.56am – Trump wants to try and take guns away from gangs while maintaining the second amendment. Good luck with that pal.

Keeps going with stop and frisk and the big impact that it had.

Trump really needs to find something else here. The answer to America’s race and gun problems don’t lie solely in stop and frisk. What else does he have?

Hillary interjects and says murders are down. Trump disagrees, says ‘they’re up’. Says we need ‘to work with communities’. Her platform is equally as flaccid.

I’m going to go with Thomas Sowell on this one.

9.58am – Trump says he’s traveled all over Amercia. Has a go at Hillary for ‘staying home’.

Hillary says she was ‘preparing to be President’. Her cheer squad claps. It’s clear that cheering for Hillary is ok. Cheering for Trump is not.

We’re going nowhere here. Please move this on to something meaningful Lester.

10.00am – Lester goes after Trump on the Obama birth certificate issue and how Trump was wrong. This is bullshit Lester. Get on with the issues that really matter.

And we’re back to racial healing…

Why hasn’t either candidate mentioned education as a foundation for solving the problem? Specifically, the use of charter schools? Trump apparently supports this and Hillary is against it. So why no mention?

10.02am – Hillary says ‘listen to what you’ve just heard’. Some in the crowd laugh. Still no mention from Lester. It’s getting pretty serious now. There was supposed to be stone cold silence (so that Hillary doesn’t freak out).

Hillary has a go at Trump for having a law suit against him regarding one of his properties and the race of people within them.

10.06am – Lester changes the subject to institutions being under cyber attack and information being stolen. Hillary’s first to answer. Something tells me she won’t mention the use of private servers contributing to the problem.

Hillary uses the question to whip out the ‘Russians are bad’ line. Mentions China and Iran too. Asking her to talk about the security of information is like asking Dracula how the blood bank should be run.

Hillary ends up with a baseless claim that Donald is feeding the Russians. I’m not sure anyone is going to buy that one.

10.09am – Trump says he’s the only one endorsed by ‘ICE’ (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and he’ll take their endorsement over political hacks on security issues.

10.12am – Hillary says we need to increase air strikes on ISIS. Yeah, that’ll work, it’s worked brilliantly so far.

Claims we ‘have to make this a top priority’ and try take out their leadership. You mean you haven’t been doing this so far?

10.13am – Lester asks how the candidates will prevent home grown terror.

Trump says Hillary left a vacuum in Iraq which caused all the current problems. Says America should have ‘taken the oil’ so that ISIS could not have used it. He may be right, but I’m not sure how this will prevent future home grown terror.

Hillary tries a zinger: I hope the fact checkers are working really hard. Then claims that Trump endorsed the Libya debacle.

Hillary then audaciously tries to blame Bush Jr for the exodus of US troops from Iraq. Says it wasn’t Obama’s fault. This one isn’t going to work. Where are those fact checkers by the way?

10.17am – Hillary says ‘we’re working with NATO to turn our attention to terrorism’. You mean you haven’t been paying attention to terrorism?

Trump says ‘we’ve been working with them.. and look at the mess’. Then says many in NATO ‘aren’t paying their fair share’ and that ‘NATO could be obsolete… because they do not focus on terror’.

Trump also says America is paying 73% towards NATO’s costs. Supports the new terror division being set up but says ‘we need to knock the hell out of ISIS’.

Yet again, we’re deprived of any real substance as to how the problem is going to be solved.

10.19am – Hillary tries to interject. Trump hoses her down.

10.20am – Lester tries to tell Trump that he supported the war in Iraq. Trump angrily rejects this. Lester says ‘the record shows otherwise’. He interjects when Trump tries to explain his position. Lester appears to have forgotten the role of the moderator in a debate.

10.22am – Trump claims to have a better temperament than Hillary. Not sure anyone is buying this. Claims he has a ‘winning temperament’ (i.e. rude, boorish, but effective).

Hillary – ‘whoo – ok…’. The crowd laughs and so do I. Trump had that one coming. Still no word from Lester on the crowd’s intervention.

Hillary then tries to turn the ‘Iran can have nukes one day, but just not right now, agreement’ recently ‘negotiated’ by John Kerry into a policy strength. Righto. She says Trump would have blown the Iranians out of the water over the navy hostage issue and started another war. Also claims that Trump would be ok with a nuclear war in East Asia.

Not sure this was the right path taken by Hillary.

10.25am – Trump tries to retort by saying nuclear weapons are the biggest threat to the world ‘not global warming’ (a topic that has gone completely missing in this debate by the way – apart from Hillary’s half a billion solar panels guff at the start. Clearly not the number one issue on the list).

Interestingly doesn’t specifically reject the ‘ok with nuclear war in East Asia’ allegation.

Says ‘China should go into North Korea’.

Claims Kerry missed the chance to include North Korea in the Iran agreement. Claims $1.7 billion was paid in cash for the return of the US hostages.

10.29am – Clinton declines the opportunity to retort on global warming or the $1.7 billion cash payment claim and instead puts word out to Japan and South Korea that she will honour their ‘mutual defense agreements’.

Says Trump wouldn’t say what he would have done in Iran over the hostage and nukes issues. She queries whether he might have bombed it. This contradicts what she said 5 minutes ago when she claimed Trump definitely wanted to blow them out of the water and start another war.

10.32am – Trump responds by saying he wants to helps America’s allies, but that it can’t afford to be the world’s policeman.

Says Hillary doesn’t have the stamina to be President. Runs far away from the ‘she doesn’t have the look’ part of the question put to him by Lester… and gets away with it.

10.34am – Hillary tells Trump to come back when he’s been to 112 countries. The crowd cheers. Still no word from Lester.

The Trump supporters realise what’s going on and loudly cheer his next comments regarding ‘Hillary’s bad experience’.

Lester has completely lost control of the crowd. This is what happens when you don’t enforce the rules fairly.

Trump tries to take the high road on Hillary’s negative campaign ads saying it’s ‘not nice’. Some muted cheers come from Trump’s supporters.

Trump is about the last person on Earth who should be lecturing others on being nice. I don’t think anyone is buying this ‘I’m a victim’ approach by Trump. It’s just not him and he should ditch it.

10.37am – Hillary finishes by urging people to come out and vote like their future depends on it. She clearly wants people to come out and vote who would not normally be bothered. Now who could she be referring to?

Trump finishes off by saying he ‘wants to make America great again’.

10.38am – All up, it’s been a pretty limp affair which is not too surprising given that there are still two more debates to come.

Post debate wrap

10.40am – TMR is calling this one a draw as neither candidate landed a real glove on the other. Yes, a lot of time was spent on Trump’s less than glamorous past – but they were all trivial issues. Amricans are more concerned about immigration, terrorism and economic prosperity and will be disappointed that more time wasn’t spent on these substantial issues. Whether Trump booted a black or Hispanic tenant from one of his properties in the past and got sued isn’t going to matter to people.

All up, a draw is probably better for Hillary. Trump is the one who needs to make up ground and Hillary will cheerfully take any draws. If the next two debates go this way, she’ll win the election.

As for the Sky panel, Spears gives the debate to Hillary. Claims the debate was dominated by Trump and his past.

Switzer gives it to Hillary.

Ross Cameron also gives it to Hillary. Makes the good point that Trump spent too much time giving long explanations about his past issues. He needed to deal with them more quickly and move on.

Kristina Kennealy claims that Hillary should have done a better job of attacking Trump. Claims that Hillary was fantastic on attacking Trump on his tax returns. Sky then shows some highlights of Hillary talking about this from the debate.

It’s things like this that upset normal people. The mainstream media is relentlessly attacking Trump on trivial personal issues and not on the big issues of substance that really matter to America and the world.

Peter van Onselen claims Trump lost the debate, rather than Hillary winning it. Says Hillary ended strongly on the gender point and silenced the issues surrounding her health. Says Hillary started very poorly in the first 10-15 minutes and this could override everything that happened her way since. Typical fence sitting from PVO.

The Sky analysts aren’t looking at the long game on these debates. People aren’t going to remember this debate as there are two more coming. Trump will have been keeping his powder dry on attacking Hillary and will have been more than happy for his dirty laundry to have been aired first up. His main aim was not to make any fatal howlers that people cannot possibly forget. That said, he did a pretty weak job at attacking Hillary on the issues that were raised. He’ll definitely need to raise his game in the next two debates.

10.55am – Sky’s panel continues to bash Trump with reckless abandon and I’m not game enough turn ABC 24 on. Definitely a good time to sign out.






One thought on “TMR’s Presidential Debate Diary”

  1. I watched most of the debate, gave up at the last 10 minute mark.
    All I got out of it was,Trump is dead right. America is 20 trillion in debt and no way to get out of it. According to Hilary,education is the key. If that is the case, maybe all the politicians should have been better educated so as not to get in this mess.


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