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Presidential debate 2016: things to watch as Clinton and Trump Square Off



Presidential debate
Presidential debate

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will square off Monday in the first of three debates.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The stage has been set at Hofstra University in New York for the first presidential debate between this election’s main opponents, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

The three debates (Monday; Sunday, Oct. 9; and Wednesday, Oct. 19) are the candidates’ highest-profile chance to change the narrative of the campaign, just as the polls between the two begin to further tighten. In 2012, more than 70 million people watched the first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, and this year’s viewership could be even higher.

While both candidates have appeared in their fair share of primary debates, this will be the first time they’ve appeared on stage together—and their first head-on confrontation of what’s already been a contentious campaign.

After winning the coin toss, Clinton will receive the first question of Monday night’s debate. Here’s a quick guide for what to watch for when the candidates take the stage:

Which Trump shows up?

Commentators and political operatives alike have been quick to point out there are two Donald Trump’s we’ve witnessed in this campaign: the filterless, off-the-cuff Trump whose rhetoric has rallied and energized his base and earned him the following that secured him the Republican nomination. There’s also teleprompter Trump: a more muted and subdued candidate who is the product of his campaign’s desire to prove that he’s a viable commander-in-chief.

Trump and his campaign have said publicly the candidate has not spent as much time as Clinton has on debate prep. However, they also added that Trump has spent extensive hours studying tape of Clinton’s previous debates and speeches. The billionaire real estate mogul has said it’s possible to over-prepare for a debate.

Will the candidates be fact-checked?

This could be the most important factor of the entire debate itself — especially in a year where both candidates have repeatedly made false statements on the campaign trail and in public appearances. Debate moderator, Lester Holt, will be faced with dealing with the candidates, should they say things that are untrue during the debate.

In 2012, Candy Crowley, then with CNN, stepped in to correct Mitt Romney during his town hall debate with President Obama on an answer about the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya—a move for which she was widely panned, especially by conservatives, in the debate’s aftermath. As a result, moderators have been asked their philosophy about how to handle fact-checking this time around: Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who is moderating the final debate on Oct. 19, has said he doesn’t see himself as the “truth squad” when he’s up on stage with the candidates.

Clinton’s camp have made it clear they think either candidate should be called out for making false statements, meanwhile, Trump’s running mate Mike Pence told CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that Trump will “speak the truth” and that he does not believe debate moderators should actively correct the candidates during the debate.

How do the scandals come up?

Monday night’s debate will have three broad themes, according to NBC, each of which will take up a portion of the 90-minute debate: “America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity,” and “Securing America.”

A theme broad enough to present the aforementioned Holt with the opportunity to ask about essentially anything he wants. It’s a safe bet that he’ll quiz both candidates on their economic plans as well as their thoughts on various foreign policy and national security issues. But will Holt raise the issues that have captured most of the headlines surrounding both Trump and Clinton: their various scandals?

For Trump, there are a sleuth of things he’s said about various ethnic and demographic groups in the country, from women to Muslims to Mexican immigrants; there are the questions about the Trump Foundation and its improper use of funds. On the other side, Clinton herself has the long-standing scandal over her use of a private email server, as well as more recent things like her comments about Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables.”

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