Clinton won first debate, undecided voters say

Latino, Muslim voters share their thoughts on first presidential debate

Clinton won first debate, undecided voters say

World Bulletin / News Desk

Hillary Clinton won the first presidential debate Monday against Donald Trump, according to two voters who are on the fence about whom to vote for in the Nov. 8 election.

Nancy Ramos and Huthaifa Shqeirat shared their thoughts after watching the debate.

Both said the first of three planned contests left a lot to be desired but agreed Clinton won the stand-off at Hofstra University in New York, and that it was a bad day for her Republican rival.

“I’m now gearing towards more her than I am him,” said Ramos, a Latina writer living in the New York City. “Clinton made me think twice. Before I was at 50-50 both of them, now I am like maybe 75 Hillary, 25 still him; giving him, you know, ‘OK I’m willing to hear you out again’.”

Shqeirat, an electrical engineer and a Muslim voter from Arizona who lives in New Jersey, said he thought Trump’s performance was a “disaster” but there wasn’t enough substance to sway him in either direction.

“He struck me like a kid who has ADHD floating from conversation to conversation to conversation,” Shqeirat said. “He did not answer a single question that was asked of him.

“We still have the feeling of ‘I’m voting against a candidate’. But this debate has sort of shifted the mentality from ‘I’m voting against Hillary’ to ‘I’m voting against Trump’ because this would be a disaster.”

Both voters reserved their harshest criticism for Trump’s comments in support of the controversial stop and frisk policy whereby a police officer can stop and search anyone if the officer believes there is reasonable suspicion.

Shqeirat said he was surprised by “the fact that [Trump] kept saying he is very good to black Americans and to minorities, yet in the very same breath, he says I support stop and frisk which is ruled unconstitutional against black minorities.”

Ramos found Trump’s take on the issue insensitive. “This is his entire character – insensitive. I would expect somebody insensitive to say the things he said about race,” she said.

“He’s for it, she’s not for it, I’m not for that. I grew up in the ghetto and cops harassed us all the time over nothing,” Ramos said. “It just created so much tensions between us.”

Trump was not the only one on the receiving end of criticism. On race relations, Ramos questions Clinton’s sincerity because “she has played the game, she has been around the block more.

“Even if it is not sincere, I think she knows she has to care. I don’t think it’s sincere at all.”

Ramos also said that while she thought Trump did not have the experience for good economic and foreign policy, “I do agree with what he said that she has experience but it’s bad experience. Because if she could have done it, it would have been done. So he’s correct on it, he kind of won me on that.”

Shqeirat criticized the Democratic candidate, who served as Secretary of State in 2009-2013, on the policies implemented during two terms of Barack Obama’s presidency.

“For the last eight years we had a Democratic president and we look at let’s see the foreign policy, how many Muslims deaths has that caused? We would see a much different story than the one that is being shown to us if we are willing to look behind the scenes,” he said.

“The Republican Party has been so filled with inflaming rhetoric against the Muslim community that all the Democratic Party has to do is keep their mouth shut, not even say anything and they automatically look like they are the good guys,” Shqeirat said.

The voters disagreed on whether Clinton being the first ever female presidential nominee from any of the two major parties really came through in her performance.

Ramos thought it did. “I think she is an excellent debater; I think she speaks beautifully. I think she is very bright,” she said, describing the red attire Clinton chose for the debate as “a bold statement.”

“She is a strong woman,” Ramos said.

Shqeirat had a different take.

“Personally I think Donald Trump stole the show because everyone is paying attention to how big of a train wreck he was, and there really was any attention given to the fact that Clinton is the first female nominee,” he said.

Polls indicate the two candidates are in a virtual tie, with some surveys giving Clinton a slight edge.

Trump, unlike Clinton, has not shied away from rhetoric that has risked alienating some groups, including Hispanics and Muslims. He has gone on record calling Mexicans rapists and criminals, and one of the biggest promises of a Trump candidacy is an "impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall".

On the other hand, he has drawn the ire of many at home and abroad with his pledge to deny Muslims entry into the U.S. "until we figure out what's going on" with issues of extremism.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Eylül 2016, 09:46
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