Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton bickered for more than 90 minutes Monday night in their first presidential debate, with Trump interrupting the Democratic nominee and talking over both her and the moderator.
They clashed over items big and small, including ISIS, Trump’s refusal to turn over his federal tax returns, the wars in Iraq, jobs and whether or not Clinton had the "stamina" to be president, all before a television audience that was estimated to be as high as 112 million, placing the broadcast in Super Bowl viewing territory.
Meanwhile, the internet lit up with memes and posts about why Trump seemed to be sniffling so much.
Mostly, the two exchanged a series of zingers, with Clinton often gazing at him with a mixture of disdain and bemusement.
“I think my biggest asset is my temperament,” Trump said with a straight face. Clinton, he claimed is “totally out of control.”
He also blamed Clinton, as secretary of state, and President Barack Obama, for causing the birth of ISIS by prematurely withdrawing troops from Iraq.
“George W. Bush made the agreement of when American troops made the agreement on when Americans would leave Iraq, not Barack Obama,” Clinton shot back.
Both candidates had come out smiling, but things quickly rolled downhill when the Republican interjected, “I did not say that. I did not say that,” when Clinton stated early on, “Donald thinks that climax change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.”
She appeared to bait him continuously, and he bit at every chance.
She took on allegations that Trump was a sexist and a misogynist, saying one of the worst things he has done was calling a Latina pageant contestant “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.”
“Donald,” she told him, “she has a name.”
"Where did you find this? Trump jumped in. "Where did you find this? Where did you find this?"
"Her name is Alicia Machado. And she became a U.S. citizen. And you can bet she's going to vote this November."
She also fired off several other rejoinders.
When Trump carried on about various trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Clinton criticized his grasp of the real world. "Donald, I know you live in your own reality. But that is not the facts," she said.
After a long series of Trump accusations, the former Democratic U.S. senator from New York jokingly said, "I have a feeling by the end of this evening I'm going to be blamed for everything that's ever happened."
Trump replied, "Why not?"
"Why not? Yeah, why not?" Clinton responded. "Just join the debate by saying more crazy things."
Trump also took credit for getting Barack Obama to release a copy of his birth certificate to appease so-called "Birthers" who said the Democratic candidate had actually been born in Kenya.
Obama released the document in 2011. Trump derided the document, suggesting it was false, until finally saying earlier this month that Obama was an American citizen born in this country.
In response to questions about his tax returns, Trump said he would release them when Clinton turned over "33,000 emails she deleted." Moderator Lester Holt tried several times to interject as the Republican went over his time allotment, or uttered statements that weren't accurate, but Trump spoke over him.
Asked about his recent statement that Clinton didn't have the "look" of a president, Trump said he was really referring to her "stamina." He also criticized her for not making more public appearances in the days leading up to their face-off.
"I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And yes, I did," Clinton said. "And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that's a good thing."
The vitriolic debate also unleased a firehose of criticism, jokes, instant hashtags and frivolity on social media. Much of it was directed at Trump's ever-present sniffles and his frequent sips of water.
LESTER: How will you bring jobs back?
TRUMP: Well *loud sniff* companies are leaving *loud sniff*
LESTER: But how?
TRUMP: *loud sniff* — Ian Sams (@IanSams) September 27, 2016
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