Reacting to the Clinton-Trump First Debate
SMU political experts and a student voice their opinions on the Sept. 26 debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.
History Professor Jeffrey Engels reacts:
Communications Professor Ben Voth and SMU student Caroline Kushner react:
DALLAS (SMU) – To assist journalists covering Monday’s presidential debate, SMU election experts provided real-time insights throughout the evening. Here are the highlights of what they had to say:
SOCIAL MEDIA, IT LIVES FOREVER
On Trump’s old tweets resurfacing…
- “There was an echo chamber effect on social media with arguments coming from both sides. It was interesting to see Trump’s previous tweets differing from some of his debate stances.”
Batsell is an SMU associate professor of Journalism and a social media specialist.
DID TRUMP JUST CALL FOR CHINA TO INVADE NORTH KOREA?
On Trump’s Asian policy tango…
- “Trump said China should ‘go into’ North Korea – wow. That just seemed like a reckless statement to me. Is Trump calling for a Chinese invasion of North Korea? That would be a bad development…”
On Trump’s stamina argument…
- “The discussion of ‘stamina’ does not play well for Trump. It will turn off women voters.”
On who won…
- “Clinton was more focused and on message. Trump wandered around too much on the race and gender questions. His answer on the stamina issue was bad. This will probably hurt him, at least temporarily.”
Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science with specific expertise in politics and religion.
WHEN GOOD BUSINESS MIGHT BE BAD POLITICS
On the debate’s defining moments…
- “When Clinton was talking about the housing crisis and how Trump rooted for it, and Trump interrupted her and said, ‘that’s called business,’ I think that might prove to be a very bad moment for him."
- “The NAFTA moment might be seen as Trump’s best moment, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why he doesn’t let the Iraq thing go.”
On how Holt will be reviewed …
- “There will be a ton of blowback on Lester Holt for the last question about Hillary not ‘looking right.’ That was a huge softball for Clinton, and Trump couldn’t have handled it worse. I think Trump probably should have been asked about it, but not the very last thing. I’d be mad if I were on the Trump campaign.”
Martin is an SMU assistant professor of Communication Studies.
VICTORY IS IN THE DETAILS
On who won and why…
- “I really think Hillary probably won. She did really well. She was better at being specific and putting him on the defensive. It wasn’t a knockout but she rebounded from a weak campaign and looked strong tonight – and stronger than most of her other primary debates.”
Voth is SMU’s director of debate and an associate professor of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs.
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