The debate began with a discussion of the Supreme Court and the failure of congress to confirm Garland, meaning whoever becomes president will likely have the opportunity to appoint at least 2 justices to the court. Immediately after this fact was established and debated, the moderator posed an unprecedentedly frank question about one of the most contentious and polarizing issue in American politics: abortion.
Trump claimed he would nominate only pro life justices to the court and that Roe V. Wade would be “overturned automatically” and abortion rights would be “returned to the states.” According to Trump “in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother." Clinton then called Trump out for his scare tactics before reaffirming her support for abortion rights, including late term abortion for medical necessity.
One particularly notable aspect of Clinton's argument was her reference to abortion in other countries: “I've been to countries where governments either forced women to have abortions, like they used to do in China, or forced women to bear children like they used to do in Romania…And I can tell you the government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in accordance with their faith, with medical advice. And I will stand up for that right.”
The issue of immigration over the US southern boarder was a hot topic last night that prompted Trump to say, “…we have a lot of bad hombres.” Either Donald trump learned Spanish or he is the most openly culturally appropriative presidential candidate ever to walk the earth. Trump advocates building a wall on the southern boarders to Mexico, somehow paid for by the Mexican government. He argued that the opiod problem in the US is the result of mass immigration and that we have lost thousands of jobs to Mexico.
Clinton's immigration policy is rather ambiguous. She focused on her goal to “bring everyone out of the shadows.” Clinton argued that employers are worsening the problems caused by illegal immigration by using deportation as leverage to abuse their workers.
On the take back of Mosul, which is currently underway in a joint effort between Iraq, Kurdish forces, and US special troops, the candidates were completely polarized. Trump argued that Clinton was personally responsible for the situation in Mosul right now because US troops left Iraq under the Obama administration. Despite his repeated lies about opposing the invasion of Iraq, Trump somehow managed to argue that continued US presence in Iraq would have prevented the take over of Mosul by ISIS in 2014. He also accused Iraq and the US government of engaging in this operation as a publicity stunt to get Hillary elected. Clinton's breadth of knowledge on foreign policy shined through in during this exchange where she emphasized the importance of regaining control in Mosul because of its proximity to Syria.
Overall, this debate was more substantive than the previous two on domestic issues like immigration and abortion but really highlighted how the current state of political affairs in the United States is concerning at best.