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Assoc Prof Trevor McCrisken comments following the first Clinton Vs Trump presidential debate

Dr Trevor McCrisken Associate Professor of US Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick comments on the first of a series of debates between presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump in the run up to the US presidential election this year:

"Last night in the first of three US Presidential Debates ahead of the November 8 election, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton took on Republican Donald Trump for the first face-to-face encounter of the campaign.

"An estimated record audience of over 84 million viewers watched the candidates clash over American prosperity, race relations, and national security. Both contenders were hoping to appear presidential while also being able to make a connection with 'the American people'. The Clinton campaign will probably feel the happiest with their candidate's performance.

"Trump started somewhat subdued but soon became riled, testy and defensive, as well as showing a lack of respect for his female opponent and the African American moderator with over 50 interruptions when it was not his turn to talk. Trump tried to make an issue of Clinton having been at the centre of American politics for the last three decades while painting himself as the untainted outsider - she has plenty of experience but it's "bad experience".

"Clinton, however, successfully jibed Trump for his unwillingness to reveal his tax records, his failure to pay contractors over the years, his perpetuation of the "racist lie" of the birther movement, and his reckless attitude to global affairs including nuclear proliferation. While Trump ranted and lacked a command of policy specifics, Clinton sounded presidential, especially on foreign affairs given her experience as Secretary of State, but also on race, on community relations and law enforcement, and on gun violence. On the all important issue of trust, Clinton admitted that "I made a mistake and I take responsibility" for using a private e-mail account while serving in the State Department, while Trump issued four words he may live to regret when he was accused of not paying income tax: "That makes me smart".

"There are two more debates to go and several weeks of campaigning, so nothing from this debate is likely to "win" the election for either side, but for millions of undecided voters it has set the tone for the weeks ahead before polling day."

Dr McCrisken also recorded 11 BBC radio interviews today discussing the first of a series of debates between presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump in the run up to the US presidential election this year.

You can listen in using the links below:

Contact:

Alex Buxton: Media Relations Manager, University of Warwick


Tel: 02476 150423
Mob: 07876 218166
E: a dot buxton dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk