Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) speaks as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (R) and Moderator Lester Holt (C) listen during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. The first of four debates for the 2016 Election, three Presidential and one Vice Presidential, is moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Sept. 27, 2016: NBC Nightly News Host Lester Holt had the honor of being the first moderator of the first U.S. Presidential debate of this election cycle. But not only did Holt drop the ball with poor moderating skills where he consistently lost control of the debate, but his questions too were pitiful at best and completely ignored one of the hottest issue that Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has made central to his campaign – immigration.
“It’s surprising that immigration was totally absent from today’s debate given that it’s one of the only issues that Trump has offered policy options and they are very different from Secretary Clinton’s,” said Angela Kelley, senior vice president of the Center for American Progress, to Fox News Latino. “I hope that immigration gets time at the next debate.”
However, Trump – not one to miss playing the old blame the illegal immigrants and Mexico card, again took the right hook to both Monday night in the first Presidential debate of the election cycle as he faced off for the first time against his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY.
Minutes into the debate Trump claimed Mexico was stealing U.S. companies and jobs to its shores while it taxes American products imported there but benefits from no taxes on its goods into the US.
“Our jobs are fleeing the country, they’re going to Mexico. Thousands of jobs are leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio,” Trump said. “We have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us…We have to stop our companies from leaving the United States and firing the American people.”
Turning to immigration, Trump remarked that the union of immigration agents had endorsed him while claiming that the crime rate in the nation is out of control.
Immigrants here illegally “have guns and they shoot people,” he said.
And when asked at the end if he would accept the results of the election should he lose, he mysteriously swerved into a discussion of a group of undocumented immigrants who, due to a clerical error, were recently made full American citizens.
“I want to make America great again. We are a nation that is seriously troubled. We’re losing our jobs, people are pouring into our country,” Trump began.
And then, a strange turn: “The other day, we were deporting 800 people, and perhaps they passed the wrong button — they pressed the wrong button — or perhaps, worse than that, it was corruption,” he said. “But these people we were going to deport for good reason ended up becoming citizens. Ended up becoming citizens. And it was 800, and now it turns out it might be 1800, and they don’t even know.”
Clinton for her part did not touch on anything immigration related in her responses, sticking to the questions and the issues while slamming Trump.
The debate comes as new polls show the two candidates are essentially tied and as a Texas Lyceum survey this month found immigration and border security are the top issues on voters’ minds. A new Quinnipiac poll released Monday showed Clinton with a 44 percent to 43 percent lead over Trump while an ABC News/Washington Post poll showed Clinton ahead 46 percent to 44 percent. The ABC/Post poll showed the two candidates ties at 41 percent when minor party candidates were included.