The day after the third and final presidential debate, one of the biggest takeaways is Donald Trump refusing to say whether or not he will accept the election’s outcome.
The debate began with both candidates quietly approaching their podiums, refusing to shake hands or make eye contact.
The first topic of the night was the Supreme Court. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton started off by stating that she believes that America needs a “Supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of women’s rights and the LGBT community” as well as other causes. She also said she thinks the Supreme Court should represent all people.
When it came time for his two minutes of discussion, Trump placed emphasis on his belief that the Supreme Court needs to uphold the second amendment. This lead into the first open discussion of the night, and quickly transitioned into the second topic of abortion. Trump stated that if he becomes president, he will have pro-life justices on the court. Meanwhile, Clinton expressed very strongly her dislike of the idea of the government being involved in such a personal decision.
“We have come too far to turn back now,” Clinton said about women’s rights.
Moving on to immigration, Trump spoke on how he feels that drugs are “pouring in through the border,” and that with the wall he wants to build, the borders will be strong and the drugs will be out of the country. Clinton expressed her concern over Trump refusing to mention to the Mexican president the wall he wants to build there.
“(He) had a meeting with the Mexican president,” Clinton said. “He didn’t even raise it. He choked. And then got into a Twitter war because the Mexican president said we’re not paying for that wall.”
She continued by saying that Trump “started his campaign by bashing immigrants.”
The moderator for the evening, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, then asked Clinton about the quotes that were released earlier this month about her lost emails from WikiLeaks. She dodged the question, and moved on to talking about terrorism, and asked Trump about his connections with Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump went on to say that Putin has no respect for her.
“Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States,” Clinton fired back.
“No, you’re the puppet,” Trump interrupted.
Wallace then asked Trump how he feels about interference from other countries, to which Trump responded that he condemns interference, and doesn’t know Putin.
Next, the candidates began discussing the economy. Clinton stated that she believes when the middle class thrives, America thrives. She added that Trump’s plan for the economy will send the country into a recession. Trump jumped in for his two minutes, explaining his long and detailed plan, which includes many massive tax cuts. This caused Clinton to bring up Trump’s lack of tax returns, and the two proceeded to talk over one another, firing back and forth.
Trump said that he thinks the country is stagnant, and began to fire insult after insult at Clinton, saying “you talk, but you don’t get anything done,” and “if you become president, this country will be a mess.”
Clinton just smiled before her next response.
“Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger,” Clinton said, moving the conversation to discussing the nine women who have come forward with allegations that Trump sexually harassed them in some way. Trump fired back, saying “nobody has more respect for women than I do,” which caused a mix of reactions from the audience.
Wallace asked Trump about his previous comments at his rallies regarding how he believes the election is rigged, and whether or not he will accept the election results. He said he will “look at it at the time,” as well as “keep you in suspense.”
Clinton then jumped in, stating “that’s horrifying,” and called out her opponent for allegations he made years ago about the FBI being rigged, as well as the court system.
“There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for (“The Celebrity Apprentice”) three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged against him,” she added, to which Trump said, “Should’ve gotten it,” under his breath.
The rest of the debate consisted of topics that were discussed in the previous two debates, such as Clinton’s emails and ISIS. Trump proceeded to interject during Clinton’s speaking time by saying “wrong” into his microphone under his breath, and saying, “such a nasty woman,” when Clinton was speaking on health care.
The CNN/ORC poll determined Clinton won by a 13 point margin.
Two GRCC students reacted to the debate the day after.
“Donald Trump’s character was definitely in question,” Jacob Clopp, 18, from Grand Rapids said. “The debate didn’t sway my vote. It’s definitely Hillary.”
“It was a train wreck,” Kabe, 18, from Grand Rapids said. “There was a lot of bickering. Trump wouldn’t elaborate on any issues.”
Overall, the third and final debate was perhaps the most heated of the three. It’s now up to the voters to decide who will be the next president of the United States when election day comes on Nov. 8.
Collegiate staff reporter Rachael Yadlowsky contributed to this story.