Take a look: The Pitt News’ live blog of the first presidential debate


The Pitt News’ live blog for the third presidential debate. Photo by DonkeyHotey / Flickr.

By The Pitt News Staff

Welcome to The Pitt News’ hub for 2016 election coverage. Here you’ll find stories about Trump, Clinton and third party supporters on campus; updates on visits from politicians and analysis from our opinions writers with their takes on this year’s contentious election.

Monday night, columnists Henry Glitz and Tim Nerozzi will be blogging live about the first presidential debate. Disclaimer: Tim is a member of Campus Republicans who primarily writes about conservative issues, Henry is a columnist who focuses on liberal issues and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Assistant opinions editor Matt Moret and Managing Editor Dale Shoemaker may also chime in on the coverage. Follow along on Twitter for polls and more hot takes.

And that’s it. To all of you who joined us live, we hope you enjoyed the ride. To those of you who are seeing this later – welcome! Just scroll to the bottom of this page to start at the beginning of our commentary. If you have suggestions as to how we can improve our next live blog, email us at [email protected] or [email protected] We hope you’ve enjoyed this debate as much as we did. Thank you for joining us.

10:38 – Henry Glitz

Holt: “Will you respect the outcome of this election?” Trump: “I want to make America great again.”

10:36 – Henry Glitz

So happy Clinton’s bringing up Trump’s awful record on disrespect for women. The “stamina” attack against Clinton is not only absurd, but deeply sexist.

10:32 – Kirsten Wong

I am disappointed that Clinton is letting Trump off the hook in his false and outrageous statements. Many opportunities were missed, and she really could have held him accountable for them.

10:31 – Tim Nerozzi

Clinton’s closing statement on the issue is professional but weak, puts too much time toward discussing her own opponent.

10:30 – Henry Glitz

The issue of U.S. credibility is an incredibly important issue for Clinton to make, glad she’s finally bringing it up. Pulling out of the nuclear deal with Iran now, as Trump is proposing, would do irreparable damage to global stability.

10:30 – Tim Nerozzi

These are two of the most untrustworthy people in Washington.

10:29 – Tim Nerozzi

Let’s be honest. Radical Islamic states are the only threat of nuclear war in the world. Rational countries are deterred by other nuclear powers. The only mindset that could bring a country to bomb another and accept the ensuing retaliation is jihad.

10:25 – Elizabeth Lepro

Clinton does have a tendency to repeat the same exact sentences she’s used before. Don’t know if it’s a matter of over-coaching or her own concern that she might stumble on words.

10:22 Kirsten Wong

“I have a winning temperament, I know how to win,” was also my fourth grade speech running for class president, who knew?

10:21 Henry Glitz

I would love to see some more fact-checking from Lester Holt. At the very least, don’t let Trump repeat a flat-out lie over and over for minutes at a time. This has been Trump’s strategy throughout the campaign – say something false enough times, and people will start to believe it.

10:21 Matt Moret

In what world is Sean Hannity a reputable source about anything other than how cool Trump is?

10:19 Tim Nerozzi

Finally some fact checking from Holt.

10:15 Matt Moret

Fact Check: Trump supporting the Iraq war is an indisputable fact he has denied for months. Why he thinks this tactic of denial works is baffling and, if anything, shows he doesn’t think his supporters bother to read the news.

10:10 Henry Glitz

Are the generals who endorsed Trump the same ones he thinks he knows more than about ISIS?

10:06 – Henry Glitz

Does anyone know what Trump is talking about right now? I’m not sure how his Palm Beach casino has anything to do with race.

10:06 – Tim Nerozzi

I don’t know what he is doing, but I genuinely believe Trump’s intensity about the plight of the African American community.

10:03 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump needs to get off the birth certificate topic NOW.

10:02 – Matt Moret

Trump essentially says, “Remember how I got that birth certificate that proved me wrong and continued to prove me wrong as I insisted it didn’t for years?”

10:01 – Kirsten Wong

The fact that Trump is justifying his false claim of Obama’s birth certificate scandal and bragging about it is appalling. Can we please start talking about real issues?


10:01 – Henry Glitz

Fact check on Trump’s claim that Clinton started the birther controversy: completely false.

10:00 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump trying to move blame about the birth certificate controversy to the Clinton campaign comes off as desperate.

9:58 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump is finally pointing out the failure of Democrats in carrying out their promises to help African American communities.

9:57 – Henry Glitz

The “super predator” approach is really the only way Trump can talk about this issue. His policies compared to Hillary are just so bad in comparison that he has to move the conversation to a phrase from a full two decades ago.

9:56 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump bringing up the “super predator” comment from Clinton is genius. Completely takes the air out of what she has been saying.

9:56 – Dale Shoemaker

Are PBS NewsHour producers moving away from the constant split screen? Big decision if so. Could show bias if they don’t do full screen for each candidate equally.

9:54 – Tim Nerozzi

While it might seem so common sense to not allow those on a terrorist watch list to buy a firearm, please remember that there is no trial or jury judgement for being put on that list. Three-year-olds have been put on the terror watch list. Denying them their constitutional rights without a trial is horrifying.

9:53 – Henry Glitz

Hillary’s message to minorities is so much more optimistic than Trump’s — she won the minority vote in the Democratic primary because she was able to connect with black communities on a level beyond Trump’s untrue statements that blacks “are absolutely in the worst shape ever.”

9:51 – Tim Nerozzi

As a republican, I’m enjoying the talk about doing away with private prisons. Even if it’s coming from a criminal.

9:49 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump is being honest about the violence that the African American and Hispanic communities are facing by putting forward the very rational idea that police are the ANSWER to rampant crime. Curious to see how it goes over.

9:48 – Kirsten Wong

No, Trump. You’re wrong. Stop-and-frisk policies notoriously target people of color. Race relations will not improve by enforcing these types of policies.

9:48 – Henry Glitz

Let’s all remember the high point of Trump’s inner city outreach strategy — taking advantage of fear and tragedy and not even caring enough to get the names of victims right.

9:47 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump busting out the Fraternal Order of Police endorsement while acting empathetic towards inner city violence is a refreshing viewpoint. He is accentuating the victims and how to help them directly, as opposed to removing the boogeyman of guns.

9:46 – Tim Nerozzi

Gun control has always been and will always be a losing issue for Democrats.

9:46 – Elizabeth Lepro

Fact check: “Law and order” is three words.

9:43 – Kirsten Wong

45-minutes in the debate and so far we’ve touched a little bit on the economy, Trump’s taxes and his company’s fraudulent practices. Lester finally asked a substantial question on race.

9:42 – Henry Glitz

“An unbelievable company” — unbelievable mostly because of its long history of fair labor law violations. Trump trying to hide behind “the law” is ludicrous — his business practices of fiscally outlasting small businesses who contract with him in court is a perversion of legality.

9:38 – Matt Moret

Trump saying you don’t learn anything from tax returns is the most baseless statement made all night, which is really an achievement.

9:37 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump hammering Clinton about emails should have gone on longer. That was his chance to pound her into the ground.

9:34 – Tim Nerozzi

Hillary and Trump talking about emails and tax returns are shooting themselves in the foot. Hillary is acting cocky about those tax returns when she has 33,000 emails unaccounted for.

9:33 – Henry Glitz

“I’ve been under audit almost for 15 years.” — sounds like a trustworthy candidate to me. Classic bait-and-switch on the emails issue with Hillary.

9:33 – Kirsten Wong

Are we supposed to feel sorry for Trump for getting audited every year? Middle-class Americans would likely say no.

Hey guys, our Opinions Editor, Kirsten Wong, is also going to be jumping in sporadically. Welcome, Kirsten!

9:33 – Henry Glitz

“I’ve been under audit almost for 15 years.” — sounds like a trustworthy candidate to me. Classic bait-and-switch on the emails issue with Hillary.

9:32 – Matt Moret

Can someone please tell Trump that audits have nothing to do with releasing tax returns? Oh wait, every reporter he’s spoken to has and he doesn’t care.

9:31 – Elizabeth Lepro

Trump isn’t smiling enough. Seems like a likability issue.

Hey guys, our Editor-in-Chief, Elizabeth Lepro, is also going to be jumping in sporadically. Welcome, Liz!

9:30 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump is going for the “righteous indignation” spin on this debate. Probably not the best way to start out. Should be acting more professional and collected.

9:29 – Matt Moret

It’s strange how little Clinton refers to trickle down under Reagan and the economic collapse that immediately followed it. WIth older Americans she needs, reminders of the late ‘70s inflation crisis probably couldn’t hurt.

9:29 – Henry Glitz

If Trump was going for the “not crazy” image to win over undecided voters this debate, asking “why not” to blame Hillary Clinton for every disaster of the last eight years probably isn’t going to help him.

9:28 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump’s bizarre terrorism rant really makes him look unhinged and ignorant.

9:26 – Henry Glitz

In 2016, it’s actually a weakness to have a plan of action to take on terrorism, in Trump’s mind.

9:21  – Henry Glitz

Good for Hillary to hammer away at her strengths in that response — policy specifics about appointing a special prosecutor and addressing issues peripheral to trade, not just attacking NAFTA and the TPP, and manufacturing jobs brought back under her husband’s administration.

9:20 – Matt Moret

Hillary flat-out ignoring Trump’s disruptions is probably the smartest move she can make tonight.

9:18 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump is doing well at courting middle-class Americans who are more concerned about making ends meet than switching to alternative energy.

9:18 – Matt Moret

Trump’s not very big on this whole “taking turns” thing. He also dislikes direct quotes, which is less than shocking.

9:15 – Henry Glitz

Trump’s plan to get companies to come back to the United States is to “not let them leave” – glad we’re getting some policy “specifics” from the Donald.

9:15 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump is elaborating a LITTLE more with his policy of taxing expatriate companies, but it’s still not the specifics that we want.

9:14 – Henry Glitz

The return of the “small loan of a million dollars” – wondered when it would come into play.

9:13 – Dale Shoemaker

“A very small loan,” Trump says about how he got his start as a businessman. Reminder, that loan was $1 million.

9:11 – Tim Nerozzi

Clinton is coming off like a 30-year-old trying to appeal to the kids with “Trumped Up” Trickle Down Economics.

9:10 – Tim Nerozzi

Trump is speaking softly and respectfully but his rhetoric is coming off as empty compared to Hillary’s.

9:09 – Tim Nerozzi

Strange that Hillary is using higher minimum wages and mandatory vacation days to say that she’ll create jobs, when the main criticism of those policies is their likelihood of destroying lower-wage job markets.

9:07 – Henry Glitz

Looks like Hillary Clinton eschewed the “librarian from outer space” look she talked about in her interview with Zach Galifianakis

9:05 – Dale Shoemaker

Two things as we get started: First, it’s important to keep in mind that Lester Holt has taken the last few nights off from hosting NBC Nightly News to prepare for this debate. He was adamant about not sharing his questions with his colleagues. Second, Trump placed his hand on Clinton’s shoulder as they shook hands – clearly a move to show his dominance.

9:04 – Matt Moret

Countdown to every single one of these rules being disregarded.

9:02 – Henry Glitz

Hi everybody, Henry here. Looking forward to seeing Trump’s debate style as he faces off against a single candidate for the first time in his short political career – and a woman for the first time since his infamous “Look at that face!” comment regarding Carly Fiorina during the primaries.

8:56 – Matt Moret

Lester Holt wants you to avoid clapping – for the sake of the American people.

8:48 – Matt Moret

If Trump can make it through the first half without a massive policy contradiction, he will probably shock most viewers. This is a debate about consistent records and credibility, and he has absolutely none of either going into it.

8:41 – Tim Nerozzi

Hey guys, Tim here. Trump has everything to gain in this debate. Hillary has an uphill battle. If Trump can come across as simply competent, he will have won immensely in the eyes of the public. Hillary, on the other hand, is going to have to convince the public that she is 1. Truthful 2. Empathetic 3. Human.

Much harder to do.

8:35 – Dale Shoemaker

Hey everyone, Dale Shoemaker here. We’re about 20 minutes away from debate time. Henry and Tim are getting out of class now so they’ll be joining me shortly.

Here’s one thing I’m keeping in mind while I’m watching tonight: First presidential debates tend to make or break elections, so this could potentially be a really huge night for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. As The New York Times pointed out earlier this week, the first debate of the 2000 election cycle pretty much sealed the deal for George W. Bush. Going into that debate, Al Gore had been leading in the polls and looked to have a pretty fair chance of winning. But he flubbed the debate, and Bush pulled ahead in the polls shortly after. It will interesting to see how this debate pans out.