LIVE BLOG: Join the Pitt News for live updates on the third 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.

Wednesday night, columnists Henry Glitz, Bayard Miller and Amber Montgomery, along with Opinions Editors Matt Moret and Kirsten Wong will be blogging live about the first presidential debate. Disclaimer: Henry is a columnist who focuses on politics, Bayard is a columnist who focuses on campus and city issues and Amber is a columnist who focuses on gender and politics. Editor in Chief Elizabeth Lepro and Managing Editor Dale Shoemaker may also chime in on the coverage. Follow along on Twitter @ThePittNews for polls and more hot takes.

Okay, that’s it everyone. Thanks for joining us for the third and final presidential debate. If you have a question about our coverage this season, or have suggestions for how we can improve, email us at [email protected] or [email protected] And stay tuned for more election coverage. Election day is only 20 days away!

10:40 – Henry Glitz

Trump has clearly improved since his disastrous first debate performance. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely this debate performance will have much of an impact on improving Trump’s polling numbers — Trump stuck to the campaign themes he’s had since he first declared last June and retained the defiantly anti-fact stance he’s had from the start. Clinton held her ground, and I can’t imagine too many voters outside of those who already liked his pitch were convinced by the Republican candidate tonight.

10:38 – Amber Montgomery

This was probably Trump’s best debate, he was more temperate than could be expected, but not at the expense of Clinton. He made a strong showing that will fuel the fire of his supporters to carry them for the next three weeks, and maybe gain him a few, but not enough to make a real difference.

10:38 – Kirsten Wong

Even if you feel empty, perplexed and frustrated, voting is just as important as having debates. It is the essence of our democracy. We can all decide who won by showing up to the polls Nov. 8.

10: 37 – Amber Montgomery

Just a thought about post-election, Trump might go away if he loses but whatever movement he has created likely won’t. Despite the issues with it, he gave a big group of Americans a voice and a justification for their previously-seen-as-laughable thoughts and views. They now have an agency they didn’t hold before and they won’t give it up, especially if they continuously get candidates who legitimize it for them.

10:36 – Matt Moret

Very strong showing by both candidates tonight. Trump managed to avoid being too much of a bully and Clinton was more natural than she’s been in either of the last two debates. But ultimately, Trump lied more than Clinton, so he loses. She dodged more than she should have, but that’s still better than Trump’s flat-out denial of reality.

10:36 – Bayard Miller

Onto the most important television event of the night: the Cubs v. Dodgers game.

10:33 – Bayard Miller

BOLD MOVE WALLACE. Sneaking in a mandatory closing statement is very alpha. And sure to create a few enemies on both campaigns.

10:29 – Henry Glitz

Clinton’s name-checking President Reagan is an interesting strategy — she’s doing a very good job of having it both ways appealing both to liberal progressives like herself while simultaneously forcing Trump to alienate conservatives who revere Reagan and his policies.

10:27 Amber Montgomery

Trump didn’t deny the suffering of the civilians in Aleppo but if he’s against letting refugees in the US, where are they supposed to go? If you’re not going to let them in and you don’t want to ignore them, you at least need to provide financial support for the Arab countries who are taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees, threatening their own economic and political stability.

10:26 – Bayard Miller

I’m going to give credit where credit is due — Trump’s correct usage of the word “whom” is impressive.

10:26 – Amber Montgomery

I want to know more about the vetting process Clinton proposes. What does it look like? Perhaps a good way to appease the two sides of the argument is strong vetting but only for women, children, and families and not for single, militia men.

10:23 – Amber Montgomery

Trump was just challenging Wallace on how much more sympathetic he is towards the civilians in Aleppo. First, why is he sympathetic towards them if they are ISIS-aligned? Secondly, even if he retracts the ISIS statement, where are these suffering refugees supposed to go then?

10:21 – Kirsten Wong

Trump’s conclusion that Hillary should have done nothing offers no solutions. Hillary’s solutions may not have been the most effective, but at least she is trying to address the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world right now. Trump’s criticisms are hollow unless he offers a better plan.

10:21 – Bayard Miller

I have to say I’m kind of with Trump on the Syrian point.  The United States has a terrible record with regard to regime change, from Iran to Chile to Iraq. However, the idea that Syrian refugees should not be helped and accepted into our country is crazy to me. Clinton is right, the current terrorist threat comes from home-grown radicalization.

10:19 – Henry Glitz

Clinton’s response to Trump’s absurd name-checking of Bernie Sanders is exactly what she needs to do — Sanders’ statement that Trump is “the most dangerous candidate” ever is absolutely correct, and Sanders’ supporters who think Trump is closer to them ideologically than Clinton are seriously misguided.

10:16 – Matt Moret

What is Trump saying is “wrong” here? That he hasn’t denied supporting the war in Iraq? Wouldn’t that mean he did support the invasion? And by the way, he did.

10:15 – Matt Moret

The element of surprise is all well and good — if you have an actual plan to utilize that surprise. It’s possible to explain planned approaches to a problem without divulging specific tactics, which Clinton has done and Trump has not.

10:14 – Bayard Miller

Trump’s placement of MacArthur on a pedestal is just the reason why so many are hesitant to vote for him. Truman relieved MacArthur from his command because his overly-bellicose stance against communism helped bring the Chinese into the Korean War.


10:13 – Amber Montgomery

They mention Kurdish forces a lot and appreciation for what Kurdish forces do in the fight against ISIS. I wonder what Trump/Clinton would say about an argument in support of Kurdish autonomy as a reward for their efforts and loyalty.

10:08 – Bayard Miller

Clinton is right — Trump refusing to accept this country’s democratic processes is terrifying.

10:07 – Matt Moret

Here’s what Chris Wallace’s follow-up question should be: Do you have any evidence of this election rigging conspiracy? Trump’s answer will be no, because there is none.

10: 05 – Matt Moret

FACT CHECK: Trump is incorrect that either George Soros or Warren Buffett have taken tax deductions remotely comparable to his own.

10:05 – Bayard Miller

Trump’s ready admission of taking advantage of tax laws that benefit the rich while slamming Clinton for failing to use her years in power to enact change is incredibly effective.

10:04 – Bayard Miller

Sorry Trump, but using Foundation funds for personal uses and “raising the American flag” are not mutually exclusive.

10:03 – Matt Moret

Interesting that Trump denies mocking disabled people but not spending charity money on portraits of himself, both of which he has done.

10:01 – Kirsten Wong

Chris Wallace has been anything but fair as a moderator, allowing Trump to interrupt Clinton yet fails to let her speak over Trump.

10:01 – Henry Glitz

Again, let’s remember how incredibly partial these questions are in Trump’s favor. The allegations against the Clinton Foundation are thinly backed by evidence, and pale in comparison to the criminal actions of the Trump Foundation.

9:58 – Bayard Miller

I know this take is about 12 months late but I am still absolutely flabbergasted that Trump saying McCain isn’t a war hero because he got captured hasn’t completely sunk his campaign. I have read McCain’s memoir Faith of My Fathers and the man is courageous beyond belief.

9:58 – Matt Moret

FACT CHECK: Here’s video of Trump mocking a disabled reporter, which he claims he didn’t do.

9:57 – Amber Montgomery

On Obama and Iraq: That vacuum was after the Iraqi insurgency, which was a reaction to the de-ba’thification of the Iraqi government led by Paul Bremer, the leader of the occupational authority under the Bush Administration. Years before Obama took office.

9:57 – Matt Moret

FACT CHECK: Trump absolutely did say several of the women he’s accused of assaulting were not attractive enough to warrant sexual advances from him.

9:53 – Kirsten Wong

Trump being unapologetic about his past assaults, denying them and blaming Hillary’s campaign is the reason why so many victims don’t report their assaults against people in power. As a presidential candidate, he needs to recognize the issue with this rhetoric.

9:53 – Matt Moret

FACT CHECK: None of the sexual assault claims against Trump have been “debunked.” The only evidence he’s offered are vague claims from a self-described child pimp who is the cousin of one accuser – not exactly a solid source of information.

9:50 – Matt Moret

In what world is it possible to defend doing things you claim are immoral by blaming those who haven’t stopped you from doing so? I’d love to hear Trump apply that logic to his ideas on crime and offer an actual plan on that front.

9:49 – Amber Montgomery

Trump’s argument about why Clinton hasn’t made all these changes in her past thirty years is actually a bit disconcerting because I feel it shows that he doesn’t understand the importance of cooperation and compromise in the US government.

9:48 – Dale Shoemaker

As other analysts have pointed out, Trump’s characterization of the United State’s GDP growing too slowly in relation to other countries is troublesome. India growing at 8 percent annually makes sense as emerging economies tend to grow at a faster rate than established ones.

9:48 – Matt Moret

Trump is justifying his tax plan’s lunacy by mentioning things totally unrelated to his tax plan. Estimates put the added debt from his plan at over $5 trillion.

9:45 – Bayard Miller

It is true; this has been a “jobless” and slow recovery that has been characterized by anemic productivity gains since 2008. Trump is not out of bounds with his complaint about the state of the economy, but comparing US growth to industrializing India is like comparing apples and oranges.

9:45 – Henry Glitz

Once again, the discussion is being framed in a way that’s more favorable to Trump and less favorable to Clinton. GDP growth in the U.S. has outpaced that of other NATO countries by a wider margin under President Obama than under any other president since the alliance was founded.

9:44 – Dale Shoemaker

FACT CHECK: Trump says GDP is growing at “one percent.” This is true. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2016.

9:43 – Amber Montgomery

FACT CHECK: Late to this party but Trump claimed he has had no relationship with Vladimir Putin, that he doesn’t know him but he has spoken about their relationship before.

9:42 – Bayard Miller

Trump is saying the same lines he always has without the same degree of off-putting vitriol. By setting the bar so low for himself, despite continuing to say nothing but platitudes, Trump looks more poised than he ever has.

9:40 – Amber Montgomery

How does Trump plan on paying for increased education if not by raising taxes?

9:40 – Henry Glitz

Thank God Clinton left behind the “trumped-up trickle-down economics” phrase — her argument on economic policy is strong enough without the excessive alliteration.

9:36 – Matt Moret

FACT CHECK: Trump has specifically called on Japan to develop a nuclear program, something the country’s leaders have called “impossible” since it’s the only nation to suffer a nuclear attack. But he has flip-flopped on this in June, claiming he was misrepresented.

9:34 – Matt Moret

FACT CHECK: Trump is blatantly lying when he says he disavows Russian interference in the election. In July he openly courted Russian hacking of Clinton’s campaign and the DNC at a press conference entirely devoted to doing so.

9:33 – Amber Montgomery

I do wonder what debates would be like if they gave the moderator the power to mute the microphones. You could easily call censorship but it would provide more decorum.

9:31 – Amber Montgomery

I agree with Dale. Trump is coming off well, almost impressively. If he can maneuver into a topic where he can trip Clinton up, is would be a nice cherry on the so-far so-good constructed sundae.

9:31 – Kirsten Wong

Calling ISIS “radical Islamic terrorists” isn’t going to stop terrorism. Real policies and thought-out plans will, yet Trump refuses to state his plans to the public.

9:30 – Matt Moret

Trump is doing an excellent job making Hillary look like the aggressive, slippery performer he’s been in each of their last two debates. Her pivot from immigration to Wikileaks was clumsy, despite being true.

9:30 – Dale Shoemaker

Now that we’re 30 minutes in, we’re seeing the images Trump and Clinton are going for in this debate. Trump so far is coming off as a practiced, polished, hard line conservative and Clinton is portraying herself as deeply intelligent and soft hearted. Her bringing up people she’s met on the campaign trail and Trump sticking to facts and talking points are benefiting them both.

9:29 – Henry Glitz

Who’s going to be the one to tell Trump that ‘bigly’ isn’t a real word?

9:27 – Henry Glitz

Clinton’s attack on Trump for exploiting illegal immigrants’ is the perfect response to Trump’s attacks on NAFTA. Trump’s hypocrisy on this issue stands in stark contrast with Clinton’s positions on trade.

9:24 – Matt Moret

FACT CHECK: While Clinton is correct that Trump has said “Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation” as recently as September, the policies he’s officially laid out would only target 6.5 million undocumented immigrants – only a bit more than half of the 11 million estimated to be living in the United States.

9:23 – Amber Montgomery

I wish Wallace would ask a follow up question on how Trump plans to get these “bad people” out of the country. His comments on immigration were fine and will please his supporters but they’re still unspecific.

9:16 – Matt Moret

Trump’s focus on “states rights” rhetoric is a good strategy for appealing to his largely rural base. It’s also a classically conservative move, which is probably a breath of fresh air for establishment Republicans.

9:10 – Dale Shoemaker

Reports before this debate said Donald Trump was actually practicing, and holding mock debates with the chairman of the Republican party, Reince Priebus. His answer to the Supreme Court question stayed strictly on party lines. Priebus’ influence was very clear.

9:10 – Henry Glitz

It sounds like Trump’s copy of the Bill of Rights is just the Second Amendment repeated ten times. Trump is less concerned with constitutional liberties and more concerned with pandering to his base.

9:07 – Matt Moret

Hillary isn’t answering the question about which interpretation of the Constitution she supports. She explained her Supreme Court platform without explaining what her Supreme Court appointee would hopefully do. Trump is correct to point out he has named his potential nominees, while Clinton has hinted at no alternatives to Merrick Garland if the Senate continues blocking his nomination. But he only named 11, not “more than 20.”

9:02 p.m. – Dale Shoemaker

Hi all, Dale Shoemaker here. It’s worth noting as we get started that third debates tend to not affect polls or voters’ opinions very much at all. Here’s to hoping this debate serves as a forum to discuss ideas, rather than sling mud.

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