The 90-minute televised debate was expected to garner 80-100 million viewers, as folks tuned in from across the United States, Canada, and beyond to see the long-awaited showdown.
The debate was largely a continuation of the battle that’s been playing out in recent months. Clinton portrayed herself as the steady hand to lead the nation, with Trump coming across as the straight-shooter looking to bust up the establishment.
There were wins and losses for both. But one things is clear: this election is far from over.
Jobs, trade, taxes and emails
The pair started off in a downright civil manner, with an edge of awkwardness as the rivals came face to face.
Launching into talk of the economy, Clinton vouched for raising the minimum wage, closing the gender pay gap, and paid family leave.
Trump agreed the candidates have common ground on many issues, before launching into an explanation of his protectionist policy.
Jobs are “fleeing the country,” Trump said, adding he’ll slash corporate taxes from 35 to 15 per cent, suggesting that would create jobs.
“It’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch,” Trump said.
The initially cool and collected candidates heated up as Clinton accused Trump of creating a tax plan that will benefit the wealthy.
“I call it Trumped up, trickle down,” Clinton said.
“We have to renegotiate our trade deals,” Trump said, who then dredged up Clinton’s history of supporting such deals.
There were statements on both sides that a quick fact check will tell you isn’t true: Trump said he never denied climate change, and Clinton denied calling TPP the “gold standard” of trade deals.
Clinton accused him of rooting for and capitalizing on the housing collapse during the recession — that’s “called business,” Trump retorted.
On the topic of taxes, Trump claimed he hasn’t released his taxes due to an audit. However, the Republican nominee offered Clinton a trade for his taxes: the 30,000 missing emails from her time as secretary of state.
The debate was moderated by NBC News anchor Lester Holt, and held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
Monday’s debate was the first of three for the presidential nominees; the second will take place on Oct. 9 in St. Louis with Anderson Cooper moderating, and the third on Oct. 18 in Las Vegas with Chris Wallace as moderator.
FULL COVERAGE: U.S. presidential election 2016