Trump began his performance looking very presidenty, He was serious and actually answered a question or two. Then his eye rolling began. Then his interrupting.
But as Clinton gave actual answers to questions, she got under his skin. For example, she clearly laid out the reasons Trump, whom she kept calling “Donald” as if they were friends, won’t release his tax returns: He’s not as wealthy as he claims. His businesses have repeatedly failed. He didn’t pay any taxes.
Trump’s response to her suggestion he didn’t pay taxes wasn’t a denial, but a smug suggestion that he’s smart, implying those of us who actually do pay any taxes are idiots.
He tried turning the tax claim on Clinton by saying he’ll release his taxes when she releases her deleted emails. Clinton addressed that bluntly saying she made a mistake and learned from it. Trump ranted some more.
He was rattled again when Clinton brought up the birther issue. He tried to blame her for first questioning President Barack Obama’s birth place, but she handed the issue back to him calling it racist and mentioning other times he’s been racist. Early in his career, he was sued by the Department of Justice for preventing African Americans from renting in Trump properties. He claimed that suit was settled without an admission of guilt. His wording was quite interesting. He never said it was a frivolous lawsuit — just that he never admitted guilt.
Oddly, toward the beginning of the debate, Trump brought up the small multimillion dollar loan he received from his father to start his business, which generated quite a bit of laughter at the Round-Up. “Good for you Donald,” one person watching at the bar said. “I only got a million from my father and squandered it on alcohol and prostitutes.”
Trump tried to question Clinton’s stamina. She turned that on him saying that when he’s traveled to 112 countries to negotiate treaties as America’s chief diplomat and sat through 11 hours of grilling in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to her about stamina.
One of Trump’s biggest criticisms of Clinton — he repeated it several times through the debate — was that she laid out a plan to defeat ISIS on her website. He said he has a plan, but wasn’t going to let ISIS know his plan before attacking them.
So will there be a second debate? Well, next week the vice presidential candidates meet, but the Trump campaign is probably deciding right now if they’re going to show up for the second presidential debate.