PHOENIX — The first presidential debate Monday night featured several heated exchanges between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump but for the most part, KTAR political expert Mike O’Neil said, it was civil and Trump appeared presidential.
“They argued well within appropriate levels. Nobody held back but I didn’t hear nasty name-calling,” O’Neil said.
“If you go issue by issue on points, I think Clinton won the lion’s share of the points but clearly Trump lives to fight another day. I think the big winner was (debate moderator) Lester Holt who did an outstanding job. … He allowed for long segments with a decent amount of follow-up. It was a high quality debate.”
Another Valley political expert, Chris Herstam, said he believed Clinton crushed Trump.
“She looked presidential and prepared. She had a sense of humor and jabbed Trump very well. Trump’s only recourse was to interrupt her.
“At one point he claimed she didn’t look presidential and had no stamina and yet at the end of the debate she looked strong and ready to go and Trump looked tired and weak. It was a very good night for Hillary Clinton.”
Herstam said Trump was strong during the first 10 minutes of the 90-minute debate regarding trade agreements but Clinton carved him up on the remaining issues, including his failure to release his tax returns.
The next debate is Oct. 9 in St. Louis, Missouri, with the final debate set for Oct. 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada.