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Hillary confident, while opponent meanders


(WB) If presidential debates serve to enhance the distinction between candidates, the first such forum of the 2016 election accomplished that task as Hillary Clinton delivered cogent responses and Donald Trump degenerated into meandering responses of word salad.

Throughout the 90-minute debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead N.Y.,. Clinton articulated plans to boost prosperity by increasing the minimum wage and ensure the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but Trump was critical of current policies while failing to offer solutions and delivered responses that often made no sense.

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In response to a question about tax plans, Clinton said her plan would enhance the economy without adding a "penny to the debt," but Trump bizarrely responded with a line criticizing her for being public about her plan to defeat ISIS on her website, which he said Gen. Douglas MacArthur wouldn't do because it tips off the enemy.

Asked when he came to accept that President Obama was born in the United States after promoting the idea of birtherism for years, Trump meandered with remarks about Clinton's adviser Sidney Blumenthal. Moderator and NBC News anchor Lester Holt sought to redirect Trump by saying, "We're talking about racial healing in this segment."

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On cybersecurity, Clinton said Russia and independent groups are problems, but Trump offered a bizarre response, saying a 400-pound person could have hacked the Democratic National Committee and his 10-year-old son whom he said is "good with computers" demonstrates the dangers of cyberwarfare.

Even though Trump many times fell apart on his own accord, Clinton landed a few jabs with barbed comments throughout the night.

One of Clinton's strongest criticisms of Trump concerned his promoting "birtherism," or the idea that President Obama wasn't born in the United States and therefore wasn't legitimate. Trump has recently conceded Obama was born in the United States, but has never explained why he shifted his view or apologized for promoting the idea that is widely viewed as racist.