October 20, 2016
Here are some key moments from the final presidential debate, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016, as captured on the TV News Archive. If you’d like to edit, embed or share clips yourselves, this link will take you to the full debate program. We’ve also prepared a handy spreadsheet that has links to more highlight clips with URLS and embed codes right there, ready to grab for your blog, twitter feed, or other social media channel.
The debate began calmly enough with questions about how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would approach the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Clinton spoke about maintaining marriage equality, not reversing Roe v. Wade, standing up against Citizens United, and standing up for workers.
Trump’s response centered on the second amendment, or gun rights. “We need a Supreme Court…that is going to hold up the second amendment…which is under absolute siege,” he said.
However, things soon took a turn toward extreme rhetoric, as Trump said he opposes abortion and that under current law, “if you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.” Farai Chideya, a journalist for FiveThirtyEight.com linked to this clip in a live blog about the debate, noting that abortion is a key issue for Trump’s core supporters.
Vox reporter Emily Crockett linked to another abortion clip in a post on October 20, which discusses how Trump’s claim that abortions can occur in the ninth month is both false and common among conservatives: “It’s not only false to suggest, as Trump did, that Hillary Clinton supports abortions “in the ninth month” of pregnancy — those kinds of abortions don’t even exist, as Vox’s Sarah Kliff explained….It’s also a common misrepresentation on the right and among Republicans; Marco Rubio and Rand Paul both used similar late-term abortion myths to attack Democrats earlier this year.”
There were also moments destined, as soon as they were uttered, to become Internet memes, such as Trump saying “…we have some bad hombres here,” when discussing immigration, or when he called Clinton a “nasty woman.”
Despite these moments, there were times when the candidates discussed substantive policy issues. For example, Donald Trump talked about the national debt and trade, though FactCheck.org reported the claim that the federal debt has doubled is a “stretch,” and that “Total federal debt hasn’t quite yet reached $20 trillion, and it hasn’t doubled.” The fact-checking group, however, also reported that Clinton’s retort — that Obama had taken office in the midst of economic disaster, and has cut the deficit by two-thirds, is “inflated”: “The deficit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 went onto the Treasury Department’s books officially at $587.4 billion. And that’s a reduction of less than 59 percent — not 66 percent — from the fiscal year 2009 deficit of $1.417 trillion.”
The 2016 presidential debates are now history, but the video record is preserved at the TV News Archive, for free viewing, editing, and sharing long into the future. Also visit our debates page to download data on how TV news shows have reported on the debates, including which clips from the debates they’ve chosen to highlight for viewers.