How California's issues played out in the presidential debate

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During the first face-to-face debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump Monday night, the two candidates touched on issues of particular interest to Californians as they pressed their case for why they should be elected president.

From Trump's naming of LAX as among the "Third World" airports in need of upgrading to the candidates' answers on combatting homegrown terrorist attacks such as the one that occurred in San Bernardino last year, the debate gave voters a chance to see the two candidates address topics of local relevance.


Who won the debate? Take Two will have reactions from Southern California viewers, plus students from one of the best high school debate teams in the nation will use formal debate rules to argue whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton was the winner. Listen live starting at 9 a.m. Then, for debate analysis and to join the discussion, listen to AirTalk at 11 a.m.


Here's how the debate turned to local interests during the 90-minute debate at Hofstra University in Long Island:

Rebuilding manufacturing sector

California counts among the states that have seen manufacturing jobs decline since the 1980s, and Trump has promised to restore the jobs lost in that sector. It's a decline he blames largely on trade agreements, although experts say automation played a bigger role.

Trump said the first step in restoring jobs is to prevent them from leaving the country. "The companies are leaving. I could name, I mean, there are thousands of them. They're leaving, and they're leaving in bigger numbers than ever," he said.

Clinton called for investments in jobs in areas that include renewable energy and small businesses, "because most of the new jobs will come from small business." She also called for raising the national minimum wage and equal pay for women.

LAX as a 'Third World' airport 

Trump decried the country's high debt, now at $18.6 trillion, saying it would be another thing if the country's roads, bridges and airports were in good order.

"Our airports are like from a Third World country," he said. "You land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark, and you come in from Dubai and Qatar and you see these incredible — you come in from China, you see these incredible airports, and you land — we've become a Third World country."

He blamed Clinton and other politicians for squandering the country's money and creating the problem. She replied that it "may be because you haven't paid any federal income tax for a lot of years."

That was a reference to Trump's refusal to release his tax returns, which she suggested may be because he has paid no federal taxes. Trump repeated Monday that he will make his tax returns public when an IRS audit of his finances is completed. He also said he'd release his tax returns against his lawyers' advice if Clinton releases her deleted emails.

Restoring trust with police, communities 

The candidates were also asked how they would heal the race divide in the country that has been heightened by recent police shootings of African-Americans.

Clinton said the country needs to ensure the police are using the best training and techniques in using force when necessary. "Everyone should be respected by the law, and everyone should respect the law," she said.

"And we have to tackle the plague of gun violence, which is a big contributor to a lot of the problems that we are seeing today," Clinton added.

Trump called for "law and order" in the country and for the use of "stop and frisk," a police practice of searching those suspected of carrying weapons and other contraband. The technique has been ruled unconstitutional, although Trump mistakenly insisted that was not the case.

"We have gangs roaming the street. And in many cases, they're illegally here, illegal immigrants. And they have guns. And they shoot people. And we have to be very strong. And we have to be very vigilant," Trump said.

Addressing attacks like San Bernardino

Clinton and Trump were asked how the country can address homegrown terrorist attacks, including the 2015 shootings in San Bernardino that left 14 dead.

Clinton said the country needs to gather intelligence and work with allies in Europe and the Middle East, including Muslim-majority countries that she said Trump has dismissed.

"Donald has consistently insulted Muslims abroad, Muslims at home, when we need to be cooperating with Muslim nations and with the American Muslim community," she said.

Trump told Clinton that the U.S. has been cooperating with Muslims for many years and "we have the greatest mess anyone has ever seen. You look at the Middle East. It's a total mess — under your direction to a large extent."

The presidential candidates will face off again in the second of three debates on Oct. 9 in St. Louis, Missouri. That event will be preceded by a vice presidential candidate debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine on Oct.4 in Farmville, Virginia.

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