Gloves come off in first presidential debate - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Campaign 2016

Gloves come off in first presidential debate

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(CBS photo) (CBS photo)
HEMPSTEAD, NY (WFSB) -

The presidential nominees debated a lot of issues on Monday night, but there were also a lot of sparks and barbs.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off in their first presidential debate at Hofstra University on Long Island, and about 100 million people watched.

It started off fairly tame, but things heated up pretty quickly.

Clinton and Trump started talking about jobs and the economy. However, 15 minutes into the debate and the gloves came off.

"I built an unbelievable company," Trump said.

Trump touted his record as a successful businessman.

Clinton argued it was his father's $14 million that got him there. She blasted him for what she said his company did to small businesses.

"Do the thousands of people you have stiffed over the course of your business not deserve some kind of apology from someone who has taken their labor, taken the goods and then refused the pay them," Clinton said.

The fireworks came over NAFTA, the free trade agreement that went into effect in the 1990s.

"You called it the gold standard of trade deals," Trump said. "Then you heard what I said about it and all of the sudden you were against it."

"Donald, I know you live in your own reality," Clinton responded.

Then what many expected would eventually pop up took center stage.

"I made a mistake using a private email," she said. "If I had to do it over again, I obviously would do it differently. But I'm not going to make any excuses. It was a mistake and I take responsibility for that."

"That was not a mistake, that was done purposefully," Trump shot back.

Trump used Clinton's controversial emails as a bargaining chip.

"When she releases her emails, I'll release my tax returns," he said.

On crime and racial relations, Clinton favored working with police and the communities.

Trump called Clinton's efforts to improve relations political. He criticized her for taking the past few days off from the campaign trail.

"I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate," Clinton said. "And I prepared for being president and I think that's a good thing."

They also spoke about terrorism.

Trump blasted Clinton's plan for ISIS and said it would fail.

However, he did not come up with any specifics on his own plan.

For many Connecticut voters, there were few surprises, and many are not too thrilled with either candidate.

"I don't think I've adored a presidential candidate in quite a few elections--there have been a few alternatives --- all we have been offered," said Kent Bain, of Fairfield.

Weigh in on who won the debate in the WFSB.com web poll here.

See photos from the event here.

For more on the debate, including reaction from around the world and in Connecticut, click here.

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