Full Transcript Third Presidential Debate 2016: Trump vs Clinton in Las Vegas
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had their third and final debate on October 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The six topics they discussed during the 90 minute debate included: the economy, immigration, national debt and entitlements, the Supreme Court, foreign problems and "fitness to be president."
Here is the transcript of the third U.S. presidential debate between the 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton held live in Las Vegas, Nevada. The debate was moderated by Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday.
WALLACE: Good evening from the Thomas and Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I'm Chris Wallace of Fox News, and I welcome you to the third and final of the 2016 presidential debates between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump.
WALLACE: This debate is sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The commission has designed the format:Six roughly 15 minute segments with twominute answers to the first question, then open discussion for the rest of each segment. Both campaigns have agreed to those rules. For the record, I decided the topics and the questions in each topic. None of those questions has been shared with the commission or the two candidates. The audience here in the hall has promised to remain silent. No cheers, boos, or other
interruptions so we and you can focus on what the candidates have to say.
WALLACE: No noise, except right now, as we welcome the Democratic nominee for president, Secretary Clinton, and the Republican nominee for president, Mr. Trump. (APPLAUSE) Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump, welcome. Let's get right to it. The first topic is the Supreme Court. You both talked briefly about the court in the last debate, but I want to drill down on this, because the next president will almost certainly have at least one appointment and likely or possibly two or three appointments.
WALLACE: Which means that you will, in effect, determine the balance of the court for what could be the next quarter century. First of all, where do you want to see the court take the country? And secondly, what's your view on how the Constitution should be interpreted? Do the founders' words mean what they say or is it a living document to be applied flexibly according to changing circumstances? In this segment, Secretary Clinton, you go first. You have two minutes.
CLINTON: Thank you very much, Chris. And thanks to UNLV for hosting us. You know, Ithink when we talk about the Supreme Court, it really raises the central issue in this election, namely, what kind of country are we going to be? What kind of opportunities will we provide for our citizens? What kind of rights will Americans
have? And Ifeel strongly that the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy. For me, that means that we need a Supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of women's rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, that will stand up and say no to Citizens United, a decision that has undermined the election system in our country because of the way it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system. I have major disagreements with my opponent about these issues and others that will be before the Supreme Court. But I feel that at this point in our country's history, it is important that we not reverse marriage equality, that we not reverse Roe v. Wade, that we stand up against Citizens United, we stand up for the rights of people in the workplace, that we stand up and
basically say: The Supreme Court should represent all of us. That's how I see the court, and the kind of people that I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on behalf of our rights as Americans. And Ilook forward to having that opportunity. I would hope that the Senate would do its job and confirm the nominee that President Obama has sent to them. That's the way the Constitution fundamentally should operate. The president nominates, and then the Senate advises and consents, or not, but they go forward with the process.
WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, thank you.
WALLACE: Mr. Trump, same question. Where do you want to see the court take the country? And how do you believe the Constitution should be interpreted?
TRUMP: Well, first of all, it's great to be with you, and thank you, everybody. The Supreme Court:It's what it's all about. Our country is so, so it's just so imperative that we have the right justices. Something happened recently where Justice Ginsburg made some very, very inappropriate statements toward me and toward a tremendous number of people, many, many millions of people that I represent. And she was forced to apologize. And apologize she did. But these were statements that should never, ever have been made. We need a Supreme Court that in my opinion is going to uphold the Second Amendment, and all amendments, but the Second
Amendment, which is under absolute siege. I believe if my opponent should win this race, which Itruly don't think will happen, we will have a Second Amendment which will be a very, very small replica of what it is right now. But I feel that it's absolutely important that we uphold, because of the fact that it is under such trauma.
Ifeel that the justices that I am going to appoint and I've named 20 of them the justices that I'm going to appoint will be prolife. They will have a conservative bent. They will be protecting the Second Amendment. They are great scholars in all cases, and they're people of tremendous respect. They will interpret the Constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted. And I believe that's very, very important. I don't think we should have justices appointed that decide what they want to hear. It's all about the Constitution of of and so important, the Constitution the way it was meant to be. And those are the people that I will appoint.
WALLACE: Mr. Trump, thank you.
WALLACE: We now have about 10 minutes for an open discussion. I want to focus on two issues that, in fact, by the justices that you name could end up changing the existing law of the land. First is one that you mentioned, Mr. Trump, and that is guns. Secretary Clinton, you said last year, let me quote, "The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment." And now, in fact, in the 2008 Heller case, the court ruled that there is a constitutional right to bear arms, but a right that is reasonably limited. Those were the words of the Judge Antonin Scalia who wrote the decision. What's wrong with that?
CLINTON: Well, first of all, I support the Second Amendment. Ilived in Arkansas for 18 wonderful years. I represented upstate New York. I understand and respect the tradition of gun ownership. It goes back to the founding of our country. But I also believe that there can be and must be reasonable regulation. Because I support the Second Amendment doesn't mean that I want people who shouldn't have guns to be able to threaten you, kill you or members of your family. And so when Ithink about what we need to do, we have 33,000 people a year who die from guns. Ithink we need comprehensive background checks, need to close the online loophole, close the gun show loophole. There's other matters that I think are sensible that are the kind of reforms that would make a difference that are not in any way conflicting with the Second Amendment. You mentioned the Heller decision. And what I was saying that you referenced, Chris, was that I disagreed with the way the
court applied the Second Amendment in that case, because what the District of Columbia was trying to do was to protect toddlers from guns and so they wanted people with guns to safely store them. And the court didn't accept that reasonable regulation, but they've accepted many others. So I see no conflict between saving people's lives and defending the Second Amendment.