S/he won! Instant reactions to Clinton, Trump debate

Jonathan Oosting
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Democrat Hillary Clinton “proved to be a status-quo, elitist Washington insider,” while Donald Trump “looked like an amateur who isn’t ready to hold the highest elected office in this country,” partisan critics said Monday night after the first presidential debate.

“I honestly believe @HillaryClinton could beat him in an arm-wrestling match tonight,” tweeted John Dingell of Dearborn, formerly Congress’ longest serving member.

Trump and Clinton squared off on the economy, racial tension, President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, the tax code, national security and more during a 90-minute debate broadcast from Hofstra University on Long Island in Hempstead, New York.

Supporters of each candidate continued to trade jabs in the aftermath of the intense debate. Here is what they’ve been saying:

Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party: “What we saw tonight was presidential versus temperamental, leadership versus salesmanship, and a clear vision versus a gold-plated version of all that’s wrong with the Republican Party under the extremist leadership of Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton won this debate by every possible metric. She demonstrated a clear command of every issue put in front of her, she put forth a plan to help working families, and she showed that she was prepared to debate and ready to lead. Donald Trump demonstrated that he was grossly unprepared for the debate, just like he is grossly unprepared for the job of leading this country. Americans saw what real leadership looks like tonight, and that’s Hillary Clinton.”

Scott Hagerstrom, Trump-Pence Michigan state campaign director: “After tonight’s debate the contrast between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could not be more clear for the American people — Donald Trump is the candidate of change and bold ideas that we desperately need, while Hillary Clinton again proved to be a status-quo, elitist Washington insider who represents nothing more than a third Obama term. Voters are sick and tired of the endless corruption and backroom deals we heard about during the debate, and will choose change and opportunity in November.”

Fact check: Clinton, Trump off mark on Iran deal

Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan: “What we heard tonight from Donald Trump was more of the same tired Republican trickle-down economics that have failed in Michigan. Tax handouts to corporations and cutting safety regulations led to catastrophes like the Flint water crisis. When juxtaposed with thorough and comprehensive progressive policies outlined by Hillary Clinton, Trump looked like an amateur who isn’t ready to hold the highest elected office in this country. Trump was sophomoric, dishonest, and did not provide a coherent vision for how he would solve the problems facing our country like systemic racism, corporate greed, and our crumbling infrastructure. While that may qualify him for a leadership position in the Michigan Republican Caucus — these are not qualities we want in our president.”

Finley: Clinton wins debate, voters still lose

Former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, and current co-chair of the Trump-Pence Michigan campaign: “Mr. Trump showed that he is without a doubt the only candidate ready and qualified to lead our country in a new direction. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, proved she is out of touch with hard-working Americans and does not believe that their interests should come ahead of Clinton Foundation donors, foreign actors and other elites in the Clinton circle. Hillary’s failed vision of the world has already devastated our economy, left our country less safe, and created ISIS in the Middle East. Tonight, Mr. Trump laid out a clear plan to unleash our economy, bring back jobs, and protect our citizens, and he did so in a way that actually connects with the American people — something Hillary Clinton could only dream of.”

“Mr. Trump showed that he is without a doubt the only candidate ready and qualified to lead our country in a new direction,” said Trump-Pence Michigan campaign co-chairman Pete Hoekstra, a former congressman.

Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO: “Tonight Hillary Clinton proved that she has the right experience and steadiness to bring people together and lead our nation’s economy starting on day one. During tonight’s debate, Hillary put forward a clear plan to build an economy that works for everyone, and not just those at the top, with good-paying jobs for Michigan’s working families. By pushing an agenda that helps billionaires like himself get ahead at the expense of working families, Donald Trump showed that he is only in this race for himself. Tonight Trump reminded us once again that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be our next president. The choice Michigan voters face couldn’t be clearer. We can either choose a leader who will bring people together to tackle the big challenges facing our country, or we can let Donald Trump keep tearing us apart with his dangerous ideas.”

Clinton, Trump engage in bruising debate

Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party: “Tonight’s debate shows us the clear choice that voters have this November. While Donald Trump presented a vision to fix the issues facing our nation, Hillary Clinton proved again that she wants to keep the status quo that is failing so many Americans. She has had 30 years to find solutions and she has failed. Michiganders want real change at the national level, not more of the same rhetoric and failed policies we’ve seen from a career politician and lifelong member of the political elite. It’s clear that Donald Trump is the only candidate talking about the problems facing our nation following eight years of failed leadership.”

Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, via Twitter: Trump didn’t stop questioning @POTUS’s birthplace because he was wrong, he stopped because he had other awful idiotic things to obsess over … Trump believes that his best asset is his temperament. I quit ... I honestly believe @HillaryClinton could beat him in an arm-wrestling match tonight.