With millions of Americans tuned in to see the first presidential debate of the general election, social-media users began dissecting the candidates’ performances as soon as moderator Lester Holt had asked his first question.
In the first of six segments presented during Monday night’s debate, Holt focused on achieving prosperity through job creation. Citing a number of factors, including income inequality, he said were obstacles in the pursuit of that goal, the moderator asked Democrat Hillary Clinton why she is the better choice in this election to “create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American workers.”
Before getting to the substance of her answer, however, Clinton made a personal reference many online critics felt was a blatant ploy to connect with voters.
Clinton responded to Holt’s question by asserting her focus is on “what kind of country we want to be” and “what kind of future we’ll build together.”
She then noted Monday was also an important day in her family.
“Today is my granddaughter’s second birthday, so I think about this a lot,” Clinton said before pivoting to the issue of job creation.
Almost as soon as she delivered her answer, Twitter users pounced on Clinton’s use of what many called “the grandma card.”
— Chanel Ali (@chanel__ali) September 27, 2016
Did you guys know Hillary is a grandma? Because she’s totally relatable. #debatenight
— Julia Porterfield (@JK_Porterfield) September 27, 2016
Question: Jobs and prosperity.
Hillary: I’m a grandma.
— Kayla Gowdy (@KaylaforAmerica) September 27, 2016
Took Hillary all of 10 seconds to play the grandma card…
— Jeff Brown (@Ramshistory) September 27, 2016
Clinton’s answer continued with an overview of her plan to “make the economy fairer.”
She advocated a hike in the national minimum wage along with a focus on erasing the ostensible gender wage gap.
Her platform also included paid family leave, earned sick days, affordable child care and debt-free college, programs she said would be funded by making the rich “pay their fair share.”
Republican Donald Trump reacted to the first question of the debate by criticizing foreign nations, namely China, which he said were “using our country as a piggy bank” to aid in rebuilding their own infrastructures.
“We have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us,” he said.
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