It's the morning after the first presidential debate, and here's the verdict from our analysts: It wasn't even close. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump.
- Trump reiterates his criticism of a former Miss Universe winner's weight gain, but concedes Clinton bringing it up in the debate rattled him.
- Here's a round-by-round breakdown of last night's showdown.
- The memorable moments in the debate, in case you missed them.
- What we learned, including that Clinton is making the election a referendum on Trump.
Donald Trump cast Hillary Clinton as a corrupt and incompetent politician from a bygone era as he sought to recover Tuesday from his poorly received performance in the first debate of the general election.
The Republican presidential nominee wrapped up a one-day Florida campaign swing with blasts of lacerating rhetoric at a rally near Cape Canaveral.
“We’re going to take on the special interests, the lobbyists, and the corrupt corporate media right back there,” Trump told thousands of supporters packed into a sweltering airplane hangar. As many of them turned to boo the news crews behind them, Trump added: “They are as corrupt as you can get.”
Reading from a teleprompter, Trump reminded the audience that the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State failed the bar exam in 1973.
“Without the mainstream media, she wouldn’t even be here, folks, that I can tell you,” Trump told the crowd.
Trump cast his debate performance as a success, taking credit for highlighting Clinton’s support of free-trade agreements. He summed up Clinton’s career as "30 years of disappointments on foreign policy, on domestic policy, on helping women, on helping children.”
“The only thing she succeeded at was helping her donors and covering up her crimes,” Trump said, drawing one of many “Lock her up!” chants from the raucous crowd.
Trump also returned to his signature theme of illegal immigration, which he barely touched upon in the debate, lamenting what he called “a one-way highway right into Mexico with our jobs and our money.”
When the crowd shouted, “Build that wall!” Trump did the call-and-response routine that excites his loyalists and offends his critics.
“Who is going to pay for the wall?” he asked. “Mexico!” the audience hollered back.
Earlier, Trump attended a fundraiser at his Doral golf resort in Miami, then met with Latino business supporters at a college nearby. The largely Republican crowd of Cuban Americans asked Trump friendly questions and gave him a white monogrammed guayabera shirt.
As millions of Americans tuned in to watch Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump square off Monday night in the first of their three scheduled presidential debates, many also turned to social media to share their thoughts on the event, including a host of celebrities.
Many of Trump’s most prominent celebrity advocates were quiet Monday evening, but there were a few tweets of support for the Republican candidate, specifically from Stephen Baldwin (“The Usual Suspects”) and Adam Baldwin (“Firefly”), two actors who are unrelated.
What do the host of "The Price is Right," the bassist from Nirvana and Sabrina the Teenage Witch all have in common? They all back Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson for president.
Melissa Joan Hart, star of the aforementioned supernatural sitcom from the late 1990s, is the latest celebrity to line up behind the Libertarian presidential hopeful, announcing she will chair Johnson's campaign in Connecticut.
"I want to break away from this two-party system, and I think it's important for people to know that there's another candidate out there who really toes the line between Democrat and Republican," Hart told People magazine. "I mean he's libertarian. But socially he's liberal, but fiscally conservative."
The major parties tend to attract the flashiest celebrity backers, but Johnson's upstart campaign has attracted a number of boldfaced names. Game show host Drew Carey threw a fundraiser for Johnson this summer; his guests included former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and NBA commentator Kenny Smith.
Hart backed Mitt Romney in 2012, but in her recent foray into third-party politics, she's already quite familiar with the common question posed to Johnson supporters: Aren't you throwing away your vote?
"Everyone that I keep hearing say that, if they all voted for him, we could have a third-party win," she said. "Even if he doesn't get that far, I just hope that they let him debate."
Johnson, who is averaging around 7% support in national polls, failed to qualify for last night's debate.
Be sure to register far enough in advance before the Nov. 8 election.
The Times asked readers on Facebook and Twitter what they would have liked to have seen the nominees discuss. Of those questions that went unasked, a clear theme emerged about what was overlooked: accountability for the controversies that have followed the candidates throughout the campaign. Questions about Clinton’s emails and the Benghazi attacks, and her foundation as well as Trump’s, were cited most frequently by readers.
Everyone is in agreement that he had a great 30 minutes.
But House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi? She appears more inclined to humor over "what's-his-name."
"Mr. Last Night, I felt sorry for him, really," Pelosi told reporters after the first Trump-Clinton debate.
"He was so sort of scattered ... and so incoherent."
Pelosi said Tuesday that she doubts Trump will be back for a second debate with Clinton, and described their first round in boxing terms — "TKO."
"Nooo," Pelosi said, all but taunting Trump onto the stage. "I don't think he shows up."
Pelosi acknowledged Clinton still has work to do to get out the vote, especially with younger voters.
Former rival Bernie Sanders can help with that on the campaign trail, she said, but ultimately Clinton is "going to have to make her own case."
As for Pelosi's own chance to regain the speaker's gavel, she believes only that Democrats will narrow the GOP majority in the House chamber.
But hers was an optimistic outlook after so much Democratic hang-wringing over the November match-up between Clinton and the Republican nominee, a profligate name caller whom Pelosi also refers to as "Mr. Gift-that-Keeps-On-Giving."
Pelosi told a story of standing behind then-President George W. Bush during the 2008 state of the union address, and mentally fast-forwarding to Clinton winning the election that year.
It didn't turn out that way, obviously. But Pelosi said she believes President Obama's rise as the nation's first African American in the White House helped pave the way for the first female president.
"I always thought she would be president," Pelosi said, "and now she will be."
The contentious first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump lived up to its big ratings expectations with an estimated average TV viewership that will top the previous record of 80.6 million.
The total average audience for Monday’s matchup for the ad-supported broadcast and cable networks as well as PBS came in at about 84 million, according to Nielsen numbers.
Monday’s faceoff tops the previous record for a presidential debate set when Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan clashed on Oct. 28, 1980. It was their only meeting of that year’s presidential campaign, which occurred in an era when U.S. households had only a handful of channels to choose from.
Hillary Clinton is ramping up her attacks on Donald Trump's tax history after the Republican candidate said his ability to avoid paying any federal income taxes in some years showed he was "smart."
Speaking at a community college on Tuesday here in the battleground state of North Carolina, Clinton said Trump was using his campaign to criticize a country he has refused to support with his own money.
"He actually bragged about gaming the system to get out of paying his fair share of taxes," Clinton said.
"And this is a man who goes around calling our military a disaster. Who goes around criticizing every institution, from healthcare to education, our vets," she said. "But he probably hasn't paid a penny to support our troops, or our vets, or our schools, or our healthcare systems."
Trump has not released his tax returns, breaking with decades of tradition for major party candidates. Clinton has released years of documents, and pointed out that they show her family, which has made millions since her husband Bill Clinton left the White House, has paid the highest marginal rates.
"We believe in this country," she said. "And we believe that with the blessings that we've been given, we should do our part."
Throughout her speech, Clinton tried to draw a contrast between her kinder, gentler vision of the country and what she described as Trump's cut-throat approach.
She pointed to Trump's view of the housing bubble as an example.
"What kind of person would want to root for 9 million families losing their homes?" she said. "One who shouldn't be president."
As a contrast, Clinton talked about the people who helped her mother, who had a difficult childhood, including the teacher who shared food with her in elementary school.
"She was so often saved by the kindness of other people," she said. "You know, we overlook the importance of just how we treat each other, the respect we show, the kindness, the love that we show."
Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani labeled Hillary Clinton "too stupid to be president" because she did not know about her husband's affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Giuliani, a top surrogate for Republican nominee Donald Trump, castigated Clinton for what he said was an effort to shame Lewinsky, then an intern, following the exposure of Lewinsky's sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton while he was in office.
“The president of the United States, her husband, disgraced this country with what he did in the Oval Office, and she didn’t just stand by him, she attacked Monica Lewinsky," Giuliani said in video posted to on social media by a website focused on coverage of millennials. "And after being married to Bill Clinton for 20 years, if you didn’t know the moment Monica Lewinsky said that Bill Clinton violated her that she was telling the truth, then you’re too stupid to be president.”
When confronted with similar remarks in the past, Clinton has noted that her husband concealed the sexual relationship not only from the nation, but from his family.
In later years, Hillary Clinton, in personal correspondence with a friend, described Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony toon.”
Giuliani went on to say he would have raised questions about the Lewinsky affair during the debate. Trump hinted during the debate that he was tempted to bring up a "rough" topic, but he said in several interviews after the event that he restrained himself out respect for Chelsea Clinton, the couple's daughter.
“When she hit me at the end with the women, I was going to hit her with her husband’s women and I decided I shouldn’t do it because her daughter was in the room,” Trump said Tuesday morning on "Fox and Friends."
“I didn’t feel comfortable doing it with Chelsea in the room. I think Chelsea is a fine young lady,” he said.
Trump, whose support among women voters lags Clinton, was assailed by the former secretary of State for his past rhetoric about women.
“This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs,” Clinton said during the debate.
Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe who was insulted by Donald Trump for gaining weight, has emerged after Monday's debate as a high-profile Hillary Clinton backer.
Clinton's campaign arranged a press call on Tuesday in a bid to needle Trump, who acknowledged Tuesday morning he was rattled when Clinton referenced Machado last night.
The way Monday night’s debate played out did not just please the strategists and pollsters of the Democratic Party. It also surely pleased the party’s video editors.
Donald Trump’s penchant for interrupting, bragging and shooting from the hip was a gift for ad makers trolling for clips that could help fire up the Democratic base and give pause to swing voters contemplating casting a ballot for him.
The biggest super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton had already seized on one of those moments before Monday night was even over. Priorities USA found Trump’s bragging about his temperament a perfect setup to a montage of earlier moments when he did not exactly keep his temper in check:
Earlier in the debate, a different boast by Trump also created fodder for Democratic ad makers trolling for material. When Clinton accused Trump of cheering on the mortgage crisis because it presented an opportunity for profit, he didn’t object. He told her it was good business:
And when Clinton accused Trump of failing to pay taxes, again he responded by bragging about it. “That makes me smart,” Trump said:
Trump’s loud “ugh” and head shaking while Clinton talked about the vibrancy of black communities in America also likely makes for a convenient clip at a time Democrats are aggressively seeking to mobilize the African American vote.
Iowans in the capital of this battleground state watched the first presidential debate with the intensity of fans at a Super Bowl game.
The state’s residents and its six electoral votes are crucial in the 2016 race for the White House, where polls show a tight race in a state that went for President Obama in the last two elections. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton planned to campaign in the state this week.
A watch party at an underground bar at the Des Moines Social Club was billed as nonpartisan, though the crowd was heavy with Clinton supporters.
“It definitely didn’t disappoint in terms of entertainment value,” said Brandon Bock, who celebrated his 24th birthday by watching the debate. “There was a lot of back and forth, there was a lot of excitement.”
A confident Hillary Clinton said she enjoyed Monday’s leadoff presidential debate so much that Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks came to mind: “Let’s play two!”
Speaking to reporters aboard her campaign plane before departing for a rally in Raleigh, N.C., the Democratic nominee said she was already looking forward to the second debate after Monday’s highly anticipated forum with Donald Trump. She said voters got a chance to “begin to compare us on policy,” which, she added, has often been lost amid the “back and forth.”
“That all began to come into focus for people,” she said.
She charged that Trump failed the ultimate test voters expect of a potential president.
“His demeanor, his temperament, his behavior on the stage could be seen by everybody, and people can draw their own conclusions,” she said when asked how female voters might respond to his frequent interruptions and defensiveness.
“He can run his campaign and present himself however he chooses. But the real point is about temperament, and fitness, and qualification to hold the most important, hardest job in the world. And I think people saw last night some very clear differences between us.”
Asked about Trump’s assertion that he showed restraint by not bringing up her husband's infidelities, Clinton repeated that Trump could conduct himself however he chooses, but chided him for an overly negative tone throughout the race.
“He talks down America every chance that he gets,” she said.
Clinton, grinning for much of the brief Q-and-A session, couldn’t help but get in one last dig at her rival. After starting to walk away from reporters, she turned back and mentioned Trump’s claim that a technical issue may have hampered his performance.
“Anybody who complains about the microphone," she said, "is not having a good night."
Times staff writer Michael A. Memoli contributed to this report.
The first debate match-up of Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton was the most tweeted about debate in history, according to Twitter.
Millions of people tweeted on the debate, with the top topics focused on the economy, foreign affairs, energy and environment, terrorism and guns.
According to Twitter, the tweet that was retweeted the most during the debate was a 2012 missive from Trump saying China created the concept of global warming to steal American manufacturing.
When Clinton accused Trump of calling climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese, he responded, "I did not say that."
But Trump's tweet was still online, and the retweets began to spike.