It may be too soon to declare either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as the official winner of the first 2016 presidential debate, but we definitely know which moments from the Monday, September 26, event everyone will be talking about Tuesday morning (or discussing on Twitter well into the wee hours of the night). Watch the most memorable highlights in the video above!
The event was 90 minutes of high drama and tough questions, with nary a dull moment on either side. Clinton was clearly prepared and then some, hitting dozens of well-worn talking points, but the former secretary of state was still unable to stop herself from smirking (and sometimes even laughing out loud) at some of her opponent’s more provocative accusations.
Trump brought a surprising level of composure and made it through the debate without any major gaffes, but he interrupted, blustered and meandered as the debate wore on and the discussion got heated. And while each camp will no doubt claim that their candidate emerged victorious, we can all agree it was a historic moment in a profoundly weird election year.
But if you didn’t have the time (or the stomach) to follow our minute-by-minute recap, don’t fret; give us five minutes, and you can get up to speed on the five moments from tonight’s debate that will be on people’s minds come election day.
Moment No. 1: BIGLY.
Lesson learned: When Donald Trump gets a little flustered, he likes to invent his own words, which is how we ended up with this gem of a quote from early on in the debate:
“I’m going to cut taxes bigly, and you’re going to raise taxes bigly!”
Needless to say, everyone knew what he meant — but it’s still the first time the word “bigly” was ever introduced on a presidential debate stage.
Moment No. 2: Hillary came prepared.
“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate,” Clinton said as she responded to a snarky comment from Trump about her having “stayed home” during the past week. “Yes, I prepared for this debate. You know what else I prepared for? Being president.”
The moment didn’t go unnoticed by the crowd, which whooped it up with approval.
Moment No. 3: The crowd cheered Trump.
When moderator Lester Holt brought up the niggling question of Trump’s tax returns, the real estate mogul was ready with a retort: “I will release my tax returns, against my lawyer’s wishes, when she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted.”
It was a point for Trump, who forced his opponent to address once again the email scandal that has dogged her campaign from the get-go.
Moment No. 4: Fact checker? Is there a fact checker in the house?!
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Donald Trump has an, er, unusual relationship with the truth, especially when it comes to his own more controversial comments. From his support for the Iraq War, to his role in the “birther” conspiracy theories surrounding President Obama’s citizenship, to his comments about Hillary Clinton’s lack of a “presidential look,” Trump spent a lot of time during the debate claiming not to have said … well, whatever he said, leading to repeated corrections from Lester Holt and a lot of quips from Clinton about fact checkers. Not that it mattered; Trump’s denial strategy stymied the moderator so thoroughly that Holt simply stopped pressing the issue.
Moment No. 5: Stamina? I’ll show you stamina.
A surprise for those who expected Trump to bring the salt tonight: It was Hillary Clinton who delivered the evening’s biggest burn. When her opponent claimed he never mentioned her looks, only her “stamina,” Clinton came right back:
“Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire … or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina,” she said.
And the crowd went wild.
Tell Us: Who do you think won the debate?