• 64°

Who won debate? Depends on who you ask

By Josh Bergeron


SALISBURY — Reaction wasn’t surprising to the first presidential debate between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Local Republicans declared a Trump victory and local Democrats declared a Clinton victory after Monday night’s debate.

The debate also didn’t seem to sway opinions of locals who are leaning toward one person or have already decided. Democrats said Clinton backed up her attacks on Trump with facts. Meanwhile, Republicans said Trump beat back attacks well and dished out a few of his own.

There was, however, one point that local Republicans and Democrats could agree on: Clinton came ready for Monday’s debate.

“You know, Hillary definitely came out punching,” said Rowan County Republican Party Chairman Stephen Kidd. “I think Trump did just as good a job of counterpunching.”

Clinton’s punches were supported by facts and data, said Rowan County Democratic Party Chairman Geoffrey Hoy.

“It’s something that I did not hear from her opponent,” Hoy said.

If we’re counting, there are two points both sides agreed on — Trump spoke in the manner he’s come to be known for in the 2016 campaign.

“I think he clearly spoke to his base, and I think they would appreciate what he said,” Hoy said. “One of the things that you must do, however, is you have to reach the undecided people, and I really don’t think he was very persuasive to the undecided voter.”

For Kidd, that freewheeling, sometimes brash, tone “is a language that most independent voters can relate to.”

As for the rest of Monday’s debate — held at Hofstra University in New York — local partisans didn’t agree on much. Republicans held a debate watch party at County Commissioner Craig Pierce’s house. Democrats watched the debate at the party headquarters in Salisbury.

When asked about candidates’ performances, Pierce conceded that Clinton and Trump both scored points during the debate.

“At the end of the day though, I think Trump made his issues more prevalent,” Pierce said. “Democrats have done nothing for the past eight years to improve the things that need to be improved in this economy and make things better for the American people.”

When asked about Trump’s most effective lines of attack, Pierce mentioned the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans Pacific Partnership. The former was signed when Bill Clinton was president and has led to the loss of manufacturing jobs in North Carolina. Hillary Clinton has changed her opinion — first supporting, now opposing — on the Trans Pacific Partnership. It’s a trade deal that would apply to Pacific rim countries.

Retired teacher Jimmie Moomaw, who attended local Democrats’ watch party, said she liked that Clinton offered specifics about her stance on raising the minimum wage and providing debt-free college during the debate. It was a similar to a point mentioned by Eva Jackson-Knight, also at the Democrats’ watch party.

“I felt that she laid out her plains,” Jackson-Knight said about Clinton’s debate performance. “Mr. Trump kept repeating himself and did not give any direct answers as to the questions. … I also felt that he interrupted Mr. (Lester) Holt quite a bit.”

Holt is the anchor of NBC Nightly News and served as moderator for Monday’s debate.

Kidd questioned whether Holt was too focused on asking critical questions of Trump rather than spreading tough questions equally.

“It just seemed to me like (Holt’s) follow-up questions seemed to constantly attack Trump,” Kidd said. “I can’t recall a follow-up question that was really directed at her personal life and her personal business.”

Democrats saw it differently, however. Jackson-Knight and Moomaw said Trump seemed rude to Holt.

The next presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 9. It will be held at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.


Granite Quarry

Granite Fest makes a comeback with music, vendors and fun for kids


State budget process could mean big gains or loss of funding for schools


Biz Roundup: Downtown Salisbury vying for $25,000 cash prize


Kannapolis native serves as a member of U.S. Navy’s ‘Silent Service’


Snyder promoted to deputy city clerk


Woman arrested for flashing rear end at Sheriff’s Office after previous charges overturned


Hall wins bronze medal in SilverArts


Harold B. Jarrett American Legion Post 342 holds 75th anniversary celebration


Salisbury-based Integro Technologies acquired by Kaman Distribution Group


World War II veteran, longtime Rowan County farmer, celebrates 100th birthday


Rowan commissioners will discuss body cameras for bailiffs, arrowhead donation, plumbing fix for lead levels


Downtown move gives Salisbury Eyecare and Eyewear chance to expand offerings, add new doctor


Clinton recovering from infection 


Teen charged in shooting at Mount Tabor High School held without bond


Marine officer receives reprimand for Afghanistan criticism


Beasley top fundraiser in third quarter for Senate race

Farm & Garden

Nearly 1-ton pumpkin sets record at state fair

High School

High school football: Loeblein throws record six TD passes for Falcons; Cavs, Hornets romp


UK lawmaker stabbed to death in terrorist act


Cooleemee man arrested after trading gunfire with Davie County investigators in Rowan


Salisbury council candidates list crime reduction, hiring a new city manager among city’s top priorities


Blotter: Man charged with trio of vehicle break-ins


Catawba College will require COVID-19 vaccinations in 2022


City selects Sada Stewart Troutman as new Downtown Salisbury Inc. director