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Candidates’ supporters unswayed by TV clash


    Supporters of Hillary Clinton, above, watched the presidential debate at Hillary for Hawaii headquarters at Ward Warehouse on Monday.


    Local supporters of Donald Trump for President gathered at the Hawaii Republican Headquarters on Kapiolani Blvd. to watch the first Presidential Debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton, Monday, September 26, 2016.

Hawaii Democrats and Republicans gathered Monday around the state to watch the first Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton presidential debate, but it’s unclear whether anyone heard anything new that would move a vote from one candidate to the other.

A dozen committed Trump supporters gathered at the Hawaii Innovation Center in downtown Hilo to watch the debate on a 6-foot screen in a classroom that holds more than 50 people.

A red-and-white banner on a wood frame was propped under the screen offering Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, with miniature American flags attached to each end. Bright red “Big Islanders for Trump” shirts were stacked on the table at the back of the room.

Glitches from the online feed from Fox News sometimes caused the images of the candidates to freeze or repeat.

The room warmed up as Trump pointed out that Clinton previously supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership — which she now opposes — and when he accused Clinton of having “no plan.”

The first chuckle from watchers came when Trump told Clinton she had been thinking about the nation’s economic problems “for 30 years” as manufacturing jobs fled the country. The first collective laugh was prompted by Trump’s growl that “we have no leadership, and honestly, that starts with Secretary Clinton.”

The applause began when Trump demanded that Clinton release her 33,000 missing emails.

When Clinton began to riff on Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, Puna resident Tim Heusel announced from the back of the room that “we don’t care.”

Heusel, a private security officer who wore a “Hillary for Prison 2016” T-shirt, said the whole issue of tax returns “was brought up just to try to make it look like he’s a rich guy, and is not going to help the little guy,” adding, “I mean, you don’t see anything about how rich Hillary is.”

After the debate, Heusel said, “If you watched Donald Trump out there, he was being very presidential. He didn’t get into the name-calling. He avoided all of the zingers he could have thrown out there.”

Lowana Richardson of Honomu said her conclusion from the debate was that Clinton “wasn’t a fighter.”

“I just felt that if there’s going to be anyone in charge of us, you got to have someone strong,” said Richardson. “She came across weaker in her mannerism. … I didn’t feel like she fought back strongly like Trump. He always came back strong.

“I’m a woman, you’ve got to be strong. I mean, men are naturally kind of stronger, she has to be able to come back strong and hard. I didn’t feel that from her,” she said.

David Yonan, the East Hawaii chairman for the Republican Party, said he organized the gathering to spur discussion following “one of the most historic debates that we’ve had for president of the United States.” He said he has been a Trump supporter “from the beginning.”

Yonan is a retired Los Angeles County firefighter who spent eight days in New York as a volunteer sifting through Ground Zero debris after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. Trump went to the site to shake the hands of rescue workers, Yonan said.

“He didn’t want any news media, he didn’t want to make it a media thing, he just came down to thank the first responders and the construction workers,” Yonan said. “That to me showed great character in someone. Even though he’s a billionaire, he’s like a working man’s billionaire, apparently.”

Hawaii has long been a stronghold for the Democratic Party. President Barack Obama clobbered Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, securing 71 percent of Hawaii voters to Romney’s 28 percent.

While Hawaii Democrats chose Bernie Sanders overwhelmingly over Clinton in the state’s March presidential preference poll, Clinton has maintained solid support over Trump in the general election campaign.

Clinton was beating Trump 49 percent to 25 percent among likely Hawaii voters in a July Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll. About 10 percent of voters said they didn’t know whom they were going to vote for, or refused to answer, while 6 percent said they didn’t intend to vote for president. About 6 percent of the vote went to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and 5 percent to Jill Stein of the Green Party.

In national polls, Clinton’s lead over Trump has narrowed in recent weeks. On the eve of Monday’s debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. — the first of three planned debates — national polls had the two in a virtual dead heat, upping the stakes and pressure as the two candidates took to the stage on Monday.

The debate, moderated by Lester Holt of NBC, ran for 90 minutes without commercial interruption and hit on major themes, including the economy, Middle East foreign policy, cybersecurity, racial tensions between police and black communities, and nuclear arms proliferation.

About 40 Clinton supporters, including former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, were at the Hillary for Hawaii headquarters at Ward Warehouse in Kakaako to watch the debate, which aired at 3 p.m. Hawaii time. The mood was jovial as Clinton supporters alternately applauded Clinton and laughed at Trump, seeming particularly bemused by his repeated references to his business investments.

Some said afterward that Trump, a political novice, casino executive and reality-television personality, seemed out of his element against the political gravitas of Clinton.

Michele Matsuo, who had supported Sanders but is now a Clinton backer, said that the debate was like a “blood sport” and that one of Clinton’s biggest challenges was to not “be bullied” by Trump.

Matsuo said Clinton succeeded.

“She laughed, which was the best. She didn’t let anything slide and she laughed and got everyone to chuckle at what he was trying to pull off,” she said. “And it was very deflating for him. I think it was an incredible strategy, if it was a strategy. But it just came across as so natural.”

The Clinton supporters grew particularly rowdy as Trump struggled to explain his lead role in the Obama “birther” conspiracy. Moderator Holt asked Trump to explain his yearslong campaign questioning Obama’s citizenship and whether the president was truly born in Honolulu.

Trump said, “I was the one that got him to produce the birth certificate, and I think I did a good job,” he said, to jeers from the Honolulu viewers.

Hawaii’s Department of Health released Obama’s birth certificate in 2011 to try to put to rest the conspiracies about Obama being born in another country, which Clinton called a “racist lie.”

After the debate, Dylan Beesley, Hawaii director for Hillary for America, said Trump had continued to peddle the theory for several years after the Health Department confirmed the document released by Obama. In December 2013, following the death of state Health Director Loretta Fuddy in a plane crash off Molokai, Trump tweeted: “How amazing, the state health director who verified copies of Obama’s ‘birth certificate’ died in a plane crash today. All others lived.”

“It’s just ludicrous,” said Beesley.

Hanabusa, who is running to reclaim her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives left vacant by the death of U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, said after the debate that Clinton really excelled when she delivered her one-liner attacking Trump’s economic strategy.

“Where Hillary scored was in the first … five minutes, when she came up with ‘Trumped-up trickle down economics,’” she said. “I think that is going to be the phrase of this whole debate, because that one phrase explains how Trump is really going to fund anything. He’s putting trickle-down economics on steroids practically.”

While Trump’s performance appeared to increase the anger that many Clinton supporters feel toward him, it’s not clear whether Clinton succeeded in making voters see her as more trustworthy and “likable,” as some political analysts have argued is one of her biggest challenges.

Clinton supporter and Waikiki resident Kenny Wilder said that he didn’t think she “endeared anyone,” but struggled to say exactly why.

“It’s not something concrete. It’s more abstract,” he said. “I don’t think anyone that was in the middle of the road walked away like, ‘Wow, I really love that woman,’ or ‘She really inspired me.’”

But Shar Paclib said that none of that bothered her. “I just feel that she is smart and she makes sense,” she said.

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  • I stand proudly as a deplorable. This is a complimentary term coming from the Clinton machine, where up is down, good is bad, right is wrong, lies are facts, poor is a net worth of $200 million, charity is the Clinton Crime Family Foundation, Department of State is a cash laundering and ATM machine, soldiers and Ambassadors are expendable, videos cause deaths not terrorists, raped women are horny bimbos, neurological illness is pneumonia, etc., etc.

    • Be proud then. Be proud of being against women and for stiffing others. What a coward the Donald is. First president since Nixon not to release his tax returns. Now that is something to be proud of. But what is he hiding, that is what I would like to know. I think he is not as rich as he makes himself out to be. He is little more than a con man. Pretty sad when people are taken in by his con.

      • Do you really think that Mr. Trump is hiding something? The IRS would surely have pursued him legally if something was amiss, especially since they were politically motivated by the administration to go after Republicans.

        • If the IRS determined that Mr. Drump didn’t do anything illegal, he is clear to show off his tax returns. He should release them…

          — to back up his bragging about how generous he is.

          — to back up his bragging about what a smart, responsible businessman he is.

          — to put to rest the accusations that he has shady investments and/or borrowings from Russia and China.

          — to put to rest the suspicions that he made millions on reprehensible online businesses like gambling and porn.

          — to show that he is a responsible citizen who pays his fair share of taxes.

          — to show that he has NOTHING to hide.

          — to prove to his supporters that he is hiding nothing from them, that he isn’t hiding something that’ll derail his political career.

          If he’s not releasing them, he is hiding something, something BIG. You want to know what it is.

  • Start with a CNN poll of debate-watchers, which showed that 62 percent of voters thought Clinton won the debate compared to 27 percent for Trump — a 35-point margin. That’s the third-widest margin ever in a CNN or Gallup post-debate poll, which date back to 1984. The only more lopsided outcomes were the 1992 town hall debate between Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot — widely seen as a maestro performance by Clinton — and the first debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in 2012, when the CNN poll showed a 42-point win for Romney and the horse-race polls moved in his favor in the following days.

    But the CNN survey also historically correlates fairly well with movement in the post-election polls. Below, you’ll find a comparison between the perceived winner of the CNN/Gallup poll in debates since 1984, and how much the horse-race polls changed afterward. In 2012, for instance, Romney gained a net of 4.4 percentage points on Obama, although he eventually lost most of those gains. Bill Clinton, meanwhile, saw the polls swing by 4.1 points in his favor after the town.538

    Expect polls to move 3-4 points more in her way……


    • Ike, Hillary wasn’t debating, she was reading from prepared notes. The Don just let her have it. He showed real presidential class when he didn’t go after Bill when in desperation she played the sex card. But then again you probably missed that.
      Lester was horrible. He didn’t go after Hillary. But The Don did a damn good job none the less. Can’t wait for the next two debates. They’ll take off the gloves. Full contact.

      • “He showed real presidential class when he didn’t go after Bill when in desperation she played the sex card.”

        Yeah. Perhaps he was worried that one of his own several wives and lady friends would be in the audience to call him out for his own spectacular infidelities, eh?

    • I really don’t give much credibility to polls. I was planning to vote for a third party candidate as I am a bit unhappy with Hillary’s record on foreign policy but I will probably now vote for Hillary. The Donald is just too much of an embarrassment. I wonder if he will show up for the next debate?

        • I really have a hard time imagining why anyone would vote for the Donald. He doesn’t offer anything other than Voodoo on steroids and a tough America. Sorry, I do not want to live in Orwell’s Oceania. Surprised Republicans actually went with him since he is a buddy of Putin. I just hope Hillary’s hawkish tendencies can be controlled. I think they can be. Nixon was the most anti commie there was, yet he opened up China.

        • Deep State’ Getting More Desperate

          The ludicrous headline today is on the front page of the New York Times and it states, ‘With pay rising millions climb out of poverty; economic tipping point, more and better, jobs blacks and hispanics gain the most.’ What utter crap. The Deep State is getting so desperate to create an environment in which their candidate, Hilary Clinton, can be elected that they will apparently resort to anything.
          There Is Still Time

          At the same time, there is an ongoing attempt to bury the price of gold and silver in the paper markets. But up to now gold has proven to be particularly resilient. With each passing day we are one day closer to the upward explosion in the price of both metals. Investors are being given a wonderful opportunity to buy the physical metals and the respective gold and silver equities. In view of the gross overvaluation of virtual all financial assets in the world, diversification into gold and silver is absolutely essential at this time.”

    • Too bad CNN is such a looser. In Prime Time Adult 25-54 viewers, the latest Nielsen sweep reported that FOX News out performed CNN delivery by 43%. This is even after CNN had it’s largest audience gain ever in this demo of 30%. Their value speaks for itself.

  • For those of familiar with debate, the two areas of primacy are as follows: content and presentation.

    By all objective standards he did neither……a complete fail.

    • Ike, you must be on the train using your iPhone again. And what about crooked Hilliary? Five days of preparation? Don’t make me laugh. Every time she got whacked she went into this big grin. She takes relish when she gets caught lying. You and her seem to share the same values.

      • She had a big smile as she just scored a major hit. The poor Donald. I thought Hillary was very effective in asking what the Donald is hiding. As for lying, no one can compare to the Donald. The Donald mentioned that Ford is moving a factory to Mexico to produce a vehicle. What he didn’t mention is that factory in Detroit will be used to produce 2 new vehicles for Ford.

      • I value education, preparation, sense of office and both community and global responsibility. When you have a man brag about not paying taxes on hundred of millions, and gaming the system, it is telling. Do you know who makes up the difference on all of that—yes, you and and I, and tens of thousands have to make up that difference….

        • My effective tax rate is in high 40s, as it is primarily salary…..I would be surprised to see if Trump even paid in the low single digits. The word is that that the entire family clan that lives in his building writes the expense off and it’s in the millions, annually.

        • Ok how many of you peeps in Hawaii have an rental unit? Now how many of you pay income (state and fed) tax as well as GET tax? So much for all that honesty eh?

        • How would we know unless we see his taxes?? And yes I pay all of the aforementioned taxes on my rentals, as it is managed by a property management firm that also pays or takes out for such taxes…

        • Ike, thanks for paying your taxes. I know many peeps that do not. Not only do they not pay taxes on the rental income, but they never got a building permit and thus never pay real property tax on the illegal structure. This state has a lot of dishonest Democrats…

        • Should also add if the peeps would pay all their rental taxes, we would have the additional $15B needed to finish the Rail…

  • Coming into this debate I wanted to see if Hillary has totally recovered from her pneumonia. It is obvious that she has and in fact, it would appear that the Donald might now be coming down with something. The poor Donald, he really got smashed last night. I cannot remember a debate where a candidate got pounded so badly.

    • Chump Presidential? Don’t make everyone laugh. If anything he was interruptor in chief and just a big windbag with the sniffles. I mean who goes on a national stage like that without dropping some decongestants! All the polls show it was Clinton’s night and not by a small margin. Chump is already complaining about the moderator (he’s got to blame someone) which is laying the groundwork for him to pull out of future debates.

      • hiLIARy is one evil person who should never be in any office of power.
        What has she accomplished that benefited a MAJORITY of Americans (job titles excluded)?

      • Oh and speaking of POLLS…
        Internet polls conducted by major media outlets overwhelmingly show Trump as the winner. At the time of writing (these polls are still open to the public), a CNBC poll with over a million responses shows the Republican candidate winning with 67% to Clinton’s 33%; a TIME poll with about 1.6 million votes has him leading his Democratic opponent 55% to 45%; he is also ahead in a Fox News poll that surveyed over 13,000 people, with 50% to Clinton’s 34%.
        With over 600,000 responses, Fortune‘s online poll also shows that voters think Trump won the debate 53% to 47%.

      • Hillary had Lester Holt hand holding her through the whole debate. Never followed up when Trump mentioned the deleted emails, but he must have asked # times about stupid taxes. Holt never followed up when Sander’swas railroaders by the DNC and Wasserman-Schultz got fired, then hired by Clinton. No follow up on the secret server “mistake”.

  • If The Donald really did watch past debates by Clinton, as he said he did, he should have KNOWN she would be prepared. Whatever anyone thinks of her, you gotta give her that. She enters the arena well prepared. That’s why she has Huma by her side. Huma is her Valerie Jarrett. Trump needs someone like that by his side who isn’t afraid to tell him that he is his own worst enemy. He still doesn’t understand that he can’t interrupt and insult his way into the Oval Office. He needs to watch video of the debate and give himself an honest (dare I say that) assessment.

  • Its very simple. If you want more of the same Washington B$ and Bad deals for America then vote for Clinton.If you want some Real CHANGE then vote for TRUMP. My family is sick of the way this country is ran and we are voting for a change.

  • I have never been so embarrassed to be a US citizen in my entire life. I hope they stop televising the debates because they are making a mockery of our great country. Shame one anyone who votes for either of these two clowns.

  • The Dalai Lama made a great point about Mr. Trump and his “tell” in a portion of a video interview the other day that I had never noticed before but was very visible last night. When Mr. Trump is about to really lose it and go “off the reservation,” his mouth forms a strange little circle and then the words start pouring out. The guy should never play poker.

  • Find it interesting some peeps say Trump has a negative attitude towards women. Well the H and present admin does little to stop IS from doing what they do to woman and girls (as in slave trade). Just recently the O has refused charging war crimes against IS and until recently would not call their actions genocide. BTW I have a daughter and will vote Trump, sorry H…

    • Who remember’s Ms. Clinton’s description of Monica Lewinsky, a 22 year old intern taken advantage of by her lecherous husband Bill. She called her a “narcissistic loony toon”. What a supportive “women’s rights” comment.

  • “If you watched Donald Trump out there, he was being very presidential. He didn’t get into the name-calling. He avoided all of the zingers he could have thrown out there.”

    It’s a sad thing, when a bar is set so VERY low for someone running for President of our great nation, that he’s praised for not doing any name-calling.

    If that’s as good as it could get, it’s kinda pitiful.

    • “Internet polls conducted by major media outlets overwhelmingly show Trump as the winner. At the time of writing (these polls are still open to the public), a CNBC poll with over a million responses shows the Republican candidate winning with 67% to Clinton’s 33%; a TIME poll with about 1.6 million votes has him leading his Democratic opponent 55% to 45%; he is also ahead in a Fox News poll that surveyed over 13,000 people, with 50% to Clinton’s 34%”…Just sayin’

      • Those mean nothing. There is no control on those polls. It’s like when Dancing with the Stars did not have controls on their call-in polls and all the Hawaii people were voting many times for Jasmine Trias. People in uncontrolled polls can vote as many times as they wish. The only polls that mean anything are those with controls and a scientific sampling – and those show Clinton with a vast lead. …Just saying’.

        • The only true poll will be the election. The media and political anal-ists have to make some money in the mean time.

  • Let’s face it. People’s minds are already made up as to their choice. Like the rail controversy, it would take a major, major blunder by either to change their preference.

  • this moderator was a big joke, you can tell he was in favor of Hillary, he asks trump about stuff like miss piggy which happened almost 20 years ago and yet he never brought up the three things who should have ask Hillary to explain, the Clinton foundation, the e-mail scandal and the Benghazi. so you can see how one-sided this debate was, all in favor of Hillary but it did not work, most of the polls went to Donald trump. CNN which they said we are more democrat and that’s why they had trump losing, and wall street, so this moderator was really an id–t.

    • It’s not the moderator’s job to feed the contestants with ammunition. Trump let too many opportunities to pin Hillary just slide by. He was not well prepared, but that in no way lessens the realities of her shortcomings, while it does highlight some of his.

      • The Chump is like a baseball pitcher who gets rattled. He loses his focus and has a hard time controlling his pitches. I don’t see him changing for the next two debates. His inability to control his temper is his biggest disadvantage. Us local guys would say that the Chump has a short fuse.

        • He’s working on it. Hard to do when you face a proven liar and one sided fact checking moderator. Classified emails and the Clinton Foundation may be fully discussed in the next debate. Trump will be on offense and not wasting time like he did last night.

        • That is exactly his problem. He is 70 years old and cannot change. He had a lot of opportunities to go after her but two things stopped him from doing so. He lost his temper and wasn’t able to focus on the topics that were being discussed. Also his inexperience with govermental affairs has severely limited his ability to debate for ninety minutes with Hilllary. He rarely speaks of specifics and when he does cannot support his statements with factual information. In other words he bull-its too much.

  • I notice the two pictures above this article the trump and Hillary campaign offices looks like trump has more of the young people and Hillary has more of the baby boomer old people, trump connects more to the young voters and Hillary more of the old voters, to win this election both candidates are trying to get the young voters looks like trump may win because he has more of the young voters.

  • It’s not a joke anymore, people. Trump is a veritable threat to the future of our nation and the world as a whole. If elected, he will be taken advantage of, tested beyond his abilities, and lead us straight to a radioactive grave. Not an exaggeration! He is a frightening, Dr. Strangelovian creature who must be stopped at all costs.

    • Give us a break, what kind of shape is the country in now, race riots that mirror the 60’s, poverty and homelessness running rampit, as well as drugs, crime and gangs. Mass killings happening every 3 days.

      • I agree Trump did a poor job in debating Clinton and lost by standard debate measures. But in spite of his bumbling Columbo act,where he was outclassed and shrewdly manipulated by Holt and Clinton into defending his positions,I think he just won the election by opening pandora’s box. Trump mentioned in a negative way the Federal Reserve and Janet Yellen’s performance.

        The function of the Fed politically is dynamite and a no touch subject. Criticism supports his populist following. It also demarcates his nationalistic approach from globalism. It may also be a theme that he follows through with in the next debate. He may not have rehearsed his answers like Hillary, but he appears to have stumbled onto some truth that he has the balls to reveal. No presidential candidate in history, except Ron Paul, has ever mentioned the Fed as a problem. He also connected the Fed politically to the Dems and the current administration by clearly stating that low interest rates were politically motivated until after the election to help Clinton win, which is not the real case but happens to work out anyway.

  • So, Trump touts himself an icon of business, but what is most curious is that NOT any business’s actually support him.. Allow me to introduce some very specific and telling examples:

    This is not an opinion. In case there is any doubt, here is a list of companies that in the last two years have publicly severed or reduced business relationships with Mr. Trump, mostly over his inflammatory rhetoric: Macy’s, Univision, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Serta, Disney’s ESPN, the PGA of America, Nascar and Perfumania.

    Those companies, which have customer bases that include broad swaths of the nation that ostensibly look like the electorate, all said some variation of what Macy’s said: “In light of statements made by Donald Trump, which are inconsistent with Macy’s values, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump.”

    Or comments by his former employer GE, which owned NBC–Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric’s chief executive, who employed Mr. Trump on “The Apprentice” when G.E. owned NBC, was asked by Vanity Fair about him over the summer. “The Donald Trump that I had a chance to work with, I found to be fun to work with,” he said. “The words? I can’t reconcile with anything I believe in, or that I think the country stands for …”

    You would think, if anything, he would then be fiscally conservative and frugal–NOT a chance–According to the Committee for a Responsible Budget, a nonpartisan think tank that includes a list of luminaries from both sides of the aisle, Mr. Trump’s economic plan would add $5.3 trillion to our national debt. That compares with $200 billion as a result of Mrs. Clinton’s plan.

    It’s telling when banks will not even touch you– virtually no big United States banking institution has done new business with Mr. Trump in years, in part because of his history of bankruptcies and his penchant for litigation. During orientation for new employees, Goldman Sachs specifically used to use Mr. Trump as an example of the kind of prospective client to avoid.

    Finally, even groups that he touts don’t even support him–The Trump economic report cites the Business Roundtable, a lobbying group representing big business, and its complaints about regulatory burdens. The suggestion is that big business will back Mr. Trump, since he plans to reduce regulation. Yet it is hardly clear the Business Roundtable supports him. The organization has not endorsed either candidate, and its chief executive, John Engler, told The New York Times over the summer: “We’re just on the opposite side of Trump on trade and immigration.”


    The man is snake oil salesman of the first order….and lazy to boot.

  • The debate went as anticipated. No one was swayed from their position. Mr. Trump performed adequately in his first one on one presidential debate. Ms. Clinton’s performance was basically the same as the last time she lost to Mr. Obama. Today’s polls still show a tight race. The next debate will be more interesting.

  • “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

  • The debates are for the undecided. Lots of ink and bytes were wasted making this article. No wonder people are reading this rag less and less and newspaper workers are being laid off.

    • Agreed.
      If the SA had Fair & Balanced “journalists” and “News” organizations in their publication maybe there wouldn’t have downsizing but rather increased sales and employment?

      • If you don’t think it’s “fair and balanced,” why do you waste your time reading? And paying for a subscription? (I believe you have to have a subscription before you can post).

        Or is just that when you read something you disagree with you call “bias”? Your own bias is showing.

  • Any undecideds out there who watched the debate and it changed their minds? Who and why? Seriously wondering. I don’t know any undecideds. Everyone else I know that watched the debate is still supporting the same candidate they were before watching.

    Not interested in debating your choice. Just curious about someone for whom the debate made a difference.

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