By Akeem Ivory, Esther Cruz, Christian Mosqueda
Carlos Alvarez and Lili Ramirez
The first debate of political heavy weights Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took place Sept. 26, and the new LSU TV Lounge was filled with students, who sighed, cheered and laughed as the candidates traded verbal blows.
Most of the students appeared to favor Clinton, and her responses to topics that resonated with them did not go unnoticed.
“Hillary is talking about issues of race and gender,” said Leobardo Mejia, a freshman. “She is touching on issues that Trump sees as a joke, and has strong points on [racial tension], I feel that she’s the better option for president.”
Gina Gray, an English education major, appreciated Clinton being prepared with not only ideas, but a plan. She struggled to find a word to describe the Republican candidate, but is not a fan.
“[Clinton] is recognizing that there is an issue,” said Gray. “[Trump] is just an embarrassment to the country. He doesn’t accept the truth. This is the best the Republican party has?”
Despite many students being in Clinton’s corner, Trump was not without his supporters.
Junior Michael Gray, a business major, said Trump provided the best responses and hit on key points. He favors the Republican nominee’s position on jobs.
“We need the jobs here, but [Clinton] is talking about expanding and going out of the country,” Gray said. “We are losing jobs. It’s not about the tax cuts, it’s about the jobs staying here.”
Jackie Pineda, logistics major and former supporter of conservative candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, who dropped out of presidential race in March, is now left with only Trump to choose from.
“[I support] Trump, because that’s my party,” Pineda said.
There were some students, who expressed doubt in both candidates and their ability to run the country.
Joe Alvarez, a senior, longs for a time when the possibility of Sen. Bernie Sanders becoming president still existed.
“[Clinton and Trump] both have history that seems corrupt, unjust and racist,” said Alvarez. “My choice of candidate was Sanders, not because I’m young and in college, but because I felt like he had the advantage of actually doing good.”
Alvarez, like many others, said the presidential candidates avoided answering important questions. Watching the debate only confirmed his opinions on Clinton and Trump.
“Oh, man. I just think it’s like a comedy skit,” said Alvarez. “I honestly feel like we are choosing people who cannot lead.”
The presidential candidates weren’t the only ones on display during the debate, students also had opinions on the job done by moderator, Lester Holt.
“Lester is doing a good job,” said Gray. “He’s keeping everyone on track when they’re challenging him.”