US presidential debate: 12 best quotes from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (right) speaks as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and moderator Lester Holt listen during the first presidential debate.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (right) speaks as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and moderator Lester Holt listen during the first presidential debate.PHOTO: REUTERS

A fiery first debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump on Monday (Tuesday Sept 27, Singapore time) saw both presidential candidates trade personal barbs and quibble over issues including the economy, foreign policy and terrorism.

Who came out on top?

Here's a look at some of the choice quotes from the debate.


Hillary Clinton

1. On Mr Trump's proposed tax cuts

"The kind of plan that Donald has put forth would be trickle-down economics all over again. In fact, it would be the most extreme version, the biggest tax cuts for the top per cent of the people in this country than we've ever had. I call it Trumped-up trickle-down, because that's exactly what it would be."

2. Slamming Mr Trump's lack of fact-checking

"Donald, I know you live in your own reality, but those are not the facts."

3. Summing up her overall readiness

"I think Donald just criticised me for preparing for this debate. And yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that's a good thing."

4. Countering Mr Trump's accusation that she lacks stamina to be US president 

"Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities and nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina."

5. Dissing Mr Trump's apparent lack of a plan

"If he's going to criticise a deal that has been very successful... then he should tell us what his alternative would be. But it's like his plan to defeat ISIS. He says it's a secret plan, but the only secret is that he has no plan."

6. On her rival's penchant for beauty contests

"And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman Miss Piggy. Then he called her Miss Housekeeping, because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name."


Donald Trump

7. Explaining what is ailing the US economy

"Our jobs are leaving the country for Mexico and China. They are using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China."

8. Issuing an early ultimatum to Mrs Clinton

"I will release my tax returns against my lawyers' wishes when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted. As soon as she releases them, I will release."

9. Praising his own temperament 

 "I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament. I have a winning temperament. I know how to win."

10. Displaying his understanding of military history

"Just go to her website. She tells you how to fight ISIS on her website. I don't think General Douglas MacArthur would like that too much... You're telling the enemy everything you want to do. No wonder you've been fighting ISIS your entire adult life."

11. On where he gets his "cyber" knowledge from

"I have a son, he's 10 years old. He has computers, he's so good with these computers it's unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe it's hardly doable."

12. On what his nuclear plan would be

"I would certainly not do first strike. I think once the nuclear alternative happens, it's over."