Sparks fly at DCU debate between American Democrat and Republican

A debate was held in the Henry Grattan building last Thursday between an American democrat and a republican on the upcoming US election involving Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.

Republican, Nickoli Ambrose and Democrat, Maclean Zilber were due to appear on Newstalk with George Hook later that day to discuss the US presidential election but first they came to DCU to hold a short debate and take questions from Journalism and International Relations students on the matter.

Both Ambrose and Zilber opened with a short background of how they became involved in politics and how they are now both heavily involved with the campaigns of both Trump and Clinton.

Zilber described how campaigning has changed since the last presidential election with both sides opting to speak directly to the people through the use of talk shows and social media instead of using conventional methods, such as press conferences.

“The extent that the candidates have tried to talk directly to the people without mediators is huge. Hillary hasn’t held one press conference the entire campaign,” Zilber said.

After this Ambrose said that she thinks Donald Trump will become the next US president because he is a “branding machine” and that Clinton has “little credibility”.

“Everyone knows she has a huge credibility problem and that’s where the buck stops,” Ambrose said.

One of the questions asked by a student was how a woman involved in politics, like Ambrose, could vote for a man like Trump who is openly misogynistic?

“I don’t know what to say I think he’s very genuine and caring and is incredibly good at image,” Ambrose said.

When Ambrose was asked about Donald Trump’s stance on dealing with Islamic state she said she’d hope that he’d attack any country who was terrorising their country.

She said, “Ronald Regan whacked Libya and we didn’t hear a peep out of them for 25 years so sometimes that works very well”.

While Zilber disagreed with many of Ambrose’s points he did agreed that Trump was very charismatic and concluded the debate saying how it frightened him that there are so many people willing to vote for him.

“Trump is a charismatic machine and there is a fear that because of this he may pass the bar but I hope that doesn’t happen,” said Zilber.

Paul Dwyer

Image Credit: Darragh Culhane

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