USA Today has published an article titled “Trump, Clinton clash on leadership qualities.” The article describes the first-ever event where the nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties appeared at a forum dedicated to military issues; it was hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. Both candidates presented their views about why they were qualified to lead the nation militarily and why their opponent was not up to the task.
The article states that “Clinton called her vote in favor of the Iraq war a ‘mistake,’ but noted that Trump also initially supported the 2003 invasion and has shifted his position in the years since.” Trump countered by claiming that he was “totally against the war in Iraq” and maintaining that he has good judgment in military matters.
The two candidates also discussed the role of Vladimir Putin in world affairs, with Trump claiming that Putin “has been a leader far more than our president has been a leader,” while Clinton pointed to her opponent’s “bizarre admiration” for the Russian leader. Both candidates also stated that they would work to defeat the Islamic State.
Read the article here.
Questions for discussion:
The event was arranged so that both candidates appeared before the same military panel, but not at the same time. Was this an effective way of presenting the differences between the candidates? Why or why not?
Are the candidates’ views of the Iraq war relevant to this year’s election? How so? Give examples to support your viewpoint.
Each candidate questioned their opponent’s “judgment and temperament” to serve as commander-in-chief. Is that more important, less important, or equally as important as establishing their own credentials in this regard? Give reasons to support your answer.
Did you watch the forum? If so, was there anything that changed your views of either candidate? Provide reasons to support your opinion.