Originally, the presidential debate commission said it wasn’t going to release the topics of the debates ahead of time, so that the candidates would have to “think on their feet.” But the commission is sort of a wholly-owned subsidiary of the major party campaigns, so they want to make sure the candidates can “bone up” on the topic—to avoid an “Aleppo moment,” such as the one that has hounded Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

So almost a full week ahead of the event, we now know what they’ll be debating, according to Breitbart.

The topics will include America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America, in that order. The commission noted that these topics could change due to world and domestic events.

The Monday, September 26 debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY will consist of six 15-minute time segments. Each of the topics will receive two 15-minute segments during the 90-minute, commercial-free program.

From those topics, we can guess that the debate will focus on domestic issues. However, “securing America” could lead to questions of external threats. But Romper says that could change.

According to Politico, the topics are expected to include “America’s Direction,” “Achieve Prosperity” and “Securing America.” But, these talking points could change, depending on news developments leading up to the debate.

Just as this election season has been completely unpredictable, no one really knows what to expect of the presidential candidates while they debate on the stage of the university’s lecture hall. “It’s clear that there’s no love between them,” Fahrenkopf told NPR on Monday. “And how they will present themselves to the American people is anyone’s guess.”. . .

After the commission announced the topics, some on social media noted that they found the topics to be too vague and might provide the candidates with opportunities to stray off topic:

Wow. The presidential debate topics are….vague.
— Nathaniel Walters (@atheisthusker) September 19, 2016

@JakeSherman Wow some really specific topics on the list, candidates will not be able to go off topic with that kind of specificity
— Taylor Ham Takes (@taylorhamtakes) September 19, 2016

The outcome of the debate on Monday, Sept. 26 — which is date of the anniversary of the first televised presidential debate between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy in 1960 — is really anyone’s guess. And while the eventual discourse may end up touching on other relevant and topical issues for voters, outside of the list, hopefully the political argument will answer many of the most pressing questions Americans need to know.

NPR adds a few details.

Fahrenkopf says there will be an audience, divided between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump supporters, with tickets also available for the commission and Hofstra University.

Like the country, Fahrenkopf says he doesn’t fully know what to expect at the debate. “It’s clear that there’s no love between them,” he said. “And how they will present themselves to the American people is anyone’s guess.”

There will be no commercial breaks, and Fahrenkopf said Clinton and Trump will stand at lecterns for the first debate. Two other presidential debates and a vice presidential debate have also been scheduled.

The Hill says national security will probably take front stage.

The debate in New York will come a week after authorities took custody of a man believed to be behind explosions in New York and New Jersey over the weekend, raising the issue of terrorism in the presidential race as the White House contenders exchange jabs over national security.

Trump’s campaign on Monday argued “the only thing we can expect from a Hillary Clinton presidency is more attacks on our homeland and more innocent Americans being hurt and killed.”

A campaign aide argued the decision to remove U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 “created the vacuum that led to the founding of ISIS.”

The retort came after Clinton argued that terrorists had invoked Trump’s rhetoric in an attempt to turn the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) into a religious war.

“We know that a lot of rhetoric we’ve heard from Donald Trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular ISIS, because they’re looking to make this into a war against Islam rather than a war against jihadists,” Clinton said.

“Violent terrorists, people whose number in the tens of thousands, not tens of millions, they want to use that to recruit more fighters to turn this into a religious conflict,” she added.

The 90-minute debate next Monday will have six 15-minute segments, with two segments focusing on each topic, providing Trump and Clinton at least 30 minutes of debate time focused on national security.

IndianExpress quotes Trump as saying he doesn’t plan on focusing on Hillary’s marriage.

In an interview to Fox News, Trump first praised Holt and quickly added that he is a democrat.

“I have respect for Lester. Lester is a professional, but we’ll see what happens. By the way, Lester is a Democrat. It’s a phony system. They are all Democrats,” Trump said.

Trump warned that he would be raising the issue of Hillary and Bill Clinton’s marriage if the former Secretary of State raised the issue of women around him.

“I don’t think I’m looking to do that Bill. I don’t know what I’m going to do that exactly. It depends on what level she hits you with, if she’s fair, if it’s unfair, but certainly I’m not looking to do that,” Trump said.

Deadline notes that is not what Trump has been saying.

Debate organizers are “gaming the system” with Democratic moderators who will savage him to spare themselves the kind of criticism Matt Lauer got for his moderation of NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum, Donald Trump tells FNC’s Bill O’Reilly tonight.

“By the way, Lester is a Democrat. It’s a phony system. They are all Democrats. It’s a very unfair system.”. . .

“I’m not okay with Anderson Cooper, because I think he treats me very unfairly at CNN,” Trump said of the second debate moderator. He did not seem to have an opinion on ABC’s Martha Raddatz, who is co-moderating the second, town-hall style debate with Cooper.

Cooper, says Trump, is “very unfair on CNN. I think CNN – they call it the Clinton News Network. That’s why the ratings aren’t doing very well because who’s going to watch that?”

Let the games begin.

Related: Full Details of the First Presidential Debate on Sept. 26


  1. Trump is such a loser. He can’t possibly say something that’s truthful. His lies are part of him. He has a dictatorial ideology which should be scary to all Americans. Many of his supporters are uneducated racist people who think they are getting the short end of the stick which isn’t really true. They believe all the negativity that the GOP surrounds our President and Hillary with.

    • the negative adds are Hillary’s – the uneducated if you watch Facebook and utube are Hillary supporters – point in fact Hillary supporters believe trumps son’s killed a triceratops- how stupid do you want – that is pretty stupid – racist – seems the blacks are rallying to Trump of late from what I see – dictatorial ideology – Hillary has no ideology , her platform is attack with negativity and state absolutely nothing positive or any change from the disastrous 8 years we have jsut experienced and then there is her claim of no Islamic terrorism – which there is look at the three event just in the news the last few days- Isis created by Hillary when she was in state dept she supplied and trained fighters in Syria supposed to fight against the syrian gov’t but alas became ISIS – she instigated the overthrow of Qaddafi who had already given up his weapons and pretty much surrendered but was killed anyway – The Benghazi disaster where troops ready rescue an Abassador we told to stand down – where did that oder come from from hillary or Obama must have been one or both- to uneducated lets see I am a Trump supporter with a BS degree that was able to retire at 55 – 10 years ago – is that an uneducated person? Hardly. It seems your argument isn’t able to hold water and certainly lack s any credibility – you my dear are the loser as will be Hillary come Novemebr 8. Oh and by the way Hillary for Prison as she is most evidently a criminal. Get your head out of your back side and realize you are supporting a threat to our nation and our way of life. Oh and by the way I am definitely NOT politically correct.

  2. Regardless what the topics of this debate are, the ONUS to perform well, will be on Clinton. If she performs a little better than Trump, she loses. If Trump holds his own and there is little difference between the two, she loses. Should Trump outperform her in the debate, she might as well PACK IT IN!!!

    • You’re absolutely right. If Trump acts like a jerk, people will say, “oh, that’s just Trump.” But if he comes across as “presidential,” that will probably be the ballgame.

      On the other hand, there is probably nothing Hillary could do to impress people.

      I think she hopes to get under his skin, the way Rubio did. But we saw what happened to Rubio.

      • As a Rubio supporter(and I wish he was the nominee). Rubio’s only problem is that he was caught off guard. All he should have done and needed to do, was just to edit his campaign message a little bit: Donald Trump is Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton is Donald Trump. Both are unqualified to be commander in chief of the armed forces. Instead, he kind of panicked a bit and fell in the gutter with the Trump.

  3. I just want to know if they’re Debating Standing UP…..like it’s always been done?? Or is the Coronated Sickly Queen going to get Her Way as usual and do it Sitting Down? How lame can you get? If you can only shuffle ONE Block during a Gay Pride Parade (and that was back in June!), just for a Photo Op, and even 74-yr. old Jesse Jackson is in better shape, $HilLIARy needs to Drop Out. and Shame On the DNC/Media for Propping her Up and Insisting on helping her into the History Books when the corrupt Clinton Crime Family should ALL be in Jail, and that includes the Hedge Fund Manager Son-in-Law with His Ill-Gotten gain! signed, was a Bernie Supporter. you’ll have to scroll down to get to the text, which is Year by Year. There’s a few things missing, I noticed, but I’m “old” so I was there when it was on the News: http://prorev.com/connex.htm

  4. I bet the real reason the first debate location got changed from Ohio to New York was so $HilLIARy won’t have far to go on that DNC/Voter-Paid-For Private Plane…..just a little hop across the river/water there from Chappaqua to Hempstead. I mean, she used an airplane to go 20 Miles this Summer! to just get to a Vacation site for four days in August. I can’t believe anyone will take anything either one of these Candidates of the Two Party BOTH Work for the Same Puppet Masters System that seriously. Piss Off Hitlery Big Time and Vote for the OTHER Woman: NO Scandal, Healthy, Honest, Peace/Environmental Activist Jill Stein. The Mainstream Media (MSM) are LIARS. Jill Stein/the Green Party are Polling at 27% of the Voters in Oregon, for example, but they want you to think she’s only Polling at 2%. Which is ridiculous. She was already at 6% during the Dem Convention and Jill got a Bigger “Bump” than Hillbilly did from her own Coronation…..er….I mean, Convention…. because of a Mass Exodus from the Democratic Party (DemExit) to Independents/Greens that had already started back when Bernie “endorsed” her even before the Convention. Some even signed up Republican/Libertarian after watching the State-by-state CHEATING. Bernie Sanders had more Delegates than any Candidate in (supposedly) 2nd Place ever! They were almost Half the delegates (the real ones) at the Convention and they did everything they could to Silence them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0fXTURlbNU&feature=share

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