Last night of the RNC where Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump address the audience. (Brooks McFadden, Scroll Photography)

Scroll recaps first presidential debate

Last night, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton went head-to-head in the first three debates leading up to the election in November. Here is what you need to know from the last night’s debate.

“America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity” and “Securing America” were the topics of debate last night.

NBC anchor Lester Holt was chosen as moderator for the debate. He opened the debate on the topic of “Achieving Prosperity” and addressed the first question to Clinton.

“Why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American workers?” Holt said.

Clinton’s answer held true to liberal economic talking points: more investments in renewable energy, raise the national minimum wage and equal pay for women. She also touted policies similar to Trump’s mandatory six-weeks paid maternity leave.

“So, let’s have paid family leave, earned sick days,” Clinton said. “Let’s be sure we have affordable child care and debt-free college. How are we going to do it? We’re going to do it by having the wealthy pay their fair share and close the corporate loopholes.”

Trump responded and said he blamed Mexico and China for jobs leaving the United States.

“But we have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us,” Trump said. “We have to stop our companies from leaving the United States and, with it, firing all of their people.”

He said his plan will reduce taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent for small and large businesses. Along with that, he said he will renegotiate trade deals and stop foreign countries from taking U.S. companies and jobs.

Clinton, the first to go on the offensive, called Trump’s plan “trumped-up trickle-down.”

“That is not how we grow the economy,” Clinton said.

Clinton said she accused Trump of cheering for the housing crisis, mockingly saying, “Gee, I hope it does collapse because then I can go in and buy some and make some money.”

“That’s called business, by the way,” Trump’s said.

Trump and Clinton continued to go back and forth. Trump said again that he blamed China for stealing jobs and Clinton for not improving trade agreements in her 30 years as a politician.

“I think science is real,” Clinton said about Trump’s denial of believing climate change to be a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.

As Holt failed to gain control of the debate, the two politicians resorted to accusations and self-congratulations for their own accomplishments.

After allowing Trump and Clinton to berate each other, Holt finally asked Trump to defend his policy on tax cuts and asked Clinton to defend raising taxes on the wealthy.

Trump accused Clinton of not allowing companies, who have left the U.S. because of tax reasons, to return. He also accused her of poor leadership.

Clinton attempted to shrug off the remarks by jokingly saying that she had a feeling she was going to be blamed for everything before the end of the night.

“Why not?” Trump said.

When the topic of gun control came up, both candidates agreed that there needs to be a limitation on who can purchase firearms.

Clinton insisted guns are the leading cause of death for young African-American men.

Trump claimed Stop and Frisk was successful in New York, and that it should be implemented again. He claimed he was the only candidate who was committed to restoring law and order.

Both agreed that those on government watch lists should not be able to purchase firearms.

By the end of the debate, Clinton would go on to accuse Trump of racism after he continued to claim President Obama was not a natural-born citizen, even after his birth certificate was released in 2011.

Trump said he was the reason Obama released his birth certificate.

“I got him to give the birth certificate,” Trump said. “So I’m satisfied with it.”

Trump said Clinton’s ads against him are untrue.

“They’re untrue,” he said. “And they’re misrepresentations. And I will tell, Lester: It’s not nice. And I don’t deserve that.”

A CBS focus group said Clinton won the debate.

Read the entire transcript here.

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