Who said it during the first debate? Maybe not who you think

Welcome to a special edition of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” — where, instead of entertaining you with improv comedy, we ask if it was the GOP candidate for president or the Democrat who made these statements in their first debate .

(We apologize in advance for not being as funny as the TV show.)

Let’s begin with a statement about trade and taxes. Was it Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton who said the following?

“(I)f you think you’re going to make your air conditioners or your cars or your cookies or whatever you make and bring them into our country without a tax, you’re wrong.”

While the GOP has traditionally sought lower trade barriers, the answer here is: Trump.

Now let’s move to a statement made in the age-old tug-of-war between spending money on the military or domestic needs — the “guns or butter” question. Who said it?

“(W)e’ve spent $6 trillion in the Middle East … we could have rebuilt our country twice. And it’s really a shame. … (W)e have a country that needs new roads, new tunnels, new bridges, new airports, new schools, new hospitals.”

Talking down the state of our infrastructure, and talking up the need to pour trillions of dollars into new projects, is typically Democratic ground. But the answer here is: Trump.

Next, who was it who said the following about limiting access to guns?

“And we finally need to pass a prohibition on anyone who’s on the terrorist watch list from being able to buy a gun in our country. If you’re too dangerous to fly, you are too dangerous to buy a gun.”

Based on the way the gun-control debate has gone in this country, you may have guessed Clinton. And you’d be right! But as a bonus, who was it who said this:

“I think we have to look very strongly at (banning gun sales to people on) no-fly lists … when people are on there, even if they shouldn’t be on there, we’ll help them, we’ll help them legally, we’ll help them get off.”

Clinton again? Nope: Trump. Now, how about this one:

“When it comes to gun rights — or, for that matter, property rights or religious freedom — I will make sure to appoint Supreme Court justices who uphold the Constitution.”

Trick question! Neither of them said anything remotely like that.

We’ll now close with a pair of statements, one by each candidate. Who said which?

“Are we going to lead the world with strength and in accordance with our values? … I intend to be a leader of our country that people can count on, both here at home and around the world, to make decisions that will further peace and prosperity, but also stand up to bullies, whether they’re abroad or at home.”

And now: “I want to help all of our allies, but we are losing billions and billions of dollars. We cannot be the policemen of the world. We cannot protect countries all over the world.”

If you had the Democrat arguing for an active foreign policy based on American values, and the Republican for limits on U.S. involvement overseas, congratulations: You would have been laughed at four years ago. And eight years ago. And basically the past few decades.

Of course, we could have used other statements that fit more with the usual positions taken by each party’s candidate. But if you are siding with “your side’s” person thinking you’ll get what “your side” usually delivers, you might want to think twice.

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About the Author

Kyle Wingfield
Kyle Wingfield
Kyle Wingfield joined the AJC in 2009. He is a native of Dalton and a graduate of the University of Georgia.