Chris Wallace: Secretary Clinton?
Hillary Clinton: Well, first, when I hear Donald talk like that and know that his slogan is “Make America Great Again,” I wonder when he thought America was great. And before he rushes and says, “You know, before you and President Obama were there,” I think it’s important to recognize that he has been criticizing our government for decades.
You know, back in 1987, he took out a $100,000 ad in the New York Times, during the time when President Reagan was president, and basically said exactly what he just said now, that we were the laughingstock of the world. He was criticizing President Reagan. This is the way Donald thinks about himself, puts himself into, you know, the middle and says, “You know, I alone can fix it,” as he said on the convention stage.
But if you look at the debt, which is the issue you asked about, Chris, I pay for everything I’m proposing. I do not add a penny to the national debt. I take that very seriously, because I do think it’s one of the issues we’ve got to come to grips with.
So when I talk about how we’re going to pay for education, how we’re going to invest in infrastructure, how we’re going to get the cost of prescription drugs down, and a lot of the other issues that people talk to me about all the time, I’ve made it very clear we are going where the money is. We are going to ask the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share. And there is no evidence whatsoever that that will slow down or diminish our growth. In fact, I think just the opposite. We’ll have what economists call middle-out growth. We’ve got to get back to rebuilding the middle class, the families of America. That’s where growth will come from. That’s why I want to invest in you. I want to invest in your family. And I think that’s the smartest way to grow the economy, to make the economy fairer. And we just have a big disagreement about this. It may be because of our experiences. You know, he started off with his dad as a millionaire…
Donald Trump: Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard — we’ve heard this before, Hillary.
Hillary Clinton: I started off with — my dad was a small-business man.
Donald Trump: We’ve heard this before.
Hillary Clinton: And I think it — you know, it’s a difference that affects how we see the world and what we want to do with the economy.
Chris Wallace: Time.
Donald Trump: Thank you, Hillary. Could I just respond?
Chris Wallace: Well, no, sir, because we’re running out of time…
Donald Trump: Because I did disagree with Ronald Reagan very strongly on trade. I disagreed with him. We should have been much tougher on trade even then. I’ve been waiting for years. Nobody does it right.
Chris Wallace: OK.
Donald Trump: And frankly, now we’re going to do it right.
Chris Wallace: All right. The one last area I want to get into with you in this debate is the fact that the biggest driver of our debt is entitlements, which is 60% of all federal spending. Now, the Committee for federal — a Responsible Federal Budget has looked at both of your plans and they say neither of you has a serious plan that is going to solve the fact that Medicare’s going to run out of money in the 2020s, Social Security is going to run out of money in the 2030s, and at that time, recipients are going to take huge cuts in their benefits.
So, in effect, the final question I want to ask you in this regard is — and let me start with you, Mr. Trump, would President Trump make a deal to save Medicare and Social Security that included both tax increases and benefit cuts, in effect, a grand bargain on entitlements?
Donald Trump: I’m cutting taxes. We’re going to grow the economy. It’s going to grow at a record rate of growth.
Chris Wallace: That’s not going to help in the entitlements.
Donald Trump: No, it’s going to totally help you. And one thing we have to do: Repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare. It’s destroying our country. It’s destroying our businesses, our small business and our big businesses. We have to repeal and replace Obamacare.
You take a look at the kind of numbers that that will cost us in the year ’17, it is a disaster. If we don’t repeal and replace — now, it’s probably going to die of its own weight. But Obamacare has to go. It’s — the premiums are going up 60%, 70%, 80%. Next year they’re going to go up over 100%. And I’m really glad that the premiums have started — at least the people see what’s happening, because she wants to keep Obamacare and she wants to make it even worse, and it can’t get any worse. Bad health care at the most expensive price. We have to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Chris Wallace: And, Secretary Clinton, same question, because at this point, Social Security and Medicare are going to run out, the trust funds are going to run out of money. Will you as president entertain — will you consider a grand bargain, a deal that includes both tax increases and benefit cuts to try to save both programs?
Hillary Clinton: Well, Chris, I am on record as saying that we need to put more money into the Social Security Trust Fund. That’s part of my commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy. My Social Security payroll contribution will go up, as will Donald’s, assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it. But what we want to do is to replenish the Social Security Trust Fund…
Donald Trump: Such a nasty woman.
Hillary Clinton:… by making sure that we have sufficient resources, and that will come from either raising the cap and/or finding other ways to get more money into it. I will not cut benefits. I want to enhance benefits for low-income workers and for women who have been disadvantaged by the current Social Security system.
But what Donald is proposing with these massive tax cuts will result in a $20 trillion additional national debt. That will have dire consequences for Social Security and Medicare. And I’ll say something about the Affordable Care Act, which he wants to repeal. The Affordable Care Act extended the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund. So if repeals it, our Medicare problem gets worse. What we need to do is go after…
Donald Trump: Your husband disagrees with you.
Hillary Clinton:… the long-term health care drivers. We’ve got to get costs down, increase value, emphasize wellness. I have a plan for doing that. And I think that we will be able to get entitlement spending under control by with more resources and harder decisions.
Chris Wallace: This is — this is the final time, probably to both of your delight, that you’re going to be on a stage together in this campaign. I would like to end it on a positive note. You had not agreed to closing statements, but it seems to me in a funny way that might make it more interesting because you haven’t prepared closing statements.
So I’d like you each to take — and we’re going to put a clock up, a minute, as the final question in the final debate, to tell the American people why they should elect you to be the next president. This is another new mini-segment. Secretary Clinton, it’s your turn to go first.
Hillary Clinton: Well, I would like to say to everyone watching tonight that I’m reaching out to all Americans — Democrats, Republicans, and independents — because we need everybody to help make our country what it should be, to grow the economy, to make it fairer, to make it work for everyone. We need your talents, your skills, your commitments, your energy, your ambition.
You know, I’ve been privileged to see the presidency up close. And I know the awesome responsibility of protecting our country and the incredible opportunity of working to try to make life better for all of you. I have made the cause of children and families really my life’s work. That’s what my mission will be in the presidency. I will stand up for families against powerful interests, against corporations. I will do everything that I can to make sure that you have good jobs, with rising incomes, that your kids have good educations from preschool through college. I hope you will give me a chance to serve as your president.
Chris Wallace: Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. Trump?
Donald Trump: She’s raising the money from the people she wants to control. Doesn’t work that way.
But when I started this campaign, I started it very strongly. It’s called “Make America Great Again.” We’re going to make America great. We have a depleted military. It has to be helped, has to be fixed. We have the greatest people on Earth in our military. We don’t take care of our veterans. We take care of illegal immigrants, people that come into the country illegally, better than we take care of our vets. That can’t happen.
Our policemen and women are disrespected. We need law and order, but we need justice, too. Our inner cities are a disaster. You get shot walking to the store. They have no education. They have no jobs. I will do more for African-Americans and Latinos than she can ever do in 10 lifetimes.
All she’s done is talk to the African-Americans and to the Latinos, but they get the vote, and then they come back, they say, we’ll see you in four years. We are going to make America strong again, and we are going to make America great again, and it has to start now. We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama, and that’s what you get when you get her.
Chris Wallace: Thank you both.
Secretary Clinton — hold on just a moment, folks. Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump, I want to thank you both for participating in all three of these debates.
That brings to an end this year’s debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. We want to thank the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and its students for having us. Now the decision is up to you.
While millions have already voted, Election Day, November 8th, is just 20 days away. One thing everyone here can agree on: We hope you will go vote. It is one of the honors and obligations of living in this great country. Thank you, and good night.