The Pun Also Rises: 2016 First Presidential Debate Rap



Welcome to Hofstra University,

I'm Lester Holt from NBC.

We've got 3 topics: Prosperity,

America's Direction, and Security.

The questions are mine, and have not been shared,

So let's hope we catch these candidates unprepared.

Let's begin: Prosperity needs people employed

So why don't you each tell us why you'd be a good choice?


I'm Hillary Clinton and I'm here to say,

My granddaughter just turned two today.

So our future is something that I think about a lot.

We need an economy not just for the top,

But for everyone, with new jobs, good jobs, high income,

And small businesses are where they'll come from.

We need fairness, equal pay, paid family leave,

Affordable child care, and college debt-free.

I can shoulder this responsibility.


But I'm Donald Trump, so listen to me.

Our jobs are fleeing the country, going to Mexico,

And other countries, China, do we fight them? No!

We have a good fight, a fight we could be winning,

My friend in Mexico says the plants there are beginning

To be the biggest in the world, some of the best.

With the United States, not so much. I detest

That our jobs are being stolen, which I will prevent.

I'll drop taxes from 35 to 15 percent,

For companies, it will be a beautiful thing.

And for renegotiating trade deals, I'm the king.


Taxes should reward work, not financial transactions.

His tax plan is trickle-down, Trumped-up. Wack, son!

Trump got 14 million dollars from his dad,

Says trickle-down works, but I say you've been had.

My father worked hard with a silkscreen and a squeegee,

Middle class underappreciated -- like Nintendo's Luigi.


Trump, how will you create jobs at home?


Look, my father gave me a very small loan,

I built it into a company worth billions of bucks,

Some of the greatest assets in the world, and yup,

Our country's in trouble, we don't know what we're doing,

China's taking our jobs and driving us to ruin.

In fairness to Ms. Clinton -- I want you to be happy --

She's been doing this 30 years, and her record is crappy.


But my question is, how do you bring jobs back?


Don't let them leave, and then make them pay a tax,

If a company wants to import their devices.


8 years ago, we had a financial crisis,

Because we slashed taxes on the very rich,

And it caused a housing crisis in 2006,

Where Donald said, "I hope it does collapse,

So I can go and buy some and make some cash."

Well, it did collapse, as we know today.


Uh, yeah, that's called business, by the way.


9 million lost jobs, 5 million people lost their homes,

We're finally recovering, you must be out of your dome

To go back to the plan that failed us, and yet,

Experts say your plan would cause 5 billion in debt,

3.5 million jobs; mine creates jobs with ease.

Oh, and Trump thinks Global Warming is a hoax from the Chinese.


I did not, did not, I do not say that, I repeat.

(Technically I never spoke it, it was just in my Tweet.)


We have to deal with this, at home and abroad.

Let's be clean energy leaders with the solar squad.


She talks about solar, we invested, lost dough.

I believe in energy, but that much debt? No.

Obama doubled the debt, we need to keep our jobs here.

Look at Michigan. Hillary, you've had 30 years,

And you only start to think of solutions now?


I thought about this a lot.


Yeah, 30 years.



Well, not quite that long. I think my husband Bill

Did a good job in the 90s, I think about it still,

What worked, and how we can repeat the benefit.

I saw many trade deals when I was in the Senate, it

was some I voted for, but on CAFTA I said Nay.

We increased exports, I created jobs.



But you haven't done it in 30 years.


Well, wait,

I've been a Senator.


You haven't.


Been Secretary of State.


Your husband signed NAFTA, the worst thing ever.


That's your opinion.


Look, go to Ohio, Pennsylvania, there's never

Been a worse deal than NAFTA, nothing's come after,

Though the TPP is also a giant disaster,

Which you liked until I said it's bad, and now you switched sides.


That's just not accurate, and the facts will provide

Evidence that you live in your own reality.




Well, we--




People can hold different views.


You have no plan.


I wrote a book about it you can peruse,

Which was written before you were even a candidate.

Experts looked at our two plans, said yours is bad and mine is great.


Wait, you're going to approve a giant tax increase,

Your regulations are disasterous, while I'll release

The biggest tax cut in history, since Ronald Reagan.

People love that I'm cutting all the regulations.


Let's move on.


That can't be left to stand.

I expected wild claims, so I have at hand,

My website for fact-checking, don't believe this clown.


And visit my site too. (Although right now it's down.)

Visit her site, she's tells us how ISIS can be fought,

Should we reveal our plans? Well, I think not.


Trump, you want fewer taxes on the wealthy. Clinton, more.

Now each of you defend why these are things we should be for.


The red tape is too much, the taxes too high,

Businesses leave our country, and that is why.

With a little leadership, you'd get it in here very quick

But with Secretary Clinton, she can't manage that trick.


By the end of this evening, I'll be blamed for everything.


Why not?


Why not. You just have more crazy to bring.

I've read your proposals, and it wouldn't accomplish squat.


Then you didn't read it.


Look, here's what you've got,

The Trump loophole, because it mainly benefits you.

It's great for the wealthy, but the middle class is screwed.

Top-down doesn't work, the middle class needs some traction.


Typical politician, sounds good, all talk, no action.

Our country is suffering, Clinton made bad decisions.

We're in a fat, ugly bubble, and I can envision

The whole thing crashing if interest rates rise.

The Fed is being political, but I'm wise.


Speaking of the burden that all voters have to pay,

You still have not released your tax returns as of today.


I don't mind releasing, when I'm done with this audit


The IRS says that your excuse is a fraud, it

Is fine to have an audit and still release your taxes


I'll release them when the audit's done. I've had lots of practice,

I've been under audit for nearly 15 years,

Other wealthy people don't face this, just me, we clear?

I'm not even complaining. My taxes, you can read it,

Once Hillary releases her emails that were deleted.


For 40 years, every candidate released their tax returns.

Why not Trump? Perhaps he lied about what he earns?

Not rich or charitable, maybe money that he owed,

Or possibly in federal taxes, he has paid zero.


That makes me smart.

CLINTON: I think it means he's not enthusiastic

About letting America see conflicts of interest drastic.


Trump also mentioned your emails.


Look, I made a mistake.

I take responsibility, it's my mistake to make.


It's more than a mistake, heck, I would call it a disgrace.

Also, they have really cool airports all over the place,

We spent 6 trillion in the middle east, while airports here decay.

It's Clinton who has caused the debtor nation of today.


And because you haven't payed your income tax in years, that too.


It would be squandered anyway, believe me, this is true.


If you claim your business acumen is why you're qualified,

You've built a lot of business on the backs of little guys,

And I've met people you stiffed, which shows a lack of class.

Dishwashers, painters, installers of marble, drapes, and glass,

And architects, like one who's in the audience right now.

He designed one of your clubhouses. You justify this how?


Maybe he didn't do a good job, And if I'm not satisfied,

Then I shouldn't have to pay.


You said you'd pay them, and you lied.

You don't keep bargains, you've gone bankrupt six times,

You call yourself the King of Debt. So let's admit, sometimes,

There's not a transfer of skills from business to government.


It's all words. I built a company that represents

The greatest assets in the world. And that is so because,

On some occasions, yes, we took advantage of the laws.

If you want to change laws, change them. My job is profit, okay.

My new Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue -- which, hey,

If I don't win the election, I'll still be there anyway --

My new hotel is still under budget as of today,

And also far ahead of schedule.


Well, we're not.

Let's talk of race relations. By police, black men are shot,

Which makes relations bad. How do we heal the divide?


It's a challenge in our country, and the gap is sadly wide,

In education, and in how the justice system treats you.

There are a few things we can do, I think we really need to:

1) Restore Trust between communities and the police.

2) Be sure police are using the best training and techniques.

3) Be sure people respect the law, and law respects the people

4) Get guns out of the hands of people violent or evil.


Clinton doesn't want to use the words I love, it's "Law and Order".

Without it there's no country. So we need it on the border,

We need it in cities like Charlotte where I have investments,

We need to bring back stop-and-frisk, that much is my assessment.


Uh, stop-and-frisk was found unconstitutional before,

Because it singled out blacks and Hispanics in New York.


No, you're wrong. There are many places where it is allowed.


The arguement is that it's racial profiling.


Come now,

The argument is these are felons, and they shouldn't have guns.

You have to have the stop-and-frisk. Look how Chicago's done,

I have property there. The people are living in hell.


Trump says this at rallies, he does the negative so well.




Violent crime is down. But yet for non-violent offenses,

Latinos, African Americans get harsher sentences.

More likely to be arrested, charged, convicted, and jailed.

So we must address injustice or our justice system's failed.


Do police have an implicit bias?


Really, don't we all?

But policing has fatal consequences, that's why I call

For money for retraining police. They have some big concerns.


You can't say this, but stop-and-frisk works, that's what I've learned.

In New York it dropped murders from 2000 to 500.

So when you say it's not a good impact, it's clear you blundered.


Crime has continued dropping with the current mayor's reign.


You're wrong.

CLINTON: I'm not.


We'll check it. Politicians are all the same,

They use people. I left Detroit and Philly, folks I met were great.


Did Trump just criticize that I have prepped for this debate?

Well, yes I did. I also prepped to be the president.

And that's a good thing.


Trump, I really have to vent.

For 5 years you lied, said Obama was not US-born.

The last few weeks, the Trump now speaks "American as corn!"

So why the change?


You know it's strange, it's one of Clinton's friends,

She started all this, I am just the guy to see it ends.

I got him to give the birth certificate, I'm satisfied.

I want to defeat ISIS--


Hold on just one sec, you lied,

I'm looking for the answer, I'm continuing to delve.

Five years ago it was produced, but still in twenty-twelve,

Two thousand thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, even just this year,

You still had questioned that Obama had been born here.

So why the change these past few weeks?


Nobody really cares.

I got him to produce the birth certificate, a great job there,

For the country and the president, and that's my final word.


Secretary Clinton?


Listen to what you just heard.

Trump said our first black president was not a citizen,

No evidence for it, he still repeated it again

And again, but then again, that's standard operation,

For someone sued for apartments that had racist discrimination.


There was a lawsuit, yes it's true that we were sued,

But so were other companies, what are you gonna do?

We settled the suit with no admission of guilt,

Now let's talk about this other club in Florida I built.


Let's talk about cyber attacks.


A challenge, no disputin'.

There are independent hackers, and state hackers backed by Putin,

Who Donald loves. But we must make clear that we will defend

America's info, and that's a message we will send.


I was just endorsed by admirals, and I'm proud of what they said.

The hackers could be China, or a big fat kid in bed.

We can't say that it's Russia, we don't know, it could be ISIS.


I have a plan to beat them, stop their way that group entices

Radicals online. You wanted them gone? Fine.

We took out bin Laden and whose watch was it on? Mine.


You created a vaccuum when you pulled out of Iraq.

We should at least have grabbed the oil so ISIS couldn't make fat cash stacks.


I hope the fact-checkers are working. Donald supported the invasion


Wrong. Wrong.

CLINTON: You did, on numerous occasions.

But the larger point I have to make, when shove comes to push,

The agreement as to when the troops would leave was made by Bush.

But your question, Lester, is what should we do here in the states?

I was proud of law enforcement in New York, and it was great,

How quickly they responded, captured Rahami alive,

So we can get more intel. We have to work with allies,

With friends in nations that are Muslim, that's the way to better it,

Not alienating them as with some of Trump's rhetoric.


We've been working with them all for years, and only have a mess.

And it's your fault. The Iran deal, I really want to stress,

Iran was falling, now rebuilding. NATO's obsolete.

The countries should pay their fair share, stop suckling at our teat.

ISIS was in infancy when you became the Secretary,

It's now in 30 countries which is really kind of scary.


You supported the war in Iraq


A mainstream media lie.

Not true at all, the mainstream media is Clinton's best ally.

I never had supported that--


Record shows otherwise...


No, the record shows I'm right. Call up Sean Hannity, you guys!

Nobody calls him, call up Hannity, he'll offer his assent.

Compared to Clinton, I have a much better temperment.


Whoo-doggie! Okay. Let's bring 2 important issues back.

1) Trump mentioned NATO, where all countries help if one's attacked,

But only once has this article ever been invoked,

And it was on 9/11. That's the facts, and not a joke.

2) When I became SecState, Iran was weeks from nukes.

We had sanctions, but it's clear that such didn't have them spooked.

I built up a coalition, drove them to negotiate,

And that's why Iran's program stopped. Ain't diplomacy great?

Last week, Trump said Iranian sailors were taunting our troops,

And said "If they taunt us, I'd blow them up." That starts war, oops,

That's not good judgement, not good temperment, let's make that clear.

Trump has said nukes are not a problem, he's too cavalier.

A man provoked by Tweets shouldn't have his finger on the button.


That line's a little old, and here I really have to cut in:

We defend Japan, and Germany, and others without pay.

We lose on everything. They'll pay us or we go away.

Another awful deal is Clinton's she made with Iran.

They have power over North Korea. Yes, I think they can

Do something with that country. Why didn't you do that, Hillary?

I met with Netanyahu, and he's just as mad as me!


Words matter when you run for president. And when you are.

I want to assure all of our allies, both near and far,

We have mutual defensive treaties, know we will honor them.

Some people start to doubt us thanks to certain folks *ahem*


I want to help our allies, but we're losing too much cash.


You said Clinton doesn't look presidential; what'd you mean by that?


She doesn't have the look, and she doesn't have the stamina.


When you travel to 112 countries to examine a

Peace deal, and testify for 11 hours in front of a committee,

You can talk about stamina. I've done the nitty-gritty.


Hillary has experience, true, but it's bad experience. Bad job.


This is a man who has called woman pigs, dogs, and slobs.


I've been tough with Rosie O'Donnell, but we agrees she deserves it.

I was gonna say something mean about Clinton, but I won't do a word of

The negative campaigning. It's not very nice.

You spent lots on ads, I'm tied in polls, at a much lower price.


Will you each accept the results of this election?


Of course, democracy is how we make our selection.

So vote like your future depends on it, for this may be true.


I want to make America great again, which I'll do.

I don't believe she will.


Thank goodness, we're finally through.

That concludes our debate, and I could really use a brew.

There are more debates to come, but I have to ask this too:

If you still are undecided, really, what is wrong with you?

Seth Brown is an award-winning humor columnist, the author of "From God To Verse", and will have a video of the full rap online at See the full column online at


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