Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off in the first debate of the U.S. presidential election Monday night, and it didn’t take long for the gloves to come off.
The 90-minute televised debate was expected to garner 80-100 million viewers, as folks tuned in from across the United States, Canada, and beyond to see the long-awaited showdown.
The debate was largely a continuation of the battle that’s been playing out in recent months. Clinton portrayed herself as the steady hand to lead the nation, with Trump coming across as the straight-shooter looking to bust up the establishment.
There were wins and losses for both. But one things is clear: this election is far from over.
The pair started off in a downright civil manner, with an edge of awkwardness as the rivals came face to face.
Launching into talk of the economy, Clinton vouched for raising the minimum wage, closing the gender pay gap, and paid family leave.
Trump agreed the candidates have common ground on many issues, before launching into an explanation of his protectionist policy.
Jobs are “fleeing the country,” Trump said, adding he’ll slash corporate taxes from 35 to 15 per cent, suggesting that would create jobs.
The initially cool and collected candidates heated up as Clinton accused Trump of creating a tax plan that will benefit the wealthy.
“I call it Trumped up, trickle down,” Clinton said.
WATCH: Donald Trump calls NAFTA ‘the worst trade deal maybe ever signed’
The talk turned to trade with Trump saying trade deals such as NAFTA and the still-to-be-finalized TPP will be in the crosshairs.
“We have to renegotiate our trade deals,” Trump said, who then dredged up Clinton’s history of supporting such deals.
There were statements on both sides that a quick fact check will tell you isn’t true: Trump said he never denied climate change, and Clinton denied calling TPP the “gold standard” of trade deals.
Clinton accused him of rooting for and capitalizing on the housing collapse during the recession — that’s “called business,” Trump retorted.
On the topic of taxes, Trump claimed he hasn’t released his taxes due to an audit. However, the Republican nominee offered Clinton a trade for his taxes: the 30,000 missing emails from her time as secretary of state.
WATCH: Hillary Clinton implies Donald Trump doesn’t pay income taxes
Clinton has characterized the email messages that were erased as personal, arguing there was no reason to keep them. The democratic nominee admitted that using a private email address for work-related correspondence during her time as secretary of state was “a mistake” and on Monday night said again apologized and said she takes responsibility for that.
Clinton then accused Trump of possibly hiding important information from voters by refusing to release his tax returns. These things, according to Clinton, could include how rich he may or may not be, how much he gives to charity and how much tax he may or may not pay.
“Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes.”
The only years for which there are publicly available records, Clinton said, are those where Trump was applying for a casino license – and they showed no federal income tax had been paid.
Trump has argued, falsely, that he cannot release his returns as a result of an IRS audit process. Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, both released their tax returns in August. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, also recently released a decade of his tax filings.
WATCH: Hillary Clinton slams Trump over ‘racist birther lie’
Clinton slammed Trump during the debate for building his political career around the “birther lie” about where President Barack Obama was born.
“He started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen,” she said.
Trump said he did “a great job and a great service — not only for the country, but even for the president — in getting him to produce his birth certificate.”
Clinton pointed out that the New York real estate tycoon was sued twice by the Justice Department for discriminating against African-Americans.
In his defense, Trump said he was never found guilty of discrimination.
WATCH: Trump says Clinton ‘doesn’t have the stamina’ to be President
Donald Trump reiterated his view that Hillary Clinton “doesn’t have the stamina” to be president during Monday night’s debate.
“She doesn’t have the look. She doesn’t have the stamina, I said she doesn’t have the stamina, and I don’t believe she does have the stamina,” Trump said.
The debate moderator, NBC’s Lester Holt, asked Trump to clarify what he meant when he said earlier this month that his Democratic rival didn’t have “a presidential look.”
The debate was moderated by Holt and held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
Monday’s debate was the first of three for the presidential nominees; the second will take place on Oct. 9 in St. Louis with Anderson Cooper moderating, and the third on Oct. 18 in Las Vegas with Chris Wallace as moderator.