Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSuper PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary MORE and Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE have been exchanging barbs for months.
But Monday night’s 90-minute presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., was the first time the celebrity businessman and former first lady faced off in person.
The debate, which has been regarded as the most anticipated and consequential presidential debate in modern times, saw a handful of notable and heated exchanges after getting off to a reserved start.
Here are the top five zingers from the heavyweight clash:
Stamina gets the spotlight
Though the audience was discouraged from reacting, some of the loudest cheers of the night came toward the end of the debate, after Trump questioned Clinton’s physical stamina to be president.
Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, doubled down on his recent comments that Clinton doesn't have a presidential look.
“Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunity in nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina," Clinton said to cheers from the crowd.
Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, then compared Trump’s remarks to his past comments about various women’s looks — including a time when the billionaire apparently called a Hispanic woman in one of his beauty pageants "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping."
The gold standard
Trump accused Clinton of flip-flopping on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal during one of his strongest exchanges of the night.
“You were totally in favor of it,” Trump said. “Then you heard what I was saying, how bad it is, and you said, 'I can't win that debate.' ”
Clinton defended her changing stance, saying “I was against it once it was finally negotiated and the terms were laid out.”
But Trump fired back: “You called it the gold standard.”
“Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality, but that is not the facts,” the former secretary of State said. “The facts are — I did say I hoped it would be a good deal.”
Trump said that the country has no leadership and called Clinton the root of the cause.
"We have no leadership and honestly that starts with Secretary Clinton," Trump said.
"I have a feeling by the end of this evening I’ll be blamed for everything that's ever happened," Clinton responded, laughing.
Trump interjected to the amusement of the crowd, saying "Why not?"
The former first lady continued, "Just join the debate by saying more crazy things."
Trump interrupted her again, saying, "There's nothing crazy about not letting our companies bring their money back into this country."
Money, money, money
Trump repeatedly blasted Clinton throughout the night for spending “hundreds of millions” of dollars on attack ads against the real estate mogul.
While he was defending himself against criticism about a housing discrimination lawsuit, Trump slammed Clinton for her commercials, while pointing out that he has not spent money on negative ads about his rival.
“I also notice the very nasty commercials that you do on me, which I don’t do on you,” Trump said. “Maybe I’m trying to save the money.”
‘Nuclear codes’ line makes a comeback
Clinton’s infamous line about the nuclear codes made a comeback on Monday – but with a new twist.
When responding to Trump’s claim that he has a “winning” temperament, Clinton ripped the Republican contender for having a “deeply troubling” and “cavalier” attitude on nuclear weapons.
“If a man can be provoked by a tweet, he should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes,” Clinton said, echoing a statement she made during the Democratic nominating convention.
“That line’s getting a little bit old, I must say,” Trump responded.
“It’s a good one, though,” Clinton shot back.
—Ben Kamisar and Lisa Hagen contributed to this report