HEMPSTEAD, NY—After making brief introductory remarks and inviting both nominees to take the stage at Hofstra University Monday night, moderator Lester Holt reportedly began the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump by reminding the audience that these were the candidates they had chosen. “Before we begin, I’d like to take a moment to refresh the memories of everyone in this auditorium and all those watching at home by noting that the people standing before me tonight are the candidates whom you selected to lead the country for the next four years,” said the NBC Nightly News anchor, noting that the democratic process had functioned properly throughout the primary elections and, therefore, the two major-party nominees onstage were the result of the American people’s wishes. “So, just as a recap: You had numerous options and a full year to decide on the candidates you wanted to be your next president, and these were the two you picked. These two. Right here. All right, now let’s begin.” Several moments later, Holt reportedly responded to the night’s first testy exchange between the two candidates by curtly reminding debate viewers that there was no going back.

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