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Women in power sound off on Trump's debate interruptions

Trump talked over Clinton dozens of times
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Posted at 6:44 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 20:27:13-04

One candidate did the most talking at Monday night’s first presidential debate, often over his opponent.

A conservative estimate showed Donald Trump interrupted Hillary Clinton at least two dozen times during the 90-minute debate, while she interrupted him only about twice, depending on the metric.

A more liberal estimate put the number of Trump interruptions above 50, and at more than 15 for Clinton.

News 5 asked a pair of women in positions of power here in Cleveland to weigh in on a phenomenon of men in power who talk over women.

Mel McGee is the founder of We Can Code It, a company that focuses on training women and minorities to work in the computer programming field.

In her Terminal Tower office, McGee said the constant interruptions turned her off.

“From my perspective, I completely noticed that he was cutting her off the whole time,” McGee said. "It harkens to experiences that I’ve had in my own professional life.”

Stephanie Sheldon, founder of business incubators Cleveland Flea and Indie Foundry, echoed that sentiment.

She left her career as an architect during the great recession to help artists and thinkers turn their skills and passions into a profession.

“My boss was in his ‘80's, and he always referred to me as his secretary,” Sheldon said of her previous career, “And I — had a degree in architecture.”

Sheldon agreed that gender played a role in Monday night’s interruptions, but argued it had more to do with a broader power shift in American now taking hold.

“And now that that’s shifting, it’s putting people who’ve never practiced listening, who’ve never had to sort of change their behavior for others,” she said, “Into a position of discomfort.”