Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump faced off against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for the second time in a nationally televised debate in St. Louis, Mo. on Oct. 9. Recovering from an embarrassing release of candid video, Trump held his own and succeeded in taking down the more seasoned Mrs. Clinton.
By John Friend
Sunday evening’s town-hall-style presidential debate proved to be yet another contentious, hard-fought war of words between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The debate, held at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. and moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, featured live questions from audience members as well as questions submitted via social media, which were screened and then read by the debate moderators.
All eyes were on Trump leading up to the debate, as a scandalous video released by The Washington Post originally captured in 2005 depicted the controversial GOP nominee making a number of lewd comments about women. The release of the video sparked outrage and has divided the GOP as numerous establishment Republican officials and legislators have distanced themselves from Trump with some even renouncing their support for their party’s presidential candidate.
Many have called on Trump to step down and turn the campaign over to his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Prior to the debate, Trump released a short video statement apologizing for his crude remarks, calling them “foolish” but ultimately a distraction from the bigger issues of the campaign. Trump then went on the offensive, organizing a brief press conference just hours before the Sunday evening debate with three women, who have publicly accused Bill Clinton of sexual assaulting them and claimed Mrs. Clinton for helping cover up the abuse, turning the tables on the hostile media and Clinton campaign, who have used the release of the video in yet another attempt to discredit the populist businessman-turned-politician.
Unsurprisingly, the video was brought up immediately during the debate, and Trump apologized once again for his remarks before stating his words amounted to “locker-room talk.” He then immediately went on the attack, arguing that “there has never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation who has been so abusive to women” as Bill Clinton, whose behavior Mrs. Clinton facilitated and excused.
Mrs. Clinton downplayed Trump’s accusations and contended his lewd comments about women reflect the true character of the GOP nominee, arguing the man is unfit to be president of the United States.
Trump proceeded to attack Clinton on her email scandal, vowing to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter and bring charges against the former secretary of state.
“It’s good that somebody with the temperament of Donald Trump is not running this country,” Mrs. Clinton stated in response. Trump immediately shot back by declaring: “Because you’d be in jail.”
Trump was feisty throughout the debate, interrupting both Mrs. Clinton and the debate moderators on numerous occasions. Many times Trump insinuated the moderators favored Mrs. Clinton and that he was being treated unfairly.
Mrs. Clinton performed well, striking a professional, conciliatory attitude throughout the debate. By all accounts, however, Trump stole the show and won the debate. He repeatedly hammered Mrs. Clinton on her email scandal, disastrous foreign policy and public service record, and failures to live up to her promises and pledges when running for office.
Watch the full debate below and let us know your thoughts about one of the most watched presidential debates in U.S. history: