Monday, October 10, 2016
9 Days until the Third Presidential Debate (Oct. 19)
29 Days until Election Day 2016 + my 15th birthday (Nov. 8)I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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- Debate Recap: Clinton, Trump Spar In Nasty Second Debate There was, of course, some discussion of policy in the second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but the showdown at Washington University in St. Louis will be forever remembered by its first 30 minutes, which cemented the debate as the ugliest in U.S. history. Having invited three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual abuse to watch the debate from the front row, Trump went after both Clintons hard in the first half-hour, repeatedly mentioning Bill Clinton's scandals of the 1990's, and threatening to jail Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server in the State Department.
- After two weeks of negative stories about Trump, rounding off with wide Republican condemnation of 2005 tapes showing him making vulgar comments about women, the GOP nominee was able to change the focus - but he is unlikely to be able to change the momentum of the race. Hillary Clinton remained unable to put Trump away for good at the second debate, giving him room to plug the leaks in his campaign, and at least carry on with the support he currently holds. After the nastiness of Sunday night, the campaign will likely stand about how it did before: with Clinton favored, but Trump not far behind. Both candidates emerge from the second debate with fired-up bases, Trump's supporters galvanized by his right-wing attacks on Clinton and her supporters energized by her criticism of him, but without many undecided voters (like the ones seated on the stage) likely to make up their minds.
- Trump was given the opportunity to apologize for the lewd tapes, which he dismissed as "locker room talk." Trump continued: "I'm not proud of it. I apologized to my family and I apologized to the American people. Certainly I'm not proud of it. But this is locker room talk." When pressed by the moderators if he had ever grabbed a woman by the genitals, as he claims in the video, Trump answered that "No, I have not."
- Hillary Clinton, however, hit back, pointing out that she has disagreed with Republicans before, but never questioned their fitness to serve as President.
"Donald Trump is different," the Democratic nominee said. "I said starting back in June that he was not fit to be president and commander in chief. And many Republicans and independents have said the same thing. What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women. And he has said that the video doesn't represent who he is. But I think it's clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is."
- Trump got a number of jabs in at Clinton on Sunday, on issues from Obamacare to her email server. Of course, it remains unknown how viewers responded to those lines, and if they will do anything to change the race. The most bombastic exchange came when Clinton was speaking about a potential Trump presidency. "It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country," she said.
- "You'd be in jail," Trump retorted, a reference to his earlier promise to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's private email server, to "oohs" in the audience. Trump was equally tough in going after Clinton and her husband, saying "there's never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that's been so abusive to women," charging that Bill Clinton was "abusive to women," while Hillary Clinton "attacked those same women and attacked them viciously." He also charged that Clinton "has tremendous hate in her heart," as well as making a comparison between her and the devil.
- In an exchange similar to the first debate, Clinton again said that Trump "owes the President an apology" for his claims that Obama was not born in America, to which the Republican responded that "you owe the President an apology, because as you know very well, your campaign...got this started."
- At times, Trump appeared awkward on stage, but he was an adept debater in moments where he identified points of weakness for his opponent. When Clinton deputized Abraham Lincoln to make the argument that politicians need to have "public" and "private" positions on some issues, Trump hit back immediately. "She lied, and now she's blaming the lie on the late great Abraham Lincoln," Trump said. "Honest Abe never lied. That's the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you."
- In another repeat of the first debate, Clinton again urged viewers to go to visit her website to see fact-checking of Trump, who made a number of inaccurate claims, charging that Clinton plans to "raise taxes on everyone," had never urged people to see a sex tape, and had never opposed the war in Iraq. Clinton declined to respond to every single charge made by Trump, instead invoking Michelle Obama's speech from the Democratic National Convention in July. "When they go low, you go high," she said.
- At one point, Clinton chided Trump for his focus. "OK, Donald. I know you're into big diversion tonight, anything to avoid talking about your campaign and the way it's exploding and the way Republicans are leaving you," she said. "But let's at least focus."
- She was not the only one to criticize his focus: moderators Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC repeatedly chastised Trump for going over his time limit or not answering questions they asked, resulting in complaints from the businessman that he was being unfairly targeted.
- The second debate cements this campaign as the craziest in American political history, and there's still a month to go. Donald Trump had a successful debate in that he didn't get totally blown out of the water and still survives ahead of the final debate in Las Vegas on Oct. 19. That is, if he even shows up: the Washington Post is reporting that the Trump campaign is furious that the Commission on Presidential Debates wouldn't allow their guests, the Bill Clinton accusers, to sit in the VIP box, and is threatening to boycott Las Vegas.
- Trump certainly left an opening for him to pull out of the next debate, as he repeatedly complained about his treatment by the moderators. Again and again, Trump contested the moderators' attempts to take another question from the audience, as he attempted to rebut something Clinton had said. "Sounds fair," he retorted at one point.
- The candidates had difficulty finding any common ground, even disputing which candidate could go first at one point ("If he wants to start, he can start. No, go ahead, Donald." "No, I'm a gentleman, Hillary. Go ahead.") However, the last question from the audience asked the candidates to name something they respect in the other. Clinton spoke about Trump's "incredibly able and devoted" children, while Trump praised his rival for being "a fighter" who "doesn't quit" and "doesn't give up."
- After 90 minutes of nasty combat, the biggest applause of the night from the crowd watching on the campus of Washington University, where Wake Up To Politics saw the debate, came after that question.
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