Or call it "The Moral Equivalency Debate," in which Donald Trump seeks to prove that at least one other person is worse than he. Yippee!
Here we go!
1st question from audience member, a woman: Last debate could be labeled "mature audiences only." Do you think these debates are modeling good behavior for children?
Hillary: I promise you I can work with every American. I want us to heal our country and bring it together.
Trump: I agree with that. I agree with every word she said. Horrible things like Obamacare, Iran deal, all of the things I see ... (Oh no! The snot-nose is back!) He's all over the place: Law and order, the Latinos.
Anderson Cooper: Repeats the question and brings up Friday's tape: You were talking about sexual assault. Do you acknowledge that?
Trump: Not at all. Pivots to terrorists, doing "medieval" things, which, I guess, excuses sexual assault. Trump: I'm very embarrassed by the tape. It's locker room talk. We're going to beat ISIS!
Anderson Cooper: Just for the record, are you saying that you didn't grope women?
Trump tries to deflect the question, finally says, "No, I did not."
Hillary: With prior nominees, I disagreed with them. I never questioned their fitness to serve. Donald Trump isn't fit to serve. The tape represents exactly who Donald Trump is. Yes, this is who Donald Trump is. He has also targeted immigrants, African Americans, disabled people, Muslims. That's who he is. It's not who we are.
Trump: It's just words, folks, what she's saying. (It's the low-T Trump right now. He seems exhausted. And Gawd -- the nose sniffling!)
Martha Raddatz: Returns to the groping tape. Jeff from Ohio asks on Facebook. Trump says the campaign has changed him. When?
Trump: I'm not proud of the tape. But Bill Clinton is worse. (Here it is! What everyone's been waiting for.) The four women who have accusations against the Clintons become the centerpiece. Paula Jones and the others. Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of herself.
Hillary: He gets to run his campaign anyway he wants to. When I hear something like that, I think of what Michelle Obama advised us all: When they go low, we go high. If it was just one video, then maybe we could ignore it. He never apologizes to anyone about anything. (She goes through the laundry list of his bad behavior and this multiple failures to apologize.)
Trump: Accuses Hillary of starting the birther movement. Brings up "vicious" commercials that Michelle Obama did against Hillary. Whaaa? Is there a point there? Oh yes! And the 33,000 emails! You need to apologize for them. I didn't think I'd say this, but I'm going to say it: If I win, I'm going to get a special prosecutor to look into your lies.
Hillary: Everything he just said is not true. It's awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump isn't in charge of the laws in this country.
Trump: Because you'd be in jail! (Cheers and jeers from the audience.)
Raddatz: Drills in on Hillary about the email server.
Hillary: It was a mistake. After a year-long investigation, there's no evidence that anyone ever hacked those emails, and no evidence that any emails ended up in the wrong hands.
Trump: You should be ashamed of yourself, you should be ashamed of yourself, you should be ashamed of yourself. Then challenges the moderators: Why haven't you asked about the emails?
Question from audience: a man. Affordable Care Act is not affordable.
Hillary: Donald is going to say he's going to fix it by repealing it. I'm going to fix it.
Trump: Obamacare is a disaster. It will never work. (Speaking of health care, Donald needs to do something about that snotty nose.)
Anderson Cooper: Mrs. Clinton, your husband said Obamacare is the craziest thing.
Hillary: He clarified what he meant. Medicare is a single-payer system, and it works well. 20 million now have health insurance who didn't have it before.
Anderson Cooper: How do you force insurance companies to provide coverage if you do away with Obamacare? Are you going to have mandates on the insurance companies?
Trump: Block-grant. We're going to block-grant.
Question from Muslim woman in audience: Islamophobia.
Trump: Whether we like it or not, there's a problem with Muslims. Muslims have to report the problems they see with other Muslims. (Inform on your neighbors!) Hillary won't say "radical Islamic terrorism." (Because a catch-phrase is the most important thing in the war on terrorism!)
Hillary: There's been many dark, divisive things said about Muslims during this campaign. It's short-sighted and dangerous to engage in the kind of rhetoric that Donald uses.
Raddatz: Reminds Trump about his call to shut down Muslim visits to the U.S. Is the Muslim ban no longer your position?
Trump: Ignores the question and tries to make up with the Khan family, blames Hillary for that soldier's death.
Raddatz: Will you please explain if the Muslim ban is still your plan.
Trump: It's called extreme vetting. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims coming into our country. We know nothing about them.
Raddatz to Hillary: Tougher vetting is not a perfect system. Is it worth the risk to allow Muslim refugees into the country.
Hillary: How do you ban a religion from our country? What he's said is extremely unwise. What he has said about Muslims has been used to recruit terrorists and fighters.
Trump: We have many criminal illegal aliens. I'm going to force them right back into their countries. Hillary wants amnesty for everybody. She's got bad judgment.
On-line question: Wikileaks release of excerpts of private speeches Hillary has made. Is it okay for politicians to have one opinion in private that's different from their public utterances.
Hillary: It is hard to get the Congress to do some things, and President Lincoln knew how to use one argument with some members of Congress and a different argument with others. Compares Wikileaks to the Russian government, both trying to hack in and influence this election. We deserve answers about that. Donald should release all of his tax returns so we can see.
Trump: I don't know Putin. I know nothing about Russia I have no loans with Russia. I pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. (Did he really say that. Yes! He even repeated it.)
Question from man in audience: Will you make wealthy Americans pay their fair share in taxes?
Trump: Hillary didn't change the tax code because she takes contributions from her wealthy friends who enjoy those tax breaks to run attacks on me. Hillary is going to raise your taxes. I'm going to lower them.
Hillary: Everything you just heard from Donald is not true. His plan is going to give the wealthy and corporations the biggest tax cut in history. Donald always takes care of Donald. But everyone else will be paying more. Since the great recession, all the gains have gone to the top. That is wrong.
Anderson Cooper: New York Times got some of your tax returns. Did you use that $900 million loss to avoid paying taxes?
Trump: Of course I did. All Hillary has done is talk about changing things. For 30 years she didn't change anything.
Hillary: Takes the opportunity to talk about her accomplishments in the Senate.
Raddatz: Moving to Syria. Aleppo. Question from social media: What would you do about the disaster in Aleppo?
Hillary: The Russians aren't interested in ISIS. They're interested in eliminating the last rebels against Assad. They know who they want as president, and it's not me.
Trump: Russia is new in terms of nuclear. (Huh?) We're old in terms of nuclear. Old and tried. (What the hell is he talking about now?)
Raddatz: Let me repeat the question: What would you do about the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? Quotes Mike Pence who said he'd strike military targets controlled by Assad.
Donald: I disagree with Mike Pence.
Raddatz can't get him to answer the question. He changes the subject to Mosul, Iraq and ISIS. Why can't our government do something secretly? Trump is deep in the weeds of foreign policy now.
Raddatz turns to Hillary for her strategy on Syria.
Hillary: I wouldn't use ground forces in Syria. And she goes on to demonstrate that she actually understands the cross currents in the Middle East.
Question from audience, a man: Do you believe you can be a devoted president of all the people of the United States?
Trump: Of course. She calls my supporters "deplorable." I'll turn around inner cities. They talk. I'll get it done.
Hillary addresses the man who asked the question directly. Donald has stirred up a lot of fear and division.
Anderson Cooper: Brings up "basket of deplorables" statement.
Hillary: My problem is not with his supporters. It's with him. The brutal kinds of comments he's made -- not just about women, but about all kinds of Americans.
Trump: We have a divided nation. Look at Charlotte. Look at Baltimore. Increase in murder. Because of people like Hillary. She has tremendous hate in her heart. (The man swings wildly.)
Anderson Cooper, to Trump: You wrote in your book that the most important quality in a leader is self discipline. Tweeting at 3 o'clock in the morning ... is that the discipline a leader needs?
Trump: She also sent a tweet out at 3 o'clock in the morning, but I won't even mention that.
Hillary: Does Mr. Trump have the discipline to be the president? No.
Audience question: Woman: Supreme Court justices. How would you priortize your selection?
Hillary: I want to appoint justices who know how the real world works. I'd like to see the Supremes reverse "Citizens United." Donald has put forth names of people he'd consider. Some of those people would reverse Roe v. Wade and reverse marriage equality. It was a dereliction of duty that the Senate hasn't even held hearings on Obama's appointment.
Trump: I want judges like Antonin Scalia. (Oh, say no more!)
Man in audience: Energy question. Meet our energy needs, going sustainable, while protecting the needs of current fossil fuel energy workers.
Trump: I'll bring our fossil fuel companies back big time! (He's all about coal!)
Hillary: China is dumping steel in the United States, and Donald is buying it for his buildings. We've got to fight climate change while having a comprehensive energy plan. I don't want to walk away from coal miners.
One more question: Man in audience: Regardless of current rhetoric, would either of you name one thing you respect about one another?
Hillary: I respect his children. As a mother and a grandmother, that's something very important to me.
Trump: Hillary doesn't quit, she doesn't give up. She fights hard. That's a good trait.
Sunday, October 09, 2016
Liveblogging the 2nd Presidential Debate: Scorched Earth
Posted by J.W. Williamson at 10/09/2016 09:50:00 PM
Labels: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton
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