Monday 19 March 2018

From Hillary being 'the devil' to Trump's apology for those tapes - 10 things we learned from the second US Presidential debate

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton shake hands at the conclusion. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton shake hands at the conclusion. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

So you didn’t get up at 2am to watch the great debate. The truth is you missed out. It was fiery, intense, dramatic and at times unbelievable.

But don’t worry Political Editor Kevin Doyle has compiled 10 talking points that will allow you sound informed at the water cooler this morning.

1.       If Trump becomes President he’ll jail Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump was expected to go on the attack about Hillary Clinton’s emails and the idea that she put US security at risk by using a private server while Secretary of State. He got quite worked up, saying that if he becomes President he’ll have her investigated and jailed. 

Clinton said: “There is no evidence that any classified material ended up in the wrong hands.”

2.       He called her ‘the devil’ – right to her face

Trump made the point that Bernie Sanders was one of Clinton’s biggest critics before she won the Democratic presidential nominee. He noted that Sanders has accused her of making really bad judgements, but signed off with the cut: “So sorry to see him sign on with the devil.”

Towards the end of the debate, he added that she has “tremendous hate in her heart”.

3.       Trump managed to use Isis “chopping off heads” in his apology of those tapes

The show started like an extended episode of Jerry Springer with an audience member asking if each candidate felt they were a good role model. It quickly degenerated into a debate over the 2005 tapes of Trump talking about grabbing women by the p***y.

Trump repeatedly said it was “locker room talk” before using the existence as Isis as a reason to move on. He said we living in a world where Isis “are chopping off heads” and said the “carnage” was like medieval times.

Ultimately Trump is embarrassed and sorry, adding: “Nobody respects women more than me.”

4.       Clinton refuses to acknowledge accusations about Bill’s past with women

A stony faced Bill Clinton sat just a few seats from Trump’s family when as Trump listed the names of women he allegedly assaulted. Trump said he was being criticised for words but Bill Clinton had carried out actions.

Hillary Clinton’s responded by quoting Michelle Obama: “When they go low, we go high.”

She did argue that the 2005 video “represents exactly who he is”, adding that he insults women, immigrants, African Americans, Muslims and Latinos.

5.       Trump says he has no loans with Russia

Hillary Clinton diverted away from questions about her emails by saying she is being targeted by Russian hackers who want Trump to be president. On a number of occasions she questioned Trump’s links to Vladimir Putin

Trump said he doesn’t know Putin. “I know nothing about Russia,” he said at one stage, adding that he has no business interests or loans there. .

6.       Trump didn’t pay federal taxes for 20 years

Trump admitted that he hasn’t paid personal federal taxes for years but made apologies for it. He said many of Clinton’s top donors have enjoyed the same tax breaks.

The former Apprentice boss said he knows the tax code “better than anybody else who has ever run for president”.

7.       Trump disagrees with his running mate on Syria

A heavy debate on the situation in Syria saw the candidates outline different approaches to Isis, Russia and Assad.

It was put to Trump that his number two Mike Pence has said the US should be ready to strike on Assad regime’s military targets if they continue bombings.

Trump made the revelation that he hasn’t talked to Pence about the issue and said he disagrees with him.

8.       Trump did not like Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz

The town hall format allowed for more open questioning of the candidates than the first debate and the two moderators, Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, did more fact-checking.

Trump repeatedly complained that Clinton was given more time and leeway than he was.

At one point, after being cut off in order to allow the next question in, Trump said: “Nice, three on one.”

9.       The Muslim ban is now “extreme vetting”

Trump’s all out ban on Muslims entering the country has been downgraded to what he now calls “extreme vetting”.  He doesn’t want “hundreds of thousand of people” arriving in the US from Syria because it would be the “greatest Trojan horse of all time”.

Clinton said America had a duty to take its fair share of Syrian refugees.

Separately Trump addressed the issue of Muslim Captain Humayun Khan whose family he criticised after they spoke at the Democratic National Convention.

Captain Kham was killed in the War on Terror in the mid-2000s.

Captain Khan is an American hero--and if I were president at that time, he would be alive today, because unlike her, who voted for the war...I would not have had our people in Iraq,” Trump said.

10.   The lurking is going to be a talking point

Hillary Clinton didn’t interrupt her opponent once. She sat quietly, often grinning to herself while Trump spoke. On the hand, Trump repeatedly paced the floor while she was speaking, leaning on his chair and at times appears to be towering over her.

There’s little doubt that one Clinton came off as the more measured and more presidential.

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