Second Presidential Debate


Candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton went head-to-head on the stage at the Second Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri on Sun. 9. The two candidates walked into the town hall style stage surrounded by applause from the audience. Clinton and Trump stood a few feet apart from each other, awkwardly rejecting the traditional handshake. Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz straighten their papers in preparation to start the debate.

The candidates were given two minutes to answer questions submitted by anonymous voters through social media. The questions were read by swing voters surrounding the two candidates who were looking to get responses to help them decide on a candidate.

Cooper asked Trump if he understood that his tape released on Friday proved that he bragged about assaulting women. Trump denied that he ever said that, even though the tape shows him blatantly stating that he kisses women without permission.

He then goes on to completely divert the conversation about his ‘locker room talk’ to how he will “knock the hell out of ISIS,” two blatantly unrelated matters. He only briefly answered the initial question by stating he has not assaulted women, and how “nobody has more respect for women than I do.” This statement proved to be false. As evidenced by one case where Miss America contestant Temple Taggart was greeted by Trump with a non-consensual kiss on the lips.

Although the sexist video put a target on Trump’s back, Clinton was bombarded with attacks from Trump about her emails. “That was a mistake, I take responsibility for using a personal email account. Obviously, if I were to do it over again, I would not. I’m not making any excuses. It was a mistake, and I am very sorry about that,” Clinton said. Trump later angrily declared that if he wins the presidential race he will have his attorney general get a special prosecutor to look into Clinton’s “situation”.

Health Care was the next idea the candidates disputed. “I want very much to save what works and what is good about the Affordable Care act. But we have got to get costs down,” Clinton said. Clinton continued with fact after fact about how people in the United States are now given the opportunity to get health care. “Get costs down and keep quality up,” Clinton said at the end of her two minutes.

Trumps rebuttal was short and sweet: “Obamacare is a disaster.” Trump stated that Obamacare is far too expensive for the average American citizen. He proposes dropping Obamacare completely, and replacing it with a more affordable option. He also proposes for people to be able to buy insurance over state lines. While he did not say what that health care option would be, he criticized Clinton for wanting to change healthcare to a single-payer.

As islamophobia was brought to the stage by another audience member, Trump and Clinton nonchalantly moved the topic to immigration. “People are coming into our country, like we have no idea who they are, where they’re from, what their feelings about our country is, and she (Clinton) wants 550% more,” Trump said.

Clinton grinned at Trumps banter. She shared her views on the many families and children causing no harm who want to come to America as immigrants. “I will not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us,” Clinton says.

An audience member then asked what each candidate would do about tax provisions so that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share of taxes. Trump responded by attacking Hillary, saying she should have done something about tax provisions as a Senator. He then went on to talk about his tax policy, saying he will lower the business tax rate from 35% to 15%, while putting a cap on deductions for the wealthy. Hillary went on to say she is raising taxes for anyone with an annual income over two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and have a tax surcharge on people with an income over five million.

The debate ended with a down to earth and out of the blue question regarding the candidates’ feelings towards each other that raised a lot of applause from the audience. Clinton avoided directly complementing Trump by praising the ability and devotion of his children. Trump complemented Clinton on her persistence and ability to fight. Although Trump spent most of the debate attacking Clinton, he managed to end the debate on a good note.