In what is possibly the most bitter and personal presidential debate in a generation, presidential hopefuls Clinton and Trump both took no prisoners in the second of the three debates. The tone was set as the pair took to the stage in St. Louis, Missouri but did not shake hands before the mudslinging started. Of course, earlier in the weekend there was a newly uncovered video released of Trump making some very unsavoury comments about women in 2005. The video lead to dozens of high profile Republicans across the United States calling for Trump to step down and let his running mate Mike Pence take up the baton. Interestingly, Pence declined to go public and defend Trump over the video after it emerged. However, he did later tweet ‘Congrats to my running mate on a big debate win! Proud to stand with you.’
During the debate Trump claimed Clinton was someone who repeatedly lied, had ‘hate in her heart’ and at one point called her the ‘devil’, as well as branding her husband Bill Clinton a serial abuser of women. He also said that if he was elected as the leader of the free world, he would have Hillary Clinton prosecuted over her email use whilst she was the US secretary of state, and sent to jail. Clinton responded, saying ‘It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law of our country.’
Clinton hit back saying the 2005 video showed Trump’s true character, claiming his comments showed he was unfit to be President, stating that ‘He has said 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 tried to defend his comments, saying that they were ‘locker-room talk’ and that he had never kissed or groped any woman without their permission.
The pair also clashed on tax, with Trump admitting he had used losses on investments in the 1990’s to avoid paying federal tax, although he refused to say for how many years this had been going on. Clinton later apologised for calling a section Trump’s supporters a ‘basket of deplorables’. Saying ‘Within hours I said I was sorry about the way I talked about that, because my problem is not with his supporters, it's with him.’
The third and final debate will be on Wednesday 19th October, and as things stand at the moment, its looks like it will be another bruising affair.