During the 2nd presidential debate on Sunday evening in St. Louis, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton squared off after walking on the center stage with no handshakes and providing vastly different visions for leading America.
Facing a barrage of criticisms and withering endorsements from prominent Republicans after a surfaced video on Friday from the Washington Post captured recorded audio of him making lewd comments about women and his failed efforts to seduce a married Nancy O’Dell, an Access Hollywood co-host in 2005, Trump offered a simple apology to his family during the debate, blamed it on “locker talk” and then quickly pivoted to how he will take care of ISIS all the while complaining about people pouring into the U.S. from the Middle East and other places.
Trump denied that he did those things described in the 2005 video when pressed further by moderator Anderson Cooper of CNN and claimed, “nobody has more respect for women than I do.”
Later in the debate, Trump brought up the Bill Clinton sex scandals and said, “There’s never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women.”
Hillary Clinton Weighs In About Trump’s 2005 Lewd Video
Clinton reacted to Trump’s lewd video controversy by admitting that she questions his fitness to serve as president and pointed out that many Republicans and independents have said the same thing.
Clinton said the video “represents exactly what he is.”
”Because we’ve seen this throughout the campaign. We have seen him insult women. We’ve seen him rate women. On their appearance. Ranking them from one to 10″ Clinton said.
“We’ve seen him embarrass women on TV and on Twitter. We saw him after the first debate spend nearly a week denigrating a former Miss Universe in the harshest, most personal terms, so, yes, this is who Donald Trump is” Clinton added.
Hillary Clinton E-Mail Scandal
The debate turned to the topic of Clinton’s deleted e-mails which Trump insisted she had bleached out.
Trump explained that if he wins, he’ll instruct the attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into her situation “because there’s never been so many lies, so much deception.”
Clinton said that everything Trump said about her e-mail was false, encouraged people to fact check on her website, and said its “awfully good” that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law of the country.
Clinton defended herself by saying “there are so many misleading accusations from critics and others” and there is no evidence that any classified information ended up in the wrong hands.
Affordable Care Act- “Obamacare”
A question from the audience surfaced about Obamacare and the person pointed out that medical care costs are not affordable and have gone up.
Clinton acknowledged that premiums are too high and briefly summarized what has worked out with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, namely, insurance companies are no longer able to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions, no lifetime limits, equal costs for men and women, and parents are now permitted to keep their children on their own health insurance policies until they turn age 26.
Clinton said that if we repeal the Affordable Care Act as Trump has proposed and start over again, “all of those benefits are lost to everybody.”
She admitted that we are at 90 percent health insurance coverage and said she wants us to get to 100 percent while keeping costs down and quality up.
Calling Obamacare a “disaster” Trump insisted that we have to repeal it, and replace it with something “absolutely much less expensive.”
Trump stated that Clinton wants to go to a single payer plan and said he supports removing state lines that stop insurance companies from coming in and competing.
Trump admitted he supports making health care coverage accessible for people with preexisting conditions.
When questioned by moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC about how he simultaneously supports making health care coverage accessible for people with preexisting conditions and yet supports ending Obamacare which mandates insurance companies to provide coverage for people with preexisting conditions, Trump responded by touting “plans that are so good” and suggested that removing the state lines that restrict health insurance companies from competing is the panacea needed for the American healthcare system.
“You’re going to have plans that are so good because we’re going to have some competition. Once we break out the lines and allow the competition to come.”
Trump’s Muslim Ban
Trump explained that his controversial Muslim ban has morphed into “extreme vetting” from certain areas of the world.
Trump called Clinton’s plans to increase the U.S. acceptance of Syrian refugees from 10,000 to 65,000 Syrian refugees “the great Trojan horse of all time” and said he supports building safe zones funded by gulf states who are not carrying their weight.
Trump criticized and mocked Clinton and President Obama for failing to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” but acknowledged that it’s a shame Islamophobia is on the rise.
Trump said that whether we like it or not, “there is a problem” and we have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on.
“When they see hatred going on, they have to report it” Trump said.
Clinton said she will not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us but noted there are children suffering in the catastrophic Syrian war that she blamed largely on Russian aggression.
“And we need to do our part” Clinton said and emphasized that we are “by no means are carrying anywhere near the load that Europe and others are.”
Clinton said she supports tough vetting from professionals and the intelligence community.
Trump spoke about teaming up with Russia to fight ISIS while Clinton offered a contrasting view of Russia and said that Russia hasn’t paid any attention to ISIS and are interested in keeping Syrian President Assad in power.
Clinton pointed out that while serving as secretary of state, she advocated for a no-fly and safe zones in Syria and still advocates for this position.
“We need some leverage with the Russians, because they are not going to come to the negotiating table for a diplomatic resolution, unless there is some leverage over them. And we have to work more closely with our partners and allies on the ground” Clinton said.
Clinton claimed that Russia has decided that it’s “all in” with Syria and decided who they want to become as president of the United States which is in reference to the hacking attack of the Democratic National Committee.
The F.B.I. has said in recent days that they have “high confidence” the hack came from Russia.
Clinton said that she’s stood up to Russia in the past during her political career and isn’t afraid to do it again.
“I’ve taken on Putin and others, and I would do that as president” Clinton said.
For additional commentary about the 2nd debate, check out my latest You Tube video: