Sunday 9 October 2016: 2nd US PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE (of 3)
at Washington University- St. Louis, Missouri
scheduled for 90 minutes starting 9 PM Eastern Time US [0100 GMT]
Monday, October 10, 2016
EDITOR's NOTE: All Tweets below have been redacted (where necessary) within their original sequence.
The scoring of each "round" of the debate is on the Ten Point-Must system.
Waiting for the 2nd Presidential Debate of 2016 to start: *any*thing can happen in *this* one!
ANDERSON COOPER of CNN & MARTHA RADDATZ of ABC will be co-moderating this 'Town Hall' formatted debate
Raddatz and Cooper introduce the Debate
then Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump both take the stage
1st Question from a citizen-participant: a question referring to the "MA" ['for Mature Audiences only'] content of the 1st Debate
Mrs. Clinton seeks "respecting each other, lifting each other up" as an ideal
Clinton: "I want to be the President for all Americans"
Trump: "I actually agree with" what Mrs. Clinton has said
Trump: "I can't believe I'm saying this about myself, but I guess I'm now a politician"
Trump: "We need to bring back respect for Law Enforcement"
Cooper brings up Trump's controversial sexual comments of 11 years earlier; Trump denies that they condone Sexual Assault
Trump (on what ISIS is doing [which he considers more important]): "This is like Medieval times", dismisses his controversial comments (once again) as "locker room talk"
Trump: "No one respects women more than I do"
Clinton: "I never [before] questioned [Republicans'] fitness to serve... I think it's clear the [comments] reflect exactly who [Trump] is"
Clinton links Trump's latest controversial comments about women to what he has also said about Muslims and Mexicans
Clinton: "We will celebrate our diversity: these are [my] values"
Trump (in response): "Just words, folks: just words"
The questioner's mention of 'for Mature Audiences only' content in these Debates provided the opening for co-moderator Anderson Cooper to ask Donald Trump about his controversial "hot mic" remarks about women from back in 2005: these were surely going to be brought up later, if not sooner, in the course of this Debate-- it was likely much better that they were brought up sooner. Trump, however, did not avail himself of an opportunity to appear truly contrite (as in his video apologia over the preceding weekend, any contrition would have been dampened by both his claiming it as ordinary 'boy's locker room talk' [which, truth be told, is also all too often 'executive washroom banter'] as well as his, later, citing Bill Clinton's indiscretions ['well, someone else did it worse, so *I* shouldn't be held so accountable']-- all the stuff of a nice, warm Spring day during 5th Grade Recess, actually). Like it or not, what Trump said 11 years ago was Trump's own problem now, come early October 2016-- no one else's... and still is: Clinton 10, Trump 9
Question (from facebook user) to Trump: How has the campaign changed you?
Trump continues defending himself [re: the last segment]: "Bill Clinton, far worse... is abusive to women"
Trump: "Mine were words and [Bill Clinton's] was action"
Trump: "Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of herself"
Clinton: (quoting First Lady Michelle Obama) "When they go low, we go high"
Clinton: "People can make their own judgment [about the candidates]... [Mr. Trump] never apologizes to anyone"
Trump repeats his claim that Hillary Clinton started the Birther controversy during her 2008 Dem primary campaign against Barack Obama
Trump: Hillary Clinton lost in 2008 "fair and square"... but "didn't defeat Bernie Sanders" fair and square
Trump: "If I win, I'm going to instruct my Attorney-General" to prosecute Hillary Clinton on the e-mail controversy
Trump (directly to Hillary Clinton): "You'd be in jail" [if Trump were to becpme President]
Clinton: "I take Classified material very seriously and always have"
Trump: [Hillary Clinton] "didn't even know what the letter 'C' [on State Dept. documents] meant"
Trump: "I'm disappointed in [even Republican] Congressmen allowing this to happen"
Clinton: "Look, [what Trump is saying about the e-mail controversy is] not true"
Trump now goes into 'Republican Primary debate' mode: interrupting Clinton as she tries to defend herself on the e-mail controversy
It was clear, at this early point in the Debate, that Trump- besides going into "attack mode"- had already decided that his best political strategy (given his "rough week" in the wake of what was otherwise a helpful vice-presidential Debate for the Trump/Pence ticket) was to do his best to shore up his own base of support and worry about (potentially) expanding it later (after all, there is still one Presidential Debate left to go): thus, he here threw out the type of "red meat" his own 'Lock Her Up!' core of supporters would, more likely than not, so willingly "eat up". Clinton, for her part, decided to (at least for the most part) let all this go (especially the direct attacks on her husband, former President Bill Clinton): certainly the best strategy for her to have followed here- until, that is, she was put in the position of having to defend her private e-mail server usage (which was all "tit for tat" in any event: those who think Hillary Clinton misused Classified material in this way will be on Trump's side in any event; those who think Trump- along with others supporting him- was simply "ganging up" on Mrs. Clinton will not be): Clinton 10, Trump 9.
Question on Obamacare: the Affordable Care Act is not affordable
Clinton agrees that Obamacare must be fixed but she points out that more are insured along with other [to her] beneficial aspects
Clinton: "I want to save what's good" about Obamacare: "repeal would lose all- good as well as bad- for everybody"
Trump: "Obamacare is a disaster: you know it, we know it... will never work... we have to repeal it... replace it with something that works"
Trump: [if he becomes President] "You will have the best Health Care ever"
Clinton: "We have an employer-based [health insurance]system... Obamacare was intended to fill the gap"
Clinton: "20 million people [who didn't have health insurance] have insurance today"
Trump: "Everything about [Obamacare] is broken"
Trump: "Once we break out [of] the [state] lines... we will have so much competition [in health insurance]"
Trump: "[Obamacare] was a fraud"
This was another segment (as would most of the rest of the Debate be, at least once the two candidates had now gotten out of "garbage time" and actually had to more directly deal with questions on the issues of the day) where it would generally be "tit for tat" (if one thinks Obamacare sucks- and/or even believe the public should not be helping pay for Health Care for others- then one is more likely to favor Donald Trump's prescription [tear the entire Obamacare statute up and start all over]; if one thinks Obamacare has done at least some good, one is likely to more prefer Hillary Clinton's solution [get rid of the bad, keep the good]). But my Scoring of these Debates is not at all based primarly on content per se (nor is it based on who might be telling the truth or not, "who shot John", etc.); instead, it is based on what might best be referred to as 'Political Efficacy'. It is, at this point in the General Election campaign (given how it has transpired so far), Donald Trump's burden to try and better his position vis a vis Hillary Clinton's (for she had a better week- even though, of course, she also has had some of her own problems [the leak of hacked records of her speeches as a private citizen, for one]); it was, therefore, Trump's burden to here explain how he would make Health Care Insurance better-- he really didn't: Clinton 10, Trump 9.
Question: There are 3.4 million Muslims [in America] and I am one of them-- how will you help me feel included?
Trump: "[Muslims] have to report the problems when they see them... if they don't do that, it is a very difficult problem for our country"
Trump: "Before you can solve it, you have to say [radical Islamic Terrorism]"
Clinton: "There have been very divisive things said about Muslims"
Clinton: "We've had Muslims in America since George Washington"
Clinton: "We need American Muslims to be our eyes and ears, on the front lines"
Clinton: [Islamophobia in America] "is a gift... to terrorists-- violent Islamic terrorists"
Trump acknowledges Capt. Khan [whose parents criticized Trump, with Trump responding in kind] "is an American hero", insists "[Khan] would be alive today" if [Trump] had been President
Trump [his one-time blanket Muslim ban] "is now called Extreme Vetting"
Trump accuses Clinton's pro-Refugee stance as being "the greatest Trojan Horse of all time"
Clinton: "I will not let anyone in this country who poses a risk to us"
Clinton: [America] "should not say, as [Trump] says, we will ban people based on their religion"
Trump: "We have many criminal illegal immigrants... I am going to force them back into their country"
Trump: "We're letting drugs cross our southern border at a record clip"
Trump: [Hillary Clinton] "has such bad judgment she should never be allowed to be President of the United States"
Clinton: "The Kremlin... is directing the hacking [that produced excerpts from her speeches as a private citizen]... influenc[ing] the outcome of the election... we deserve answers"
Trump [on Clinton's leaked remarks in her speeches as a private citizen]: "So ridiculous... she lied... now she's blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln"
Trump: "I don't know Putin: I think it would great to get along with Russia-- we could fight ISIS together"
Trump: "I pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes... [supporters of Clinton] take [many] deductions"
Trump: "As soon as my routine audit is finished, I'll release my tax returns"
Hillary Clinton won this "round" simply by saying- and doing so with no little emphasis- "violent Islamic terrorists" so soon after Donald Trump had accused her (another piece of "red meat" to the core of his own supporters) of not being able to bring herself to even talk about 'radical Islamic Terrorism' (her so referring to "terrorists, as opposed to 'Terrorism' also personalized the issue- 'we're fighting dangerous individuals, as opposed to an "ism" '- was itself a rather deft touch). The rest of the segment, however, was just more "tit for tat" (one's own perception as to who "won" here is going to be guided by one's own position[s] on the issue at hand): Clinton 10, Trump 9.
Next, a Question on changing the Tax Code
Trump: "We['ll be] bringing the tax rate down... for the middle class... Hillary Clinton [will be] raising your taxes really high"
Trump: "We have no growth... and it's going lower... [because of taxes]"
Clinton: "[Trump's] plan will give the wealthy and the large corporations the biggest tax cut [ever]"
Clinton: "[as a Senator] I voted to close loopholes"
Clinton: "I want to invest in hard-working families"
Trump [on his use of his nearly $1 billion loss in 1995 to offest any need to pay Federal taxes to date]: "Of course I do [so]"
Trump defends himself by citing Hillary Clinton supporters/donors who utilize such write-offs
Trump: [on Hillary Clinton] "It's all talk and no action"
Clinton says she was unable to get certain tax changes she wanted "because I served [in the Senate] under a Republican President"
Trump responds: "You were... very ineffective... a disaster as a Senator"; Clinton retorts: "Presidents have a veto"
Donald Trump lost this "round", too-- but not because Hillary Clinton actually won it. Instead, Trump's attack on Clinton as an "ineffective"- nay, even a "disast[rous]"- Senator during her tenure as same did, in fact, seemingly ignore the self-evident constitutional truth that Senators nowadays are, in the end, merely legislators and that, thereby, a Senator can well vote for proposals that never ever become Law: therefore, blaming a Senator for not achieving executive-style results (besides what this might also say about Trump's own concept of presidential power vis a vis constitutional checks and balances on same) simply makes no real sense: Clinton 10, Trump 9.
Question: What would you do about the humanitarian crisis in Syria?
Clinton: "Russia hasn't paid any attention to ISIS; they're more interested in keeping Assad in power"
Clinton: [Russia] "has also decided who they want to be President of the United States-- and it's not me!"
Trump takes on Obama's [later abandoned] 'line in the sand' [in Syria]: Clinton points out that she was no longer Secretary of State at the time...
Trump retorts: "[Obama] was probably still listening to you [anyway]... he won't be listening to you any more"
Trump: [Hillary Clinton] "made Iran more powerful... [in Syria] she wants to fight for the rebels, but she doesn't even know who the rebels are"
Trump: "I don't like Assad, but Syria is taking on ISIS; Russia is fighting ISIS"
Trump: "We have to worry about ISIS, we have to take on ISIS"
Trump: "Why can't we make it a sneak attack?... why do they have to say they're attacking [ahead of time]?"
Trump: "The ISIS leaders aren't [in Mosul] anymore: they're gone!"
Clinton: "I would not use American ground forces in Syria... I do think we should use the Special Forces we've been using"
Clinton: "[Trump] says he knows more about ISIS than the generals: no, he doesn't"
Clinton: "I would consider arming the Kurds... [they] are the principal way of pushing ISIS [out of Iraq]"
Trump's claim that President Obama was still using Hillary Clinton as a foreign policy adviser even after she had left the State Department (whatever its validity) is still, in the main, just more "red meat" thrown out to his own base. The rest of this segment was more "tit for tat" (Trump's position being more acceptable to those who think what has been called the 'Arab Spring' was an altogether bad thing [the resultant instability in many Middle Eastern countries providing a fertile ground for radical Islamism that had once been held in check by either militarist governance or outright dictatorship, which also implys that certain parts of the globe are incapable of seeking, let alone achieving, Liberty). Yet once again, however, Trump did not "advance his support"-- that is, what he said in this segment did not do all that much to attract many outside his own base who are lukewarm, at best, to Hillary Clinton's candidacy. Trump, however, lost this "round" primarily because he came off as being indifferent- where not also even dismissive- of military strategy and tactics which oftimes "telegraphs plays" that turn out to be rather different from those actually "run" (what, in American football [the analogue here], would be a combination of "Mind-messing" and "Misdirection"), an attitude that simply reinforced Mrs. Clinton's earlier scoring of Trump's one-time 'I know more about ISIS than the generals' statement: Clinton 10, Trump 9
Question: Do you believe you can be a President for all the people of the United States?
Trump: "Absolutely... [Hillary Clinton] calls [some of his own supporters] deplorable and irredeemable"
Trump: [Hillary Clinton] "lied, but then she's lied about a lot of things"
Trump [to the Inner Cities]: "What do you have to lose?"
Clinton: "I have a deep devotion to... making sure Americans have a place in their country"
Clinton cites the so-called 'Trump Effect': [in schools] "Bullying is up"
Clinton [on her controversial "deplorables" comment]: "My argument is not with [Trump's] supporters; it's with [Trump himself]"
Clinton: [Bernie Sanders] "has supported me 100 percent"
Trump: "We have a divided Nation... because of people like her: she has tremendous hate in her heart"
Trump: "This country cannot take another four years of Barack Obama and that's what you'll get with [Hillary Clinton]"
Clinton: "No" [to a moderator's follow-up question as to whether Trump has the discipline to be President]
Clinton: "We are back on the right track: [Trump] would send us back into recession"
Trump won this "round" because there is no real way for Mrs. Clinton to "walk back" her infamous "basket of deplorables... irredeemable" comment about what she characterized as at least half of Trump's supporters: it is, even after this Debate, as harmful to her candidacy as the earlier-cited Trump comments about women are to his. In truth, there are actually "deplorable"- if you will- people (while "irredeemable" is simply much too harsh an adjective in any event) on all sides-- for no Party or ideology has a monopoly of those who support various candidates for elective office here in America for the proverbial "all the wrong reasons". Trump might well have even won this one by a 10-8 score (which would have been only the second such scoring of a segment in any of the three [including the vice-presidential] Debates held so far) but for his comment that Hillary Clinton (and "people like her") are principally to blame for the United States being "a divided Nation" (after all, opining the existence "people like [whomever]" as 'the Other' is itself divisive). There is surely plenty of blame to go around to all corners of the American political universe for a divided America: my aforementioned "deplorable people on all sides" above alone suggests that there is no small number of people 'out there' with "tremendous hate in [their] heart" (don't tell me there was not "tremendous hate" for Hillary Clinton among many before she came out with her own "deplorables" comment: I had already, by then, received the e-mailed press releases!). Trump's was certainly a cheap shot-- but it was not enough to cost him this "round": Trump 10, Clinton 9.
Question: What would be the most important aspect re: nominating a [US] Supreme Court Justice?
Clinton: "I think the current Court has gone in the wrong direction"
Clinton: "I want a Court that would [keep] Roe v. Wade and protect Marriage Equality"
Clinton: "I regret the Senate has not [held] a vote [on Obama's latest nomination]: it is [deriliction] of duty"
Trump: "I would choose Justices [like] Justice Scalia... who would respect the Constitution of the United States... the 2d Amendment"
Trump: [the 2d Amendment] "is totally under siege by people like Hillary Clinton"
Arguably, the most "tit for tat" segment of this Debate (at least insofar as the issues of the day be concerned): perception herein being completely dependent upon one's views of the recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court (compared, I suppose, to those of earlier- yet still quite recent- eras in the high Court's history). In addition, political discussions of the Supreme Court's proper role can't help but get mangled by the application of "conservative" and "liberal"- political terms much more conducive to a campaign for elective (legislative or executive) office- to judicial duties and process (despite at least some judges, including those on a Court of Last Resort, perhaps "constitutionalizing" their own personal political positions- and even sociocultural beliefs- through that which they might write in their various and sundry court Opinions, it is all still Jurisprudence [as opposed to Legislation or Administration]). Hillary Clinton won this one, however, by bringing up the timorousness of the U.S. Senate in not at least holding hearings regarding President Obama's appointment to fill the late Justice Scalia's seat (if the counterargument that President Obama should not have made such an appointment prior to this year's Presidential Election be even reasonable, this does not at all change the fact that Obama has done so; those who might want a different nominee from a different President should have had the courage to act accordingly): Clinton 10, Trump 9.
Question: What steps would your energy policy take?
Trump: "Energy is under absolute siege under the Obama Administration... we are absolutely killing our energy business in this country"
Trump: "[Hillary Clinton] wants to put the [coal] miners out of business: there is something called 'clean coal' "
Trump: "We have to guard our energy companies... the [Environmental Protection Administration] is so restrictive"
Clinton: "China is illegally dumping steel... and Donald Trump is buying it to build his buildings"
Clinton: "We are energy independent... we must remain energy independent"
Clinton: "We must revitalize coal country... I want to do something to help them"
Trump won this "round" only because Mrs. Clinton was unable to well parry Trump's pointing out the negative effect shifting to alternative forms of energy not, somehow, including coal has on those regions of the country in which coal is a most important economic sector (here putting aside arguments over whether or not "clean coal technology" is efficacious, which would just be more "tit for tat"). Broad platitudes about "revitalizing coal country" while "doing something to help" those who depend on the coal industry for employment was, in the end, just Hillary Clinton doing that which she and many of her supporters decry in Donald Trump (saying 'I will get this done' without all that much specificity as to how): Trump 10, Clinton 9.
Question: Will each of you name one thing you respect in each other?
Clinton: "I respect [Trump's] children"
Trump: "I consider her statement about my children to be a compliment: I don't know if it was meant to be a compliment"
Trump: [Hillary Clinton] "doesn't quit and she doesn't give up and I consider that to be a very good trait"
Trump's notion that Mrs. Clinton's "respect" for his kids might not be genuine came off as rather snide (although, to be fair, Mrs. Clinton did appear hard pressed to try and come up with something that did not "talk up" Donald Trump himself [doubtless, given the earliest portions of this Debate, there likely isn't much she respects about Trump-- at least not in the proverbial "heat of battle"!]). Trump's praise of Hillary Clinton's indomitable determination, however (and however gracious it was intended to both appear and be), was actually something of a "softball" that 'hung' right in Hillary Clinton's "wheelhouse": after all, it is that which many, if not most, of Mrs. Clinton's own supporters most admire about her (as well as something Mrs. Clinton so openly uses to try and increase support for her own candidacy): Clinton 10, Trump 9.
Although they did not shake hands at the start of the debate, Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton *do* shake hands at the end
FINAL SCORE: Clinton 98; Trump 92