The second debate is over, and Donald Trump’s path to the presidency is rockier than ever.
With the release of an Access Hollywood tape from 2005 in which Trump describes how he would sexually assault a woman, it’s hard to imagine his poll numbers not plummeting.
A growing list of high-ranking Republicans are renouncing their endorsements for Trump, including Arizona Senator, John McCain.
“I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated,” McCain said in a statement. “But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”
Speaker Paul Ryan said he is “sickened”by the tape and has formally uninvited Trump to a Saturday event in Wisconsin. And you know the GOP is tense when the House Speaker goes “Mean Girls” on you.
The Clinton campaign remains silent on the matter; a good move for PR. Stepping aside while your opponent self-destructs is typically the best response to something so impactful.
However, Clinton wasn’t exactly safe from this week’s news cycle either. Wikileaks released transcripts of paid speeches the Secretary gave to Wall Street. Her speeches described an ideal hemispheric economy of free trade and open borders, which directly contradicts her current stance as nominee for president.
So how did these developments affect the debate?
Tonight’s town-hall style debate featured questions from two moderators and a carefully selected group of undecided voters, with a suggested time of two minutes for each candidate to respond.
While moderator Anderson Cooper won superlative of “most likely to make you weak-at-the-knees,” he failed to tame the two candidates, who were “least likely to have fun at a party.” But unlike the moderators before him, he looked damn good doing it.
Twitter went wild when the two candidates did not exchange a handshake at the beginning of the town hall. As Sam Sanders of NPR said, the awkwardness was palpable.
Anderson went right for the gnads, asking Trump if he understood that what he described was sexual assault.
The first question out of the gate was if the candidates feel they are modeling appropriate behavior for today’s youth, after what the first audience questioner described as an “MA-rated” debate.
While Clinton had a calculated response, Trump played it off and diverted attention to the “disaster” of Obamacare.
“Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Trump said. This is a complete lie.
This was no debate. This was a flat-out Trump roast.
Hillary’s responses were very well thought out and, for what I can tell, correct. But they were boring compared to the sexual criminal she faced.
Calling Hillary “the devil” to her face, overstepping Cooper by at least a minute per question and pacing right behind Hillary threateningly, are things you might expect from a haunted house in the middle of October, not from a presidential candidate on the debate stage.
Trump listed boldfaced lies to the face of a Muslim woman in the audience. Calling the son of the gold star family a hero after he deliberately attacked the family and said the opposite just months before.
Clinton, meanwhile, layered her support for fracking and stayed low on the Access Hollywood tapes. Well armed, but underused.
This debate ended up being incredibly entertaining, but, as far as information goes, neither candidate said anything new.
In one segment, Trump was asked about going into Syria. He explicitly said he disagrees with his running mate. Whether Mike Pence will drop the ticket is unknown at this point.
Clinton was the clear victor in this debate, in both substance and demeanor. However, with clear discontent toward both candidates, the real loser in this debate was the American Public.