Debate recap: Trump and Clinton face off

trump-and-clintonThe town hall debate usually garners the least attention of the three debates. Following a chaotic week, this year’s town hall debate was anything but dull.

Prior to the debate, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton found themselves in public relations nightmares. The first problem was with the Trump campaign.

Last week, The Washington Post obtained an audio tape dating back to 2005. In the tape, Trump and Billy Bush, one of the hosts of NBC’s Today show, discussed Trump’s interactions with women. Trump emphasized his ability to chase after women and grope them because of his celebrity status.

“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women],” Trump said. “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

After the tape was released, Trump seemed to play down his remarks. Trump stated that it was just locker room banter, and claimed that former president Bill Clinton has said far worse on the golf course.

Trump’s remarks were not well received by the public. Many professional male athletes denounced Trump’s remarks. Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who was once friends with Trump, stated that he has never heard that type of talk in any of the locker rooms he has ever been in.

Several notable Republicans also voiced their disgust with Trump’s remarks. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both commented about how terrible they thought Trump’s remarks were.

“As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape,” McConnell said.

After a discussion with his vice presidential candidate and running mate Mike Pence, Trump released an apology video. In this video, Trump said that his words were wrong and not reflective of who he really is.

“Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am,” Trump said. “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”

After the so-called Trump tape surfaced, the Trump campaign attempted to shine light on problems within the Clinton campaign. Just 90 minutes before the second debate, Trump appeared with four women who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton. Although the issue was related to Bill Clinton and not Hillary Clinton, Trump insisted that Bill Clinton’s actions spoke louder about Hillary Clinton’s character than the words he had said.

Jennifer Palmieri, Director of Communications for the Clinton campaign, responded to the panel that Trump had put on. Palmieri called the panel a stunt, explaining that it will not affect Clinton’s campaign.

“We’re not surprised to see Donald Trump continue his destructive race to the bottom,” Palmieri said. “Hillary Clinton understands the opportunity in this town hall is to talk to voters on stage and in the audience about the issues that matter to them, and this stunt doesn’t change that.”

Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz moderated the second debate between Clinton and Trump. The town hall debate featured questions from selected audience members and the moderators.

The debate started with an arguably awkward exchange between Clinton and Trump, where neither candidate reached to shake the other’s hand as they were presented. Throughout the debate, both candidates seemed to stick to aggressive strategies.

During the debate, Trump tried to put to rest the controversy over the Trump tape, but Clinton commented that the tape showed who Trump really is. Clinton further stated that Trump’s panel was an attempt to divert attention from his disastrous campaign.

Trump fired back at Clinton stating that he only used words, whereas her husband used actions.

“If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse—mine are words,” Trump said. “His was action. Bill Clinton was abusive to women. Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously.”

As the debate pushed on, it seemed that Trump was more prepared this debate than he was for the first debate. Despite his preparation, the fact-checking news site Politico stated that Trump made 13 false statements, compared to Clinton’s two.

Throughout the debate, the candidates discussed a variety of topics, including energy, healthcare, and the United States’ interaction with Syria. During last week’s vice presidential debate, Mike Pence and Tim Kaine also discussed Syria. During the debate, Pence stated that he would consider strong action if Russian and Syrian forces did not stop the bombing of Syrian civilian areas.

Trump, however, said that he disagreed with his running mate.

“He and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree,” Trump said.

As Trump continued to talk about the controversial Russian intervention in Syria, he stated that he is not a fan of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump explained that he thinks Assad is helping to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria along with its Russian allies.

Trump later brought Cooper and Raddatz into the debate. Trump argued that the moderators were going after his campaign problems, while refusing to address Clinton’s own problems. Trump urged the moderators to ask tougher questions about Clinton’s email scandal. Trump specifically asked them why they were not bringing up the emails during the debate.

“I’d like to know,  Anderson, why aren’t you bringing up the emails?” Trump said.

When Trump further commented on Clinton’s email scandal, he said that she would be in jail if he was president.

Trump also claimed that the debate was often three versus one. Trump argued that he was given strict time limits and that Clinton was allowed to speak past those time limits.

At the end of the debate, Trump had talked for 39 minutes and seven seconds, and Clinton spoke for 38 minutes and 28 seconds, almost identical amounts of time. Statistics also showed that Clinton talked over moderators 20 times, while Trump spoke over them 31 times. Trump also interuppted Clinton 13 times throughout the night, where Clinton only interrupted Trump once.

At the end of the night, it seemed that most viewers could only agree on one thing: Ken Bone. Bone is a power plant operator and was a crowd member of the town hall debate. He posed a question to both presidential candidates about their energy policies.

“What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job layoffs?” Bone said.

Both candidates offered Bone significant answers, but it was Bone’s overall demeanor and name that sparked the internet’s love for the man. Although Bone will not play a significant role in the election, he seemed to offer the internet something everyone has been searching for in this election, a glimpse of happiness, fun, and love.

Written by Kevin Nelson, News Editor