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Clinton, Trump meet for personal town hall debate

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shakes hands with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)

AP
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shakes hands with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump met again during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis Sunday.

This debate was set in a town hall format. There were no podiums, just two chairs where each candidate answered questions from the moderators and the audience.

The debate came after learning that Donald Trump may not have paid income taxes for nearly 20 years and just days after the controversial leaked video of Trump using vulgar and profane language towards women. There has also been a recent leak of paid Clinton speeches given to members of Wall Street, where she was quoted as saying things that would contradict what she has said along the campaign trail.

The Town Hall began with a question from an undecided voter from the audience. The voter asked, “Do you feel you are modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today’s youth?”

Clinton responded by saying she would like to see more respect for one another. She said “we are going to be looking for ways to celebrate our diversity.”

Trump said he agreed with Clinton’s statements, but quickly pivoted to what he saw as flaws in the past administrations.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, one of the moderator’s for the debate, then addressed Trump about the controversial leaked video. Cooper asked, “You called what you said locker room banter. You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault. You brag that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?”

Trump stuck with his defense that the statements were “locker room talk” and that he wasn’t proud of what he had said, but once again quickly deflected the attention from him and turned to issues such as ISIS.

Cooper did not let Trump off, saying, “For the record, are you saying what you said on the bus 11 years ago that you did not kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?”

“I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Trump said.

The rest of the debate continued with each candidate making jabs at each other. Clinton made statements about how she thought the Trump campaign was imploding and Republicans were leaving his ticket. Trump came at Clinton by calling her the devil and saying if he was in office she would have been in jail.

Some news outlets called the debate the “Ugliest Debate Ever” (Politico) and a “Disastrous Debate” (The Atlantic). They said this debate once again lacked substance and was more of an argument of who is worse.

Politico writer Shane Goldmacher said, “For 90 minutes, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton called each other liars, untrustworthy and unfit for office as they sparred not so much about their policy differences as their basic character.”

The final debate will be held Oct. 19 at 9 p.m., where the candidates will have one final attempt to convince voters that they are most fit for public office.

Tom Jenkins can be contacted at [email protected] marshall.edu.

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