The bitter and at times downright puerile exchanges that have characterised this year's US elections have reached new lows
Just when we thought the tone of the US election couldn’t get any lower, it did during the second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. There was no handshake. The candidates got right down to slogging it out mainly over a video which emerged in which Trump boasts about sexually assaulting women.
— Reuters Live (@ReutersLive) October 10, 2016
Democratic nominee – Hillary Clinton
“What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women — what he thinks about women, what he does to women, and he has said that the video doesn’t represent who he is” announced the Democratic nominee.
“But I think it’s clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who 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 ten. (…) So, yes, this is who Donald Trump is.”
Trump’s comeback was in that all-too-familiar style. Hours before the debate he held a press conference with four women who accuse Bill Clinton of rape or sexual assault.
Republican Nominee – Donald Trump
“That was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country, and certainly, I’m not proud of it. But that was something that happened.” The republican nominee conceded.
He then went on to say: “If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words and his was action. His was, what he’s done to women, there’s never been anyone in the history of politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women. (…)
“When Hillary brings up a point like that, when she talks about words that I said eleven years ago, I think it’s disgraceful and I think she should be ashamed of herself, if you want to know the truth.”
Trump’s federal income taxes
Donald Trump acknowledged for the first time that he had not paid federal income tax for years, before calling his opponent a “devil” and a “liar”. Here is an excerpt of the exchange.
“It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.”
“Because you’d be in jail.”
Looming in the background
While Clinton remained composed, a defiant Trump seemed unable to remain in his corner. He loomed over his opponent’s shoulder at every turn.
Only at the end, following a question from the public did the two shakehands.