Clinton-Trump II: The Liveblog

Welcome to the live-blog of the second Presidential debate from Washington University in St. Louis. As you may have heard by now, Donald Trump held a publicity stunt on Facebook earlier tonight with women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual improprieties years ago. Stay classy, Don.

8:45pm EDT: Watching on CBSN. Elaine Quijano seems to be exhibiting little embarrassment over her disastrous debate performance last week.

8:48pm EDT: Peggy Noonan is saying something and saying nothing at the same time.

8:53pm EDT: Jamelle Bouie weighs in. Much wiser than Noonan, of course.

8:56pm EDT: Quijano claims many viewers “distrust” Clinton. Oh, knock it off, you hack.

8:58pm EDT: A shot of Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz addressing the audience. Cooper looks miserable.

9:00pm EDT: The debate begins.

9:04pm EDT: Raddatz and Cooper deliver introductory remarks.

9:06pm EDT: Clinton and a miserable-looking Trump walk out. Patrice Brock, audience member, asks if the candidates are modeling appropriate behavior. Clinton discusses the importance of demonstrating respect and celebrating diversity. Clinton vows to be a president for all Americans. Trump says he agrees with “everything she said.” BS. Trump looks about 85 years old. He whines about Obamacare, trade and the Iran nuclear deal. Says we need “law and order,” but also justice for black and Latinos. In response to a question about Anderson Cooper about the 2005 remarks, he denies that he admitted to sexual assault in the video, and then pivots to ISIS. Cooper presses him: Trump says he has great respect for women, and again denies that he has committed sexual assault. He appears to be mentally incapacitated at this point. Clinton says she has thought about Trump’s remarks over the past 48 hours, and says Trump is not fit to serve, as demonstrated by the 2005 remarks. She eloquently recounts Trump’s history of sexist remarks, as well as his racist remarks and his attacks on John McCain and Gold Star families. Clinton pivots back to the question of fostering respect in American culture. Amazing stuff. Trump dismisses Clinton’s remarks as “just words,” then attacks her accomplishments as a US Senator. Trump says he’s going to help blacks and Latinos. Raddatz tries to cut Trump off as he starts ranting, and he snaps at her. Trump again dismisses the 2005 remarks as “locker-room talk,” and attacks Bill and Hillary Clinton as abusers of women before ranting about Bill’s alleged sexual history. Trump is sniffling again, continuing to exhibit signs of mental illness. Trump’s family must get this man help. This debate is a cry for help on his part. Clinton denounces Trump’s false allegations, and invokes Michelle Obama’s remarks about when right-wingers go low, “We go high.” Clinton notes that Trump never apologizes to anything or anyone. Trump lies about Sidney Blumenthal’s supposed birtherism, attacks Michelle Obama, and accuses her of stealing the Democratic primary from Bernie Sanders, invoking Wikileaks (and attacking Sanders for later “signing on with the devil”). He rants about the e-mail stuff and vows to have Clinton investigated by a federal prosecutor if he wins. “Everything he just said is absolutely false,” Clinton accurately responds. Trump is bombing again. After Trump suggests that Clinton should be in jail, Raddatz asks again about the e-mails. Clinton says she takes responsibility for her mistakes. Clinton notes that there is no evidence that anyone hacked her server, and no evidence that any classified material ended up in the wrong hands. Trump accuses Clinton of lying about the e-mails, and starts ranting again about them, sniffling all the time, before attacking Anderson Cooper for not asking a question about the e-mails. Ken Karpowitz asks an anti-Obamacare question. Clinton vows to fix Obamacare, points out that Trump wants to repeal it, and defends the bill’s accomplishments.

9:33pm: Trump calls Obamacare a “disaster” that will “never work” and is “very bad.” He says he will repeal and replace Obamacare. He then attacks the concept of single-payer, something that should wake up the remaining Bernie Sanders supporters who think there’s no difference between Clinton and Trump. Cooper asks Clinton about the need to fix Obamacare. Clinton again defends Obamacare’s accomplishments and notes that 20 million people now have health insurance as a result of the bill. Clinton notes that Trump wants to turn back the clock to the days when insurance companies dictated what care you could and could not get. Cooper presses Trump on the vague nature of his proposed health-care reforms: Trump filibusters instead of answering the question, as he continues to sniffle. He attacks Obamacare as a “fraud,” and refuses to provide any specifics about reforming health-care.

9:38pm. Gorma Hadid asks about Islamophobia, which Trump calls a “shame.” Trump then goes right into demonizing Muslims, suggesting that they won’t report on Muslim extremists. Trump attacks Clinton and Obama for not using the phrase “radical Islamic extremism.” Clinton defends Muslim Americans, noting that Muhammad Ali was a Muslim. Clinton attacks Trump’s demonization of Muslims. She vows to defeat ISIS by working with majority-Muslim nations. She notes that Trump’s rhetoric actually helps ISIS. Raddatz asks about Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims. Trump suggests that Humayun Khan would be alive if he had been President in 2003, because he would not have gone into Iraq. He says the Muslim ban has morphed into “extreme vetting,” and rants about alleged terrorist immigration into the US. Raddatz asks Clinton about the vetting of Syrian refugees. Clinton says no one will come into the country who poses a risk, but there are plenty of Syrian refugees who do not pose a risk. She notes that Trump’s proposed Muslim ban runs counter to America’s ideals of religious freedom. Clinton calls out Trump for again lying about his support for invading Iraq. Raddatz notes that Clinton was right about Trump’s lying. Trump rants about the alleged threat of undocumented immigrants. At this point, anyone who continues to support Trump also supports his paranoid delusions.

9:49pm: Raddatz asks about the Wikileaks e-mail leak. Clinton notes that the e-mails are being taken out of context, and pivots to the role of Russian hackers in the election, noting Putin’s evident desire to get Trump elected. Clinton calls upon Trump to release his tax returns. Trump attacks Clinton over the e-mails, sniffling all the way. He says it would be great to get along with Russia, so that the US and Russia could fight ISIS together. Trump says he has no loans from Russia and does no business with Russia. Trump insists that he pays his taxes, and says again that as soon as his audit is finished, he’ll release his taxes.

9:53pm: Spencer Moss asks about tax fairness. Trump says he’ll get rid of carried interest, before ranting again about Clinton’s alleged failures as a senator. He promises a massive tax cut, and says Clinton will raise taxes “really high.” Trump again denigrates the United States economy in another blind rant. Clinton notes that when it comes to taxes, Trump lives in an “alternative reality.” Clinton notes that Trump won’t do a thing about tax fairness, and that he plans to provide another tax-cut giveaway to the rich, while screwing middle-class families. Clinton vows not to raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000 a year. Clinton says she supports closing tax loopholes and raising taxes on the rich to remedy inequality. Trump boasts again about his alleged wisdom on taxes, before ranting AGAIN about Clinton and her alleged bad judgment. Talk about Johnny One Note. Trump again lies about the nature of the United States’s withdrawal from Iraq, and again attacks her for having been an “ineffective” Senator. Clinton defends her track record as a Senator.

10:03pm: Trump again says Clinton was a “disaster” as a Senator. Raddatz asks about the war in Syria. (Good that Gary Johnson isn’t there.) Clinton says the situation in Syria is catastrophic. Clinton cites Russia’s role in Aleppo, noting that Russia “hasn’t paid any attention to ISIS.” Clinton says we have to work more closely with our partners and allies on the ground, before again citing Russia’s role in Syria–and Russia’s efforts to manipulate the US election. Trump goes on a completely incomprehensible rant about Russia’s nuclear capability. Trump physically looks like a embarrassment, a hot mess, a man on the edge and about to fall over it. Again, this debate performance is a cry for help on his part. Trump says he disagrees with his running mate Mike Pence on how to deal with Syria, even though he hasn’t spoken to him about the issue.

10:12pm: Clinton says she would not use US ground troops in Syria. She notes, “Trump says he knows more about ISIS than the generals. No, he doesn’t.” Trump attacks Raddatz for alleged pro-Clinton bias in moderating. James Carter asks if the candidates can serve all the people. Trump ludicrously claims he will uplift the inner cities. He attacks Bill Clinton on NAFTA, and suggests that Hillary Clinton cannot be trusted on the TPP. Trump, clearly out of his mind, also says he will help Latinos. He’s still sniffling. Clinton notes that she has tried her entire life to lift up children and families, and defends her accomplishments in that regard, noting her effort to stop discrimination against blacks, Latinos and people with disabilities. “A lot of people are worried,” she says, “that they won’t have a place in Donald Trump’s America.” She notes that children are listening to Trump’s rants, noting that racial bullying has increased since Trump began his campaign. Cooper asks about the “basket of deplorables” remarks. Clinton criticizes Trump’s race-baiting campaign, noting that Trump has never apologized for his rhetoric. Trump says the nation is divided, suggesting that America’s inner cities are filled with violence. Trump says Clinton has “tremendous hatred” in her heart. Cooper asks about Trump’s attacks on Alicia Machado. Trump tries to pivot to Benghazi, of all things, again invoking Sidney Blumenthal. Trump then tries to defend his actions on social media. Clinton says Trump does not have the discipline to be a good leader. Clinton defends her work with George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

10:25pm: Beth Miller asks about the Supreme Court. Clinton vows to appoint highly-qualified Supreme Court Justices who understand how the world works. She wants to see Citizens United v. FEC and Shelby County v. Holder reversed, and wants Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges preserved. She condemns the Senate’s blockade of Merrick Garland. Trump says he wants to appoint another Antonin Scalia. Trump again suggests that Clinton wants to eliminate the Second Amendment, before ranting about Clinton’s campaign spending. His performance is worse here than it was on September 26.

10:30pm: Ken Boone asks about energy policy. Trump demonizes the EPA. He falsely claims he’s for wind and solar energy, and invokes the shibboleth of “clean coal.” More bizarre ranting about the steel industry. Clinton attacks Trump on his bizarre steel remarks. Clinton defends the concept of natural gas as a transition to clean energy, and defends the climate focus of her energy policy.

10:35pm: Carl Becker asks each candidate if they can name one positive thing about the other. Clinton says she respects Trump’s kids, suggesting that he has been a good father. Trump says Clinton’s remarks about his children are “a nice compliment.” Trump says Clinton “doesn’t quit and doesn’t give up.”

10:38pm: Debate ends. Another clear win for Clinton over Trump, who came across tonight as profoundly mentally unstable, a man who desperately needs treatment.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.