Donald's Great Escape: Trump’s all-out attack on the Clintons for their sexual past
Daily Mail News, UK
10 October 2016
* Second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald
Trump has taken place in St Louis
* The two candidates locked horns throughout the bitter debate, which Trump backers said he won
* Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani described the night as a 'home run', for Trump in the spin room
* Clinton opened saying she is concerned about 'some of the things being said and done in this campaign'
* Trump said the controversial remarks he made in 2005 that were revealed Friday were 'locker room talk'
* However, moderator Anderson Cooper pulled Trump up on it, saying he 'bragged' about assaulting women
* Donald Trump also told Hillary Clinton that should would be in jail if he was in charge of the country's laws
* The Republican also accused the moderators of being biased against him, saying it was 'three on one'
* Before the debate, Trump held a press conference with women who have accused Bill Clinton of rape
* The women sat in the front row for the debate – just feet from Clinton, the woman they earlier condemned
The debate night that will be discussed for generations in Political Science classes – and Women's Studies seminars – ended with Republican Donald Trump landing more punches than Democrat Hillary Clinton, and successfully deflecting attention successfully away from a two-day-old crisis about graphic sexual language that threatened to derail his White House bid.
In the first debate at Hofstra University 13 days earlier, Clinton sat back and let Trump hang himself. But on Sunday her quiet patience gave him room to roam and dominate.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who has been among Trump's most forceful defenders, summed up the real estate tycoon's performance with two words in the post-debate spin room: 'home run.'
'I think the momentum is going to switch, like that,' Giuliani told DailyMail.com, snapping his fingers. 'It was one of the biggest victories in a presidential debate, ever.'
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta called Trump 'desperate' and called him 'incoherent' in policy discussions.
Neither candidate appeared in the hall where reporters waited to grill them. For Clinton, that was par for the course. For Trump, it marked his first such absence in any debate in which he's participated in 2016 and 2015.
Clinton established herself as a superior bureaucrat Sunday night with more mature knowledge of foreign policy minutiae and a more intelligible way of communicating details about how laws are made.
But Trump won on points in what has become the Year of the Outsider, playing to a national television audience that polls show are weary of Washington's same-old same-old and eager for new blood.
He had Clinton playing defense for most of the 90-minute clash, saying she would be 'in jail' if he ran the Justice Department – a reference to her classified email scandal – and declaring that she had 'tremendous hate in her heart' when she branded 'half' his supporters as 'deplorables.'
He even bested her on her recollection of her own tenure at the helm of the U.S. State Department.
Trump recalled that Clinton was secretary of state when President Barack Obama drew his now-infamous rhetorical 'red line' in Syria, ineffectively warning Bashar al-Assad not to use chemical weapons against insurgents and civilians.
Clinton insisted she had retired from the government by the time that happened. Not so: Obama dared Assad to cross his line in August 2012, six months before Clinton’s term ended.
Sunday night's showdown, the second of three before the Nov. 8 presidential election, launched with a bang in St. Louis, Missouri.
There was no handshake at the top. Only polite nods at each other. The white-hot stares, straight ahead, came 90 minutes after Trump held a photo-op press event featuring four women with sex-assault accusations from the Clintons' past.
The first question of the debate was expected to focus on lewd remarks revealed Friday in an 11-year-old audiotape of Trump. But it was milder, asking Clinton about the overall tone of the 2016 campaigns.
The temperature at Washington University in St. Louis dropped. No fireworks. No first blood.
For two minutes.
Then Trump found himself behind the 8-ball, with co-moderator Anderson Cooper telling him bluntly that he had admitted to 'sexual assault' in the audio – referring to a remark saying that powerful men could touch women whenever they wanted. 'Grab them by the p***y,' he said as one example.
'You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women,' Cooper charged.
Trump insisted, as he did Friday night, that 'this was locker room talk. I'm not proud of it.'
But then he turned the discussion on the Clintons.
'If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse,' trump jabbed. 'Mine were words, his were actions.'
'Bill Clinton was abusive to women. Hillary Clinton attacked those women, attacked them viciously.'
Earlier in the night Trump had hosted a press event with Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Kathy Shelton.
Broaddrick accused former President Clinton of raping her when he was the Arkansas attorney general. She later pointed a finger at Hillary Clinton for intimidating her into silence as her husband launched his 1992 bid for the presidency.
Willey and Jones made similar accusations against this year's Democratic nominee for the White House.
He also noted that Shelton was sitting in the front row. The Arkansas native was 12 when she was raped by a 41-year-old drifter. Hillary Clinton was her attacker's lawyer.
'Her client – she represented – she got him off,' Trump said, recalling that she was recorded 'laughing [about the case] on two separate tapes.'
Giuliani later remarked that 'if you listened to them when they had their own press conference, it wasn't just that Bill Clinton raped them, assaulted them or took sexual advantage of them.
'It was that Hillary Clinton attacked them. One of them was a 12-year-old girl. And Hillary Clinton got the rapist acquitted and then laughed about it.'
Trump was on a tear Sunday night, recalling that the former president 'was impeached, lost his license to practice law' because he lied to Congress about his affair with a young White House intern named Monica Lewinsky.
'When Hillary brings up a point like that and she talks about words that I said 11 years ago, I think it's disgraceful and I think she should be ashamed of herself,' Trump said.
Trump's partisans in the audience cheered and applauded.
'So much of what he said is not right,' Clinton protested.
'I'm reminded of what my friend Michelle Obama advised us all: When they go low, you go high.'
Her claque in the auditorium screamed and hollered.Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman, praised the Democrat after the debate and declared Trump the loser.
'He was on the attack the whole evening. I think he wanted to throw her off her game with the stunt that he pulled at the beginning,' he told DailyMail.com, referring to how Trump brought up the past sex abuse claims against Bill Clinton. 'He clearly didn't do that, and I think that to the extent that that was his goal I think he failed.'
'Trump is desperate. He's trying to take this race to a place in the gutter, and we're not going there,' Podesta said.
DONALD GETS DEFENSIVE OVER HOT MIC CONTROVERSY
Trump bristled at having to respond to his sexually graphic words from 2005.
He complained that 'where you have ISIS chopping off heads ... when you have wars and horrible, horrible sights happening,' talking about his lewd banter was a waste of time.
'Yes, I'm very embarrassed by it. I hate it. But it's locker-room talk, and it's one of those things. I will knock the hell out of ISIS,' he said.
Trump insisted: 'I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do. I said things ... but I have tremendous respect for women. And women have respect for me.'
Cooper asked Trump repeatedly if he had ever made unwanted sexual advances on a woman, or touched her without consent.
'No, I will tell you, I have not,' he responded.
HILLARY GOES ON THE ATTACK
Clinton responded more patiently and philosophically.
'Like everyone else, I've spent a lot of time thinking over the last 48 hours about what we heard and what we saw,' she said.
After saying she had disagreed with previous Republican nominees on substance, 'Donald Trump is different. I said back in June that he was not fit to serve as president and commander-in-chief.'
'What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women,' she charged.
'And he has said that the video doesn't represent who he is. But I think it's clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is.'
'He has also targeted immigrants, African-Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, POWs, Muslims, and many others.'
'This is not who we are.'
Trump shot back: 'It's just words, folks. it's just words. Those words, I've been hearing them for many years.'
TRUMP'S TIRADE ON 'HATEFUL' HILLARY
Trump's biggest zinger came when Clinton was asked about a fundraising speech where she said 'half' of Trump's voting base belong in 'baskets of deplorables,' and branded the same group as 'irredeemable' because of their views.
Trump pushed back, framing himself as a uniting force in the face of divisive rhetoric.
'We have a divided nation because of people like her. Believe me, she has tremendous hate in her heart.'
The line drew audible gasps in the auditorium.
When she said "deplorables," she meant it. When she said "irredeemable" – "they were irredeemable," you didn't mention that – but when she said they were irredeemable, to me that might have been even worse.'
'She has tremendous hatred. This country cannot take another four years of Barack Obama and that's what you are getting with her,' Trump said.
TRUMP TALKS TOUGH ON HILLARY'S EMAILS
The two candidates got into another angry exchange after the moderators raised the issue of Clinton's classified email scandal.
The Democrat delivered a stock response, saying, 'That was a mistake and I take responsibility for using a personal email account ... I'm not making any excuses. It was a mistake and I'm very sorry about that.'
Clinton pledged that she was 'very committed' to taking classified information seriously.
Trump countered: 'And yet she didn't know the letter "C" on a document,' referring to Clinton's statement to the FBI that she didn't recognize that marking for classified information.
'She didn't even know what that letter meant,' Trump fumed.
'And she's lying again ... do you think it was fine to delete 33,000 emails?' Trump asked rhetorically. 'I don't think so.'
'For you to say that there was nothing wrong with you deleting 39,000 [sic] emails again, you should be ashamed of yourself, what you did,' Trump said, adding that Clinton should be 'put in jail.'
'It's just not true,' Clinton tried to respond, saying, 'Well we turned over 35,000 emails' to the State Department, but Trump cut her off.
'Please allow her to talk,' moderator Anderson Cooper jumped in, scolding Trump that Clinton allowed him to speak.
'That's true I didn't,' Clinton agreed.
'Because you have nothing to say,' Trump shot back.
Clinton replied: 'Its just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law of our country.'
'Because you'd be in jail,' he snapped.
'Okay Donald, I know you're into big diversion,' Clinton said, shifting gears. 'Anything to avoid talking about your campaign and the way it's exploding and the way Republicans are leaving you.'
THE DONALD, OUTNUMBERED?
Amid deafening silence after the email remark, the moderators tried to go to an audience question, but Trump complained about the quick shift – complaining it was 'one on three' – him against Clinton, Cooper and ABC's Martha Raddatz.
When Trump tried to take a question when it apparently was Clinton's turn, the former secretary of state was diplomatic: 'He wants to start, he can start.'
'No, I'm a gentleman, Hillary, that's okay,' Trump said, drawing laughter in the press filing room where hundreds of reporters passed judgment.
Forty people, selected by Gallup after submitting questions, were on hand to query the candidates along with the two TV news personalities ..."