By: Micah Price ~Staff Writer~
Following a difficult week and a half for the image of the Trump campaign, the second of three Presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was held in St. Louis at Washington University on Oct. 9.
Just two days before the second televised meeting with Clinton the Washington Post released a 2005 video recording of Trump speaking with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush. The conversation included Trump attempting to seduce a married woman included further statements that have illicited tremendous backlash.
“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.” Trump said in the video, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
Bush then replies, “Whatever you want,”
“Grab them by the p—y,” Trump is heard saying. “You can do anything.”
The comments came to light nearly on the eve of the debate, Trump held a panel where several women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault since 1978 were present. They included Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones.
Jones settled her case against Clinton in the 1990s, and both of the other cases were dismissed or not pursued by authorities. No criminal charges were filed against the former president in any of those cases.
Trump made further waves by bringing the women to the debate, having them seated in the first row. This led to a tense first 20 minutes in which the candidates traded jabs, but the most scathing questions of character came from the debate moderators, Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper.
Cooper made headlines by challenging Trump on the recently released video, sharply asking, “You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women—do you understand that?”
Trump would go on to apologize but also deflected the question by referring to his comments, which came over a decade ago, as “locker room-talk,” and Trump would later assert that he has never actually done those things. This was an answer that many found unsatisfactory.
When asked to comment, Clinton said that the video was evidence of Trump’s true colors showing through. She went on to take several other jabs at Trump.
His responses included threats to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton should he win the election.
This prompted swift blowback online and from several former U.S. prosecutors who characterized comments about jailing political opponents as against the American judicial system.
According to CNN, viewers of the town hall style debate voted that Clinton was the debates winner by a 58-37 percent majority.
Many high level republicans continue to hold out on an endorsement of Trump, such as the Republican from Utah, Senator Mike Lee and Arizona Senator and 2008 Republican Presidential nominee John McCain. Many others have refused to continue to defend Trump, such as Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-Wisc).
With the election now less than four weeks away, Trump polls at 38 percent. Hillary Clinton is polling at 44 percent and Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson is polling at 7 percent.
The 3rd and final debate will take place next Wednesday, Oct. 19th at the University of Nevada Las Vegas at 9 P.M. The debate will use the same style as the first debate. It will be moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace.