From leaked audio of Donald Trumps derogatory comments about women, to WikiLeaks released of excerpts from Hillary Clintons Wall Street speeches, fireworks have flown in the world of American politics.
After arguably the most explosive 48 hours in American political history, Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton faced off in St. Louis Sunday night.
As soon as the debate began, tension filled the room as the two candidates entered but neither shook the others hand.
Trump was quickly asked about the lewd audio that came to light in the past two days. In the tapes Trump is heard making several vile remarks about women and how he treated them.
“I don’t think you understood what was — this was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk,” Trump said.
“I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Trump continued.
Clinton quickly leaped on Trumps dismissal of the tapes as “locker room talk”, and made her case that these tapes show the real Donald Trump.
“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. We’ve seen him embarrass women on TV and on Twitter. We saw him after the first debate spend nearly a week denigrating a former Miss Universe in the harshest, most personal terms,” Clinton said.
“So yes, this is who Donald Trump is. But it’s not only women, and it’s not only this video that raises questions about his fitness to be our president, because he has also targeted immigrants, African-Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, POWs, Muslims, and so many others,” Clinton continued.
Trump continued to attack Clinton and even went after her husband, former President Bill Clinton on his treatment of women in the past, as well as her treatment of the women who have accused Bill of sexual misconduct.
“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 anybody in the history politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women. So you can say any way you want to say it, but Bill Clinton was abusive to women. Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously. Four of them here tonight,” Trump said.
Clinton responded to Trumps attack by reiterating First Lady Michelle Obamas memorable line from the DNC this past July.
“When I hear something like that, I am reminded of what my friend, Michelle Obama, advised us all: When they go low, you go high.”
After the initial battle, the candidates began to discuss the serious issues facing America. Trump and Clinton made their differences apparent when discussing what they would do in regards to health care, the tax code, Syria and several other important issues.
Many Students at the University of Central Florida said they are displeased with the both candidates and felt as though the entire election is more about proving why the other candidate is flawed instead of proving why he or she is ready to be commander in chief.
“I wish they would start talking more about why they are qualified and less about why their opponent isn’t,” UCF student Jessica Moody said.
Fellow Knight Tacita Barrera agreed with Moody and said, “They get so caught up talking about one another that their answers end up in a convoluted mess and it’s hard to tell if they even answered the question. I would say that was mostly Clinton’s problem, while Trump didn’t even answer the questions sometimes.”
The night concluded with a simple question that ran completely counter to all the negativity that has plagued this political season. The candidates were each asked to say one positive thing that they respect about their opponent.
“His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald,” said Clinton.
When asked about Clinton, Trump said “I will say this about Hillary. She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. I respect that. I tell it like it is. She’s a fighter.”
Knight News will continue to bring you political coverage as Election Day approaches.