Hillary Clinton won the second debate with Donald Trump, all the US networks and the big newspapers unanimously reported. A CNN poll gave Clinton 57% and Trump 34%. Los Angeles Times three judges all gave the points to Clinton.
In case you missed the debate, here are the highlights as reported by New York Times:
The second presidential debate between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton began with explosive attacks and ended with a measure of graciousness, as the two candidates complimented each other at the request of an audience member. Mrs. Clinton said she admired the Trump children, while Mr. Trump called his opponent “a fighter.”
But the candidates savaged each other on the way to the finish, with Mr. Trump struggling mightily for much of the evening to address questions about his finances, policy ideas and treatment of women.
In several tense exchanges, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he had avoided paying federal income taxes for years, called his taped description of sexual assault “locker room-talk” and accused Mrs. Clinton of victimizing women and carrying “hate in her heart.” He also said that as president he would appoint a special prosecutor to pursue Mrs. Clinton.
In a comparatively subdued performance, Mrs. Clinton hewed close to the basic arguments of her campaign: That she is an experienced public servant and Mr. Trump is unfit to be president. Mr. Trump, she said, “owes our country an apology.”
Watch the 90 minute debate here:
• An audience member asked the candidates to name one positive quality in their opponent. Mrs. Clinton jumped in first. “I respect his children,” she said. “His children are incredibly able and devoted and I think that says a lot about Donald. I don’t agree with nearly anything else he says or does, but I do respect that.” Mr. Trump, expressing gratitude for the compliment, offered his own. “I will say this about Hillary: She doesn’t quit,” he said. “She doesn’t give up. I respect that.” The debate ended, and the pair shook hands.
• Pressed on the 2005 recording which he seemed to boast of sexually assaulting women, Mr. Trump said he was “not proud of” the behavior, saying that he had apologized to his family and the American people. But he disputed that the recording amounted to bragging about sexual assault, calling his comments “locker room talk.” “I have great respect for women,” he said. “Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” he said, adding, “I was embarrassed by it.”
• Mrs. Clinton, responding to Mr. Trump’s remarks about the recording, said that while she disagreed with past Republican nominees, “I never questioned their fitness to serve.” “Donald Trump is different,” she said. She suggested that, despite Mr. Trump’s insistence that the recording did not reflect his character, “It’s clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is.”
• Mr. Trump turned the discussion of his lewd remarks on Mr. Clinton, arguing that his “words” did not compare to Mr. Clinton’s history with women. “If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse,” Mr. Trump said. Mrs. Clinton did not address the attacks on her husband. “He gets to run his campaign any way he chooses,” she said. She paraphrased Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention to describe her approach: “When they go low, you go high.”
• Addressing Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump said that if he wins, “I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” citing her use of a private email server as secretary of state. Mrs. Clinton pointedly said she could not spend all of her time fact-checking Mr. Trump, advising viewers to go to her website to see his falsehoods. She said it was a good thing that Mr. Trump was not in charge of the laws in the country. “Because you’d be in jail,” Mr. Trump shot back. Cheers could be heard from the crowd.
• Mrs. Clinton said Mr. Trump was plainly trying to divert attention from his own campaign — “the way it’s exploding and the way Republicans are leaving you. Mr. Trump asked a moderator, Mr. Cooper, why he had not spent more time discussing Mrs. Clinton’s private email server. (The other moderator, Martha Raddatz, had in fact brought it up moments earlier.) Mr. Trump was unmoved. “Nice, one on three,” he said, suggesting the moderators were teaming up on him.
• Asked about how to stop Islamophobia, Mr. Trump said, “You’re right about Islamophobia and that’s a shame.” But he pivoted immediately to a discussion of what he called “radical Islamic terrorists,” citing the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., and the attacks on the World Trade Center, among other atrocities. Mrs. Clinton suggested Mr. Trump’s statements throughout the campaign had been destructive.
“We are not at war with Islam,” she said. “It plays into the hands of the terrorists to act as though we are.”
Pushed repeatedly to answer whether his proposed ban on Muslim immigration still stood, Mr. Trump deflected, saying his plans amounted to “extreme vetting” and accusing a moderator, Ms. Raddatz, of favoring Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Clinton said it was “important for us, as a policy” not to ban people based on religion. “How do you do that?” she asked.
• After Mr. Trump said again that he opposed the war in Iraq, despite past public statements that contradict him, Mrs. Clinton reiterated that “we have it on tape” that Mr. Trump had not been against the war before it began. “It’s not been debunked,” he insisted, turning the issue back on Mrs. Clinton. “You voted for it and you shouldn’t have.”
• A black audience member asked if the candidates could serve as president for “all Americans.” Mr. Trump said that he could, before moving quickly to a standard of his stump speech: wondering aloud what some voters “have to lose.” “It can’t get any worse,” he said. After Mr. Trump again criticized Mrs. Clinton’s Senate tenure, she noted that she won re-election by a wide margin. She added, “If you don’t vote for me, I still want to be your president.”
• Mrs. Clinton was asked about a remark, leaked from a private speech, in which she seemed to stress the importance of keeping both a public and a private position on given issues as a political figure. She said she was following the example of Abraham Lincoln as he sought to convince lawmakers to ally with him. “Now she’s blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln,” Mr. Trump said. “Honest Abe never lied.”
• Mrs. Clinton cited the specter of Russian hackers seeking to influence the election with strategic leaks, which she suggested were intended to help Mr. Trump. “Believe me, they’re not doing it to get me elected,” she said. (She has spoken often of Mr. Trump’s kind words for Vladimir V. Putin, Russia’s president.) Mr. Trump claimed ignorance. “Maybe there is no hacking,” he said, adding, “I know nothing about Russia.”
• Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump tussled over taxes, touching on Mr. Trump’s efforts to avoid paying them given past losses. He was giving “zero for our vets, zero for our military,” she said. “That is wrong.” Asked directly if Mr. Trump had used a near-billion-dollar loss in the mid-1990s to avoid paying taxes, he replied, “Of course I do. Of course I do.” He accused Mrs. Clinton of not doing enough as a senator to reform the tax code.
• Asked by an audience member about coarseness in the presidential race, Mrs. Clinton said it was “very important for us to make clear to our children that our country really is great because we’re good.” She reminded the crowd of her campaign slogan, “Stronger Together.” Mr. Trump, who before the debate appeared with women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault, said he broadly agreed with Mrs. Clinton. “I began this campaign because I was so tired of seeing such foolish things happen to our country,” he said.
• In response to a question on the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Trump called the program “a disaster.”
“You know it, we all know it,” he said. Mrs. Clinton was asked about recent remarks from her husband, in which he appeared to criticize Mr. Obama’s signature legislative achievement. “He clarified what he meant,” Mrs. Clinton said. “If we were to start all over again, we might come up with a different system,” she said. “But we have an employer-based system.”
• Asked about the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Mrs. Clinton called the situation “catastrophic,” pivoting to criticize Russia and accusing the country’s leadership again of favoring Mr. Trump for president. Asked the same question, Mr. Trump said Mrs. Clinton “talks tough against Russia, but our nuclear program has fallen way behind.” When Ms. Raddatz, a moderator, brought up the remarks of Mr. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, on Syria, Mr. Trump said, “He and I haven’t spoken and I disagree.”
• Mr. Trump attacked Mrs. Clinton for saying that half of Trump supporters could be placed in a “basket of deplorables.”
“Believe me, she has tremendous hate in her heart,” Mr. Trump said. Mr. Cooper asked Mr. Trump if he had the discipline to lead, citing a recent “Twitter missive” in which he advised followers, without evidence, to “check out” a sex tape featuring a former pageant winner whose weight he had insulted in the 1990s. Mr. Trump denied that he had mentioned a sex tape. He also defended his favoured social media practice: “Tweeting happens to be a modern-day form of communication,” he said. “I’m not un-proud of it.”
• Asked about the Supreme Court, Mrs. Clinton said she wanted “a Supreme Court that will stick with Roe v. Wade and a women’s right to choose.” Mr. Trump said he hoped to find judges “very much in the mold of Justice Scalia,” citing a list he has compiled of possible selections.
• Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump took the stage without shaking hands
*Culled from New York Times