The Second Presidential Debate: What You Should Know

By Elana Goodwin on October 10, 2016

On Sunday, October 9, the second presidential debate between Democrat nominee Hilary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump was hosted at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

The debate was structured much like a town meeting, with undecided citizen voters present and allowed to ask questions of the nominees. In case you missed the second presidential debate, here are the major takeaways you should know.

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1. No sportsmanship awards for Clinton or Trump. Perhaps a foreshadowing of the night to come, Clinton and Trump didn’t shake hands before the debate, which is tradition, as they did in the first presidential debate. At the end of the night’s debate though, the two did shake hands.

2. Trump tries to divert attention away from his vulgar comments about women on a 2005 recording that surfaced and over to Bill Clinton. Before the presidential debate started, Trump held a press conference with three women: Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathleen Wiley, who have accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct and one woman, Kelly Shelton, who was raped at age 12 and had her alleged attacker represented by Hilary Clinton.

What Trump said in 2005 amounts to claims that his fame basically allows him to sexually assault women — yet he tried to downplay his words as “locker room talk” but make Bill Clinton out to be a much worse guy. After trying to dismiss some of the tape and shirk his responsibility to own up to his words, Trump did admit that he’s embarrassed by it and claimed that no one has more respect for women than he does. (Proof of that, anyone?)

3. Trump makes snarky comments. Adding to the tension of the night, Trump calls Clinton “the devil,” and made some snarky comments that were very middle school-esque. After Clinton said “it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump isn’t in charge of the law in this country,” Trump snarked “Because you’d be in jail.”

Trump also accused Clinton of having “hate in her heart” and attacking the women Bill Clinton was “abusive to.”

4. Clinton missteps by bringing Abraham Lincoln into the debate. After part of a paid speech leaked last week, Clinton tried to clear the air by bringing Abraham Lincoln into the debate to explain how a president can have two different sides to them. Clinton attempted to use Lincoln as an example of having both a public and private position on issues, as Lincoln used varying methods and arguments on different lawmakers to abolish slavery.

Clinton didn’t exactly succeed here and Trump managed to capitalize on that, saying “She lied, and now she’s blaming the lie on the late great Abraham Lincoln. Honest Abe never lied; that’s the big different between Abraham Lincoln and you.”

5. Trump’s rampant false claims continue. Continuing his streak, as in the first debate, Trump made many inaccurate and false claims, which were fact-checked not in his favor. Claims by Trump about taxes, Syria, healthcare, the Iraq war, Shelton’s rape case, trade deficits, refugees, and more, during the second presidential debate were all proven wrong, and while Clinton herself did perhaps make a few misleading comments, Trump outdid himself and her in stating false facts.

6. Trump seemingly abandons VP candidate and running mate Mike Pence. During last week’s vice presidential debate, Trump’s running mate Mike Pence took a hard stance on Russia — breaking with Trump’s policy on Syria –  and threatened the use of force by the U.S. if Russia and Syria continued to bomb civilians.

During the presidential debate, Trump threw Pence under the bus by disagreeing with him and stating he didn’t have the same position as Pence, saying “He and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree.” Instead, Trump continued to defend Russia, claiming they’re bombing ISIS.

7. OK kids, let’s go around the room and everyone say something nice about each other. To end the night, Karl Becker, a town hall participant, asked the final question — and it was quite the change in pace. Becker asked if either of the candidates would name one positive things that they respect in one another.

Clinton answered first, saying “I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted and I think that says a lot about Donald.” She did also slip in that she doesn’t agree with everything he says or does but she respects that and as a mother and grandmother, the abilities and dedication of his children is very important.

Trump then returned the compliment, saying, “She doesn’t quit and doesn’t give up. I respect that … She is a fighter,” before also stating that he disagrees with much of what she’s fighting for and her judgement in many cases, though overall the fact that she fights hard and doesn’t give up is a good trait.

So both managed to make genuine compliments about the other to end the night while also stating their disagreements with the other’s actions and words. Nice try, Becker — you almost pulled it off.

The third and final presidential debate will take place on Wednesday, October 19, at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas.

By Elana Goodwin

Uloop Writer
I am currently serving as the Director/Managing Editor for Uloop News. I've been part of the Uloop family since 2013 and in my current role, I recruit writers, edit articles, manage interns, and lead our National Team, among other duties. When I'm not writing or editing, I love being outside, reading, and photography! I have a Bachelor's degree in English with a double-minor in Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University. If you have questions or just want to chat, don't hesitate to reach out! Email me at

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