They didn’t shake hands at the beginning. Trump called her “the devil” early in the proceedings. Clinton called him “dangerous” and “unfit.” Trump threatened to have her jailed if he becomes president. They traded counterpoints and insults … and by the end, they sort of said nice things about each other. Welcome to the second presidential debate of 2016.
The Republican and Democratic nominees entered the evening with tensions riding probably higher than those before any presidential debate in history. This was big — so big it was being live-streamed in Iran — thanks to the emergence of a video on Friday showing Trump, caught on a hot mic in 2005, talking to then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush in lewd terms about trying to bed a married woman and boasting about he likes to force himself on women. Co-moderator Anderson Cooper told Trump that he had “bragged about sexually assaulting a woman” and asked him to answer for it. Trump said he was embarrassed by the tape, but once again dismissed it as “locker-room talk” and claimed he’d never groped a woman in the way he described on the tape. And after that, the topic of the tawdry tape really didn’t come up very much.
By the end, the two were trading compliments about one another. Not of their own volition of course, but because one of the people in the audience asked them to do so with the evening’s final question. Clinton answered first by saying that she admired Trump’s children. “I respect his children,” she said. “His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald.” She added that as a mother and grandmother, that was important to her.
Trump then followed with his compliment — don’t be surprised if it ends up in a Clinton campaign ad. “She doesn’t quit,” Trump said. “She doesn’t give up, I respect that. She’s a fighter.” Watch the two compliment each other in the video below. After that final question the two shook hands — a gesture that didn’t happen when the two candidates were introduced at the outset.
— New York Times Video (@nytvideo) October 10, 2016
Read the full story at The Associated Press.