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30 Notable Moments from the Second Presidential Debate from Hell

30 Notable Moments from the Second Presidential Debate from Hell

30 Notable Moments from the Second Presidential Debate from Hell

What the hell did we just watch?

The second presidential debate, a town hall moderated by Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper (the first LGBT presidential debate moderator in American history), was full of shocking moments, and very few questions from the audience.

For Hillary Clinton, the goal of the debate was repeating her strong performance in the first presidential debate. For Donald Trump, it meant somehow recovering from his week from hell following the first debate, which included being hammered about his tax returns, and a leaked hot mic tape full of misogynistic comments that lost him several key endorsements.

Trump responded to the tapes by holding a press conference with Bill Clinton’s accusers before the debate, which set the tone for the rest of the night. Here are 30 of the most notable moments from the exhausting second debate.

1) Trump hinted at going completely nuclear during the debate by staging a press conference with Bill Clinton’s accusers 90 minutes before.

The pre-debate press conference had Trump flanked by Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Juanita Broaddrick, who have each accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault. Kathy Shelton was also present. As a lawyer, Hillary Clinton was appointed to serve as the attorney for Thomas Alfred Taylor, the man who raped Shelton when she was 12 years old.

2) They skipped the handshake.

After Trump’s press conference, there was speculation that Hillary Clinton would skip the handshake. She did.

3) The candidates were asked if they were modeling appropriate behavior for children who were watching the debates

The answer: Nope, nope, a thousand times nope.

4) There was more sniffling.

So, never play a drinking game involving Trump’s sniffles, because you will die.

5) Anderson Cooper asked Trump if he understood that he bragged about sexually assaulting women.

And women watching the debates were grateful for his direct question.

6) Hillary stated that she doesn’t think Trump is fit to serve as president.

But we all kind of knew that anyway.

7) "When they go low, you go high."

Clinton refused to let the press conference rattle her, and quoted Michelle Obama: "When they go low, you go high."

8) Trump called Hillary the devil.

But honestly, every time he talks we feel like we’re in hell.

9) Then he went full on tyrant and said she would be in jail if he was president.

Fortunately, we’ll probably never see the day.

10) Hillary desperately tried to redirect the focus back to the issues.

Clinton said Trump was just trying to divert attention from his exploding campaign before answering a question. Oh yeah, we almost forgot this was a town hall.

11) When Hillary offered to let an interrupting Donald answer first on an Obamacare question, he insisted she start, saying he was a gentleman.

The audience’s appropriate response was laughter.

12) Trump got too close for comfort.

We were all pretty creeped out by his lurking.

13) Anderson Cooper earned praise from debate watchers.

Though it was difficult to keep the sparring candidates on track, Cooper interjected with follow up questions, called out interruptions, and did his best to enforce time limits.

14) Trump and Clinton were asked about Islamophobia. Only one answer made any kind of sense.

While Trump focused on "radical Islamic terror," Clinton tried to reinforce that our country is not at war with an entire religion.

15) Trump said Captain Khan would be alive today if he’d been president.

In one of the most disgusting moments of the debate (and there were so many to choose from), Trump dropped this totally bizarre statement.

16) Hillary appealed to empathy and humanity in her refugee answer.

Her genuine response to suffering contrasted with Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the country.

17) Trump rambled about Russia.

If you played any drinking game involving the word Russia during this debate, I am sorry, and rest in peace.

18) Hillary said Trump is living in an alternate reality.

Don’t we all feel like we’re living in an alternate reality at this point?

19) Trump admitted he hasn’t paid federal income tax.

"Of course."

20) Trump blamed Clinton for not single handedly solving tax loopholes he took advantage of, and gave her an open to talk about everything she’s done as a politician.

He doesn’t seem to have the firmest grasp on how politics work in the United States.

21) Clinton used a rare interruption to fact check Trump.

Trump tends to do the vast majority of interrupting, but Clinton fact checked Trump on foreign policy—one of his (many) weak points as a candidate.

22) Trump asked "How stupid is our country?" in response to a question on foreign policy in Syria.

You know, we’ve been wondering the same thing for different reasons.

23) Raddatz asked Trump if he disagreed with his running mate, and earned praise from viewers.

Surprise! He's not quite on the same page. 

24) Trump assumed a black voter could only be from the inner city.


25) Hillary Clinton tried to unite undecided voters.

And actually managed to answer the question about how she would be devoted to all citizens as president.

26) She was then asked about her "basket of deplorable" comment, which many saw as divisive.

After apologizing again, she turned the question back on Trump, saying her problem was with his hate speech.

27) Twitter came up and Twitter wasn’t happy.

Also, Trump forgot that his old tweets still exist again.

28) Hillary defended Roe v. Wade and marriage equality when talking about who she would nominate for the Supreme Court.

In an election where LGBT voters have mostly been snubbed by candidates, the acknowledgement was nice.

29) Trump said he would appoint another Scalia.

So enjoy those nightmares tonight.

30) The last question was the most difficult of the night: "What do you respect about your opponent?"

Hillary praised Trump’s children.

Trump praised Hillary’s stamina. The irony was not lost on viewers.

The debate ended, and we all collectively sighed as we tried to figure out what issues had actually been discussed. It’s going to be a long month.

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Cassie Sheets