And I think it is very important for us to make clear to our children that our country really is great because we’re good. And we are going to respect one another, lift each other up. We are going to be looking for ways to celebrate our diversity, and we are going to try to reach out to every boy and girl, as well as every adult, to bring them in to working on behalf of our country.
I have a very positive and optimistic view about what we can do together. That’s why the slogan of my campaign is “Stronger Together,” because I think if we work together, if we overcome the divisiveness that sometimes sets Americans against one another, and instead we make some big goals — and I’ve set forth some big goals, getting the economy to work for everyone, not just those at the top, making sure that we have the best education system from preschool through college and making it affordable, and so much else.
If we set those goals and we go together to try to achieve them, there’s nothing in my opinion that America can’t do. So that’s why I hope that we will come together in this campaign. Obviously, I’m hoping to earn your vote, I’m hoping to be elected in November, and I can promise you, I will work with every American.
I want to be the president for all Americans, regardless of your political beliefs, where you come from, what you look like, your religion. I want us to heal our country and bring it together because that’s, I think, the best way for us to get the future that our children and our grandchildren deserve.
COOPER: Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. Trump, you have two minutes.
TRUMP: Well, I actually agree with that. I agree with everything she said. I began this campaign because I was so tired of seeing such foolish things happen to our country. This is a great country. This is a great land. I’ve gotten to know the people of the country over the last year-and-a-half that I’ve been doing this as a politician. I cannot believe I’m saying that about myself, but I guess I have been a politician.
TRUMP: And my whole concept was to make America great again. When I watch the deals being made, when I watch what’s happening with some horrible things like Obamacare, where your health insurance and health care is going up by numbers that are astronomical, 68 percent, 59 percent, 71 percent, when I look at the Iran deal and how bad a deal it is for us, it’s a one-sided transaction where we’re giving back $150 billion to a terrorist state, really, the number one terror state, we’ve made them a strong country from really a very weak country just three years ago.
When I look at all of the things that I see and all of the potential that our country has, we have such tremendous potential, whether it’s in business and trade, where we’re doing so badly. Last year, we had almost $800 billion trade deficit. In other words, trading with other countries. We had an $800 billion deficit. It’s hard to believe. Inconceivable.
You say who’s making these deals? We’re going the make great deals. We’re going to have a strong border. We’re going to bring back law and order. Just today, policemen was shot, two killed. And this is happening on a weekly basis. We have to bring back respect to law enforcement. At the same time, we have to take care of people on all sides. We need justice.
But I want to do things that haven’t been done, including fixing and making our inner cities better for the African-American citizens that are so great, and for the Latinos, Hispanics, and I look forward to doing it. It’s called make America great again.
COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump. The question from Patrice was about are you both modeling positive and appropriate behavior for today’s youth? We received a lot of questions online, Mr. Trump, about the tape that was released on Friday, as you can imagine. You called what you said locker room banter. You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault. You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?
TRUMP: No, I didn’t say that at all. 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.
You know, when we have a world where you have ISIS chopping off heads, where you have — and, frankly, drowning people in steel cages, where you have wars and horrible, horrible sights all over, where you have so many bad things happening, this is like medieval times. We haven’t seen anything like this, the carnage all over the world.
And they look and they see. Can you imagine the people that are, frankly, doing so well against us with ISIS? And they look at our country and they see what’s going on.
Yes, I’m very embarrassed by it. I hate it. But it’s locker room talk, and it’s one of those things. I will knock the hell out of ISIS. We’re going to defeat ISIS. ISIS happened a number of years ago in a vacuum that was left because of bad judgment. And I will tell you, I will take care of ISIS.
COOPER: So, Mr. Trump...
TRUMP: And we should get on to much more important things and much bigger things.
COOPER: Just for the record, though, are you saying that what you said on that bus 11 years ago that you did not actually kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?
TRUMP: I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do.
COOPER: So, for the record, you’re saying you never did that?
TRUMP: I’ve said things that, frankly, you hear these things I said. And I was embarrassed by it. But I have tremendous respect for women.
COOPER: Have you ever done those things?
TRUMP: And women have respect for me. And I will tell you: No, I have not. And I will tell you that I’m going to make our country safe. We’re going to have borders in our country, which we don’t have now. People are pouring into our country, and they’re coming in from the Middle East and other places.
We’re going to make America safe again. We’re going to make America great again, but we’re going to make America safe again. And we’re going to make America wealthy again, because if you don’t do that, it just — it sounds harsh to say, but we have to build up the wealth of our nation.
COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.
TRUMP: Right now, other nations are taking our jobs and they’re taking our wealth.
COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.
TRUMP: And that’s what I want to talk about.
COOPER: Secretary Clinton, do you want to respond?
CLINTON: Well, like everyone else, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking over the last 48 hours about what we heard and saw. You know, with prior Republican nominees for president, I disagreed with them on politics, policies, principles, but I never questioned their fitness to serve.
Donald Trump is different. I said starting back in June that he was not fit to be president and commander-in-chief. And many Republicans and independents have said the same thing. What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women. And he has said that the video doesn’t represent who he is.
But 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.
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.
So this is who Donald Trump is. And the question for us, the question our country must answer is that this is not who we are. That’s why — to go back to your question — I want to send a message — we all should — to every boy and girl and, indeed, to the entire world that America already is great, but we are great because we are good, and we will respect one another, and we will work with one another, and we will celebrate our diversity.
CLINTON: These are very important values to me, because this is the America that I know and love. And I can pledge to you tonight that this is the America that I will serve if I’m so fortunate enough to become your president.
RADDATZ: And we want to get to some questions from online...
TRUMP: Am I allowed to respond to that? I assume I am.
RADDATZ: Yes, you can respond to that.
TRUMP: It’s just words, folks. It’s just words. Those words, I’ve been hearing them for many years. I heard them when they were running for the Senate in New York, where Hillary was going to bring back jobs to upstate New York and she failed.
I’ve heard them where Hillary is constantly talking about the inner cities of our country, which are a disaster education-wise, jobwise, safety-wise, in every way possible. I’m going to help the African-Americans. I’m going to help the Latinos, Hispanics. I am going to help the inner cities.
She’s done a terrible job for the African-Americans. She wants their vote, and she does nothing, and then she comes back four years later. We saw that firsthand when she was United States senator. She campaigned where the primary part of her campaign...
RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump — I want to get to audience questions and online questions.
TRUMP: So, she’s allowed to do that, but I’m not allowed to respond?
RADDATZ: You’re going to have — you’re going to get to respond right now.
TRUMP: Sounds fair.
RADDATZ: This tape is generating intense interest. In just 48 hours, it’s become the single most talked about story of the entire 2016 election on Facebook, with millions and millions of people discussing it on the social network. As we said a moment ago, we do want to bring in questions from voters around country via social media, and our first stays on this topic. Jeff from Ohio asks on Facebook, “Trump says the campaign has changed him. When did that happen?” So, Mr. Trump, let me add to that. When you walked off that bus at age 59, were you a different man or did that behavior continue until just recently? And you have two minutes for this.
TRUMP: It was locker room talk, as I told you. That was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country. And certainly, I’m not proud of it. But that was something that happened.
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. One of the women, who is a wonderful woman, at 12 years old, was raped at 12. Her client she represented got him off, and she’s seen laughing on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped. Kathy Shelton, that young woman is here with us tonight.
So don’t tell me about words. I am absolutely — I apologize for those words. But it is things that people say. But what President Clinton did, he was impeached, he lost his license to practice law. He had to pay an $850,000 fine to one of the women. Paula Jones, who’s also here tonight.
And I will tell you that when Hillary brings up a point like that and she talks about words that I said 11 years ago, I think it’s disgraceful, and I think she should be ashamed of herself, if you want to know the truth.
RADDATZ: Can we please hold the applause? Secretary Clinton, you have two minutes.
CLINTON: Well, first, let me start by saying that so much of what he’s just said is not right, but he gets to run his campaign any way he chooses. He gets to decide what he wants to talk about. Instead of answering people’s questions, talking about our agenda, laying out the plans that we have that we think can make a better life and a better country, that’s his choice.
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.
(APPLAUSE) And, look, if this were just about one video, maybe what he’s saying tonight would be understandable, but everyone can draw their own conclusions at this point about whether or not the man in the video or the man on the stage respects women. But he never apologizes for anything to anyone.
CLINTON: He never apologized to Mr. and Mrs. Khan, the Gold Star family whose son, Captain Khan, died in the line of duty in Iraq. And Donald insulted and attacked them for weeks over their religion.
He never apologized to the distinguished federal judge who was born in Indiana, but Donald said he couldn’t be trusted to be a judge because his parents were, quote, “Mexican.”
He never apologized to the reporter that he mimicked and mocked on national television and our children were watching. And he never apologized for the racist lie that President Obama was not born in the United States of America. He owes the president an apology, he owes our country an apology, and he needs to take responsibility for his actions and his words.
TRUMP: Well, you owe the president an apology, because as you know very well, your campaign, Sidney Blumenthal — he’s another real winner that you have — and he’s the one that got this started, along with your campaign manager, and they were on television just two weeks ago, she was, saying exactly that. So you really owe him an apology. You’re the one that sent the pictures around your campaign, sent the pictures around with President Obama in a certain garb. That was long before I was ever involved, so you actually owe an apology.
Number two, Michelle Obama. I’ve gotten to see the commercials that they did on you. And I’ve gotten to see some of the most vicious commercials I’ve ever seen of Michelle Obama talking about you, Hillary.
So, you talk about friend? Go back and take a look at those commercials, a race where you lost fair and square, unlike the Bernie Sanders race, where you won, but not fair and square, in my opinion. And all you have to do is take a look at WikiLeaks and just see what they say about Bernie Sanders and see what Deborah Wasserman Schultz had in mind, because Bernie Sanders, between super-delegates and Deborah Wasserman Schultz, he never had a chance. And I was so surprised to see him sign on with the devil.
But when you talk about apology, I think the one that you should really be apologizing for and the thing that you should be apologizing for are the 33,000 e-mails that you deleted, and that you acid washed, and then the two boxes of e-mails and other things last week that were taken from an office and are now missing.
And I’ll tell you what. I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we’re going to have a special prosecutor.
When I speak, I go out and speak, the people of this country are furious. In my opinion, the people that have been long-term workers at the FBI are furious. There has never been anything like this, where e-mails — and you get a subpoena, you get a subpoena, and after getting the subpoena, you delete 33,000 e-mails, and then you acid wash them or bleach them, as you would say, very expensive process.
So we’re going to get a special prosecutor, and we’re going to look into it, because you know what? People have been — their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you’ve done. And it’s a disgrace. And honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, I want to follow up on that.
RADDATZ: I’m going to let you talk about e-mails.
CLINTON: ... because everything he just said is absolutely false, but I’m not surprised.
TRUMP: Oh, really?
CLINTON: In the first debate...
RADDATZ: And really, the audience needs to calm down here.
CLINTON: ... I told people that it would be impossible to be fact-checking Donald all the time. I’d never get to talk about anything I want to do and how we’re going to really make lives better for people.
So, once again, go to HillaryClinton.com. We have literally Trump — you can fact check him in real time. Last time at the first debate, we had millions of people fact checking, so I expect we’ll have millions more fact checking, because, you know, it is — it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.
TRUMP: Because you’d be in jail.
RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton...
COOPER: We want to remind the audience to please not talk out loud. Please do not applaud. You’re just wasting time.
RADDATZ: And, Secretary Clinton, I do want to follow up on e- mails. You’ve said your handing of your e-mails was a mistake. You disagreed with FBI Director James Comey, calling your handling of classified information, quote, “extremely careless.” The FBI said that there were 110 classified e-mails that were exchanged, eight of which were top secret, and that it was possible hostile actors did gain access to those e-mails. You don’t call that extremely careless? CLINTON: Well, Martha, first, let me say — and I’ve said before, but I’ll repeat it, because I want everyone to hear it — that was a mistake, and I take responsibility for using a personal e-mail account. Obviously, if I were to do it over again, I would not. I’m not making any excuses. It was a mistake. And I am very sorry about that.
But I think it’s also important to point out where there are some misleading accusations from critics and others. After a year-long investigation, there is no evidence that anyone hacked the server I was using and there is no evidence that anyone can point to at all — anyone who says otherwise has no basis — that any classified material ended up in the wrong hands.
I take classified materials very seriously and always have. When I was on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I was privy to a lot of classified material. Obviously, as secretary of state, I had some of the most important secrets that we possess, such as going after bin Laden. So I am very committed to taking classified information seriously. And as I said, there is no evidence that any classified information ended up in the wrong hands.
RADDATZ: OK, we’re going to move on.
TRUMP: And yet she didn’t know the word — the letter C on a document. Right? She didn’t even know what that word — what that letter meant.
You know, it’s amazing. I’m watching Hillary go over facts. And she’s going after fact after fact, and she’s lying again, because she said she — you know, what she did with the e-mail was fine. You think it was fine to delete 33,000 e-mails? I don’t think so.
She said the 33,000 e-mails had to do with her daughter’s wedding, number one, and a yoga class. Well, maybe we’ll give three or three or four or five or something. 33,000 e-mails deleted, and now she’s saying there wasn’t anything wrong.
And more importantly, that was after getting a subpoena. That wasn’t before. That was after. She got it from the United States Congress. And I’ll be honest, I am so disappointed in congressmen, including Republicans, for allowing this to happen.
Our Justice Department, where our husband goes on to the back of a airplane for 39 minutes, talks to the attorney general days before a ruling is going to be made on her case. But for you to say that there was nothing wrong with you deleting 39,000 e-mails, again, you should be ashamed of yourself. What you did — and this is after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.
COOPER: We have to move on.
TRUMP: You did that. Wait a minute. One second.
COOPER: Secretary Clinton, you can respond, and then we got to move on.
RADDATZ: We want to give the audience a chance.
TRUMP: If you did that in the private sector, you’d be put in jail, let alone after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.
COOPER: Secretary Clinton, you can respond. Then we have to move on to an audience question.
CLINTON: Look, it’s just not true. And so please, go to...
TRUMP: Oh, you didn’t delete them?
COOPER: Allow her to respond, please.
CLINTON: It was personal e-mails, not official.
TRUMP: Oh, 33,000? Yeah.
CLINTON: Not — well, we turned over 35,000, so...
TRUMP: Oh, yeah. What about the other 15,000?
COOPER: Please allow her to respond. She didn’t talk while you talked.
CLINTON: Yes, that’s true, I didn’t.
TRUMP: Because you have nothing to say.
CLINTON: I didn’t in the first debate, and I’m going to try not to in this debate, because I’d like to get to the questions that the people have brought here tonight to talk to us about.
TRUMP: Get off this question.
CLINTON: OK, Donald. I know you’re into big diversion tonight, anything to avoid talking about your campaign and the way it’s exploding and the way Republicans are leaving you. But let’s at least focus...
TRUMP: Let’s see what happens...
COOPER: Allow her to respond.
CLINTON: ... on some of the issues that people care about tonight. Let’s get to their questions.
COOPER: We have a question here from Ken Karpowicz. He has a question about health care. Ken?
TRUMP: I’d like to know, Anderson, why aren’t you bringing up the e-mails? I’d like to know. Why aren’t you bringing...
COOPER: We brought up the e-mails.
TRUMP: No, it hasn’t. It hasn’t. And it hasn’t been finished at all.
COOPER: Ken Karpowicz has a question.
TRUMP: It’s nice to — one on three.
QUESTION: Thank you. Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, it is not affordable. Premiums have gone up. Deductibles have gone up. Copays have gone up. Prescriptions have gone up. And the coverage has gone down. What will you do to bring the cost down and make coverage better?
COOPER: That first one goes to Secretary Clinton, because you started out the last one to the audience.
CLINTON: If he wants to start, he can start. No, go ahead, Donald.
TRUMP: No, I’m a gentlemen, Hillary. Go ahead.
COOPER: Secretary Clinton?
CLINTON: Well, I think Donald was about to say he’s going to solve it by repealing it and getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. And I’m going to fix it, because I agree with you. Premiums have gotten too high. Copays, deductibles, prescription drug costs, and I’ve laid out a series of actions that we can take to try to get those costs down.
But here’s what I don’t want people to forget when we’re talking about reining in the costs, which has to be the highest priority of the next president, when the Affordable Care Act passed, it wasn’t just that 20 million got insurance who didn’t have it before. But that in and of itself was a good thing. I meet these people all the time, and they tell me what a difference having that insurance meant to them and their families.
But everybody else, the 170 million of us who get health insurance through our employees got big benefits. Number one, insurance companies can’t deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Number two, no lifetime limits, which is a big deal if you have serious health problems.
Number three, women can’t be charged more than men for our health insurance, which is the way it used to be before the Affordable Care Act. Number four, if you’re under 26, and your parents have a policy, you can be on that policy until the age of 26, something that didn’t happen before.
So I want very much to save what works and is good about the Affordable Care Act. But we’ve got to get costs down. We’ve got to provide additional help to small businesses so that they can afford to provide health insurance. But if we repeal it, as Donald has proposed, and start over again, all of those benefits I just mentioned are lost to everybody, not just people who get their health insurance on the exchange. And then we would have to start all over again.
Right now, we are at 90 percent health insurance coverage. That’s the highest we’ve ever been in our country. COOPER: Secretary Clinton, your time is up.
CLINTON: So I want us to get to 100 percent, but get costs down and keep quality up.
COOPER: Mr. Trump, you have two minutes.
TRUMP: It is such a great question and it’s maybe the question I get almost more than anything else, outside of defense. Obamacare is a disaster. You know it. We all know it. It’s going up at numbers that nobody’s ever seen worldwide. Nobody’s ever seen numbers like this for health care.
It’s only getting worse. In ’17, it implodes by itself. Their method of fixing it is to go back and ask Congress for more money, more and more money. We have right now almost $20 trillion in debt.
Obamacare will never work. It’s very bad, very bad health insurance. Far too expensive. And not only expensive for the person that has it, unbelievably expensive for our country. It’s going to be one of the biggest line items very shortly.
We have to repeal it and replace it with something absolutely much less expensive and something that works, where your plan can actually be tailored. We have to get rid of the lines around the state, artificial lines, where we stop insurance companies from coming in and competing, because they want — and President Obama and whoever was working on it — they want to leave those lines, because that gives the insurance companies essentially monopolies. We want competition.
You will have the finest health care plan there is. She wants to go to a single-payer plan, which would be a disaster, somewhat similar to Canada. And if you haven’t noticed the Canadians, when they need a big operation, when something happens, they come into the United States in many cases because their system is so slow. It’s catastrophic in certain ways.
But she wants to go to single payer, which means the government basically rules everything. Hillary Clinton has been after this for years. Obamacare was the first step. Obamacare is a total disaster. And not only are your rates going up by numbers that nobody’s ever believed, but your deductibles are going up, so that unless you get hit by a truck, you’re never going to be able to use it.
COOPER: Mr. Trump, your time...
TRUMP: It is a disastrous plan, and it has to be repealed and replaced.
COOPER: Secretary Clinton, let me follow up with you. Your husband called Obamacare, quote, “the craziest thing in the world,” saying that small-business owners are getting killed as premiums double, coverage is cut in half. Was he mistaken or was the mistake simply telling the truth?
CLINTON: No, I mean, he clarified what he meant. And it’s very clear. Look, we are in a situation in our country where if we were to start all over again, we might come up with a different system. But we have an employer-based system. That’s where the vast majority of people get their health care.
And the Affordable Care Act was meant to try to fill the gap between people who were too poor and couldn’t put together any resources to afford health care, namely people on Medicaid. Obviously, Medicare, which is a single-payer system, which takes care of our elderly and does a great job doing it, by the way, and then all of the people who were employed, but people who were working but didn’t have the money to afford insurance and didn’t have anybody, an employer or anybody else, to help them.
That was the slot that the Obamacare approach was to take. And like I say, 20 million people now have health insurance. So if we just rip it up and throw it away, what Donald’s not telling you is we just turn it back to the insurance companies the way it used to be, and that means the insurance companies...
COOPER: Secretary Clinton...
CLINTON: ... get to do pretty much whatever they want, including saying, look, I’m sorry, you’ve got diabetes, you had cancer, your child has asthma...
COOPER: Your time is up.
CLINTON: ... you may not be able to have insurance because you can’t afford it. So let’s fix what’s broken about it, but let’s not throw it away and give it all back to the insurance companies and the drug companies. That’s not going to work.
COOPER: Mr. Trump, let me follow up on this. TRUMP: Well, I just want — just one thing. First of all, Hillary, everything’s broken about it. Everything. Number two, Bernie Sanders said that Hillary Clinton has very bad judgment. This is a perfect example of it, trying to save Obamacare, which is a disaster.
COOPER: You’ve said you want to end Obamacare...
TRUMP: By the way...
COOPER: You’ve said you want to end Obamacare. You’ve also said you want to make coverage accessible for people with pre-existing conditions. How do you force insurance companies to do that if you’re no longer mandating that every American get insurance?
TRUMP: We’re going to be able to. You’re going to have plans...
COOPER: What does that mean?
TRUMP: Well, I’ll tell you what it means. You’re going to have plans that are so good, because we’re going to have so much competition in the insurance industry. Once we break out — once we break out the lines and allow the competition to come...
COOPER: Are you going — are you going to have a mandate that Americans have to have health insurance?
TRUMP: President Obama — Anderson, excuse me. President Obama, by keeping those lines, the boundary lines around each state, it was almost gone until just very toward the end of the passage of Obamacare, which, by the way, was a fraud. You know that, because Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, was said — he said it was a great lie, it was a big lie. President Obama said you keep your doctor, you keep your plan. The whole thing was a fraud, and it doesn’t work.
But when we get rid of those lines, you will have competition, and we will be able to keep pre-existing, we’ll also be able to help people that can’t get — don’t have money because we are going to have people protected.
And Republicans feel this way, believe it or not, and strongly this way. We’re going to block grant into the states. We’re going to block grant into Medicaid into the states...
COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.
TRUMP: ... so that we will be able to take care of people without the necessary funds to take care of themselves.
COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.
RADDATZ: We now go to Gorbah Hamed with a question for both candidates.
QUESTION: Hi. There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States, and I’m one of them. You’ve mentioned working with Muslim nations, but with Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?
RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, you’re first.
TRUMP: Well, you’re right about Islamophobia, and that’s a shame. But one thing we have to do is we have to make sure that — because there is a problem. I mean, whether we like it or not, and we could be very politically correct, but whether we like it or not, there is a problem. And we have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on. When they see hatred going on, they have to report it.
As an example, in San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people. Horribly wounded. They’ll never be the same. Muslims have to report the problems when they see them.
And, you know, there’s always a reason for everything. If they don’t do that, it’s a very difficult situation for our country, because you look at Orlando and you look at San Bernardino and you look at the World Trade Center. Go outside. Look at Paris. Look at that horrible — these are radical Islamic terrorists.
And she won’t even mention the word and nor will President Obama. He won’t use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” Now, to solve a problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least say the name. She won’t say the name and President Obama won’t say the name. But the name is there. It’s radical Islamic terror. And before you solve it, you have to say the name.
RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton? CLINTON: Well, thank you for asking your question. And I’ve heard this question from a lot of Muslim-Americans across our country, because, unfortunately, there’s been a lot of very divisive, dark things said about Muslims. And even someone like Captain Khan, the young man who sacrificed himself defending our country in the United States Army, has been subject to attack by Donald.
I want to say just a couple of things. First, we’ve had Muslims in America since George Washington. And we’ve had many successful Muslims. We just lost a particular well-known one with Muhammad Ali.
CLINTON: My vision of America is an America where everyone has a place, if you’re willing to work hard, you do your part, you contribute to the community. That’s what America is. That’s what we want America to be for our children and our grandchildren.
It’s also very short-sighted and even dangerous to be engaging in the kind of demagogic rhetoric that Donald has about Muslims. We need American Muslims to be part of our eyes and ears on our front lines. I’ve worked with a lot of different Muslim groups around America. I’ve met with a lot of them, and I’ve heard how important it is for them to feel that they are wanted and included and part of our country, part of our homeland security, and that’s what I want to see.
It’s also important I intend to defeat ISIS, to do so in a coalition with majority Muslim nations. Right now, a lot of those nations are hearing what Donald says and wondering, why should we cooperate with the Americans? And this is a gift to ISIS and the terrorists, violent jihadist terrorists.
We are not at war with Islam. And it is a mistake and it plays into the hands of the terrorists to act as though we are. So I want a country where citizens like you and your family are just as welcome as anyone else.
RADDATZ: Thank you, Secretary Clinton.
Mr. Trump, in December, you said this. “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. We have no choice. We have no choice.” Your running mate said this week that the Muslim ban is no longer your position. Is that correct? And if it is, was it a mistake to have a religious test?
TRUMP: First of all, Captain Khan is an American hero, and if I were president at that time, he would be alive today, because unlike her, who voted for the war without knowing what she was doing, I would not have had our people in Iraq. Iraq was disaster. So he would have been alive today.
The Muslim ban is something that in some form has morphed into a extreme vetting from certain areas of the world. Hillary Clinton wants to allow hundreds of thousands — excuse me. Excuse me..
RADDATZ: And why did it morph into that? No, did you — no, answer the question. Do you still believe... TRUMP: Why don’t you interrupt her? You interrupt me all the time.
RADDATZ: I do.
TRUMP: Why don’t you interrupt her?
RADDATZ: Would you please explain whether or not the Muslim ban still stands?
TRUMP: It’s called extreme vetting. We are going to areas like Syria where they’re coming in by the tens of thousands because of Barack Obama. And Hillary Clinton wants to allow a 550 percent increase over Obama. People are coming into our country like we have no idea who they are, where they are from, what their feelings about our country is, and she wants 550 percent more. This is going to be the great Trojan horse of all time.
We have enough problems in this country. I believe in building safe zones. I believe in having other people pay for them, as an example, the Gulf states, who are not carrying their weight, but they have nothing but money, and take care of people. But I don’t want to have, with all the problems this country has and all of the problems that you see going on, hundreds of thousands of people coming in from Syria when we know nothing about them. We know nothing about their values and we know nothing about their love for our country.
RADDATZ: And, Secretary Clinton, let me ask you about that, because you have asked for an increase from 10,000 to 65,000 Syrian refugees. We know you want tougher vetting. That’s not a perfect system. So why take the risk of having those refugees come into the country?
CLINTON: Well, first of all, I will not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us. But there are a lot of refugees, women and children — think of that picture we all saw of that 4-year-old boy with the blood on his forehead because he’d been bombed by the Russian and Syrian air forces.
There are children suffering in this catastrophic war, largely, I believe, because of Russian aggression. And we need to do our part. We by no means are carrying anywhere near the load that Europe and others are. But we will have vetting that is as tough as it needs to be from our professionals, our intelligence experts and others.
But it is important for us as a policy, you know, not to say, as Donald has said, we’re going to ban people based on a religion. How do you do that? We are a country founded on religious freedom and liberty. How do we do what he has advocated without causing great distress within our own county? Are we going to have religious tests when people fly into our country? And how do we expect to be able to implement those?
So I thought that what he said was extremely unwise and even dangerous. And indeed, you can look at the propaganda on a lot of the terrorists sites, and what Donald Trump says about Muslims is used to recruit fighters, because they want to create a war between us.
And the final thing I would say, this is the 10th or 12th time that he’s denied being for the war in Iraq. We have it on tape. The entire press corps has looked at it. It’s been debunked, but it never stops him from saying whatever he wants to say.
TRUMP: That’s not been debunked.
CLINTON: So, please...
TRUMP: That has not been debunked.
CLINTON: ... go to HillaryClinton.com and you can see it.
TRUMP: I was against — I was against the war in Iraq. Has not been debunked. And you voted for it. And you shouldn’t have. Well, I just want to say...
RADDATZ: There’s been lots of fact-checking on that. I’d like to move on to an online question...
TRUMP: Excuse me. She just went about 25 seconds over her time.
RADDATZ: She did not.
TRUMP: Could I just respond to this, please?
RADDATZ: Very quickly, please.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton, in terms of having people come into our country, we have many criminal illegal aliens. When we want to send them back to their country, their country says we don’t want them. In some cases, they’re murderers, drug lords, drug problems. And they don’t want them.
And Hillary Clinton, when she was secretary of state, said that’s OK, we can’t force it into their country. Let me tell you, I’m going to force them right back into their country. They’re murderers and some very bad people.
And I will tell you very strongly, when Bernie Sanders said she had bad judgment, she has really bad judgment, because we are letting people into this country that are going to cause problems and crime like you’ve never seen. We’re also letting drugs pour through our southern border at a record clip. At a record clip. And it shouldn’t be allowed to happen.
ICE just endorsed me. They’ve never endorsed a presidential candidate. The Border Patrol agents, 16,500, just recently endorsed me, and they endorsed me because I understand the border. She doesn’t. She wants amnesty for everybody. Come right in. Come right over. It’s a horrible thing she’s doing. She’s got bad judgment, and honestly, so bad that she should never be president of the United States. That I can tell you.
RADDATZ: Thank you, Mr. Trump. I want to move on. This next question from the public through the Bipartisan Open Debate Coalition’s online forum, where Americans submitted questions that generated millions of votes. This question involves WikiLeaks release of purported excerpts of Secretary Clinton’s paid speeches, which she has refused to release, and one line in particular, in which you, Secretary Clinton, purportedly say you need both a public and private position on certain issues. So, Tu (ph), from Virginia asks, is it OK for politicians to be two-faced? Is it acceptable for a politician to have a private stance on issues? Secretary Clinton, your two minutes.
CLINTON: Well, right. As I recall, that was something I said about Abraham Lincoln after having seen the wonderful Steven Spielberg movie called “Lincoln.” It was a master class watching President Lincoln get the Congress to approve the 13th Amendment. It was principled, and it was strategic.
And I was making the point that it is hard sometimes to get the Congress to do what you want to do and you have to keep working at it. And, yes, President Lincoln was trying to convince some people, he used some arguments, convincing other people, he used other arguments. That was a great — I thought a great display of presidential leadership.
But, you know, let’s talk about what’s really going on here, Martha, because our intelligence community just came out and said in the last few days that the Kremlin, meaning Putin and the Russian government, are directing the attacks, the hacking on American accounts to influence our election. And WikiLeaks is part of that, as are other sites where the Russians hack information, we don’t even know if it’s accurate information, and then they put it out.
We have never in the history of our country been in a situation where an adversary, a foreign power, is working so hard to influence the outcome of the election. And believe me, they’re not doing it to get me elected. They’re doing it to try to influence the election for Donald Trump.
CLINTON: Now, maybe because he has praised Putin, maybe because he says he agrees with a lot of what Putin wants to do, maybe because he wants to do business in Moscow, I don’t know the reasons. But we deserve answers. And we should demand that Donald release all of his tax returns so that people can see what are the entanglements and the financial relationships that he has...
RADDATZ: We’re going to get to that later. Secretary Clinton, you’re out of time.
CLINTON: ... with the Russians and other foreign powers.
RADDATZ: Mr. Trump?
TRUMP: Well, I think I should respond, because — so ridiculous. Look, now she’s blaming — she got caught in a total lie. Her papers went out to all her friends at the banks, Goldman Sachs and everybody else, and she said things — WikiLeaks that just came out. And she lied. Now she’s blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln. That’s one that I haven’t...
OK, Honest Abe, Honest Abe never lied. That’s the good thing. That’s the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you. That’s a big, big difference. We’re talking about some difference.
But as far as other elements of what she was saying, I don’t know Putin. I think it would be great if we got along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together, as an example. But I don’t know Putin.
But I notice, anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians are — she doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia. And the reason they blame Russia because they think they’re trying to tarnish me with Russia. I know nothing about Russia. I know — I know about Russia, but I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia. I don’t deal there. I have no businesses there. I have no loans from Russia.
I have a very, very great balance sheet, so great that when I did the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue, the United States government, because of my balance sheet, which they actually know very well, chose me to do the Old Post Office, between the White House and Congress, chose me to do the Old Post Office. One of the primary area things, in fact, perhaps the primary thing was balance sheet. But I have no loans with Russia. You could go to the United States government, and they would probably tell you that, because they know my sheet very well in order to get that development I had to have.
Now, the taxes are a very simple thing. As soon as I have — first of all, I pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. Many of her friends took bigger deductions. Warren Buffett took a massive deduction. Soros, who’s a friend of hers, took a massive deduction. Many of the people that are giving her all this money that she can do many more commercials than me gave her — took massive deductions.
I pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. But — but as soon as my routine audit is finished, I’ll release my returns. I’ll be very proud to. They’re actually quite great.
RADDATZ: Thank you, Mr. Trump.
COOPER: We want to turn, actually, to the topic of taxes. We have a question from Spencer Maass. Spencer?
QUESTION: Good evening. My question is, what specific tax provisions will you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes?
COOPER: Mr. Trump, you have two minutes.
TRUMP: Well, one thing I’d do is get rid of carried interest. One of the greatest provisions for people like me, to be honest with you, I give up a lot when I run, because I knock out the tax code. And she could have done this years ago, by the way. She’s a United States — she was a United States senator.
She complains that Donald Trump took advantage of the tax code. Well, why didn’t she change it? Why didn’t you change it when you were a senator? The reason you didn’t is that all your friends take the same advantage that I do. And I do. You have provisions in the tax code that, frankly, we could change. But you wouldn’t change it, because all of these people gave you the money so you can take negative ads on Donald Trump.
But — and I say that about a lot of things. You know, I’ve heard Hillary complaining about so many different things over the years. “I wish you would have done this.” But she’s been there for 30 years she’s been doing this stuff. She never changed. And she never will change. She never will change.
We’re getting rid of carried interest provisions. I’m lowering taxes actually, because I think it’s so important for corporations, because we have corporations leaving — massive corporations and little ones, little ones can’t form. We’re getting rid of regulations which goes hand in hand with the lowering of the taxes.
But we’re bringing the tax rate down from 35 percent to 15 percent. We’re cutting taxes for the middle class. And I will tell you, we are cutting them big league for the middle class.
And I will tell you, Hillary Clinton is raising your taxes, folks. You can look at me. She’s raising your taxes really high. And what that’s going to do is a disaster for the country. But she is raising your taxes and I’m lowering your taxes. That in itself is a big difference. We are going to be thriving again. We have no growth in this country. There’s no growth. If China has a GDP of 7 percent, it’s like a national catastrophe. We’re down at 1 percent. And that’s, like, no growth. And we’re going lower, in my opinion. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that our taxes are so high, just about the highest in the world. And I’m bringing them down to one of the lower in the world. And I think it’s so important — one of the most important things we can do. But she is raising everybody’s taxes massively.
COOPER: Secretary Clinton, you have two minutes. The question was, what specific tax provisions will you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share of taxes?
CLINTON: Well, everything you’ve heard just now from Donald is not true. I’m sorry I have to keep saying this, but he lives in an alternative reality. And it is sort of amusing to hear somebody who hasn’t paid federal income taxes in maybe 20 years talking about what he’s going to do.
But I’ll tell you what he’s going to do. His plan will give the wealthy and corporations the biggest tax cuts they’ve ever had, more than the Bush tax cuts by at least a factor of two. Donald always takes care of Donald and people like Donald, and this would be a massive gift. And, indeed, the way that he talks about his tax cuts would end up raising taxes on middle-class families, millions of middle-class families.
Now, here’s what I want to do. I have said nobody who makes less than $250,000 a year — and that’s the vast majority of Americans as you know — will have their taxes raised, because I think we’ve got to go where the money is. And the money is with people who have taken advantage of every single break in the tax code.
And, yes, when I was a senator, I did vote to close corporate loopholes. I voted to close, I think, one of the loopholes he took advantage of when he claimed a billion-dollar loss that enabled him to avoid paying taxes.
I want to have a tax on people who are making a million dollars. It’s called the Buffett rule. Yes, Warren Buffett is the one who’s gone out and said somebody like him should not be paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. I want to have a surcharge on incomes above $5 million.
We have to make up for lost times, because I want to invest in you. I want to invest in hard-working families. And I think it’s been unfortunate, but it’s happened, that since the Great Recession, the gains have all gone to the top. And we need to reverse that.
People like Donald, who paid zero in taxes, zero for our vets, zero for our military, zero for health and education, that is wrong.
COOPER: Thank you, Secretary.
CLINTON: And we’re going to make sure that nobody, no corporation, and no individual can get away without paying his fair share to support our country.
COOPER: Thank you. I want to give you — Mr. Trump, I want to give you the chance to respond. I just wanted to tell our viewers what she’s referring to. In the last month, taxes were the number-one issue on Facebook for the first time in the campaign. The New York Times published three pages of your 1995 tax returns. They show you claimed a $916 million loss, which means you could have avoided paying personal federal income taxes for years. You’ve said you pay state taxes, employee taxes, real estate taxes, property taxes. You have not answered, though, a simple question. Did you use that $916 million loss to avoid paying personal federal income taxes for years?
TRUMP: Of course I do. Of course I do. And so do all of her donors, or most of her donors. I know many of her donors. Her donors took massive tax write-offs.
COOPER: So have you (inaudible) personal federal income tax?
TRUMP: A lot of my — excuse me, Anderson — a lot of my write- off was depreciation and other things that Hillary as a senator allowed. And she’ll always allow it, because the people that give her all this money, they want it. That’s why.
See, I understand the tax code better than anybody that’s ever run for president. Hillary Clinton — and it’s extremely complex — Hillary Clinton has friends that want all of these provisions, including they want the carried interest provision, which is very important to Wall Street people. But they really want the carried interest provision, which I believe Hillary’s leaving. Very interesting why she’s leaving carried interest.
ST. LOUIS — Donald Trump had a better night than expected. Hillary Clinton missed some opportunities to defend her record and attack her opponent. The second presidential debate on Sunday night was marked by contradictions: ugly personal attacks and policy-heavy segments, plenty of lies and moments of actual candor (at the very end.)
All in all, Trump likely regained some ground after one of the worst three-day periods in modern campaign history. Dozens of Republican elected officials withdrew their support for Trump over the weekend after a video was released on Friday in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women. And Clinton failed to deliver the knockout punch her supporters had hoped for.
The question is: was Trump’s performance at Washington University in St. Louis enough to turn his campaign around? It was an improvement from the first debate—but that’s not saying much. For Trump to beat Clinton in November, he’ll need to expand his base of support, and there is little reason to believe that he accomplished that in the second debate. While both campaigns wait for new polls to come out, here are some early takeaways from St. Louis.
Trump improved. At a familiar point
For the Republican nominee, think of this as the opposite twin of the first debate. In face-off number one, Donald Trump cruised through the first 15-20 minutes but then, even Republicans agree, stumbled for the rest of the night in a storm of seeming agitation. But in round two, in St. Louis, Trump markedly improved. And that improvement started around the 20-minute mark.
After Clinton let loose with her attack on Trump as unfit (pivoting off that infamous video), the Republican candidate replied, “It’s just words, folks. It’s just words. And those words, I’ve been hearing them for many years.” It was Trump in his own skin, doing something new in the debates: turning a Clinton attack on him into a gut-punch against her as a meaningless longtime politician.
Read our fact check of the second presidential debate
Trump was the less-defensive Trump. The on-offense, one-liner Trump. Throughout the night he showed more control than in the first debate. And more discipline. About 53 minutes in, a clearly frustrated Trump put his request for more time this way to moderator Martha Raddatz. “Can I just respond to this, please?” This is not to say he was flawless. He was still agitated at times, defensive at others and occasionally put together curious phrases. But he was improved.
Clinton was better at stagecraft
While Trump naturally knows how to work his crowds, Clinton knows the swing-voter town hall format incredibly well. From her appropriately serious and focused listening expressions as Trump spoke, to her direct walk toward and reach out to the voters asking questions, the Democratic nominee understood both the room and the cameras around the room.
And she used movement to send a message. Clinton notably did not shake her opponent’s hand. (As a noted germaphobe, Trump may have been grateful.) She pointedly crossed in front of Trump in close range on multiple occasions. Consider Clinton’s stagecraft a kind of silent counter-tactic to Trump’s audible interruptions in the first debate.
Sex on the (political) brain
Trump “went there” on Sunday night. Or did he? Over the weekend, Trump made clear his plan to bring up Bill Clinton’s infidelities at the second debate—even though many people in his own party thought the strategy would backfire. Less than two hours before the debate got underway, Trump held a surprise press conference with several women who have claimed that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted them in the past. That seemed to suggest that Trump would hold nothing back when he came face-to-face with Hillary.
It was an extraordinary and unprecedented moment in U.S. politics: a presidential nominee, recently caught on tape making vulgar comments about women, accusing a former president of abusing women.
Once the debate started, Trump wasted little time in attacking Bill Clinton. “There’s never been anybody in the history of politics of this nation that’s been so abusive to women,” Trump said, as the former president looked on, stone-faced, from the Clinton family box in the audience. Trump added that Hillary Clinton had “attacked those same women, and attacked them viciously.” It was an extraordinary and unprecedented moment in U.S. politics: a presidential nominee, recently caught on tape making vulgar comments about women, accusing a former president of abusing women.
But Trump didn’t go further, as he hinted he might, to launch a detailed attack on the Clinton’s marital history. Instead, he spent a significant portion of the first 30 minutes of the debate defending the comments he made in the video that was published by the Washington Post on Friday. And he didn’t look good. When Anderson Cooper, one of the moderators, asked Trump point-blank if he understood that the actions he described in the 2005 video — kissing and groping women without their consent — amounted to sexual assault, Trump disagreed—and doubled-down on his claim that the talk was just “locker room banter.”
Professional athletes take issue with Trump’s ‘Locker room talk’
“I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Trump added. He can continue repeating those words, but just because he says them, it doesn’t make it true. As Clinton said, “I think it’s clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is.” Trump needs to improve his support with women. If he doesn’t, he won’t win the election. He failed to do that in this debate.
Clinton’s missed opportunities
There was plenty of material to work with. A new report, published after the first presidential debate, that showed Trump took a $916 million tax loss in 1995, and potentially didn’t pay his federal incomes taxes for the next 18 years. A video of Trump making vulgar comments about women. A weekend in which dozens of Republican leaders — from Sen. John McCain on down — abandoned their party’s nominee.
And yet despite having all this at her fingertips, Clinton took a surprisingly conservative approach to the debate. Clinton did not spend much time on Trump’s tax returns, unlike in the first debate, when she called on Trump to release his returns and made a powerful argument about all the reasons why he might be hiding details about his real business record. She criticized Trump’s comments in the “Access Hollywood” video, but didn’t go after him with the same intensity she displayed in the closing moments of the first debate, when she skewered Trump for demeaning a former Miss Universe. At the same time, Clinton made only passing mention of the fact that Trump was being deserted by his party’s elected leaders.
This debate showed that this cycle’s lack of civility and boundaries are keeping important discussions out of reach.
And Clinton let several of Trump’s attacks against her go largely unanswered. She apologized, once again, for her decision to use a private email server. But Trump criticized her repeatedly for deleting thousands of emails, and Clinton didn’t have a particularly fresh or effective response. She also struggled to defend her comment, made in a paid speech to Wall Street executives, that politicians need to have a public and private position on issues. The comment appeared in a trove of leaked documents released on Friday.
At the debate, Clinton said the comment was a reference to Abraham Lincoln, and his ability to wheel-and-deal to get things done. But the analogy fell flat—and Trump was ready with a strong rebuttal. “She lied, and now she’s blaming it on the late, great Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said. The exchange underscored the stakes at the debate. Clinton had a chance to deliver a knockout blow and didn’t.
We have a problem. With civility and boundaries
Out of 321 million people, the two Americans who made it to the presidential debate stage Sunday night made it clear that they will do and say nearly anything to win this race. The 2016 battle between two unpopular figures continues too often be a race to the bottom.
That is not entirely new. The U.S. has witnessed vicious, brutally personal presidential elections since George Washington retired. But, there is something different this time around. A flavor of reality television mixed with anger. An attention-deficit skimming of important topics in favor of landing punches and earning style points. Clinton and Trump did discuss significant policy in St. Louis. But that did not seem to be the central contrast each was trying to make. They aimed more at persona than ability. More at dramatic moments than drilling down on real-world problems.
An example: the swirling words over sexual remarks and alleged acts. As the two campaigns alternated pointing fingers and throwing elbows, neither hit the broader issue: How powerful men treat less powerful women. That might be a difficult discussion, but one worth having. Instead, this debate showed that this cycle’s lack of civility and boundaries are keeping important discussions out of reach. And likely encouraging voters to keep shaking their heads.