Recent Presidential Debates Get Heated


Tensions ran high during the second presidential debate, which took place last Sunday at Washington University. Trump and Hillary surprised viewers with their harsh words against each other, including Trump’s statement, “If I win I will ask for a special prosecutor to investigate you,” and Hillary’s appeal that “Trump doesn’t have the discipline to be a good leader.”

Emily Stocksdale, Literature Editor

The recent presidential debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump has sparked much controversy in America over which candidate is truly best suited for the position of Commander-in-Chief.  The debate, held at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, opened with both candidates refusing to shake hands, and the heated atmosphere between the pair continued from there.

Controversy over which candidate won was much greater than after the first debate, in which it was generally reported that Clinton swept the victory.  This time, with both Trump and Hillary becoming increasingly abusive towards one another and making effective points on both ends, it is harder to say who truly came out on top.

The debate took place at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Oct. 9, and it was moderated by ABC’s Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.  It was set up in question-and-answer format that allowed for audience participation.  A few major points which were covered include tax policies, Islamophobia and its avoidance, refugees, the Syrian and Iraqi Wars, candidates for the open Supreme Court Justice position and energy reforms, as well as slander against both Trump and Clinton.  Unlike the first debate on Sept. 26, in which Trump avoided mentioning the scandal from when Bill Clinton was president, this time he seemed overly eager to bring it up.  He also accused Hillary of being the devil, called her a liar with poor judgement and threatened to put her in jail when he became president.  In retaliation, Hillary Clinton accused Trump of living “in an alternative reality” and noted that “Donald always takes care of Donald and people like [him],” effectively saying that his comments had no bearing because of his total irrationality.

After discussing their usual ideas for policy reforms and changes that may never actually hit Congress, Trump and Clinton were encouraged to take a last minute question from the audience.  A man named Karl Becker stood and asked the question which has likely been on the minds of many Americans since the start of election campaigns last year.  “Regardless of the current rhetoric,” he asked, “would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another.”

After only a slightly flustered hesitation, Hillary Clinton started by saying, “I respect his children… As a mother and a grandmother it is so important to me.”  Trump responded by approving his opponent’s statement as “a very nice compliment” and stated, “She doesn’t quit… Doesn’t give up… She’s a fighter,” noting that this was “a very good trait.”

While the debate may have started off on a harsh note, with all the animosity brewing between the candidates seemingly coming to a peak, it ended with a handshake and a few, albeit reluctantly given, kind words.  Hopefully this atmosphere will be maintained for the third and final debate, which will be held on Oct. 19 at the University of Las Vegas in Nevada.