Why Donald Trump is a disgrace as US presidential candidate
Trump twice declined to say whether he would accept the election's outcome, breaking with the country's long-standing tradition of a losing candidate's concession after the votes are counted.
Even as a Fox news survey indicated a six-point lead for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, the Republican candidate has refused to commit, in the third and final debate at Las Vegas, to accepting the election result if he loses. "I will tell you at the time," he told moderator Chris Wallace. For days, he has claimed the election is "rigged". Trump twice declined to say whether he would accept the election's outcome, breaking with the country's long-standing tradition of a losing candidate's concession after the votes are counted.
"That's horrifying," said Clinton. She added "He is denigrating and he is talking down our democracy. And I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of a position." When moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump to support the election results, no matter how they came out, he refused to do so. He accused the media of poisoning people's minds. He said Clinton shouldn't have been allowed to run for president. It was Trump in a bunker, settling scores and lashing out at enemies real and perceived.
At that point, the headlines were written and the debate results were locked in. It was not a good night for the Republican. Clearly, the University of Nevada debate continued the campaign's bitter tone, with Trump using invectives and calling Clinton a "nasty woman".
The candidates declined to shake hands before and after the political sparring, setting the tone for what would later become yet another debate marked by shouting and interrupting.
Trump appealed to the Republican establishment by vowing to appoint Supreme Court justices with a "conservative bent" who would overturn a key ruling that made abortion legal in the US and protect gun rights. He also stuck to his pledge to deport undocumented immigrants and secure US borders.
On the other hand, Clinton firmly declared she would stand up for the LGBT community, defend abortion rights, focus on restoring the middle class and equal pay for women. "The government has no business in the decisions that women make," she said.
Other highlights from the debate include:
Clinton said Putin wants Trump elected because he wants a puppet as US president. "We have some bad hombre's and we are going to get them out," said Trump, as he stood by his pledge to build a border wall. Clinton promised she would introduce the biggest jobs program since World War II.
Trump suggested she and President Barack Obama co-ordinated the violence at his rally in Chicago earlier this year
Asked about her paid speech to a Brazilian bank in which she spoke of her dream of open trade and open borders, Clinton said she was talking about energy policy. In another exchange, he attacked her 30 years of "very bad experience" and she responded by going through her timeline, comparing where she was to where Trump was. While she was in the White House helping to track down Osama Bin Laden, "he was hosting the Celebrity Apprentice", she said.
According to US presidential debate analysts, Trump tried to be restrained. Even the immigration discussion started reasonably civilly until Clinton turned a question about WikiLeaks into an attack on Donald Trump's relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin.
At that point, the real Trump returned. He called Hillary Clinton a liar. After she called him a Russian puppet, he said that was, in fact, her. By the time the topic turned to "fitness to be president," the stage was set for a total meltdown. He said the women who have accused him of sexual harassment were in it for the fame and were in reality Clinton campaign stooges.
Trump has faced his support base eroding after a video emerged of him making obscene comments about groping women. A lot of senior Republicans have deserted him. When pressed about sexual assault allegations made against him by several women in the wake of the video, Trump said the claims had been "largely debunked".
In addressing the groping accusations, Clinton said: "Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger". "Nobody has more respect for women than I do," Trump said as the crowd was heard scoffing. He blamed Clinton's campaign for drumming up the allegations.