Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Two Moments From The 3rd Presidential Debate Everyone Is Talking About

Instead of recapping the entire third presidential debate last night, I'll just get to the two moments that grabbed everyone's attention.

The first was Donald Trump's attempt to treat the debate like the finale of a reality TV show when he announced he would decide at a later date whether or not he would accept the results of the election.

From CBS News:

On the University of Nevada debate stage in Las Vegas, Trump was asked point-blank whether he would “absolutely accept” the result of this election.

His response: “I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now. I’ll look at it at the time.”

The statement came just hours after his own vice presidential nominee, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, told CNN in a pre-debate interview: “I’ve said before that we’ll certainly accept the outcome of this election.”

Debate moderator Chris Wallace, of Fox News, pressed Trump on the “tradition in this country” of the election loser conceding, allowing for a “peaceful transition of power.”

“Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?” Wallace asked.

“What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time,” Trump replied. “I’ll keep you in suspense. OK?”

The second moment came near the very end when Trump interrupted Hillary Clinton to say she was "such a nasty woman."

Here's how folks in the political world scored the two candidates:

“She devastated him. He melted down. His refusal to accept the results of this election disqualifies him automatically from any office in the United States. There were several areas where he was utterly incoherent, grasping at ‘facts,’ without any understanding of policy. His personal foulness emerged.” - Andrew Sullivan for New York Magazine

“He should have said he would accept the results of the election. There is no other option unless we’re in a recount again.” - conservative pundit Laura Ingraham

“This was the Democratic nominee’s best debate performance. She finally figured out the right calibration of ignoring and engaging Trump.” - Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post

“Clinton really is doing well tonight. Again and again, she’s taken Trump apart.” - James Astill of The Economist

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