Politics, Americas

US presidential debate focuses on behavior to women

Republican candidate Donald Trump under fire following crude comments

US presidential debate focuses on behavior to women

Washington DC

By Kasim Ileri


Attitudes to women dominated Sunday night’s presidential debate with Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton condemning Republican rival Donald Trump over vulgar comments he made in footage released earlier in the week.

Trump in turn focused on Clinton’s husband’s affairs and accused her of defending his “abusive behavior”.

On Friday a video from 2005 was released showing Trump bragging about how his fame allowed him to kiss and grope women. The revelations led to many leading Republicans withdrawing their support.

When Anderson Cooper, the debate moderator in St. Louis, Missouri, questioned him on the tape he denied actually committing such behavior and dismissed his comments as “locker room talk”.

He went on to focus on Daesh, and, using an alternative acronym for the terror group, said: “I will knock the hell out of ISIS. We're going to defeat ISIS.”

On another issue over which he has come under fire, Trump acknowledged not having paid federal income tax for 18 years.

Attempting to switch attention to Bill Clinton’s behavior towards women, Trump met three women before the debate who have accused the former president of sexual harassment and rape.

“If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse,” Trump said. “Mine are words and his was action. There’s never been anybody in the history politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women… Hillary Clinton attacked those same women.”

Clinton did not respond to the accusations about her husband but said the 2005 video “represents exactly who he is”. She also questioned his ability to serve as commander in chief.

The former secretary of state, who did not shake hands with Trump at the start of the 90-minute debate, said Trump targeted African Americans, Latinos, Muslims and other groups as well as women.

The property billionaire highlighted Clinton’s use of a private email account while at the State Department and said she should have faced criminal charges over the controversy.

On foreign policy, both candidates spoke against the wide use of U.S. ground troops in Syria and advocated establishing safe zones for refugees. Clinton said that she would consider arming the Kurds in Syria and Iraq.

Trump said he did not agree with running mate Mike Pence, who last week said the U.S. should strike military targets of the Syrian regime. “He and I haven’t spoken and I disagree,” Trump said.

He also backtracked on his ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and said it had “morphed into an extreme vetting from certain areas of the world.”

The event was the second televised debate. A third is due to be held in Nevada on Oct. 19.

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