Republican candidate Donald Trump came across as aggressive who did not give an inch to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who did not always punch back, in their second confrontation Monday at Washington University, St. Louis. He confounded wide expectations that he would be cowed by the disclosure of his lewd remarks about women and instead, picked up the ball he dropped in the first debate and saved his campaign from near extinction. After initial sparring over those remarks, for which he apologized again, Trump and Clinton moved on to cross swords on every issue raised in questions from “uncommitted voters selected by the Gallup Organization: Obamacare, immigration, the Iran nuclear deal, Syria, Libya, foreign policy, African Americans, Latinos, the supreme court. Whereas Trump incorrectly said Syria, Iran and Russia had lined up against ISIS, blaming it on administration weakness, Clinton accused Russia of war crimes in Aleppo and drew a line between WikiLeaks and the charge that Putin was trying to influence the presidential campaign in Trump’s favor.
Accused of having a public and a personal face, she quoted Abe Lincoln to justify herself. Trump gave her no quarter on her deleted emails, vowing to appoint a special prosecutor to probe her actions. When Clinton said that she was glad Trump was not in charge of the law in the United States, Trump shot back: “Because you’ld be in jail.”
As president, Trump essentially promised to scrap what he called the “disasters” of current policies and programs, whereas Clinton spoke at length about her plans to improve the status quo.
In the final question, a member of the audience asked the two contenders: Would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another? Hillary cited her rival’s children and their upbringing as deserving respect, whereas Trump commended her as a fighter who doesn’t quit.
ABC's Martha Raddatz and CNN's Anderson Cooper were the moderators.