The second Presidential debate is in the books, and it delivered many of the fireworks Americans had anticipated.
It was a fiery 90-minutes, filled with cross talk, accusations, legal threats, and at times exasperated attempts by moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddazt to rein in the Candidates.
Republican candidate Donald Trump was looking to put the brakes on a two week slide that has culminated in an open GOP revolt over a recording of him advocating sexual assault.
Clinton was looking to deliver a knockout punch, while avoiding traps centering on her long-running email scandal.
The event, broadcast from St. Louis Missouri, was a Town Hall format featuring live and online questions from undecided voters.
Here is a recap of the debate’s key moments.
The “Trump Tapes” and Bill Clinton
Going into the debate the controversial tape of Trump making demeaning comments about women including “grabbing them by the p–y” was the issue on everyone’s mind and Cooper wasted no time getting into it, telling Trump “you bragged that you had sexually assaulted women, do you understand that?”
Trump denied the claim, before attempting a pivot to terrorism.
“No I didn’t say that at all, I don’t think you understand that. I’m not proud of it, I apologized to my family, I apologized to the American people… But this is a world where you have ISIS chopping off people’s heads. … I will knock the hell out of ISIS, I’m going to defeat ISIS.”
Pressed on whether he had ever actually forced himself on women Trump said “no, I have not,” adding “I have great respect for women, nobody has more respect for women than I do.”
Trump then sought to turn the conversation around pointing to former President Bill Clinton’s infidelities.
“Any way you want to say it, Bill Clinton was abusive to women, Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously.”
Clinton responded by saying the tape shows the true Trump, a man who’d never apologized to the string of people insulted during the campaign, including the family of an Muslim-American soldier killed in the line of duty.
“He has said the video doesn’t represent who he is but I think it’s clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is.”
Clinton’s emails, “you’d be in jail”
The Clinton email scandal provided another of the most eyebrow raising moments of the debate, with Trump pledging legal action against her if elected.
“If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.”
As in the first debate Clinton apologized for using a private email server, suggesting Trump was spreading falsehoods about her.
That led to a testy exchange culminating in a line that drew cheers from the crowd.
“It is awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law of our country,” said Clinton — to which he replied “Because you’d be in jail.”
A year-long FBI investigation into Clinton’s handling of emails, which including using a private server, failed to recommend charges, though did chastise the former secretary of state for mishandling government information.
As expected, questions about Donald Trump’s taxes were a hot topic — with the candidate finally admitting he’d used a 1995 $900-million loss to avoid paying federal tax.
“Of course I do, so do all of her donors or most over her donors,” Trump said, repeating the claim that he knows the tax code better than anyone who’s ever run for president.
While Trump claimed Americans pay some of the highest taxes in the world, Clinton replied he’d give the wealthy a tax break double that of the Bush administration, and pay for it with middle-class tax hikes.
At one point, Trump appeared to snub his own running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
Friday, Pence condemned the “Trump Tape” comments, before pulling out of a Saturday campaign event and going silent.
Moderators pressed Trump on Pence’s assertion that the U.S. be ready to use military force in Syria asking if he agreed.
“He and I haven’t spoken and I disagree,” said Trump.
Obamacare and Canada
Canada made an appearance in the debate, used by Trump as an illustration of failed healthcare policy and the future Americans would face under an expanded Obamacare, which he called a “disaster.”
“She wants to go to a single payer plan, similar to Canada. And if you have ever noticed Canadians, whenever they need a big operation, when something happens they come into the United States in many cases because their system is so slow it’s catastrophic in certain ways.”
Clinton fought back saying Trump would roll back health insurance to 20 million Americans, putting them at the mercy of private insurers who would deny them coverage because of preexisting conditions like diabetes.
Say something nice about each other
In a move akin to something you might see a kindergarten teacher try with a pair of feuding children, the debate closed with an audience question asking the candidates to say one positive thing about the other.
It was perhaps fitting in a debate that opened with the candidates refusing to shake each others’ hands.
Clinton said she admired Trump’s children who she called “devoted and able, and I think that says a lot about him.”
Trump responded by calling Clinton a fighter.
“She does fight hard, she doesn’t quit, and she doesn’t give up and I consider that to be a very good trait.”