Hillary Clinton did what 16 Republican presidential candidates couldn’t do during the primaries — she owned Donald Trump in all three debates with poise, temperament, knowledge and stamina. She also helped him knock himself out in final debate.
Clinton’s first dig during the final debate last night was saying he “choked” in his meeting with Mexican president on the issue of who will pay for the wall. Trump didn’t answer back. He blathered on incoherently, managing to insult Hispanics along the way by talking about the “bad hombres” he would kick out of the country if he wins the election. Donald Trump’s downward spiral had begun.
Then Clinton challenged his relationship with Russia when asked about WikiLeaks email dump. She called Trump a puppet for Vladimir Putin. He became unhinged. He repeatedly yelled, “You’re the puppet.” He refused to condemn Russia’s interference in our election, despite overwhelming evidence from U.S. intelligence experts. Trump’s response should scare every American because he seems to be beholden to a foreign power.
Clinton also hammered Trump for comments he made about women after moderator Chris Wallace asked about the women who accused him of sexual assault and unwanted advances.She said he called former Miss Universe Alicia Machado “an eating machine.” Trump lied that he had not apologized to his wife after the lewd comments he made on an Access Hollywood bus were leaked. During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Melania Trump said that he apologized to her.
When Clinton hit him on mocking the disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski, Trump blurted out, “Wrong!” We all know that truth. He did mock Mr. Kovaleski. She slammed him for attacking Gold Star family Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son died in the line of duty in Iraq.
Trump took Clinton’s bait over and over. It ended with him calling her “such a nasty woman” after she got in a dig against him while she talking about Social Security.
What was perhaps the scariest moment of the debate was when he refused to say he would abide by the results of the election, saying “I will look at it at the time” and that he would keep us in suspense. It was appalling that he refused to commit to the peaceful transfer of power following the election if he loses (which we think he will).
Donald Trump had an opportunity to make a case to a dwindling pool of undecided voters and to win back some moderate Republicans, especially suburban white women, but he failed spectacularly. He landed punches, but in his own face. Hillary Clinton got under his skin and he took the bait over and over.
Here’s more reaction to the final presidential debate:
Glenn Thrush: “Truly historic moments are rare in politics. But this was a thunderbolt that might have spelled the end for Trump’s dynamic, disorganized and self-destructive campaign and the elevation of the first female major party nominee, whose precision and preparedness has often been overshadowed by her flashier opponent.”
Andrew Sullivan: “In my view, this was easily the most decisive debate. 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.”
Jonathan Chait: “Hillary Clinton has used all three presidential debates to make the case that Donald Trump is unfit for office. Trump has proven himself unable to recognize this strategy, or to learn from his failures, or change his behavior in any way.”
John Avlon: “Once the act-like-an-adult sedatives wore off around 30 minutes into the third debate, he lapsed into his reflexive lying and insult comedy.”
Jonah Goldberg: “I dissent somewhat from the conventional wisdom is the notion that Trump was doing great until that one response. He lied repeatedly and shamelessly, most importantly about all of the stories of his sexual advances being debunked. They haven’t been. (I loved him saying — over and over — that ‘nobody’ has more respect for women than he does. Nobody?) He was doing better than he has in previous debates and he was even scoring real points, but he simply wasn’t doing anything to get voters to see him in a fresh light. And when you’re this far behind, you need to add voters to your column. He didn’t do that. He didn’t even try. And that should be unforgivable.”
Maureen Dowd: “Continuing to deploy lethal darts from her team of shrinks, Hillary Clinton baited Trump into a series of damaging nails-in-the-coffin statements. And it was so easy. The one-time litigator prosecuted the case against Trump, sparking another temperamental spiral, as effectively as Chris Christie once broke down Marco Rubio.”
Stephen Hayes: “Almost every Republican leader I’ve spoken to over the last several days believes Trump cannot win on November 8. They were hoping for a debate performance that wouldn’t cause down-ballot Republicans any more trouble. That didn’t happen.”
Copyright 2016 The Moderate Voice