The second presidential debate kicked off Sunday with the candidates refusing to shake each other’s hands — and only got more vicious and personal from there.
Throughout the 90-minute town hall moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz at Washington University in Saint Louis, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tried to win over undecided voters and appeal to their respective bases.
The debate comes on the heels of a tough weekend for Trump in which high profile Republicans, including Sen. John McCain, pulled their support following the release of a 2005 hot-mic tape.
In the tape uncovered by the Washington Post, Trump is heard making sexually explicit comments about women to Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush (Bush has since been suspended indefinitely from NBC for his role in the tapes).
“We have a vulnerability in the campaign. This is a vulnerability, let’s make no mistake, let’s be honest about this,” Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis told Breitbart News editor in chief Alex Marlow on Monday of what’s been dubbed the ‘Trump Tapes.’
“The candidate has apologized for those remarks,” Clovis added.
Trump’s debate performance didn’t seem to put concerns of Republican leadership at ease. Sources close to House Speaker Paul Ryan revealed Monday that he will no longer campaign with or defend Trump through the November election.
Instead, Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong said, the Speaker is redirecting his efforts to “protecting [Republican] congressional majorities.”
Trump responded directly to Ryan’s comments on Twitter.
Clovis called out those who defected from supporting Trump for being “weak-kneed” and showing a “despicable display of cowardice on the part of the Republican party.”
On Monday morning, Joe Madison raised concerns about Trump’s decision to “throw his VP running mate under the bus” and the admission during the debate that he and Gov. Mike Pence “haven’t talked” on the subject of Syria.
“I’m never shocked by what Donald Trump does,” Sen. Ben Cardin told Madison. “He just shows a total lack of understanding of the world’s circumstances.”
“You can’t justify a person like Donald Trump getting as far as he’s gotten in American politics,” Cardin added.
Despite the incredibly divisive nature of the election, there are still many Americans that fall into the “undecided” category of voters, and the second presidential debate gave the opportunity to highlight their concerns.
“Debates are more like a job interview then a TV show,” Jess McIntosh, director of communications outreach for Hillary for America, told Ari Rabin-Havt on Monday.
Questions from undecided voters ranged on topics from Obamacare to Islamophobia to making kind comments about each other (Clinton complimented Trump’s children, Trump praised Clinton’s fighting drive).
“I think it’s important that we remember that a president is a president by the same set of rules whether they are ready for it or not,” McIntosh said.
Breitbart News Daily airs weekdays at 6 a.m. ET on SiriusXM Patriot (Ch. 125)
Joe Madison The Black Eagle airs weekdays at 6 a.m. ET on SiriusXM Urban View (Ch. 126)
The Agenda with Ari Rabin-Havt airs weekdays at 6 a.m. ET on SiriusXM Progress (Ch. 127)
Image: AP Photo/John Locher