Welcome to Deadline’s live blog of what could be the most lascivious presidential debate in our nation’s history. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton 2: The Sequel is bound to be marked, if not dominated, by talk of the vulgar tape that emerged Friday in which the GOP nominee talks about lewd things he does and would like to do with women. Expect Clinton to reference the recording, made 11 years ago along and also “featuring” TV personality Billy Bush, and go into attack mode about Trump’s perceived war on women.
In the other corner is the real estate mogul-turned-reality TV star-turned quasi-politician, who is likely to reach back a decade or two to remind potential voters of sex scandals that shadowed the Dem nominee’s husband Bill Clinton when he was commander in chief. All told, we could be in for a TV-M 90 minutes.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s News Martha Raddatz are moderating the town hall-style second presidential debate of the Campaign 2016, airing live on multiple networks starting at 9 PM ET from Washington University in St. Louis. Deadline’s Erik Pedersen is live-blogging tonight’s action, so put the kids on their gaming console, open an adult or other beverage and follow the action here.
BREAKING NEWS on CNN: Candidates’ spouses enter the hall!!
Why do the rules explanations always remind me of the rules being read before a ’70s game show.
Bill Clinton’s accusers are in the venue. The ex-president’s detractors probably think they should have rented a stadium.
Commentators are talking quietly, like Rory McIlroy is lining up a putt on the 18th at Augusta.
Sure is a lot of blue on that stage. Where is the Republican outrage?
The people onstage are “not committed to a candidate” and all are from St. Louis. Not committed? Are they too distracted that the Rams left for L.A.?
MUCH less cordial greeting between the candidates from 10 days ago. No handshake, just distant “hellos.“
“Our country is great because we’re good,” Clinton says. But are we good because we’re great?
No opening statements, just diving right in to questions.
Not a single anti-Trump sentiment in Clinton’s first at-bat.
No fireworks yet -Donald implied in his friday night video that he’d be bringing up Juanita Broadderick tonight. That is the nuclear option of this campaign. But so far he hasn’t gone scorched earth.
First words out of Trump’s mouth: “Well,I actually agree with her. I agree with everything she said.”
I don’t want to be proven hilariously wrong in 10 minutes but this seems like a particularly calm, chastened Trump compared the last few days.
Listen to this hushed tone on Trump. You can’t bring back law and order by whispering like you’re asking your date for a Tic-Tac at the opera.
“Mr. Trump, you bragged that you have sexually assaulted someone. Do you understand that”. Holy moly.
And here we go with the tape. You’re up, Anderson.
“This was locker room talk,” Trump repeats. But it’s OK because ISIS is chopping off heads.
Moderator: You said a bunch of horrible stuff.
Trump doing his best impression of Professor Harold Hill. With Robert Preston’s charisma and niceness surgically excised.
“Nobody has no more respect for women than I do.” This is the reason we all watched The Trump Show the past 15 months. No scriptwriter could come up with that.
Clinton doubts Trump’s “fitness to serve.” Didn’t she read that epic health report Trump’s doctor put out?
Trump just took a little stroll there. Anyone reminded of when Al Gore invaded George W. Bush’s personal space?
OK, Hil, it’s only a 90-minute debate. No time to rattle off every group that has been offended by Trump talk.
Actually I’d like to see that list Erik. It’d be like the third Game of Thrones book.
Trump cagey counter: “It’s just words, folks. It’s just words.”
Annnd Trump goes nuclear.
Trump is standing. Clinton in seated. Yep, she’s dying.
Here’s the first salvo again Bill. “There’s never been anyone in the history of American politics who’s been so abusive to women.” Wait — didn’t Trump just admit that he’s a politician?
Trump is trying to make this election about the Star Report. If we’re bringing back the 90s, can Ralph Tresvant go on tour?
First Trump sniffle. Who had 12 minutes in the pool? Winner!
Some applause when Trump says “she should be ashamed of herself.”
Both candidates are draping themselves in Kevlar flags but I think in this case Hillary is taking the right tactic.
Again, the split screen is brilliantly deployed. Good stuff.
WikiLeaks reference. Many shots just consumed throughout the county.
Emails!! Someone’s about to get hammered.
President Trump will get his attorney general (presumably Kate Upton) to appoint a special prosecutor (likely Perry Mason) to “look into your situation.”
Trump just made arresting Hillary Clinton his top campaign promise. This is next level crazy.
Clinton took three tries to say, “fact-checking.” Knock-knock-knockin’ on heaven’s door…
Zinger! Trump fires off first memorable line about how Clinton should be in jail.
Clinton kames no excuses for emails — the ones Hipster Don says she “acid washed.”
Maybe some from 1989, I suppose.
Trump set the tone with “it’s only words.” The system is rigged, folks. Believe me!
Oooh I hope he's not gonna malign Michelle Obama. Black Twitter will not have it.
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) October 10, 2016
Hearing Donald Trump tell Clinton “you should be ashamed of yourself” is like … like … I got nuthin’ …
Trump goes on offensive against Cooper. Didn’t go well.
“I’m a gentleman, go ahead.” This is just too easy.
Hey, what’s all this policy crap, Clinton? We want more sex talk. Give the people what they want!
Sniffle No. 2. Kleenex contacting Trump’s people now.
How long until we bust someone onstage checking the football game on their phone? #FantasyFootballOverPolitics
Trump is wandering around the stage like a lead singer during an extending guitar solo.
Radical Islamic terrorist. To solve a problem, you have to say the name. Could someone fact-check that?
“We’ve had Muslims in America since George Washington,” Clinton says. She’s not saying what the “deplorables” think she’s saying, right? Are people tearing up dollar bills as we speak?
Maybe Trump could use Obamacare to get those sniffles look at.
“Captain Khan is an American hero.” OK. “He would have been alive today” if Trump was in office.
By eschewing interruptions, Clinton’s strategy just might be to give Trump enough rope to hang himself with his own words. “They’re only words, folks.”
So who is “winning” at the midway point? Trump leading in zingers and pacing. Clinton leading in patience and policy talk.
Seems like Clinton is going over two minutes here. Where are the moderators? Trump and the GOP has reason to grumble about this.
WikiLeaks dump of Clinton’s Wall Street speeches is topic on the table.
Clinton name-drops Steven Spielberg. I predict that Trump will evoke Clint Eastwood now.
Clinton says straight out that Russia is trying to affect the U.S. election. I’d like to see a livestream of Putin pounding his shoe on the table.
Is it just me, or has Trump begun using the sniffle for emphasis now?
“I know nothing about Russia.” Someone needs to get that on Vine immediately. Choosy voters choose GIFs.
Was that Paul Ryan asking that question?
So a Republican who made his name in the entertainment industry wants to slash taxes when he takes office. Every Californian has to be thinking, “Well, that worked so well for Arnold Schwarzenegger.”
Clinton: “I’m sorry I have to keep saying this, but he lives in an alternate reality.”
Clinton cites Warren Buffett. Most of America would rather hear from Jimmy Buffett. Maybe Clinton’s post-campaign book will be titled “A Pirate Looks at 70.”
Good question, Anderson. Make him tell us when he paid his last dollar in income tax.
Theory: Trump was too busy watching football today to get in his usual number of steps, so he’s trying to fool his FitBit by walking around the stage like it’s a 440 track.
You heard it here first: Trump’s first post-debate tweet will be, “The moderators were very unfair to me.”
Raddatz compares Syria to the Holocaust in that “the U.S. waited too long before we helped.” Bold. Probably going to cost his in the Twittersphere.
Clinton: “What is at stake here is the aggressiveness and ambition of Russia.”
And she repeats the line about who Putin wants to see win the election: “It isn’t me.”
“Even before my father’s father, they called us all rebels”…
There’s the Sniffle for Emphasis again.
Iran is the “dumbest deal in the history of dealmaking.” OK, where does Trump’s attempted entry into Atlantic City casinos rank?
Did you notice that was the first mention of President Obama on the night.
Raddatz: “What do you think will happen if Aleppo falls?”
Trump: “What is Aleppo?”
(Sorry, the Mainstream Media can dream…)
Patton and MacArthur name-checked for a second consecutive debate. And Clinton brings up George Washington. Who will be the first to cite Ulysses S. Grant? Let’s put 50 bucks on it…
“Arming the Kurds.” Sometimes the jokes write themselves.
Trump again calls out the moderators for favoritism. He’s got a point.
Iran was the worst deal in world history, and NAFTA is the worse trade deal in history.
Hey sports fans: What’s the worst trade in history?
Cooper let Trump run a little over that time. Kinda like a referee evening out one bad call with another.
Erik, worst trade is James Harden to Houston.
Remember when CNN let that early GOP debate run three hours? We’re closing in on closing time, and I wouldn’t mind another hour.
Then again, I’m not playing a drinking game.
That you know of.
“The Deplorables” — coming soon to a theater near you.
“The Deplorables” trailer: “In a world … when half of Trump’s supporters are racist, sexist and everything else-ists, half of them are not.”
This trailer has been approved this trailer for all audiences.
That’s at least the third time Trump has pointed at Clinton and said, with biting emphasis, “her.”
That reminds me of John McCain pointing to President Obama during their faceoff and saying, “THAT ONE!”
American politics has come to this: Debating the pros and cons of tweeting.
Moderators trying to play off Clinton works like the Grammys trying to play off Frank Sinatra in 1998.
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE — is this the first time that issue has come up since the week Obama put Merrick Garland’s name in nomination?
This would be a great time for Clinton to ask Trump about his favorite Supreme Court decision.
Our money is on George Carlin winning the case of the “Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television.”
The moderators are trying to make up for bias — perceived or real — by rushing Clinton now. On the last question. Hoping for a case of people only remember the last thing they saw?
Trump calls out Clinton for not putting her own money into her campaign. Moderators move on. That will come up in pundit round tables tonight.
“Energy is under siege by the Obama administration,” Trump says. Using his words, it would have been the same for a Jeb Bush administration.
Something just occurred to me: Maybe that “OK sign” gesture Trump always uses is not that at all — maybe he’s hinting that it’s his chances of winning.
“Those coal miners and their fathers and grandfathers” — what about their daughters?
“We are creating a lot of natural gas.” Heh-heh, heh.
This is an interesting question. This should be an interesting answer.
“She doesn’t fight and she doesn’t quit, and I consider that to be a very good trait.”
Wouldn’t it be delicious is that’s the last thing he says before he quits the race?
Post-debate handshake. OK.
Clinton shaking hands of the “undecideds” onstage. Now he’s doing it. Save, Trump! Oh that was a kick save and a beauty!
OK, so who “won”? Trump? Clinton? Cooper? Putin? WikiLeaks? Iran? The people getting selfies with the candidates onstage?
Who scheduled this thing against Sunday Night Football between two of the most popular teams in the league? Is this like when they put the Emmys playing against The Sopranos?
Seriously … does anything that was said tonight affect the alleged undecideds in this race?
OK, let’s leave the post-debate breakdowns to the pundits. That’s a wrap for tonight. Deadline will be back live-blogging the next debate on October 19 — maybe unless I score a freebie for Green Day at the Palladium…
Good night, all.