The Second Presidential Debate – LIVE


The debate will be moderated by ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper. It will take place at Washington University in St. Louis. It’s scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT). The debate will be town hall-style, with half of the questions coming directly from the undecided voters in attendance. The other half of the questions will come from Cooper and Raddatz, and will be “based on topics of broad public interest as reflected in social media and other sources.”

The Frist Presidential Debate (Monday, September 26):

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Here’s what both candidates need to do in tonight’s encounter according to The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal:




Apologize – 

Mr. Trump has already offered two apologies for his comments caught on a 2005 tape where he bragged about groping women just months into his third marriage. When the story broke in the Washington Post, he dismissed the comments as “locker room banter” and apologized “if anyone was offended.” He later took a more contrite tone in a video statement later that night, saying: “I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down,” adding: “I was wrong and I apologize.”

In the debate, he needs to apologize again – profusely, and with sincere contrition. His remarks came when he was a middle-aged man and newly married, so they’re difficult to chalk up to youth or marital difficulties. And they have the ability to cause lasting damage with a set of swing voters crucial to victory in November.


Reassure jittery Republicans – 

Mr. Trump’s statements have so spooked Republican candidates in tight races down the ballot that many have withdrawn their support and attempted to distance themselves from Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump needs to reassure whatever supporters he has left in the GOP that he can still run this race and govern effectively if he wins and that he won’t do long-term damage to the party’s brand.

Mr. Trump can do this in the debate by staying on-message and appearing presidential — serious and disciplined. Mr. Trump started the previous debate strong, with a message of change and economic populism. He was quickly thrown off balance by the much more disciplined and prepared Mrs. Clinton.




Keep the pressure on Mr. Trump – 

Mrs. Clinton’s challenge on the debate stage will be to keep the spotlight on Mr. Trump’s many ongoing controversies, including his feud with a beauty queen, his statements about Muslims and Hispanics, and of course the newly released tape.

Entering the debate, the weight of expectations falls on Mrs. Clinton, who was widely praised as the winner in the first debate. But much of the political pressure is on Mr. Trump, whose candidacy is on the rocks and whose fellow Republicans are abandoning him in droves. Mrs. Clinton needs to keep that pressure on throughout the encounter.


Be prepared to deflect or answer uncomfortable questions – 

Mr. Trump has signaled that his response to questions about his own past relationships with women will be to invoke Bill Clinton’s alleged infidelities. Mr. Clinton has been accused of numerous affairs and admitted to having a sexual relationship with an intern while serving in the White House. Such a tactic could easily backfire and create sympathy for Mrs. Clinton, so she needs to be prepared to give a succinct, tactful answer to any questions that arise on the debate stage about her husband.


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