Donald Trump insisted last night that he really, really respects women, and he showed how much by repeatedly shouting “Liar!” at Hillary Clinton. It was that kind of night.
For 90 minutes, Trump fumed and paced, shouting incoherent accusations, insisting he was being treated unfairly, snorting and growling like a wounded warthog.
While Hillary tried to defend herself against this relentless assault, she obviously didn’t want to get down and dirty with the man. Let him rant and rave, she seemed to be thinking.
She quoted Michelle Obama:
When they go low, you go high.
And she did her best to follow that advice.
There was no debate “winner” last night because there was no “debate,” no reasoned argument, just insults and smears, a seamless cascade of accusations, laced with fiction and fantasy.
It was a no-holds-barred, made for TV reality show.
Trump even called Hillary “the devil” and promised to send her to prison if he becomes President.
Yes prison. For using the wrong email server when she was secretary of state.
That’s how bizarre this campaign has become.
Trump’s recently exposed videotape (I’m sure you know what I’m talking about) was brought up, of course. And he responded by rehashing all the old Bill Clinton sex scandals. He even had some of Bill’s accusers – now middle-aged matrons – sit in the audience (and pose for a pre-debate photo op).
As far as substance is concerned, those few Americans who know what the carried interest rate is learned that both candidates would abolish the tax break if elected. But there wasn’t much else as far as I could discern.
Questions from the audience and the moderators were never really answered. Both candidates used the questions as excuses to attack each other or reiterate sound bites from their stump speeches.
Hillary’s answers were at least coherent. Most of Trump’s responses were garbled, stream-of-consciousness rants – the last throes of a dying campaign.
There wasn’t even anything new in the attacks. Just old wounds being ripped open.
But the “town hall” audience – and the millions of TV viewers – learned one thing, if they didn’t already know it.
Donald Trump is quite obviously unfit to be President.