Good evening, and welcome to NPI’s live coverage of the second presidential debate of 2016. NPI staff and board will be watching and sharing impressions of the debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump as it progresses. The debate, sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, is being broadcast on all major networks as well as Facebook and Twitter.
We recommend C‑SPAN if you’re livestreaming the debate as opposed to watching it on a cable or broadcast television network.
Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri is hosting the debate, which will be moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz.
The format is as follows:
The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which half of the questions will be posed directly by citizen participants and the other half will be posed by the moderator based on topics of broad public interest as reflected in social media and other sources. The candidates will have two minutes to respond and there will be an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate further discussion. The town meeting participants will be uncommitted voters selected by the Gallup Organization.
Our live coverage begins below.
UPDATE, 5:42 PM (Andrew): We are about twenty minutes away from the scheduled beginning of the debate.
UPDATE, 5:44 PM (Andrew): The town hall audience is getting their instructions from debate organizers.
UPDATE, 5:59 PM (Andrew): President Clinton, Melania Trump, and other family members have entered the auditorium where the debate is to take place and taken their seats.
UPDATE, 6:00 PM (Andrew): Moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz are also in place.
UPDATE, 6:04 PM (Andrew): The moderators are ready. The debate is about to begin.
UPDATE, 6:05 PM (Andrew): The candidates have arrived. No handshake…
UPDATE, 6:06 PM (Andrew): First question goes to Clinton. It’s about whether the previous debate featured appropriate content for young audiences.
UPDATE, 6:08 PM (Andrew): Trump begins his two minutes by declaring “I agree with everything she said”.
UPDATE, 6:08 PM (Andrew): Trump: “I guess I am a politician”.
UPDATE, 6:09 PM (Andrew): Trump not answering the question at all. He’s just using the time to make an opening statement. And making an obvious attempt to keep his voice down.
UPDATE, 6:10 PM (Andrew): Anderson Cooper wastes no time in asking about the tapes.
UPDATE, 6:10 PM (Andrew): Trump again insists it was “locker room talk”. NO, IT WASN’T.
UPDATE, 6:11 PM (Andrew): Trump vacillates between attempting to excuse his conduct and claiming he’ll take out ISIS.
UPDATE, 6:12 PM (Andrew): Trump: “No one has more respect for women than I do.” Laugher…
UPDATE, 6:14 PM (Andrew): Clinton’s turn to speak. “I think it’s clear to anyone” that the video “represents exactly who he is”.
UPDATE, 6:14 PM (Andrew): Trump pulling a Pence and shaking his head as Clinton talks. But not interrupting. Not yet.
UPDATE, 6:16 PM (Andrew): Trump: “It’s just words, folks”.
UPDATE, 6:16 PM (Andrew): So is the mic defective again… ?
UPDATE, 6:17 PM (Andrew): Sniff. Sniff. Sniff…
UPDATE, 6:17 PM (Andrew): Words matter, and Trump’s words hurt.
UPDATE, 6:18 PM (Andrew): Trump unloads on Bill Clinton while Hillary Clinton watches with a steely gaze.
UPDATE, 6:18 PM (Andrew): Sniff.
UPDATE, 6:20 PM (Andrew): Clinton quotes Michelle Obama and the audience cheers. Rules are made to be broken, apparently.
UPDATE, 6:22 PM (Andrew): Trump is determined to be as vicious as possible.
UPDATE, 6:22 PM (Andrew): Clinton smiles as Trump drives into conspiracy theory territory.
UPDATE, 6:23 PM (Andrew): Trump just directly threatened Hillary Clinton in front of like a hundred million people. If he wins, he’s coming after her.
UPDATE, 6:25 PM (Andrew): This debate has become a dumpster fire.
UPDATE, 6:26 PM (Andrew): Trump just demonstrated why we call him a neofascist.
UPDATE, 6:28 PM (Andrew): The audience tonight is more than just the people Gallup chose to be part of the town hall, which partly accounts for the cheering, booing, etc.
UPDATE, 6:29 PM (Andrew): Trump is clearly very agitated.
UPDATE, 6:30 PM (Andrew): Never seen anything like this before, ever.
UPDATE, 6:35 PM (Andrew): Clinton doing her very best to show her command of public policy as Anderson Cooper asks a follow-up question about the Patient Protection Act.
UPDATE, 6:35 PM (Andrew): Why is Donald Trump following Hillary Clinton around?
UPDATE, 6:36 PM (Andrew): “You’re going to have plans that are so good,” Trump boasts. Empty talk, empty talk, empty talk, empty talk.
UPDATE, 6:38 PM (Andrew): Trump is one of the biggest stokers of Islamophobia there is.
UPDATE, 6:38 PM (Andrew): Long sniff there. Is Trump going to say tomorrow that he was given a defective microphone again?
UPDATE, 6:39 PM (Andrew): Donald has nothing but sound bites and vicious attacks to offer tonight — punctuated by sniffs.
UPDATE, 6:42 PM (Andrew): Martha Raddatz demands Trump answer the question.
UPDATE, 6:46 PM (Andrew): Trump lies and lies and lies.
UPDATE, 6:47 PM (Andrew): “I’m going to force them right back into their country,” Trump declares.
UPDATE, 6:47 PM (Andrew): Trump keeps bringing up Bernie Sanders. Seems irritated that Sanders is doing so much campaigning for Clinton.
UPDATE, 6:48 PM (Andrew): What a terrible question.
UPDATE, 6:50 PM (Andrew): Clinton uses Raddatz’s awful question as an opportunity to talk about Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
UPDATE, 6:52 PM (Andrew): Trump going off on a tangent again.
UPDATE, 6:52 PM (Andrew): Trump asserts he pays “hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.” Show us!
UPDATE, 6:53 PM (Andrew): Next, a question from the audience about fair taxes.
UPDATE, 6:55 PM (Andrew): How can Clinton be “raising everyone’s taxes massively” when she’s not in office?
UPDATE, 6:56 PM (Andrew): Wonder if Trump is struggling to control himself. When it’s not his turn to talk, he seems very restless instead of sitting and listening.
UPDATE, 6:57 PM (Andrew): Clinton doing well here, talking about investing in hardworking families by requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share.
UPDATE, 6:58 PM (Andrew): Clinton knocked Trump by saying he lives in an alternative reality.
UPDATE, 7:00 PM (Andrew): Anderson Cooper again reminds Trump: She didn’t interrupt you.
UPDATE, 7:01 PM (Andrew): Clinton has shown incredible restraint and resolve so far in this debate. Very cool under fire.
UPDATE, 7:02 PM (Andrew): Clinton defending her record as a United States Senator — and explaining a little about how our system of government actually works.
UPDATE, 7:03 PM (Andrew): Martha Raddatz puts her foot down this time: We’re moving on. Thank goodness.
UPDATE, 7:05 PM (Andrew): Clinton’s communications shop is working hard to keep a steady stream of fact checking emails coming as the debate progresses.
UPDATE, 7:06 PM (Andrew): Clinton interrupts for the first time to correct Trump — and again, he’s irritated.
UPDATE, 7:07 PM (Andrew): Trump is speaking to his base tonight. He’s not dropping out of this race. He wants all of his people to turn out. Take note, progressives.
UPDATE, 7:10 PM (Andrew): Trump is having his own Aleppo moment. This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
UPDATE, 7:10 PM (Andrew): Trump no longer making much of an effort to keep his voice down.
UPDATE, 7:10 PM (Andrew): “How stupid is our country?” Trump says. Martha Raddatz interjects.
UPDATE, 7:11 PM (Andrew): “Tell me what your strategy is,” Raddatz asks. Trump ignores her.
UPDATE, 7:12 PM (Andrew): Not much time left, and no questions asked about affordable college, reversing the damage to the climate, women’s health, LGBT rights, or many other topics.
UPDATE, 7:14 PM (Andrew): Moderators keep having to defend themselves because Trump keeps accusing them of unfairness.
UPDATE, 7:14 PM (Andrew): That wasn’t much of a question.
UPDATE, 7:16 PM (Andrew): Trump tries to weave some variation of “Hillary Clinton lied” into each and every answer he gives.
UPDATE, 7:16 PM (Andrew): The guy who is all talk has some nerve complaining Hillary Clinton is all talk.
UPDATE, 7:17 PM (Andrew): Clinton is shining here. Talking about her history of fighting for children and families.
UPDATE, 7:18 PM (Andrew): “Children listen to what is being said,” Clinton notes, decrying the fear caused by the “Trump effect”.
UPDATE, 7:20 PM (Andrew): Clinton points out that Trump never apologizes, never owns his failures (while she has admitted that she’s made mistakes).
UPDATE, 7:20 PM (Andrew): Donald Trump, you have no idea what’s in Hillary Clinton’s heart.
UPDATE, 7:22 PM (Andrew): Trump brings up Benghazi. How predictable.
UPDATE, 7:22 PM (Andrew): Trump on Twitter: “It’s a very effective form of communication.”
UPDATE, 7:24 PM (Andrew): A question about the Supreme Court, and a good question.
UPDATE, 7:25 PM (Andrew): Good — Clinton says she wants to see Citizens United reversed.
UPDATE, 7:26 PM (Andrew): “I want a Supreme Court that doesn’t always side with corporate interests,” Clinton says.
UPDATE, 7:26 PM (Andrew):
UPDATE, 7:27 PM (Andrew): Clinton hammers the Republican Senate for refusing to give Merrick Garland a vote.
UPDATE, 7:27 PM (Rennie): I was late tuning into the debate, but the first thing I noticed is that Trump must have studied a bit this time – quoting poverty and unemployment figures.
UPDATE, 7:27 PM (Andrew): Great answer by Hillary Clinton on the Supreme Court.
UPDATE, 7:28 PM (Andrew): Trump wants to know why Clinton isn’t “putting money into your own campaign”.
UPDATE, 7:30 PM (Andrew): Another falsehood from Donald Trump. The fossil fuels industry’s problems are principally of its own making.
UPDATE, 7:30 PM (Andrew): There is NO SUCH THING as “clean coal”. Just like there’s no such thing as a Donald Trump apology.
UPDATE, 7:31 PM (Rennie): Trump claims EPA is attacking our energy companies and claims that wind and solar aren’t enough. Then starts pushing the “clean coal” myth.
UPDATE, 7:31 PM (Rennie): Trump wants the EPA to not do their job when it comes to regulating energy.
UPDATE, 7:32 PM (Rennie): Clinton speaks about China dumping steel into our economy and Trump buying for his buildings.
UPDATE, 7:33 PM (Andrew): Clinton stresses that her energy policy would focus on reversing the damage to the climate.
UPDATE, 7:33 PM (Rennie): Clinton is pushing natural gas as a “stop gap” measure on the way to getting more clean energy.
UPDATE, 7:34 PM (Andrew): Clinton deftly handled that question.
UPDATE, 7:35 PM (Rennie): Clinton claims to have a plan to revitalize “coal country” – help people who work in the coal industry as coal prices drop.
UPDATE, 7:36 PM (Rennie): When asked on what each candidate respects in the other candidate, Clinton says she respects Trump’s children.
UPDATE, 7:36 PM (Andrew): Trump says he respects that Clinton doesn’t give up. Well, he doesn’t have a choice but to respect that.
UPDATE, 7:36 PM (Rennie): Trump respects that Hillary does not quit and does not give up.
UPDATE, 7:37 PM (Rennie): The debate is ending.
UPDATE, 7:37 PM (Andrew): That concludes the dumpster fire…. er, debate.
UPDATE, 7:37 PM (Andrew): Clinton and Trump shook hands at the end.