Hillary Clinton v Donald Trump: What US media said about second presidential debate

The town hall-style debate on Monday (Oct 10), between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, featured about half the questions coming from uncommitted voters screened by Gallup, with the rest posed by moderators Martha Raddatz of ABC News, and Anderson Cooper of CNN. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES, BLOOMBERG. THE WASHINGTON POST) - In the town hall-style debate on Sunday (Monday Oct 10, Singapore time), between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, about half the questions came from uncommitted voters screened by Gallup, with the rest posed by moderators Martha Raddatz of ABC News and Anderson Cooper of CNN.

The debate topics ranged from news of the past week as well as stances taken by the candidates over the previous year.

The third and final presidential debate is scheduled for Oct 19 (US time) at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas with Chris Wallace of Fox News serving as moderator. Unlike Monday's town hall format, it will be more traditional, with the two candidates at lecterns and fielding questions from Wallace.

Here is what some US media are saying about the second presidential debate:

Bitter, personal face-off

Bloomberg said the second presidential debate between Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton quickly lived up to expectations as a bitter, personal face-off where Mr Trump repeatedly accused her of failing to make any difference in her 30 years in public service and Mrs Clinton shot back that his vulgar words and actions disqualified him for the presidency.

Both candidates interrupted each other often

The debate was unusually bitter, with the two candidates taking steps unheard-of in the genteel tradition of presidential debates - which, typically, are the kind of discussions where "There you go again" is considered a flaming zinger, said The Washington Post.

In this debate, the two interrupted each other often.

Mr Trump referred to Mrs Clinton as "the devil" and promised that - if elected - he would order the Justice Department to re-investigate her for her use of a private e-mail server to handle government business.

Mrs Clinton said at one point that Mr Trump lives "in an alternate reality".

Startling political manoeuvre by Trump

In a startling political manoeuvre before tens of millions of viewers, Mr Trump accused Mrs Clinton of smearing women who had accused her husband, former president Bill Clinton, of sexually assaulting or harassing them, turning their presidential debate into the tawdriest in modern history as he sought to salvage his candidacy after explosive reports about his past lewd comments about women, said The New York Times.

Tense at first, and then increasingly angry as he grew more comfortable on the attack, Mr Trump made the charges and noted that three of Mr Clinton's accusers were sitting in the audience.

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The Republican and Democratic presidential candidates aren't without controversy in their second presidential debate, and the pressure's on with Election Day only weeks away.

Both candidates were visibly uneasy throughout the debate, even refusing to shake hands when they took the stage, as the 90-minute event unfolded on a small stage with an almost unremitting hostility.

Mrs Clinton did not specifically rebut Mr Trump's charges about Mr Clinton's behaviour, saying only: "So much of what he just said is not right."

Mr Clinton looked slightly uncomfortable as he entered the hall, looking at the crowd as he walked towards Mr Trump's wife, Melania. The two shook hands moments later, and Mr Clinton greeted Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka as well.

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