The Transcript Of The Second Presidential Debate Will Make You See Its Insanity


What a wild ride the 2016 presidential election has become. While the first presidential debate brought in a record-breaking 84 million viewers, recent campaign-shaking scandals made the second presidential debate even more of a must-see TV event, if only to watch Republican nominee Donald Trump struggle to save his campaign as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton attempts to steer clear of the word "email." Trump and Clinton came face-to-face Sunday for the second presidential debate in St. Louis after an interesting weekend in American politics. Review which presidential candidate said what with the transcript of the second presidential debate.

Clinton and Trump sat down for a town hall style debate moderated by CNN's Anderson Cooper and ABC News' Martha Raddatz at Washington University on Sunday to convince voters that they're the better candidate for the job. Due to its town hall structure (and, OK, Trump's pre-debate press conference with women who've accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault), the 90-minute commercial free debate was full of unpredictable moments, so it's understandable if you need to review what the candidates actually said about their policies and proposals.

Peep the transcript of the second presidential debate, brought to you by NPR, for a full review of who said what and who spent the night dodging questions.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Good evening, I’m Martha Raddatz from ABC News.

ANDERSON COOPER: And I’m Anderson Cooper from CNN. We want to welcome you to Washington University in St. Louis for the second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, sponsored by the commission on presidential debates. Tonight’s debate is a town hall format which gives voters a chance to directly ask the candidates questions. Martha and I will ask follow-up questions but the night really belongs to the people in this room and to people across the country who have submitted questions online.

MARTHA RADDATZ: The people you see on this stage were chosen by the Gallup organization. They are all from the St. Louis area and told Gallup they haven't committed to a candidate. Each of them came here with questions they wanted to ask and we saw those questions for the first time this morning. Anderson and I and our team from ABC and CNN are the only ones who have seen them. Both candidates will have two minutes to answer each audience and online question. We hope to get to as many questions as we can so we've asked the audience here not to slow things down with any applause. Except for now. Ladies and gentlemen, the Republican nominee for president Donald J. Trump and the Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton.

ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you very much for being here. We’re going to begin with a question from one of the members in our town hall. Each of you will have two minutes to respond to this question. Secretary Clinton, he won the coin toss so you will go first. Our first question comes from Patrice Brock. Patrice.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you and good evening. The last presidential debate could've been rated as MA - mature audiences - per TV parental guidelines. Knowing that educators are tying the presidential debates to student homework, do you feel you are modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today's youth?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well thank you, are you a teacher? Yes, I think that that's a very good question because I've heard from lots of teachers and parents about some of their concerns, about some of the things that are being said and done in this campaign. And I think it is very important for us to make clear to our children that our country really is great because we are good. And we are going to respect one another, lift each other up. We are going to be looking for ways to celebrate our diversity. And we are going to try to reach out to every boy and girl as well as every adult to bring them in to working on behalf of our country. I have a very positive and optimistic view about what we can do together. That's why the slogan of my campaign is stronger together. Because I think if we work together, if we overcome the divisiveness that sometimes sets Americans against one another, and instead we make some big goals and I've set forth some big goals - getting the economy to work for everyone, not just those at the top, making sure that we have the best education system from preschool through college and making it affordable and so much else if we set those goals and we go together to try to achieve them there's nothing, in my opinion, that America can't do. So that's why I hope that we will come together in this campaign. Obviously, I'm hoping to earn your vote, I'm hoping to be elected in November, and I can promise you I will work with every American. I want to be the president for all Americans. Regardless of your political beliefs, where you come from, what you look like, your religion -- I want us to heal our country and bring it together. Because that's, I think, the best way for us to get the future that are children and our grandchildren deserve.

ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. Trump, you have two minutes.

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I actually agree with that. I agree with everything she said. I began this campaign because I was so tired of seeing such foolish things happen to our country. This is a great country. This is a great land. I've gotten to know the people of the country over the last year and a half that I've been doing this as a politician. I cannot believe that I'm saying about myself, but I guess I have been a politician. And my whole concept was to make America great again. When I watch the deals being made, when I watch what's happening with some horrible things like Obamacare for your health insurance and health care is going up by numbers that are astronomical 68 percent, 59 percent, 71 percent, when I look at the Iran deal and how bad a deal it is for us, it's a one-sided transaction where we’re giving back one hundred fifty billion dollars to a terrorist state, really, the one number one terrorist state, we've made them a strong country from really a very weak country just three years ago. When I look at all of the things that I see and all the potential that our country has, we have such tremendous potential, whether it's in business and trade where we’re doing so badly. Last year we had an almost 800 billion dollar trade deficit. In other words, trading with other countries we had 800 billion dollars deficit, that’s hard to believe. Inconceivable. You say who's making these deals? We’re going to make trade and have a strong border going to bring back law and order. Just today policemen were shot - two killed - and this is happening on a weekly basis. We have to bring back respect to law enforcement. At the same time we do take care of people on all sides. We need justice. But I want to do things that haven’t been done including fixing and making our interest that is better for the African-American citizens that are so great and for the Latinos, Hispanics, and I look forward to doing it - it’s called make America great again.

ANDERSON COOPER: Thank You Mr. Trump. The question from Patrice was about are you both modeling positive and appropriate behaviors for today's youth. We received a lot of questions online Mr. Trump about the tape that was released on Friday, as you can imagine. You called what you said locker room banter. You described kissing women without consent grabbing the genitals. That is sexual assault. You brag that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?

DONALD TRUMP: No I didn't say that at all. I don't think you understood what was said. This was locker room talk. I'm not proud of it. I apologized to my family. I apologized to the American people. Certainly I'm not proud of it, but this is locker room talk. You know what we have a world where you have ISIS chopping off heads, where you have men frankly drowning people in steel cages, where you have wars and horrible, horrible sites all over where you have so many bad things happening, this is like medieval times, we haven't seen anything like this -- the carnage all over the world -- and they look and they see. Can you imagine the people that are frankly doing so well against us with ISIS and they look at our country and they see what's going on. Yes, I'm very embarrassed by it. I hate it. But it’s locker room talk and it's one of those things. I will knock the hell out of ISIS, we’re going to defeat ISIS. ISIS happened a number of years ago in a vacuum that was left because of bad judgment and I will tell you I will take care of ISIS.


DONALD TRUMP: And we can get onto much more important things and much bigger things.

ANDERSON COOPER: Just for the record though are you saying that what you said on that bus eleven years ago that you did not actually kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?

DONALD TRUMP: I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women that I do.

With presidential debates like these, who needs Saturday Night Live?