2nd presidential debate covers taxes, Isis, controversial videos


Ruhee Marfathia, Viewpoints Editor

Recently, the second presidential debate aired on all major news channels. As always, the second debate was town hall style. As the two nominees walked into the room, the pair opted out of the traditional handshake and looked straight down the barrel of a dramatic 90 minutes.

One of the most headlining issues in the days leading up to the debate was the video released on Friday, October 7, 2016 about Republican nominee Donald Trump. Mr. Anderson Cooper asked Mr. Trump, “You described kissing women without consent. . .That is sexual assault. You brag that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?” Mr. Trump blatantly replied “No, I did not say that,” and began saying that there are more important things they can be talking about, referring to the whole incident as “locker room” talk. Mr. Cooper continued asking if that video was in fact true but again and again Donald Trump waved the issue off as a lie saying that he has the utmost respect for women and they reciprocate that. Mrs. Clinton replied saying that she has been stating, time and time again, “…starting back in June, [Donald Trump] was not fit to be president and commander-in-chief.” Mr. Trump shifted the issue to Bill Clinton saying that “mine are words, his are actions.” Mr. Trump had invited four of the women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexually harassing them to sit in the front row with the Trump family.

In the past years Islamophobia has been on the rise, so it’s no surprise that it was one of the issues raised during the town hall debate. An audience member asked, “You’ve mentioned working with Muslim nations but with Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?” Mr. Trump encouraged all Muslims to “come in and report when they see something going on, when they see hatred going on.” He went on to say that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have never used the word radical Islamic terrorist, and that “before you solve [the issue], you have to say the name.” Hillary replied saying that there have been many dark things being said about Muslims, including what Donald Trump said about Captain Khan, killed in the line of duty. She went on to say that her vision of America is a country where everyone has a place to “work hard,. . . do [their] part. . . contribute to the community — that’s what America is, that’s what we want America to be for children and our grandchildren.” She moved to the topic of ISIS and said she intended on defeating ISIS, and that its members were not Islamic terrorists, rather they were violent jihadist terrorists. She ended her answer saying “we are not at war with Islam. . . and it plays into the hands of the terrorists to act as though we are.

One thing that’s been on millions of American’s minds this year has been tax cuts. One audience member asked, “What specific tax provisions would you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes?” Mr. Trump answered first, proposing that he would eliminate carried interest provisions. Carried interest is the portion of profit paid to managers of private equity, real estate and other funds. Usually, the managers get about 20 percent of a fund’s net gain. People against it have said that these payments are compensation and should be taxed like wages. He went on to say that he is “getting rid of regulations which goes hand in hand with the lowering of the taxes”. He says they will be “bringing the tax rate down from thirty five percent to fifteen percent”. Now, it was Hillary Clinton’s turn to respond. She said, “Nobody who makes less than $250,000 a year. . . will have their taxes raised. . . and the money is with people who have taken advantage of every single break in the tax code”. She was talking about the nearly $916 million loss that Mr. Trump suffered in 1995 and used to avoid paying some federal taxes.

Finally, to end things on a positive note, an audience member asked “Regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?” And for once that evening, there was light hearted laughter shared between both parties. Mrs. Clinton answered first saying that she respected Donald’s children; she said that his children are “incredibly able and devoted,” and that says a lot about the man Donald Trump is. Mr. Trump answered saying that Hillary Clinton “doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. . . She’s a fighter”

Tune in on October 19th for the final presidential debate that will air on all major news channel. This time, the candidates will be flying to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


For a complete transcript of the second debate, please visit the following website: