The third and final debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump got even uglier on Wednesday, each making personal attacks against the other. It was obvious they did not like each other and tempers flared as the debate went on.
A pivotal moment came when Trump refused to say if he would accept the result of next month's presidential election if he lost. He told Fox News moderator Chris Wallace "I will keep you in suspense."
CNN noted: “The comments at the Las Vegas showdown marked an extraordinary departure from one of the most fundamental principles of American democracy: the peaceful transfer of power after an election. They exposed a divide with Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence,” who said Trump will ‘certainly accept the outcome of this election.’”
Clinton called his response “horrifying.” It supported her assertions that Trump’s mentality is to blame others when things don’t go his way. She ran down a list of instances where Trump said various contests were rigged whenever he lost—from the Iowa caucus to his
“Apprentice” reality show being passed up for an Emmy. President Obama said Trump is a whiner.
For 90 minutes the pair exchanged unpleasantries while simultaneously trying to stay on point on such issues as the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment, abortion, and jobs. Trump called Clinton “such a nasty woman,” and accused her campaign of paying people to incite violence at his rallies. Clinton said Trump was being used as a “puppet” of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and charged, "You are not up to doing the job."
Each was challenged on sensitive subjects like Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails as Secretary of State and foreign donations made to the Clinton Foundation. Trump was plagued by the barrage of women who have come forth since the last debate, accusing him of sexual assault as well as the appearance that he would cozy up to Putin if elected.
Clinton noted that Trump had implied at several rallies that he could not have made inappropriate advances to the women because they were not sufficiently attractive.
Trump wrongly denied that he had ever made such a remark, but it was hard getting around the charge with so much evidence of the Republican candidate calling women names and making lewd remarks about them.
"Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity and their self-worth," Clinton said.
The Republican nominee is down eight points in the latest CNN Poll of Polls. The latest edition of the CNN Electoral Map moved two key swing states, Florida and Nevada, to "lean Democrat." Two states that have voted almost exclusively Republican for decades, Utah and Arizona, are now considered battlegrounds.