The second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is clearly the most contentious night in American political history — starting from the moment the candidates stepped on stage and refused to shake hands. But the part that worked Black Twitter into frenzy above all others is Trump's response to an undecided Black voter who asked the Republican candidate if he could be devoted to all his constituents as President after such a contentious campaign.
Though the voter didn't state his socioeconomic status or even ask specifically about the economic issues facing a section of the Black community (which, as it turns out, is far smaller than the 45% Trump claims are living in poverty), it appears that Trump took one look at his skin color and decided that's what he meant.
"I’m going to help the African Americans," Trump said, without offering any policy details to back up his claims. "I'm going to help the Latinos, Hispanics. I am going to help the inner cities." He went on to repeat his previous statements that African Americans should vote for him because they have "nothing to lose."
Many took to Twitter to voice their shock over Trump's answer, and overall performance:
Trump: Black people what do you have to lose?— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) October 10, 2016
Black people: Everything
Whenever a black person asks a question, Trump talks about inner cities. The racism is breathtaking. #debates— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) October 10, 2016
Gentle reminder: not 👏🏾 all 👏🏾 black 👏🏾 people 👏🏾 live 👏🏾 in 👏🏾 inner 👏🏾 cities 👏🏾#debate— Loni Love (@LoniLove) October 10, 2016
Trump apologizes for his words on hot mic. Says he never acted on them. Then pivots to policy. #debate— Emily Miller (@EmilyMiller) October 10, 2016
This is a mess... I can't believe he's still with the "what do you have to lose" .... #debate— Da'Vonne Rogers (@DayDaVonne_) October 10, 2016
Other low-lights: within the first ten minutes of the debate, Donald Trump was asked about his hot mic comments degrading women and promoting sexual assault. After a weak apology and repeatedly insisting that his comments were mere "locker room talk," he pivoted away from the question entirely, regurgitating his empty rhetoric regarding "law and order" assuring viewers that he would "make American great again" while once again, giving no concrete plans how he would actually do that.
"To the American people. Certainty not proud of it. But this is locker room talk. When we have a world where you have ISIS chopping off heads, where you have frankly drowning people in steel cages, wars, and horrible, horrible fights all over - so many bad things happening," Trump responded after the question. "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."
He again proved there's no line he wouldn't cross by introducing four women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault — Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Kathy Shelton — sitting in the front row of the audience. The move is particularly shocking because President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton were also in the audience.
Right before the debate Trump held an unprecedented press conference that included the four women who have accused former President Clinton of sexual assault and rape. “Actions speak louder than words,” Broaddrick said. “Mr. Trump may have said some bad words but Bill Clinton raped me and Hillary Clinton threatened me. I don’t think there’s any comparison.”
While it's clear that Trump is willing to go as low as possible, Hillary has proven that she is following Michelle Obama's advice when she said, "When they go low, we go high."
While Trump may have performed better than his laughable behavior in the first debate, pundits agree almost unanimously that he did nowhere near enough to attract minority, female, and undecided voters that he so badly needs to win this election.