In a heated climate following two days of revelations about both presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off in the second US presidential debate in a town hall format on Oct. 9.
The debate was moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, a reporter at ABC News. The questions were drawn from a few members of the audience, uncommitted voters who were selected by Gallup, and by citizens who sent in their questions via social media platforms.
Here’s the full list of the questions directed at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, in chronological order, from a live transcript published by NPR.
Questions in red were addressed to Trump; questions in blue were addressed to Clinton. Questions in black were directed to both candidates.
The Trump tape and Clinton’s emails
1. 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?
2. 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 their genitals. That is sexual assault. You brag that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?
3. Jeff from Ohio asks on Facebook, “Trump says the campaign has changed him. When did that happen?” So Mr. Trump, let me add to that—when you walked off that bus at 59, were you a different man, or did that behavior continue until just recently?
4. And Secretary Clinton, I do want to follow up on emails. You said your handling of your emails was a mistake. You disagreed with the director—FBI director James Comey—calling your handling of classified information quote “extremely careless.” The FBI said that there are 110 classified e-mails that were exchanged, eight of which were top-secret and that a possible hostile actors did gain access to those e-mails. You don’t call that extremely careless?
The Affordable Care Act
1. The Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. It is not affordable. Premiums have gone up. Deductibles have gone up. Co-pays have gone up. Prescriptions have gone up. And the coverage has gone down. What will you do to bring the costs down and make coverage better?
2. Secretary Clinton, let me follow up with you. Your husband called Obamacare “the craziest thing in the world,” saying that small-business owners are getting killed as premiums double, coverage is cut in half. Was he mistaken or was his mistake simply telling the truth?
3. Mr. Trump, you have said you want to end Obamacare. You have also said that you want to make coverage accessible for people with pre-existing conditions. How do you force insurance companies to do that if you are no longer mandating that everybody has insurance? What does that mean?
Islamophobia and Syrian refugees
1. There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States and I’m one of them. You mentioned working with Muslim nations but with this 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?
2. Mr. Trump, in December you said this: “Donald J. Trump was calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. We have no choice, we have no choice.” Your running mate said this week that the Muslim ban is no longer your position. Is that correct, and if it is, was a mistake to have a religious test?
3. Secretary Clinton, let me ask you about that. Because you have asked for an increase from [accepting] 10,000 to 65,000 Syrian refugees. We know you want tougher vetting. That’s not a perfect system, so why take the risk of having those refugees coming into the country?
Wikileaks and taxes
1. This question involves Wikileaks’ release of reported excerpts of Secretary Clinton’s paid speeches, which she has refused to release, and one line in particular in which you, Secretary Clinton, reportedly say you need both a public and private position on certain issues. So Tiu from Virginia asks, “Is okay for politicians to be two-faced? Is it acceptable for a politician to have a private stance on issues?”
2. What specific tax provisions would you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes?
3. The New York Times published three pages of your 1995 tax returns. They showed you claimed a $916 million loss, which means you could have avoided paying personal federal income taxes for years. You’ve said you pay state tax, employee taxes, real estate taxes, property taxes. You have not answered, though, a simple question. Did you use that $916 dollar loss to avoid paying federal income taxes?
The war in Syria
1. Diana from Pennsylvania asks, “If you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? Isn’t it a lot like the Holocaust when the US waited too long before we helped?”
2. Mr. Trump, let me repeat the question: If you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo. And I want to remind you what your running mate said. He said provocations by Russian need to be met with American strength and that if Russia continues to be involved with airstrikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets, of the Assad regime … You disagree with your running mate?
3. Secretary Clinton, you want Assad to go. You advocated arming rebels, but it looks like that may be too late for Aleppo. Talk about diplomatic efforts, those have failed. Ceasefires have failed. Would you introduce the threat of US military force beyond the no-fly zone against the Assad regime, to back diplomacy?
Leadership and “deplorables”
1. Do you believe you can be a devoted president to all the people of the United States?
2. Secretary Clinton, I want to follow up on something that Donald Trump actually said to you, a comment you made last month. You said that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are “deplorables.” Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic. You later said you regretted saying “half.” You didn’t express regret for using the term “deplorables.” To Mr. Carter’s question, how can you unite a country if you’ve written off tens of millions of Americans?
3. Mr. Trump, let me follow up with you. In 2008, you wrote in one of your books that the most important characteristic of a good leader is discipline. You said if the leader doesn’t have it, he or she won’t be one for very long. In the days after the first debate, you sent out a series of tweets from 3 am to 5 am, including one that told people to check out a sex tape. Is that the discipline of a president?
4. Secretary Clinton, does Mr. Trump have the discipline to be a good leader?
The Supreme Court, energy policy, and compliments
1. Perhaps the most important aspect of this election is the selection of the Supreme Court justice. What would you prioritize as the most important aspect of selecting a Supreme Court justice?
2. What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?
3. My question to both of you is, regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?