5 WTF Moments From The Third Presidential Debate


This was the last presidential debate, but that didn’t mean Clinton and Trump went quietly. Here are five moments from Wednesday’s debate.

If you’re anything like the rest of us here, then you have just breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the last debate of this election season is over. We are now less than a month away from Election Day, and it honestly can’t come soon enough.

Republican nominee Donald Trump warmed up for the debates by preemptively complaining about supposedly rigged polls. It’s unclear whether this tactic was meant to mobilize his base to vote and monitor polling stations, or if it is merely a preemptive case of sour grapes. Whether or not Trump accepts the results of an election which has steadily turned in Hillary Clinton’s favor remains to be seen.

Trump’s polling numbers have fallen precipitously in the wake of his now-infamous 2005 comments to Billy Bush (which, need we remind you, are tantamount to sexual assault). Melania Trump, the candidate’s wife, dismissed the comments as boys’ talk. In a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, she said that, “Sometimes I say I have two boys at home. I have my young son and I have my husband”.

Clinton, meanwhile, had to deal with yet another email issue. A cache of Wikileaks emails have revealed the contents of some speeches made to Wall Street bankers for hundreds of thousands of dollars – the very same set of bankers that she has criticized in her campaign. Though these emails were not as legally questionable as her private email server, they are certainly embarrassing. Nor do they help the perception of Clinton as secretive and duplicitous.

So, what exactly went down at the debate? Read on to see our pick of the five highlights (lowlights?) from tonight’s event.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 19: Members of the media watch the third U.S. presidential debate with republican presidential nominee Donald Trump democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the media center the Thomas

1.) Everyone starts out behaving themselves… until they don’t

In the first two minutes, you might have been forgiven for thinking that everyone… vaguely respected each other? That they had perhaps made a commitment to act like adult human beings for one evening? Then, Trump emerged from his initial subdued state to his more familiar combative stance. When the subject touched on Russia and Vladimir Putin, any illusions of camaraderie went all to hell. Color us surprised.

When Trump said that “Nobody has more respect for women than I do”, Chris Wallace had to remind the crowd to remain quiet. Let us hold a moment of silence for members of the audience, who must sit quietly and contain their true feelings.

Let’s pause here also to mourn the goals of the moderator. Chris Wallace reminds me of a well-meaning high school administrator or idealistic teacher. He’s like the high school science instructor who runs debate club and only now realizes that he’s in over his head. Someone has just called their opponent a “fart face” and he’s seriously considering going back to school.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 19: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) speaks as Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on during the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas

2.) Trump acts like he is an authority on women’s issues

Does Trump understand how abortions work? Does he know what a uterus is? Has he ever thought about women as, perhaps, possibly, human beings with their own opinions and lives? Said Trump, “They rip the 9-month-old baby out of the womb”. Such late-term abortions are rare, if not outright illegal in many states throughout the U.S. Trump certainly does not seem to understand the often traumatic nature of late-term abortions, both personally and logistically, that women may encounter. Given the disastrous record of his comments on women, perhaps he shouldn’t act like he is anything of an authority here.

He also called Clinton a “nasty woman”… which. Well. If you’re a woman and you’re still voting for Trump, I honestly don’t know what to tell you.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 19: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speak during the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas

3.) Clinton alleges that Russia is trying to influence the election through cyber attacks. Trump pretends that he isn’t pining for friendship with Putin.

Does this feel like we’re in the McCarthy era again? Clinton directly pointed to “Russian espionage against Americans” and especially to supposed Russian involvement in the election (through “cyber terrorism” and the recent Wikileaks emails).. Trump said that “I don’t know Putin. He’s not my best friend”.

Somewhere, Vladimir Putin weeps quietly and sings “All By Myself” to an empty room.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 19: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas

4.) Trump criticizes NAFTA, despite having business deals in countries such as Mexico

Trump says that NAFTA is bad for America, despite the fact that he has made use of relationships with manufacturers in other countries – including some in Mexico. By the way, the U.S. has lost millions of manufacturing jobs, though it’s not clear that NAFTA is the cause. Moreover, it isn’t clear that terminating NAFTA, as Trump says he might do, would solve our economic woes.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 19: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) debates with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas

5.) Trump doesn’t commit to accepting the results of the election

Both Trump’s running mate Mike Pence and daughter Ivanka Trump stated that they will accept election. Donald Trump said both, “I’ll see at the time” and “I’ll keep you in suspense”. What a fun surprise. As stated earlier, Trump has repeatedly complained about “rigged” elections and unfair media practices.

This was to EVERYONE the ultimate WTF moment. PBS commentators afterwards simply sat there with the jaws hanging open. On rolling news channels alike, talking heads sputtered in shock. This WTF is the biggest one of the night and the one that will be discussed for days to come.

Next: 5 WTF Moments From The Second Presidential Debate

Welp, that all happened. There were few surprises, exactly, but I suppose we can take grim, light-headed satisfaction from the awfulness of it all. Anyway, this should certainly push you to vote. Get your ballots in, make your voices heard, and let’s just get this thing over with already.