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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Clinton and Trump Wrap Up Second Presidential Debate; Post Debate Analysis; Ohio Uncommitted Voters Weigh in on Debate; Interview with Kellyanne Conway; Fact-Checking the Candidates. Aired 10:36p-12a ET
Aired October 9, 2016 - 22:36 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:36:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And that's it. The 90-minute debate is now over. History has been made. They ended it very, very briefly on a relatively positive note, and there you see them shaking hands, something they refused to do right at the beginning of this debate.
This was a moment that the presidential candidates, they took the gloves off, they threw them away, in what was a debate that was defined very often by insults, offenses, and interruptions. Jake Tapper, Donald Trump came into this debate behind in the polls, also facing a mass defection from members of his own party. Did tonight change any of that?
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The first 20 minutes, half an hour, I thought Donald Trump was erratic and going off the rails. And then I thought he turned it around to a degree. He think -- he prosecuted the case against Hillary Clinton that was effective, he stayed with the theme about she's been in Washington for a long time, it's all words, no action.
And so I thought this was a much better debate performance than his first debate performance. He may have staunched (ph) some of the bleeding that we've seen in his campaign in recent days. Obviously you have 16 Republican U.S. senators abandoning his bid, saying they won't vote for him, he should maybe think about quitting the ticket.
So I think he did himself a favor with that regard. I think his base, his supporters, will be very happy with tonight's performance. Did he add to his voters? I don't know that he did. My impression is basically that this might be something of a wash.
Hillary Clinton was OK, she was effective. She obviously knows much more about policy. Her temperament was much more even throughout. But there were times when he landed gloves on her metaphorically in terms of the e-mail issue specifically.
And -- and I don't think she was as effective a counter-puncher as I think a lot of people probably thought she would be, especially armed with this tape that came out, this Access Hollywood tape from Friday.
Probably the strategy for Clinton going into this was have a fine debate. If it's a wash, that's fine. If he self-destructs, even better. But he is still losing, and he will have to really have an amazing performance over the next 30 days to beat her.
So overall, looking at this through the lens of an undecided voter, I think probably this didn't move the needle. It probably stopped some of the bad news for Donald Trump, that might have come tomorrow in terms of further defections.
But I think Hillary Clinton is still in the lead in this race, and we still have 30 days to go, or a little less than that, and there's gonna -- still a lot more oppo (ph) that's about to be dropped. Wolf?
BLITZER: All right, Dana Bash, what was your main takeaway?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That Donald Trump used the locker room term more than once at the beginning of this debate, one that was pretty much shunned by most of his fellow Republicans who were not happy with his initial response to the tape that came out earlier over the weekend.
He did it a couple of times, and wasn't as contrite as frankly I thought he was going to be, and more importantly, how a lot of Republicans wanted him to be to use Jake's term, stop the Republicans leaving.
Having said that, he did seem to kind of get a little bit of his mojo throughout the debate, using a term that he hated, I'm told, in the first debate prep, but did a lot this time, which was pivoted. Tried not to take Hillary Clinton's bait, which was his big problem in the first debate.
But it got to the point, Wolf, where I was floored when I heard him explicitly say on a debate stage that he disagrees with his vice presidential running mate on an important policy matter such as Syria. Mike Pence talked about airstrikes in Syria, and it is something that Donald Trump explicitly said he is not for. You've gotta wonder whether or not that was a little bit of payback for Mike Pence being so aggressively opposed to him, and condemning him in the harshest of terms this weekend because of the tape that came out, Wolf.
BLITZER: Interesting, Dana. We did the math, Donald Trump spoke for 40 minutes and 10 seconds. Hillary Clinton spoke for 39 minutes and 5 seconds, almost exactly the same amount of time. John King, you didn't really hear a very robust, emotional apology from Donald Trump, did you?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, you didn't, and in the incoming -- the inbox from Republicans, that's one of the things they're worried about, because they believe it's very powerful for Hillary Clinton to use that tape in advertising, to use Donald Trump in his own words saying such vulgar, predatory things about women.
And then he didn't say anything aggressively to apologize (ph), but he did say he didn't do that behavior when pressed by Anderson Cooper. He did say he didn't do those things. That was one of the unanswered questions, where he says in the -- talks in the tape about assaulting women. Now he says he didn't do those, he was just talking about it, he said he apologized. Nowhere near as aggressive and as personal, I think, as many Republicans wanted. Instead, he went straight into the personal attacks on her, bringing Bill Clinton into it, that first 20 minutes, as Jake said, I think will be judged largely based on, if you're watching at home, where do you stand from a partisan perspective.
What Donald Trump is getting better reviews for is being more engaged and more aggressive, more responsive and more counter-punching, but throwing Mike Pence under the bus, at a time when Mike Pence is standing by him through this personal thing, is a very interesting dynamic.
And he also significantly did say that yes, he took that giant deduction so that he wouldn't pay federal income taxes. You can bet that's coming to a TV ad in the final days, without a doubt.
BLITZER: You can certainly bet that is -- that is true. Jake, back to you.
TAPPER: Thanks, Wolf. Let's check in with our panel of experts about what they think. Gloria, I said it was a wash, but feel free to completely disagree with me.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think at the beginning of the debate, Donald Trump did exactly the opposite of what I thought he should have done. He said that the was embarrassed by this, the videotape, he said that it was locker room talk, he did not apologize to any of the women involved.
And he kept saying, you know, it's words, and it wasn't anything more than that, period, end of sentence. So there was nothing more than anything he had already said. He had already had the press conference about -- about Bill Clinton, et cetera, so we knew that story.
And then when they were asked are you different now than you were when you were at the young age of 59, he just said I'm not proud of it, it's locker room talk, and I have great respect for people, my family, and you know, Hillary got him on that, because she came back and she said you needed to apologize.
Then, for the rest of the debate, I think Donald Trump, once he got over that hurdle, was a little bit more disciplined, if that's the right word, attacking Hillary, I thought well, on the e-mail issue, where she is -- where she is vulnerable.
And I think in a sense, he may have done enough. She was -- she seemed a little stilted at times, and I think that he may have done enough to kind of, as you put it, stop the bleeding. I'm not sure any minds were changed at this -- at this debate tonight.
I think so much has occurred over this last 48 hours, and this last week, that people have to digest all of this, including this debate tonight, to kind of see where they stand. I want to echo one thing that Dana said, which was stunning, was the Mike Pence -- TAPPER: Yeah.
BORGER: -- remark. I mean he's praising a dictator who was trying to interfere with our election, period. And you know, whom his running mate said we should, you know --
TAPPER: Stand up to.
BORGER: -- bomb, because -- yeah, stand up to, and we should, you know, bomb Assad, who Putin is propping up. So that really struck a discordant note for me.
TAPPER: Well he said he hadn't -- he hadn't spoken with his own running mate about Syria, and he disagrees with him.
KING: Well, yeah --
BORGER: Yes -- yes, that's about it.
KING: Well what was odd about that was I'm sure he watched the debate on Tuesday night as we all did, we all commented on the fact that Mike Pence's policy on this issue seemed different than Donald Trump's. He went out that night and the next day -- that night on Twitter, and the next day in person, and said what a brilliant job he did, and it never occurred to him to say by the way, your policy and my policy aren't the same policy? That seems peculiar to me.
BORGER: Give us a broader look (inaudible), what you think.
KING: Look, I agree with Gloria in that I think that his handling of the issue of the day, which is that tape, was nearly disastrous. I think generally he was much more animated and was much more -- much better counter-puncher.
I think that he did poorly on that question, he did poorly on this strange Syria discussion where he got off on kind of a rant there, which you know, I think will leave a lot of questions, and led to the Mike Pence question.
But the truth is, Hillary Clinton also had similar struggles with the same issues that she always struggles with, e-mails, speeches. I thought his counter-punch on the Lincoln comment was good. And at the end of the day, I came to the -- I come to the same conclusion Gloria does, I think she probably wins this on points, but I don't think it changes much, and I think that his base will feel satisfied with his performance. But the question is has he -- has he grown it at all tonight.
TAPPER: Yes, and then Nia, just to set the stage, I mean this has been one of the most disastrous periods for a presidential nominee in the history of the United States, from the first debate until before this debate. Did he change that at all?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: I think he, as you said, I think he sort of stopped the panic among most of the Republicans there who were panicking, at least for now, right. I thought it was basically a draw, which is a good thing for Donald Trump.
I think a lot of Democrats came in here thinking that Hillary Clinton was going to knock him out of this debate, and have such a strong performance, that there would be no question of where this race stood. I don't think she had that great a performance.
She was fine. I think stylistically, he was kind of odd, right, pacing around, and standing over her in some of those shots. I think that's going to be a lot of material stylistically, I think, I mean for SNL. I think she power (ph) punched pretty well on the you've been there for 30 years, what have you been doing.
And then she listed all of the things that she had done, children's healthcare, expanding healthcare for veterans, her work as secretary of state, 400 pieces of legislation. So I thought that was a good moment for her. And she did, at the end, drop one of those sort of Hillary Clinton new information things at the end, of kind of an Alicia Machado thing, when she talked about Trump gobbling up illegal steel from China to build his buildings. So I bet we'll hear more about that.
TAPPER: Yeah, that was -- I believe that was a Newsweek story from a few days ago, about how two out of three buildings that he's -- that his project are using the steel that actually hurts American workers. What do you think, Smerc?
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that the night belongs to Donald Trump. I think that he was borderline in free fall as the evening began, and by the end of the night, by the end of the debate, we're not talking about the Trump tape. I think he was able to pivot away from that.
He was strong, barely controlled at some points, and it was a greatest hits reel for the 14 million who voted for him. I mean no handshake at the outset, Bill's infidelities, the e-mail erasure, radical Islam, dishonesty on her part, the media.
I think you're going to hear a lot from the Trump forces about how they interpreted the role of the moderators in this. So I think that those who voted for him got everything they wanted in their vote. Did he grow the tent?
I can't see that there was any outreach. I looked carefully for those moments where I thought that he could have expanded the base that he already has. But I think it's his night, not a knockout, but his night on points.
TAPPER: Where could he have expanded the base? Obviously there was a -- there was a Muslim-American woman who spoke, there was an African- American who wanted the country -- an African-American gentleman, James Carter, who wanted the country to be united. Can he -- would he be devoted to the country to bring us together. Where were the opportunities that Mike says he maybe didn't take?
BORGER: I think he could have been more expansive about what he wants to do on healthcare reform rather than repeal, but replace it with what, and how, and whom it would benefit. I think he could talk more about the reforms he wants in the task code, aside from getting rid of carried interests for wealthy people.
I think he -- you know, where he always falls down is that he goes right on the attack without -- when a direct question is asked, what would you do about X, Y or Z, he goes -- he deflects, and goes on the attack about Hillary's been here for 30 years, and she didn't do anything.
So I think the way you bring people into the tent is to tell them exactly what you would do for them. And on those important issues to Americans, like their taxes and like their healthcare, I still do not think that we got much beyond Obamacare is a disaster, and why didn't she fix the tax code before this so people like me didn't take advantage of it?
And by the way, I think we might have heard him admit, and I'm not sure about this, that he did use on the $918 million debt, that he actually used that not to --
TAPPER: Not to pay taxes, he did.
BORGER: We don't know for how long, yes.
TAPPER: I think that he did say. He didn't say how long, but he did say he used it, yeah.
HENDERSON: Yes, I think the Trump team thinks they're reaching out to suburban white women and college-educated white women when they talk about African-Americans in inner cities and Hispanics. I think he hurts his case.
Because with his record, and the way he talks about African-Americans, and the fact that he tends to say the African-Americans, and not just African-Americans, which is an anachronistic way of referring to folks, and deeply odd. So I think they think they're doing that, but I don't think there's any success in growing that tent.
KING: I mean I think the real question is do the people who are held back from supporting Trump because they fear he doesn't have the right temperament, or they fear he doesn't have command, were they reassured in any way tonight, or were they -- will they think of him differently as a result of this performance?
I quite agree with Michael. I think that he was speaking to the base, and I think the base was probably very happy. The base is just not big enough, I mean (inaudible) --
SMERCONISH: The demographics of the country are such that they're just -- I'm sorry to hit this data point again, but George Herbert Walker Bush and Mitt Romney got the same percentage of the white vote, 59 percent. What earned George Herbert Walker Bush 426 electoral votes got Mitt Romney only 206.
And there in a nutshell is the changing demographic of the country. And that's why the missed opportunity was with the Muslim woman, and the African-American man at the end. That was his opportunity to be magnanimous.
TAPPER: And where he's doing poorly, and where he needs to improve significantly, has to do with college-educated white voters. He is losing college-educated white women, and he's even with college- educated white men.
BORGER: People with healthcare in their families, who are --
KING: There was a poll out today in your home state, in your home state --
TAPPER: Yup, in mine.
KING: -- that had him leading -- in your home state, that had him -- or her leading among college-educated voters, white voters, by 20 points. This is a cohort that Mitt Romney carried by 14 percent in 2012. That's a stunning, stark difference.
HENDERSON: Yeah, and Republicans (inaudible) tolerance, right, I mean and that's why --
KING: They think he's a bigot.
HENDERSON: They think he's a bigot, right, and that's why you hear Hillary Clinton, all of her ads are about Donald Trump, and what he said, and those words, whether it's about women, whether it's about the birther controversy, those things turn off college-educated white voters. And he can't undo that because he's spent so much time branding himself in that way as this kind of unreconstructed alpha male, and the tape only underscores that.
TAPPER: Let me just say this one thing about the tape, because we're all talking about the debate, and that's wonderful, and that's going to be our focus until 1 in the morning. But tomorrow morning we wake up in a world where the debate's over, we're not talking about it anymore, we're talking about something else. And I just can't help but think that the Clinton campaign is going to make sure that that tape is --
HENDERSON: Oh yeah.
TAPPER: -- everywhere from now until election.
BORGER: That's right, and it's about the --
KING: That will be the image of the women, I mean from this point forward. We're going to have that (inaudible) women (inaudible) Donald Trump, and that story's going to get told.
BORGER: But for the college-educated white women that we've been talking about, not only --
KING: Can I just make one other point, which is it's very clear they don't like each other very much. It was kind of an irritating debate in that sense, because they were firing these jibes back and forth. And what was missing from it was any invocation of people, humanity. We're in a town hall meeting, the only person that was raised, I think Hillary Clinton raised an individual and just as in the last debate, she raised an individual to weaponize that story against Donald Trump. But the day-to-day struggle -- we're talking about healthcare, nobody mentioned anybody who's actually struggling with healthcare. Nobody -- I was surprised by that.
TAPPER: Let's go back to the tape. I want to play Donald Trump's response when the subject of this Access Hollywood tape, him talking very crudely about women, seeming to boast about grabbing women, assaulting women inappropriately, here was his response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, DEBATE MODERATOR: You called what you said locker room banter. You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault. You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: No, I didn't say that at all. I don't think you understood what was -- this was locker room talk. I'm not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I'm not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.
You know, when we have a world where you have ISIS chopping off heads, where you have -- and, frankly, drowning people in steel cages, where you have wars and horrible, horrible sights all over, where you have so many bad things happening, this is like medieval times. We haven't seen anything like this, the carnage all over the world.
And they look and they see -- can you imagine the people that are frankly doing so well against us with ISIS, and they look at our country and they see what's going on? Yes, I'm very embarrassed by it, 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. ISIS happened a number of years ago in a vacuum that was left --
COOPER: So --
TRUMP: because of bad judgment. And I will tell you, I will take care of ISIS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TRAPPER: So the basic response there, Van, it was locker room talk, but nothing compared to the horrors of ISIS, and I'm going to stop ISIS.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, you know, I just thought that was just horrible. He -- rather than apologizing, he minimized, and that was something that everybody here agreed he should avoid doing. And basically if the only thing you have to say about yourself is I'm not as bad as ISIS, I'm not -- I mean that's your -- that's your defense, there's something wrong with that kind of a response. (APPLAUSE)
JONES: The other thing is that you can not underestimate the history that was made in our country, a line that was crossed that I don't know has been crossed in my lifetime, maybe ever, he threatened to jail his opponent. He threatened to jail Hillary Clinton if he became president of the United States. That is something that I think is a new low in American democracy.
But I will say something maybe provocative. I think Hillary won because Donald Trump kind of won. In other words, the worst possible outcome for Hillary Clinton could have been if she knocked him out. If she had knocked him out, and forced him out of the race, you could have been in a situation where the Republican Party could rally, get somebody else in there.
It was actually a good outcome for her, she did well enough, he did well enough, he stabilized himself, and he's going to bleed out, and she's going to be able to get across the finish line. Kayleigh?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm not sure that we watched the same debate, because when I read the transcript, I -- Donald Trump issued three more apologies. He's now up to issuing five. That's enough for most of the American people. I'm still waiting on the media to call for an apology for Hillary Clinton lying to the families of Ben Ghazi members when she told them their relatives are dead because of a video, which was not true. I'm still waiting for the call for that apology.
But I think something very big happened tonight, that I think is lost upon most of us. What we saw tonight was someone speak for the people against the Washington elite. There are people in this country, two- thirds of the country thinks we're on the wrong direction.
They are tired of being promised hope and change, which is what President Obama promised millennials, promised the American people, and it not materializing. And you saw Donald Trump flawlessly expose the double standards of justice when he said -- when he said if someone, an American citizen, had done one-fifth of what you had done with your e-mails, their lives would have been destroyed.
And there was an audible boo from the audience, because people know Hillary Clinton lied when she retorted with the fact that I didn't do anything wrong with my e-mails. The audience booed because there were two standards, the Washington elite get one, and we the American people get another. That was exposed.
TAPPER: Well I think -- I think the audience has Trump supporters and Clinton supporters, and we heard -- we heard both sides. But let me go into -- let me -- let me play some of what you're talking about, and specifically, Van Jones, it's the moment that you referred to, where he said that were he in charge of the laws, she would be in jail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I didn't think I was going to say this, but I'm going to say it, and I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it.
And we're going to have a special prosecutor. When I speak, I go out and speak, the people of this country are furious. In my opinion, the people that have been long-term workers at the FBI are furious. There has never been anything like this where e-mails -- and you get a subpoena, and after getting the subpoena, you delete 33,000 e-mails.
And then you acid wash them, or bleach 'em as you would say, very expensive process. So we're going to get a special prosecutor, and we're going to look into it, because you know what? People have been -- their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you've done, and it's a disgrace. And honestly, you oughta to be ashamed of yourself.
MARTHA RADDATZ, DEBATE MODERATOR: Secretary --
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Everything he just said is absolutely false, but I'm not surprised. I told people that it would be impossible to be fact-checking Donald all the time, I'd never get to talk about anything I want to do, and how we're going to really make lives better for people.
[23:00:00] So once again, go to HillaryClinton.com. We have Literally Trump, you can fact-check him -- fat check -- fact-check him in real time. It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.
TRUMP: Because you'd be in jail.
RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So Jeffrey, I heard you laughing, obviously that is a crowd pleaser. That's a crowd pleaser for Trump supporters. There's no question about that. He already has Trump supporters. They already support him. Is that the kind of line that exemplifies the kind of temperament that those who are undecided want to hear from him?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, and I'll tell you why. This is about, as Kayleigh was saying, this is about the American people versus the political class in this country. Media leaks, politicians, et cetera, who, as he said repeatedly there, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, and they never get anything done, and they lie, and they dissemble (ph).
And she would, in fact, if she were not Hillary Clinton, she would be in huge trouble with these e-mails, and she would conceivably be going to jail. I mean other people have gone to jail for -- for these kind of problems. So what he's doing there, is hitting the broad themes, one the division between the American people and the political class, two her character, if you remember that famous Quinnipiac poll from last year where they asked people to free associate, you know, one-word descriptions of the candidates, and for her it was dishonest and liar. That's --
TAPPER: You know that's kind of a bogus poll, where they -- I mean I think the biggest ones for Trump were unflattering as well. But I take your point on the fact that she has very, very low trustworthy and honesty numbers. OK, Paul.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The strategic context in which this debate occurs is the Trump campaign in meltdown, and in meltdown especially with women, because of this really horrific tape where he brags about committing sexual assault.
He -- I don't think he put it to bed. You keep hearing stories that there's more tapes to come, the guy did 10 or 14 years on television, and people keep saying well we're going to go through these tapes. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. But he certainly did nothing to put it behind him, or even to innoculate against the stories to come.
Now tonight's audience, I'll bet you a nickel, would be much more female than male. First off, more voters are female than male, but tonight we're up against Sunday night football. Packers by the way, 17 to 9 over the Giants, leading right now, fourth quarter.
The performance he put on, first, being so bizarre about this sexual assault, in one of the answers he mentioned ISIS, immigration, and the economy. And one of the follow-ups he rambled on in it about Michelle Obama, Sidney Blumenthal, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bernie Sanders, e- mails.
That doesn't assuage any women voters, and in the style, throughout the debate, I kept hearing from a lot of women, they didn't like the pacing, the stalking, the really kind of creepy behavior when he wasn't speaking, toward Hillary.
Last time it was he got in trouble for interrupting. He did a fair amount of that again. He seemed to pick a lot of unwise fights with Martha Raddatz also, also with Anderson. This is not -- if I'm -- as a super PAC guy, I work for the super PAC that's opposing Trump and supporting Hillary. I'm real happy about this. If I were a Trump strategist, I would say boss, we got a problem with women, and you just made it worse.
TAPPER: All right. We're gonna -- we're gonna stay -- keep it there. Everybody stay, we're gonna -- we've still got two hours. Wolf, let me throw it back to you.
BLITZER: Anderson -- no, this isn't Anderson. Jake, thanks very much. We've got an excellent moment right now to discuss something I've never heard in any of these debates before between two presidential candidates, and Dana, let's talk a little about this. One candidate says not only is he going to put forward a special prosecutor to investigate his rival, but, and this is very significant, he's going to put her in jail if he's elected president of the United States. That's pretty extraordinary.
BASH: OK, not to sound too corny, but what makes this country different from countries with dictators in Africa, or Stalin, or Hitler, or any of those countries with dictators and totalitarian leaders, is that when they took over, they put their opponents in jail.
To hear one presidential candidate say, even if it was a flip comment, which it was, you're going to be in jail, to another presidential candidate on the debate stage in the United States of America, stunning, just stunning.
BLITZER: It certainly is. John King?
KING: Most of his strategy on these issues was clearly designed at A, listening to his all tried (ph) advisors, this was a Breitbart strategy, from the pre-debate, and through the debate (inaudible). And if you're -- if Donald Trump's goal was to stop the bleeding, and he's bleeding across the electorate, his goal is to -- priority one is to stop the bleeding on the right, then he may have succeeded in that.
If you look at state by state, if you look at the battleground states, if you look at the demographic breakdowns in the states, he is losing now in a way. Heading into the last 30 days, remember the timing of this is critical.
We're in the last 30 days, there are some people already voting, more people will start voting this week, even more will start voting after that, many of the most important battleground states, 30 percent of the American people last time voted early. That will probably be a little higher this time.
So the election is not on November 8th, it is now for many people in the states that matter, and if Donald Trump needed to secure -- shore up his conservative base, his team is very happy. He was much more engaged than he was tonight.
He was much more aggressive, he did more counter-punching, he got to some of the issues which he believed were her weaknesses. But to Dana's point there, is that going to win you a vote of a moderate woman in the Philadelphia suburbs? I think not. Is it going to get you raves on Drudge (ph) and Breitbart in the conservative media or on another network, we all know who I'm talking about? Most likely.
BLITZER: But at least he stopped the bleeding among his own base.
KING: Yeah, the -- yes. I think that's -- I think that is a fair assessment, that you can see in the mood, and even the Republicans who don't like Trump, they think this is the worst possible outcome, because they thought if he tanked tonight, there would be pressure to get him out of the race.
KING: And now they're saying that he did well enough to stay in, they don't think he can win, and they think he hurts other, you know, Senate and House candidates, but they think he did well enough to sustain himself, without a doubt, and they know that's what they think inside team Trump, without a doubt they think they had a very strong night.
BASH: And we're just hearing that Eric Holder apparently just said that Trump's threat was like Nixonian (ph), not so much the jail threat, but the threat that if he becomes president, he's going to instruct his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor.
It's -- first of all, I believe it's kind of a misunderstanding of what it is even allowed and the way that the process works, but even so, putting that aside, just the threat is something that is going to -- that is -- this is something that is going to have ripple effects in the days to come.
KING: I also think another giant question tonight, again, people view these things through their partisan prism. But we know that Hillary Clinton has Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bill Clinton. Donald Trump has Mike Pence.
There are no other senior Republicans out there, and he threw Mike Pence under the bus tonight. He threw his running mate under the bus tonight, who has stood by him -- he -- Mike Pence did not defend Donald Trump on the specifics of the vice presidential debate. I was told that got under Donald Trump's skin a little bit.
BASH: That was fair (ph).
KING: But Mike Pence -- Mike Pence did stand by him this weekend. Mike Pence, a Christian conservative whose wife I'm told was horrified when she heard that tape, and who talked to her husband about it, Mike Pence did stand by Donald Trump even though he said the language was offensive. His function in the campaign in the last 30 days is dangerous.
BLITZER: He just did put out a tweet like --
BASH: That's what I was just looking at.
BLITZER: -- going ahead and endorsing --
KING: Congratulating (inaudible).
BLITZER: Take a look at this, congrats to my running mate @RealDonaldTrump on a big debate win. Proud to stand with you as we make America -- #makeAmericagreatagain. Brianna Keilar, you've got a special guest here in the spin room. Tell us about that.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Wolf, that's right. I have Hillary Clinton's campaign chair, John Podesta. And I want to get your reaction to something first. Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton the devil, but he also made a threat that if he were in charge of the laws of the country, that he would jail her, that he would imprison her. What is the campaign's reaction?
JOHN PODESTA, CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: Well you know, it's one more over-the-top statement by Donald Trump. And fortunately he's not in charge of the laws of the United States, and never will be. But I think that maybe he was trying to appeal to his base.
But what we've seen over the last few weeks, and particularly over the last few days are Republicans peeling off him in droves, and so maybe all he's got left is his base. So to, you know, call her the devil is, I think, beneath a presidential candidate, it's one more reason why he doesn't have the temperament to do the job of being president, or being commander-in-chief.
KEILAR: The optics from the beginning of the debate were that we saw Chelsea Clinton and her husband not there to shake the hands of Melania Trump and her kids as we saw during the first debate. And then Hillary Clinton did not shake hands with Donald Trump at the beginning of the debate. I mean that's a very clear signal she was trying to send.
PODESTA: Well look, I think that he came in here sort of pulling the stunt that he did at the beginning of this, and was on the attack from the beginning. Again, I think maybe he was just trying to stabilize his own base of voters, even as that's shrinking. But I think that given what we saw, what we saw in the videotape, what we're seeing now in the Howard Stern tapes, his fail --
KEILAR: She's trying to -- she's trying to signal something. She's trying to signal that she --
PODESTA: Yes, this behavior is -- is -- doesn't really deserve the respect of a handshake at the beginning. She did shake his hand at the end, but I think that, you know, he came in tonight, and even I'll walk back whatever, a bit of an apology he gave for the Access Hollywood tape that every American now has probably seen over and over again.
KEILAR: I know that one of the strategies coming into this was thinking that after that tape came out, there are people who are newly open to Hillary Clinton. But the assessment seems to be that she really just rallied the base, and whether or not she has really expanded, it seems that she and Donald Trump just rallied their base. What do you say to that? Was that a --
PODESTA: I think she came in trying to answer the specific questions. This was supposed to be, I think, in my mind, a town hall where voters got to ask specific questions. The moderators asked a lot of the questions tonight, but the voters did get to ask questions.
And I think she wanted to talk about the specific ideas, the specific plans, what she's been able to do in a bipartisan way when she was First Lady, when she was senator, the children's health insurance program, the other program she talked about.
But most importantly what she wanted to do to build an economy that was going to work for everyone, not just those at the top. So in doing that, I think what she wanted to try to accomplish was to say I want to be a president for everyone, and I want to have you listen to me with the positive message, the optimistic view of what America can be. In contrast I think he was dark and divisive again.
KEILAR: All right, John Podesta with the Clinton campaign, thank you so much. Back to you guys.
BLITZER: All right, thanks very much, Brianna Keilar. Let's play a clip. This is Donald Trump speaking about the former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: -- as I told you. That was locker room talk. I'm not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country. And certainly, I'm not proud of it. But that was something that happened.
If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action. His was what he's done to women. There's never been anybody in the history politics in this nation that's been so abusive to women. So you can say any way you want to say it, but Bill Clinton was abusive to women.
Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously. Four of them here tonight. One of the women, who is a wonderful woman, at 12 years old, was raped at 12. Her client she represented got him off, and she's seen laughing on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped. Kathy Shelton, that young woman, is here with us tonight.
So don't tell me about words. I am absolutely -- I apologize for those words, but it is things that people say. But what President Clinton did, he was impeached, he lost his license to practice law. He had to pay an $850,000 fine to one of the women, Paula Jones, who's also here tonight.
And I will tell you that when Hillary brings up a point like that and she talks about words that I said 11 years ago, I think it's disgraceful, and I think she should be ashamed of herself, if you want to know the truth.
CLINTON: -- he gets to run his campaign any way he chooses. He gets to decide what he wants to talk about. Instead of answering people's questions, talking about our agenda, laying out the plans that we have that we think can make a better life and a better country, that's his choice. When I hear something like that, I am reminded of what my friend, Michelle Obama, advised us all: When they go low, you go high.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: She got some applause there for that line, but I didn't hear a robust vote of confidence, a defense of her husband in that response, because he really went after Bill Clinton. KING: Hillary Clinton didn't mention Bill Clinton's behavior or actions at all. She didn't defend her husband at all. She just went after more or less Donald Trump, in a sense saying you're trying to go back, and we're talking about you here.
A couple points on that, again, Donald Trump clearly tried to gin (ph) up support on the right with his base. If you talk to conservatives especially, the alt (ph) right conservative media, they think that these issues have been ignored or forgotten.
You and I covered the White House at the time. The Paula Jones case, the Kathleen Willey case, the Monica Lewinski impeachment, they dominated our lives. I had color in my hair when all that started. That was several years of our lives.
They think that, you know, we should still be talking about this later, and Trump was trying to connect Hillary Clinton to that. Will that be an effective strategy in the general election? We'll see how it plays out. But clearly, Donald Trump came here tonight thinking when I'm asked about me, I'm going to deflect to Bill Clinton.
I do think that it's helped him rally conservatives. I also know from e-mail conversations with Clinton campaign people, Anderson Cooper said this is sexual assault. And what Donald Trump -- he said he didn't do it, he said he was just talking.
He did say tonight, which he has not said in that weekend night (ph) video, he didn't address whether or not it actually happened, he just said he was sorry. But Donald Trump did say he never did those things. So he was bragging about sexually assaulting women, and he said no, it's locker room talk.
The Clinton people -- that's going to be in an ad probably by the time we get through the end of this week, with Anderson Cooper asking him a direct question, and Donald Trump saying it's locker room talk, and it's not locker room talk. It is not locker room talk to whether you're fantasizing about it, speculating about it, or talking about it, of sex -- groping people, sexually assaulting people. That's a crime.
BASH: But I will just say, and probably getting similar notes from Republicans, I just got one from a -- from a top Republican who is very skittish about Donald Trump, saying that he did OK, acknowledging the bar -- it is among Republicans that the bar is real low right now for him to kind of bring some of them back into the fold, but that, in the words of this Republican, he moved the conversation beyond the caught-on-tape hot mic situation.
On the flip side of that, I've been hearing from some Democrats who think that Hillary Clinton did well, but wondering why didn't she put it away, wondering what could she have done differently to, after the weekend that Donald Trump just had, to just end it, just completely end his candidacy, and that she possibly could have with this debate, but didn't.
BLITZER: Well you think that's in part the result of an hour before the debate he invites these women --
BASH: Oh no.
BLITZER: -- to come here, not only to do a little joint photo opportunity with them, but then to sit in the front row, (inaudible) --
BASH: You mean whether she was rattled?
BLITZER: Yeah, that --
BASH: I don't -- I mean I don't know. I didn't get the sense that she really changed her strategy much at all, that she was going to do what she was going to do. She clearly was ready for Bill Clinton's name to come up in the context of these women, or in any other context.
And she made the decision that she wasn't going to go there. She was going to instead hit all of the demographics that she thinks that Donald Trump has offended, whether it's the disabled, or the Hispanics, or Muslims, and so forth, and she was just going to pretend like the Bill Clinton question didn't happen.
KING: She's trying to keep what she's got. She's ahead right now, she's ahead right now in the momentum in the last 10 days, and we don't know about the weekend. We don't know how that will be processed by voters, or this debate, which will be processing at the same time. What they learned over the weekend about Donald Trump, and now this debate.
Hillary Clinton came saying if I protect what I have, I win the election, and she was -- it was clear she was hoping that Donald Trump, you know, hurt himself with his own words, and Donald Trump turned in a much stronger performance in terms of punching, counter- punching, and getting to the issues that are more favorable to him, a much better job tonight than he did in the first debate without a doubt.
BLITZER: We're going to get our poll results, our exclusive CNN ORC poll results momentarily, who won this debate. In the meantime, let's go back to Jake.
TAPPER: Thanks so much, appreciate it, Wolf. I'm back with our panel. And something I want to throw out to everyone here, and I'll start with this side, and work over. The Alicia Machado moment was a throwaway line at the end of the last debate, and became a huge story, because of how the Clinton campaign went with it, and how -- because of Donald Trump's reaction.
One thing I'm wondering if Donald Trump introduced at this night's debate that we just talked about over here, that might become a bigger thing for the Clinton campaign, and I think we can agree that they were much more effective at the attacks and the commercials and with -- and with surrogates, et cetera. And that is Donald Trump saying that if he gets elected president, he's going to ask his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to put Hillary Clinton in jail.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
TAPPER: This is the kind of thing that they do in countries not like the United States, where you lock up in jail your political opponents. This feeds into something that we heard -- a criticism we've heard actually more from conservative critics of Donald Trump than liberal critics of Donald Trump, the idea that can you imagine this man with his temperament and with his drive for vengeance having instruments of government in his hands, the IRS, et cetera. I wonder if that actually was a much bigger gap than we are making out to be.
BORGER: I think -- I think it is. I think it's a huge gap. I mean Republicans talk about the imperial presidency, and how Barack Obama has abused his executive powers. Imagine somebody being asked to serve as attorney general, if you knew that a president was going to direct prosecutions.
I'm not a lawyer, but I get that. And it is, as Dana was pointing out, Nixonian (ph) to a -- to a great degree. And I think that it is also un-American to a -- to a great degree. And I think that that is something that the Clinton campaign can use, and can use very effectively. Also to me, when he said, you know, I'd put her in jail, remember during the convention, the --
TAPPER: Lock her up.
BORGER: -- lock her up, lock her up, and he kind of sort of tried to quiet it a little bit at the convention, because he was in presidential mode. Now, this was a primary campaign debate to me tonight, and what he was doing was rallying the base by saying lock her up, effectively, which he did. Also calling her a liar multiple times, and the devil multiple times, and saying he would put in her jail.
TAPPER: And he said she had hate in her heart.
BORGER: Hate in her heart, yeah.
KING: I don't think that's going to play very well with voters. I think what happened was he said I'm throwing out the playbook, and I'm going with, as you point out, I'm going with the material that's worked for me when I go out there and speak to these rallies.
This line, of prosecuting Hillary Clinton, is something that he's used in his rallies. This is not a new idea. He just raised it to the level of a debate point here. And my guess is it will resonate well with his base, and it will antagonize the people he needs to grow, who worry about the things that you point out, who worry about his temperament, who worry about whether he would handle the job of president in a responsible way. So I -- you know, I think he galvanized the base again, but perhaps at the expense of expanding it.
HENDERSON: Yeah, I mean it's another iteration of her argument, which is in an ad, about having him near the nuclear codes. A man you can bait with a tweet shouldn't be near the nuclear codes. And he also probably shouldn't have the instruments of the military, of the justice department.
So yeah, I think -- I think that will certainly end up in an ad. And again, it's going to turn off those moderate swing voters who want a steady person, who want -- who want somebody who is steady in terms of their temperament, in terms of their manner, in terms of their speech and approach to issues. So I think this -- it wasn't a plant by Hillary Clinton in any way, but you know, it was (inaudible).
TAPPER: I should come in on the ad thing though, I don't -- I don't really think it's going to end up in an ad, because I don't think this is the issue that she wants --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- watched it, there will be -- I think it was cringe-worthy for a lot of folks who watched it.
SMERCONISH: Jake, the two of us have ties to the Philly suburbs. I still live there. You have family who are there. I've waited -- we're now a month out from the election, less if you start and think that people are already voting, and I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for the pivot, or the outreach to the folks who come in our -- from our area.
Because if we had a nickel for every time they get invoked, even on SNL, we'd be wealth individuals. It's never going to happen. I mean this is the Donald Trump who got this far. I think there potentially is an emperor has no clothes kind of thing going on around him, where perhaps the people who could say to him you need to pivot, won't do so for whatever reason.
But this is what got him thus far, and this is how he's going to ride it out, and I think that he feeds on the reaction that he gets from that base, which is what keeps him heading the sort of line --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Michael, maybe he got -- maybe he felt like he got -- he took the advice of the people who were telling him to pivot and be more muted in the last debate, and it didn't turn out well for him, so he decided well, the hell with that, I'm going to throw all of that out, and go back to the stuff I know works.
TAPPER: And just to -- just to -- just to elaborate, it's not -- it's not -- Michael and I are biased because we're from Philadelphia, but it's not just the Philly burbs we're talking about, we're talking about white college-educated voters, we're talking about the people in the I-4 corridor, in the middle of Florida, we're talking about the people in northern Virginia, we're talking about the suburbs of Denver. That's where -- these are voters that Mitt Romney did well with, that John McCain did well with, still not --
LORD: But it's the Williams (ph) and Harrisburg where thousands show up for Donald Trump.
TAPPER: And Donald Trump is under-performing with them, and I know that this -- I'm sure he will win every online poll. I know that the Breitbart crowd who ate this up. My question is did he win over any suburban household in Philadelphia?
SMERCONISH: Sure, I think he can. And let me -- let me use the issue here that you were just talking about, to illustrate. Talking about jailing the opponent, and how this is, you know, dictators and all this kind of stuff. There is another side to this.
And on a side that independent voters, the kind of votes you are talking about, are very concerned about, and that is the politicization of the Department of Justice, where you have an attorney general, Eric Holder, who said -- and that case of the Black Panthers group there, they were at the polls in Philadelphia, they were armed, and they were in uniform. He said he wasn't going to do it, because these are my people.
TAPPER: Again, I'm sure winning Fox News voters, that's not my point.
Well the fact checker is -- the fact checking machine is going (inaudible). You're speaking against the politicization of the justice department in the Obama administration, and his answer was I will appoint a -- I will tell my attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to lock her up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am -- I am --
MCENANY: That's not what he said, he said I will appoint a special prosecutor to look into it. I just checked (inaudible) --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, and then later in the same exchange, he said if he were in charge of the government, she'd be in jail.
MCENANY: No, as a response. I know the media doesn't get satire and humor, but that was a humorous line and retort.
BORGER: I think we do. Ashley (ph) gets satire.
MCENANY: And to compare him to Hitler and Stalin looking -- locking people up, when he said I would appoint a special prosecutor --
TAPPER: I don't think anyone mentioned Hitler or Stalin, but let's play it, let's play the exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I didn't think I'd say this, but I'm going to say it, and I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we're going to have a special prosecutor.
When I speak, I go out and speak, the people of this country are furious. In my opinion, the people that have been long-term workers at the FBI are furious. There has never been anything like this, where e-mails -- and you get a subpoena, you get a subpoena, and after getting the subpoena, you delete 33,000 e-mails, and then you acid wash them, or bleach them as you would say, very expensive process.
So we're going to get a special prosecutor, and we're going to look into it, because you know what? People have been -- their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you've done. And it's a disgrace. And honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
RADDATZ: Secretary --
CLINTON: Everything he just said is absolutely false, but I'm not surprised. I told people that it would be impossible to be fact- checking Donald all the time, I'd never get to talk about anything I want to do, and how we're going to really make lives better for people.
So once again, go to HillaryClinton.com. We have Literally Trump, you can fact-check him -- fat check -- fact-check him in real time. It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.
TRUMP: Because you'd be in jail.
RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Yeah, humor right there.
TAPPER: So you don't -- you're saying he wasn't being serious.
LORD: I'm saying when he used that line, it was humor to illustrate the point. And the point is, as for the e-mails, I mean how many stories (inaudible) --
TAPPER: So he thought she was innocent of anything wrong with the e- mails?
LORD: How many -- how many stories have we seen, Jake, in the last few weeks, about destruction of computers, special privileges, the president, the President Clinton gets on the plane --
JONES: I love -- I love -- you guys know I love Jeffrey Lord, I do, I'm not joking.
LORD: Here we go.
JONES: And I greatly appreciate --
TAPPER: This is a clearing of the throat.
LORD: This is it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jake, you might want to get out of the way.
JONES: But the idea that you are threatening to prosecute your opponent is, as best I can tell, unprecedented in American history. And I will say this, you don't appoint a prosecutor to investigate. You appoint a prosecutor to lay the groundwork to put somebody in jail. And here's the problem I have with the whole thing --
LORD: But --
JONES: Hold on a second. Here's the problem I have with the whole thing. Look, we do have a criminal justice system that is unfair, that is biased, but when people, like Black Lives Matter, point this out, people like yourself say they're race-baiting, they're racist, and turn a deaf ear.
So you can't have it both ways. You can't pretend to care about a broken criminal justice system only when Donald Trump is scoring political points about Hillary Clinton, and then turn your deaf ear to the cries of actual people who are suffering. And there was a big missed opportunity tonight. When that Muslim woman stepped forward, Donald Trump could have very easily said to her I understand what you're going through.
MCENANY: And he did.
JONES: Oh, and he didn't.
MCENANY: He did, let's face the facts. He did.
JONES: And he didn't. Oh, let me finish.
TAPPER: We'll get the tape. We'll get the -- we'll get the tape.
JONES: We'll get the tape. He very briefly said one -- one thing, and then he basically gave an Islamophobic answer to a question about Islamophobia. Why do I say that? Because he said you, the Muslims, have to report on the things that are going on, as if only the Muslims have to do this. As if -- as if all of the mass shootings are done by Muslims.
You can say you want everyone in the -- in the country if you see something say something. That's an American position, if you see something, say something. He says the Muslims have a special responsibility. That's Islamic-phobic response, and he missed opportunity after opportunity to reach out. But don't play games on criminal justice with me, because you guys have not been there for it.
TAPPER: So Kayleigh, let me just ask you, so you maintain, and just tell me what you think, that the first part, special prosecutor, serious, but then the other thing about because you'd be in jail, well that was just a joke.
MCENANY: I do, and the audience laughed, so I think they clearly got the humor. But you know, to Van's point about criminal justice and double standards, and caring about citizens, you know who I care a lot about? Petty officer Christian Saucier, who's sitting in a jail right now, sentenced to one year in prison for taking eight photographs on a submarine to show his family, and bringing back classified information home for him. Christian Saucier is in jail. Hillary Clinton did the same thing, she's out free because the FBI, to Jeffrey's point, is (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her friends, all (ph) friends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the people sitting at this table (inaudible) the White House, the White House must maintain an arm's length from the prosecutorial power of the justice department, and it always has.
BEGALA: Except the Nixon administration, where Nixon did try to politicize both the FBI and the CIA. It was one of the darkest moments of our history. What Trump has suggested is straight out of the dictator's handbook, and it came during the same debate when he publicly broke with his running mate who dared to question Vladimir Putin.
Now, can't pull (ph) the political points out, but I remember this from my own work, that in Ukraine, a Putin puppet, Victor Yanukovych, did the same thing.
[23:30:00] He became president. He was a Putin puppet. He locked up his predecessor Yulia Tymoshenko. This guy is laying the ground work for exactly -- he wants to crack down the First Amendment against journalists in his every rally he attacks journalists, now he wants to lock up his opponent just like Putin's buddy, and even his running mate takes second Fidel to pal Putin --
TAPPER: All right. Hold that thought, everyone.
Coming up, who won tonight's debate? What do voters think? We'll reveal the first results of our instant poll of debate watchers and we'll get the first reaction from our focus group of undecided voters in the key battleground state of Ohio. Stay with us.
BLITZER: We're here in the spin room. We're getting reaction from all the candidates, both of the candidates' surrogates. Lots of reaction coming in.
We're also standing by for the exclusive results of our CNN-ORC poll of voters in Ohio. We're going to get that momentarily. Stand by for that.
First, unofficial poll results, scientific poll that we've got, you're going to get those results momentarily. David Chalian will be with us for that.
The big question of the night, what did undecided voters think about Donald Trump's answer to the question about the leaked tape. Pamela Brown watched the debate with a group of these voters. We're about to show you what they thought. While you watch, look at the bottom of your screen. If the lines go up, voters liked the answer. If the lines go down, they didn't like the answer. Men's responses are in green, women in yellow.
Here's Donald Trump's response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Just for the record, though, are you saying that what you said on that bus 11 years ago, that you did not actually kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?
TRUMP: I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do.
COOPER: So for the record you're saying you never did that?
TRUMP: I said things, but frankly you hear these things I said, and I was embarrassed by it but I have tremendous respect for women.
COOPER: Have you ever done those things?
TRUMP: And women have respect for me. And I will tell you -- no, I have not. And I will tell you that I'm going to make our country safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Pamela, these voters didn't seem to like his answer.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, as you saw there, very strong reactions from these 29 undecided voters from the Ohio State University. So let's get straight to them to see what their reaction was when Donald Trump defended himself against that "Access Hollywood" video. What did you think, Barbara? You heard what he had to say.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I find it hard to believe whatever he says. He just doesn't seem to be a truthful person.
BROWN: And you have two sons and you have sort of a visceral reaction to what he said in defense of that video and what he was saying in that video. What did you think?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I just feel that everyone has placed all of the accent upon young women and how we should protect them.
[23:35:08] We are equal citizens. I would hope that my sons would not talk like he did and I have tried to raise them not to act that way.
BROWN: Well, it's interesting because he reiterated in his defense that this is locker room banter, that this is just words. What do you think, Larry?
LARRY, OHIO UNDECIDED VOTER: Well --
BROWN: That resonates with you?
LARRY: No, because that's not locker room talk, and for a 59-year-old man to claim that that's locker room talk I think is offensive to the young men who are out playing sports and doing the right thing. To me, it's pure and simple, sexual assault. And he should be held accountable for his thinking and actions of sexual assault.
BROWN: So to you that is not just locker room banter?
LARRY: That's not. Not at 59 years old, especially. I don't know any 59-year-old go in locker rooms.
BROWN: OK. So just want to get quickly a show of hands. Who thought that Donald Trump did enough to put that controversies surrounding the tape behind him? Raise your hand if you think he did enough tonight in defense? OK. And there were some positive reactions when Hillary Clinton actually spoke after Donald Trump defended himself against that video. Let's take a listen to what she had to say during the debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: So this is who Donald Trump is and the question for us, the question our country must answer, is that this is not who we are. That's why, to go back to your question, I want to send a message, we all should, to every boy and girl and indeed to the entire world that America already is great but we are great because we are good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: All right. So I want to ask you, what was it about Hillary Clinton's argument that resonated with you following Donald Trump's defense of the video?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She stated that America is already great and I tend to agree with that, though we are slow in progressing in a number of areas, we are progressing and we need to continue the momentum.
BROWN: What about you? What did you think about Hillary Clinton's argument, the way that she reacted, particularly when he brought up Bill Clinton's past and the allegations against him, what did you think?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that she tried to clarify that, you know, it wasn't the same, that what Donald Trump had done was -- he had talked about her children and other people's children and daughters and that it just -- it was uncalled for and he should not have done it and didn't feel that his apology was sincere.
BROWN: And it's interesting because she largely sort of stayed away from going there. Do you think that was a smart move? Raise your hand if you think that was a smart move. And raise your hand if you think it was a smart move for Donald Trump to bring that up, if that was fair game? Why do you think that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think, you know, they -- if everything is out on the table, then everything is fair game. Is it apples to apples, absolutely not. But I don't think in these debates it just doesn't ever seem like anything is off the table.
BROWN: All right. So I'm going to get a show of hands now, the big question, who do you think won this debate? Hillary Clinton, raise your hand if you think Hillary Clinton won tonight's debate. OK. Raise your hand if you think Donald Trump won this debate. OK. So clearly there are some of you who thought this was a draw. Raise your hand if you think tonight's debate was a draw.
All right. There you go. There you have it, Wolf. Mixed response. And coming up, we're going to talk about what they thought and who they are going to vote for, these undecided voters if any of them cemented their voter after listening to tonight's debate. You won't want to miss that.
BLITZER: Hillary Clinton is now speaking to reporters aboard her aircraft. I want to listen in.
CLINTON: Go back and you know, lean against my stool but he was very present.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to take off. Then we're going to bring you out. OK?
CLINTON: Nothing surprises me about him, really, Dan. I was surprised by the absolute avalanche of falsehoods. I mean, I really find it almost unimaginable that someone can stand and just tell, you know, a falsehood after a falsehood. And you know, you all remember PolitiFact said that he was the most untruthful candidate they'd ever evaluated and we sort of did the numbers. I think they said he was like 70 percent untruthful? And so I think he exceeded that percentage tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How did President Clinton --
CLINTON: Anyway, thank you, guys. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to come back in a few minutes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: There she is, Hillary Clinton, going to the back of her plane to speak to reporters and making some tough statements once again against Donald Trump.
We have the results now of our instant poll. We've been waiting for this. David Chalian, our political director, give us the results.
[23:40:02] DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, Wolf, as you know, we did a poll of debate watchers so this is not a national poll of all voters. This is a poll of debate watchers and just like we saw in the first debate and the vice presidential debate, the audience skews a little more Democratic. Debate watchers are a little more Democratic than we would see in a regular national poll overall.
Having said that, who won the debate tonight according to the debate watchers we polled? Hillary Clinton won the debate. 57 percent to 34 percent for Donald Trump. That's not as big of a victory as she got in our poll in the first debate but it is a clear victory here.
But talk about besting expectations. Take a look at this. Did Donald Trump best expectations, did he do better than you thought he would do? 63 percent of debate watchers said Donald Trump did better than they expected. Only 21 percent said that he did worse and 15 percent said he did about the same as they expected.
How about Hillary Clinton's expectation game? Take a look at these numbers. Did Hillary Clinton do better or worse than you expected? 39 percent said they did better, that she did better. 26 percent said she did worse and 34 percent said she did about the same.
So Hillary Clinton the winner in this poll of the debate, of who won the debate. but Donald Trump significantly over-performing expectations.
BLITZER: But the polls show that she did win this debate.
All right. Let's get some immediate reaction from Kellyanne Conway, the Trump campaign manager who is with us. What's your reaction to that?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: My reaction is that I'm glad that people think, 60 percent according to your online poll, believe that Hillary Clinton neither did worse or the same as they expected so she wasn't very well prepared for tonight's debate and that really surprises me because if she's anything, she's, you know, very wonky, she's very pedantic, lawyerly in her responses.
I would have thought she'd be better prepared for this debate. All I heard all week, Wolf, is that the town hall format is really great for us. Where as we know it ours we fought better for her and we've heard it's our sweet spot. Donald Trump is out there every single day engaging with voters. He's at the rallies, he's at this smaller form round tables. He's at his own town halls. He clearly won the debate tonight. Why? Because if you watched anybody's shows this whole weekend, we've just been left for debate. It's over all. Why even show up? Are people jumping ship?
He came here to play tonight and he came here to take the case right to Hillary Clinton and to show Americans this race is still what it's always been. Past versus future, politician versus successful businessman.
BASH: Kellyanne, let me ask --
CONWAY: Washington insider versus disrupter. And he made that case very clearly. He did not back down.
BLITZER: All right.
BASH: Kellyanne, I want to ask you about what he said at the beginning of the debate. More than one time he referred once again to what he said on that tape as locker room talk. You're his campaign manager, the only woman at the head of that campaign. What did you think when you saw and you heard that? Truthfully, what was your -- what was your reaction?
CONWAY: My initial reaction is very close to what Melania Trump said. I was offended and I think the language is offensive and disgusting and I'm also very happy that he apologized. I'm glad that he holds himself, excuse me, accountable because I look at the full measure of people, what they've said, what they've done, Dana, and how they deal with adversity that comes to him -- to them.
And Donald Trump is absolutely correct. These are words compared to actions. And he made that very clear tonight that Hillary Clinton blaming and shaming the women in her husband's lives, that is not somebody who's standing up for women.
BASH: But the term locker room talk, you had the highest ranking woman in Congress, Republican woman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, blowing that off and saying, no, no, no, this is suggesting sexual assault and --
CONWAY: That's a very unfortunate phrase and people really should stop using it.
CONWAY: Because I know him better and I know better.
BASH: But it's what he said.
CONWAY: He did not say the word sexual --
BASH: No, it's what he implies that he wanted --
CONWAY: If you want to talk about sexual assault right here in the hall, I know CNN doesn't want to interview them for whatever reason you give Miss Universe the big platform, but we have in the hall tonight Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones and Kathy Shelton, the 12-year-old rape victim, that two years before the rape (INAUDIBLE) laws were implemented in Arkansas. Hillary Clinton defending her 42-year-old rapist, successfully defending him, getting him a plea bargain. She was able to blame and shame that victim as well who was 12 years old.
So we can talk about sexual assault but let's have a full conversation about it. And this is just what I know. I have to --
BASH: But --
CONWAY: I have to assess people based on what I see in totem and this is a man I've been alone with him many times who's never been anything but gracious and gentleman and elevated me to the top level of his campaign the way he's elevated women in the Trump Organization for decades because he respects women.
BASH: Well, let me just say that CNN at the time, many, many years ago did fully litigate -- these two gentlemen were actually covering the Clinton White House, fully talked about and report on their stories at the time because it is very old. And I just -- because you brought it up, I just have to say, Kellyanne --
CONWAY: Not only because she treated them. BASH: No, no, no. Well, it was real time. I just have to say
because you brought it up you're your boss himself, back in 1998, told Neil Cavuto about these victims, I don't necessarily agree with his victims, talking about Bill Clinton, his victims are terrible.
[23:45:14] He, meaning Bill Clinton, is a real victim himself. He put himself in that position and he talked about how unattractive these people are.
CONWAY: So in 1998 we're not going to talk about Paula Jones because it's too old but we'll talk about what Donald Trump said as a private citizen.
BASH: What I'm saying is -- yes, because -- no, no, because at that time he was defending -- he was defending Bill Clinton and going after these guys and now he's changed his --
CONWAY: He's gotten to know these women. He's gotten to know these women. We took note of Hillary Clinton's comment on the campaign trail naturally but she said all sexual assault victims deserve to be heard and believed. These are her words. She's running for president now. She want to be the president of all people. I assume except the ones she thinks are deplorable and irredeemable which is tens of millions, but in fairness, I know we want to talk about this because we certainly don't want to talk about tonight's debate performance, but Hillary Clinton just on her plane lying that Donald Trump said falsehood after falsehood.
I was watching the debate in real time. PolitiFact -- the fact checker said that he was right about her wanting to have a 50 percent increase in Syrian refugees.
KING: All right. Let me ask you --
CONWAY: He's right about her not bringing --
KING: Let me ask you another question about the debate tonight. Donald Trump said he had not spoken to his vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence, about Syria and he disagreed with him. We're 30 days from the American people voting. Mike Pence will be out there campaigning tomorrow. Is the message to the American people at Mike Pence rallies don't believe what he says?
CONWAY: No, not at all.
KING: We can't be sure of Donald Trump --
CONWAY: They were talking about two different this as go Syrian. I just talked to Governor Pence not 10 minutes ago. He says hello. And he and Mr. Trump had also talked about what a great debate week we've had between Tuesday night, the vice presidential debate, and tonight obviously Donald Trump winning here. So in a vice presidential debate, the conversation was about humanitarian crisis and that's what -- Governor Pence was referring to. And Mr. Trump saying Hillary was making it more about military action.
KING: And he said the United States might have to use force. Governor Pence said the United States might -- might.
CONWAY: And that it might have to.
KING: Might have to. And Donald Trump said tonight I disagree with that, and I haven't spoken to him.
CONWAY: About that particular aspect of it since the debate, that is true. They've spoken many times this week. But let me make it very clear. On TV today, on your network today, CNN's Jake Tapper took Tim Kaine to account because Tim Kaine couldn't answer a simple question about what his top of the ticket, Hillary Clinton, said or did not say in these e-mails about having open borders. We know she's for open borders, but the only way we know it now, because she won't admit it, is that we had to see in a series of e-mails.
BLITZER: We did hear something extraordinary from Donald Trump today. He said that if he's elected president, he will ask the Justice Department to name a special prosecutor to go after Hillary Clinton and then he went one step further and said he would arrest her and lock her up, he would put her in jail.
In all of the years, I don't remember a time in American history when one candidate has said of the other candidate if he wins, the other candidate is going to jail.
CONWAY: Well, Donald Trump is channeling the frustration of a lot of Americans that he hears from, Wolf. And so many American say I can't believe that people have been -- their lives have been ruined, their livelihood gone, they face jail time for doing far less than Hillary Clinton did here and yet she goes completely exonerated for deleting 33,000 e-mails. Not turning over another 17,000. That's 50,000 right there. Setting up the private server to begin with, saying that there's no classified information. FBI Director Comey said that's not true.
I only had one device. She had many. They took a hammer to that and the story goes and on. And it's an active investigation. In other words, just less than two weeks ago, five members --
BLITZER: But to understand the enormity of that statement.
CONWAY: I understand --
BLITZER: He said he's going to lock up his opponent if he wins.
CONWAY: I understand -- well, no. What he said is he wants to appoint a special prosecutor because he feels and he channels merely public will here, he hears all the time, if we don't hear about the disasters of Obamacare and her failure with the Russia reset and Benghazi, we're always hearing about the e-mails and he is telling -- he told America tonight what America has told him. The frustration that there's a different set of rules for this woman as goes for e- mails. BLITZER: All right.
CONWAY: And she's impaired on national security.
BLITZER: I know you've got to run. We'll put up on the screen one more time the results of our poll. You're a pollster. You're a professional pollster. You'll see the results. These are people who actually watched the debate and millions and millions of Americans watched. Who won the debate? 57 percent said Hillary Clinton won the debate. 34 percent said Donald Trump won the debate. That's the results of our CNN-ORC poll.
Kellyanne, thanks very much for joining us.
CONWAY: I watched a different debate but thank you.
BLITZER: Coming up, we're going to have a reality check on some of the most contentious statements we heard from the candidates tonight. And we'll reveal more results from our instant poll of debate watchers. What was their response to Trump's attempts to explain his vulgar comments caught on tape? Stay with us.
[23:53:19] BLITZER: Welcome back. We're here in the spin room following this historic debate. We've got a reality check, some fact checking with Tom Foreman and Phil Mattingly.
Tom Foreman, first to you. What have you found out?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, attacks and insults have characterized this campaign for months now and tonight as well, with Hillary Clinton saying Donald Trump has gone after women again and again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: But it's not only women and it's not only this video that raises questions about his fitness to be our president because he has also targeted immigrants, African-Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, POWs, Muslims, and so many others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: That is really an enormous list of people up there. Could this possibly be true? Well, if you go all the way back to when he announced his candidacy, yes, some time or another, he's either said or done something to disparage people on every one of these lists. This is actually a very easy one to check and her claim is true, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thank you, Tom. Phil Mattingly, you've been doing a reality check as well.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. It wasn't just Hillary Clinton that was taking some swings tonight. Donald Trump rolling off a litany of attacks against Bill and Hillary Clinton, including this one. That Bill Clinton lost his law license.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: What President Clinton did, he was impeached, he lost his license to practice law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: So here's the claim. That Bill Clinton lost his law license. Quite simply was no longer allowed to practice law. So here are the facts. In the wake of revelations of Bill Clinton lied during the Monica Lewinsky investigation, the Arkansas Supreme Court brought a disbarment lawsuit against Clinton.
[23:55:02] Now Clinton agreed as part of the resolution of that lawsuit the day before leaving office to a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license as part of that plea deal to put an end to the Lewinsky investigation.
So where does that leave us? The verdict, it's true, on Donald Trump's claim that Bill Clinton lost his law license for five years. It's accurate.
For this and all of tonight's reality checks, go to CNN.com/realitycheck -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Phil, thank you very much. Tom Foreman, we'll get back to both of you.
Coming up, did Donald Trump, and this is an important question, tamp down the controversy over his crude remarks on video or did he make it worse? We're going to reveal more results from our instant poll of debate watchers. That's coming up.