Tom Goodenough Tom Goodenough

Trump vs Clinton: The verdicts on the final debate

Donald Trump grabbed the headlines in last night’s debate by refusing to say whether he’d accept the result in the presidential election if he lost. But who actually came out on top in the showdown between Clinton and Trump? On Coffee House, Freddy Gray says Trump failed to land the knockout punch he needed – and many others agreed.

The New York Times said Trump showed a contempt for democracy in his remarks about the American electoral system. In its editorial, the paper said that the Republican candidate was ‘bullying’ throughout and offered ’another exercise in narcissism, bombast and mendacity’. Yet while the Times concluded that Hillary won, the paper sounded more hopeful than assured in whether others would agree:

‘One could only hope that this might be the last grand display of his gross unfitness to be president’

In its editorial, the Los Angeles Times described the Republican candidate as ‘Little Trump’. It suggested that while Trump was ‘relatively disciplined’ in the early stages of the debate, he quickly let his guard down. The paper said Trump appeared ‘thin-skinned’, ‘aggressively ignorant about the world and prone to spin conspiracy theories’. Old habits die hard, it seems.

The Wall Street Journal said the third and final debate was the most ‘civil’ so far – but pointed out that this was as much a testament to the moderator Chris Wallace, than either of the two candidates. Fortune magazine even went as far as saying Wallace ‘won’ the debate, suggesting that the outbursts of ‘unsavoury interruptions, ugly insults, and mostly unabated hostility’ only made the host look good.

Many commentators pointed out that Trump appeared on the verge of conceding defeat during the debate. John Cassidy in the New Yorker said that Trump’s attempt to suggest the electoral system was rigged was ‘tantamount to a concession of defeat in itself.

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