Election 2016

Trump, Clinton meet in final debate

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off in the third and final presidential debate Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off in the third and final presidential debate Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Image By: Daily Cardinal File Photo

Nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton met Wednesday night for the third and final presidential debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The exchange began in a surprisingly subdued manner. After sexual assault allegations hammered the Republican nominee and WikiLeaks exposed potentially embarrassing Clinton speeches and emails, the two candidates eagerly dove into the weeds of policy details, highlighting their disagreements over the Second Amendment and partial-birth abortions.

However, the debate quickly turned bitter when the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, pressed Trump on the allegations of sexual assault that surfaced last week. Trump angrily denied the women’s stories.

“I believe, Chris, that [Clinton] got these people to step forward,” Trump said. “I didn’t even apologize to my wife because I didn’t do anything. Nobody has more respect for women than I do.”

Clinton responded by laying into Trump for perpetuating an atmosphere of disrespect toward women.

“Donald thinks that belittling women makes him bigger,” Clinton said. “He goes after their dignity, their self-worth and I don’t think there’s a woman out there who doesn’t know what that feels like.”

In response, Trump attempted to pivot toward Clinton’s emails and foundation as evidence of her disqualifying character.

“She’s guilty of a very serious crime,” he said. “She shouldn’t be allowed to run. I say it's rigged.”

Trump dug in when asked by Wallace for clarification, accusing Democrats of rigging the election in Clinton’s favor by registering voters who “shouldn’t be allowed to vote.” He looked at the camera and threatened to take the unprecedented step of refusing to concede should Clinton win, which would jeopardize the peaceful transition of executive power.

“I’m keeping you in suspense, OK?” Trump said.

Back at UW-Madison, students clutching pitchers of beer in the SETT at Union South gasped at Trump’s threat. On the TV, Clinton quickly retorted.

“That’s horrifying. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. He is denigrating, he is talking down our democracy.”

Leaning back in his chair, UW-Madison Junior Tim Glennon chuckled as the debate droned on.

“Honestly I would say I am past all sadness,” the self-professed libertarian said. “I have lost all hope. I just enjoy watching now.”

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