Oct 18, 2016 (San Diego) The third debate was hard fought, by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Chris Wallace from Fox News tried hard at times to keep this debate on track, and on policy. To say that he succeeded all the time would be a lie. But he gets points for a valiant effort.
There were two moments in the debate that lost this for Trump. The first was when Wallace asked him wether he would accept the results of the election. The person who loses an election accepts the results, for the well being of the country. Trump told Wallace that he would keep all of us in suspense because he would have to look at it. This tradition of the peaceful transfer of power is as old as the Republic.
The second was when he refused to condemn Russia for the interference in the election. He did in the end, after being pushed, but not specifically Russia. On that line, this spying was used by Clinton to avoid answering a question on her speech to Goldman Sachs, where she spoke about an American common market without borders. She also said that Wallace should have read the next line, regarding energy that flows across borders. Living in San Diego, we know that this already is a reality. There are three border crossing points where electricity flows from Mexico to the United States. So the proper question would be to ask how much more she would like to expand these connections?
The debate started well for Trump, especially when he talked to the Supreme Court and the Second Amendment. Though he made medically horrendous errors when speaking of third term abortions. No, they do not happen on the 9th months, and they tend to happen for horrific defects such as the lack of a brain. So it is not a procedure done lightly.
When speaking of the economy he did well, and he cited the problems with the North American Free Trade Agreement. She countered with the fact that Trump has factories in Mexico and imports steel and aluminum from China.
As far as entitlements his answers were lower taxes, while Clinton said that she wants to raise the cap for Social Security, which has been suggested for years. Wallace pressed her on whether she would take a grand bargain, and while she seemed to close the door on that, it was not closed completely.
Immigration was a problem for Trump, as he stuck to a line that rejects the multicultural nature of the country. He also said that he will build that wall, but there is no specifics on how to build that wall. Clinton explained that immigration is part of the country and this has been a bipartisan issue until recently. She cited Ronald Reagan and his 1986 bill that led to amnesty.
As to women. Trump defended his words and denied what he has said in the past about women. He had a chance to own it, and to speak as to how he was born again, or whatever, he needed to get that over with.
So in the final analysis, he needed a home run, or two, and maybe he got a single. So he did not score, and she managed to get under his skin more often than he did. In fact, in my judgement Wallace got under her skin on a substantive level, more often than Trump did. He also did not expand his base tonight.