tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN October 9, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
happening now, tonight could be the most critical moment in the race for the white house. donald trump and hillary clinton in their second presidential debate. >> one big issue hanging over the match up, of course, the video of donald trump making lewd comments that has caused republicans to abandon him in droves in just the past 36 hours. seemingly putting his entire campaign in jeopardy, tonight. it all comes down to this, three hours away, two candidates, one winner. >> good afternoon, wolf. i'm erin burnett.
>> i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." welcome. in matter of hours hillary clinton and donald trump will come face-to-face again. the debate could be donald trump's last chance to save his campaign and make it anywhere near the white house. both candidates landed in st. louis just a little while ago. it's the first time trump left his building in new york city since the scandal of a leaked audio tape broke friday night. one of trump's top advisors say he will apologize. the candidate is also promising to go further and make clinton answer for her own husband's infidelities. first, i want to play for you the tape looming over this evening. i must warn our viewers, it's
graphic, contains obscene language. here is donald trump during an appearance on "access hollywood" back in
2005. >> i moved on her. she was down in palm beach and i failed. i'll admit it. she was married. i moved over her heavily. i took her out furniture shopping. i said i'll show you where there's nice furniture. i moved on her. i couldn't get there. she was married. all of a sudden i see her she's got the big phony tits. she's changed her look. i got to get some tic tacs. i just start kissing them. like a magnet. when you're a star they let you do it. you can do anything. >> hillary clinton has her own controversy to deal with tonight. no doubt she will have to, an e-mail hack is uncovered.
a paid speech clinton made back to a bank in 2013 and contradicts some trade policies she's touted during the presidential campaign. at one point she said to have told the bankers it's important to have a quote, public and private position on such matters. perhaps the most consequential debate is three hours away. they are facing very different types of political challenges tonight. let's talk it over
with our panel. our chief political correspondent dana bash is with us. our senior washington correspondent is here and our political reporter sarah murray as well. jeff, he not only has to reassure his supporters, his base but he has to bring in undecided voters as well. >> even br friday, before this bombshell in the washington post that's captivated this campaign.
he was already facing an uphill battle tonight now that it's magnified so much here. i was talking to just a lot of average voters. people i met along the campaign trail this weekend. average voters of his are not as concerned about this as some party leaders are. boy, he's never had a moment like this. it's an important moment for hillary clinton as well because any talk of confidence or overconfidence in campaign is being squelched. there's a no gloat policy. if he's going to save his campaign, he has to do it in the early minutes of the debate. >> chris christie has been very close to donald trump, helping him prepare, he's the head of
his transition team if he were to be elected of the with the of the united states. he was supposed to be on the sunday talk shows, cancelled. supposed to come here, not here. >> the official line is he has important business to tend to new jersey but he always has important business. he's found an incredible amount of time in his schedule to help donald trump through thick and thin. the fact that he's not here speaks, volumes. we don't know specifically from him the real deal but he has put everything on the line for donald trump and this tape, the way it's played out cannot be something that sits well with him. he has and sarah has reporting on this he has been helping donald trump up until and through this bombshell on friday night. really try to refocus. i am told separate from this whole issue they have been
impressing upon trump, stay where you did well at the first debate in the first 20 minutes. she's not a change agent. she's not going to make things different. she is saying one thing this public and saying something different in private just like a regular politician. that's where they are praying he stays focused. >> is trump going to go after her because of her husband's sexual infidelity? >> the campaign is not going to say win way or the other whether thatly do it because this is donald trump that we're talking about. if he feels like it's right to bring that up, he will do that. we have seen him ignore the guide of agents in the past. they want to see him come out. they want to see him give a contrite apology. they want to see him go after things like trade, on this hack. they feel like he has so much ammunition without going after her own personal scandals. they believe that's the kind of thing that can win over voters.
talking to voters, undecided voters and talking to trump supporters, they don't want to hear about his tax returns or things he might have said 20 years ago or hillary clinton, the way she navigated bill clinton's infidelity. they want to hear candidates talk about job and trades. it's almost a disappointment to see issues like this coming up and dominating the narrative. they're not getting the answers they want. >> i assume she's going to try to get under his skin and get him to react in some unexpected way. >> it's why she spent seven hours alone preparing on saturday. she's preparing more than she did at first debate. i'm told also on this whole tape issue from '05, she's going to say this is not a one off. this didn't happen one time, create a pattern of this she has
a lot of ammunition on that but she also wants to use this as an opening to be presidential and to reach out to some of the people who over the last 48 hours have decided they cannot vote for donald trump express how serious and how high these stakes are. >> if more of these kinds of vile tapes come out as a lot of people anticipate there could be other tapes, it could cause a huge problem. >> it could. it's hard to imagine something more vile than what we saw come out from the washington post on friday. it's not just about words that he's used to sort of defame women or say bad things about their appearance and things we had heard during the primary and up until the last debate when talking about what he had said to miss universe. these are the top republican
woman in congress said herself, these are suggestions of assault and violence against women. that's a whole different ball game. that's why you're seeing the one surrogate that's gone out for him, rudy giuliani try to bring up the juanita broad rick issue. i don't think that's going to fly. >> donald trump really has been in the public eye in a non-conventional way. not the same way a politician has been for decades. people just don't know what else you could find if you looked back through apprentice tapes and his old interviews through the lead up. that's part of what's driving people away is they're not willing to sit here and see what else could come out in next 30 days. everybody stay with us. we have a lot more coming up. we're getting ready for the debate here in america and our coverage is getting started. we'll have much more in this very special situation room from washington university in st. louis right after this.
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king. chief political analyst gloria borger. our senior political analyst and former trump campaign manager. political analyst kirsten powers. andy dean and cnn political commentator. it is unusual for donald trump. he is now the underdog in the polls with this tape in every way. it's not situation that he is used to operating under. >> i think it's smart to come into these debates with surprises. something you say that's going to be, shape the commentary after the debate. from trump's point of view i would advise lihim to have a blanket apology not only for the tape but other things he will be nailed for. >> gloria was reporting if he apologizes for the tape, he'll bring up other issues. >> do it up front and cover all
the things that may come that may reflect badly and talk about how he's changed man. obviously, she needs her chance to talk, but if she really wants focus on this, i'm going to bring up -- i don't want to bring it up but if she forces me i'm going to do it. >> so then it's okay. there's a scenario it's not bad to bring it up. >> the situation in which he invites him by being contentious and going on for a bit. not have a fight with her about bill. he needs to have a fight between the people and the establishment, between the people and the elites and why change has to come. i think instead of having that fight he's david against goliath. he gets his supporters up. for her, i want to add one thing. as much as she needs to say this is a hornet, what he's said. i also think she needs to go to a positive agenda for women. she's been fighting for women and children all her life.
she has a good story to tell, and this ought to be in a direct appeal to women about how much she can do for them as the american president and how much she can do internationally trying to empower women. >> here's the reality. he has to win over women to win. he has to assuage his base tonight. his base doesn't seem to be upset by this tape in the same way. that's not enough to win. he's got to get women to vote who is not voting for him. how does he do that? >> i agree with david a lot but also the poll released after this tape, 74% of the republicans said we're not leaving donald trump. you know who are leaving, the weak, feckless leadership is leaving. >> you're making the david versus goliath argument as well. >> he walked outside of trump tower yesterday and was mauled by the people who want to support him. i have seen it first hand across this country, in every state in the country. you know what i saw today and
continue to see yesterday, weak elected leaders who want to put their own political interest first. reince priebus is a great example. donna brazile held the democratic party together under the clinton leadership and the scandal. you know what happened to the republicans, we need an apology. he makes an apology and say we're leaving any way. >> you say reince is weak? >> not only is he weak, he's failed leader. on top of that, the american people are so tired of the people in washington, d.c. telling them what to do. that's why donald trump beat all of the establishment, all the people who are supposed to be the parties. donald trump beat them all. he got 14 million votes in the primary. >> let me ask you about reince. he's the wone that came out aftr indiana and declared that donald trump was the winner. >> he was the winner. >> right. he gave a signal to the republican party and said
republicans time to get behind donald trump. he's put himself on the line for donald trump time and time again. >> he was on the plane today. >> does -- >> where was he today on the talk shows saying donald trump is our leader? >> hasn't he -- what are you saying? are you saying the republican party is abandoning donald trump? >> what i'm saying is that donald trump -- >> the leadership. >> donald trump has tapped into something that the republicans have lost in the last 30 years which is the rank and file people. that's why donald trump continues to have 75% of the republicans self-identified supporting donald trump and all the republican leadership who want to self-preserve are walking away. >> here's the thing. the 25 undecided voters that cnn spoke to before the take, 1606 them, only two would change their mind. the other take away was what trump did was terrible but the clintons are liars. that speaks to the david versus
goliath and the perception is leadership is fleeing but maybe not the voters. >> i'm going to talk about what david said. i don't have the audacity to agree with david. the things you were saying that donald trump needed to do is something he hasn't shown us he's capable of doing. he's not shown he can step up to the challenge. i don't know why we think he can today. i don't think he can win the debate tonight. i think his goal is to survivor and move onto tomorrow. donald trump, i love you, corey, but there's not enough white men in america to elect donald trump the next president of the united states. he has to begin to branch out and bring women under the tent, hispanics, minorities under the tent and if we've seen him do very well and that's make sure his base is shrinking and getting smaller. >> kirsten, what does he need to do tonight to women over some women? that has to be a bar he must cross? >> like you said, he has his
base with him. they are behind him. there's not enough to elect him. he has to do something to reach out. i think, i don't know you're doing a preview of this is what he's going to do. is he going to rail at everybody and say it's me against the establishment. maybe that's what he is going to do. that's not going to bring anybody new in. he needs to bring in new people. the only way he will do that. the morning poll was taken right after it came out. i think we need to wait and see. >> a little bit more time for that to soak in. >> they might hear what he said. they might think it's locker room talk. >> i have listened to it. it's factually based reported by the media. to david's point, the establishment is overplaying their hand here. donald trump has been the populist candidate. attacking the media and the establishment has worked time and time again. >> these are trump supporters who have turned on him.
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in about two and a half hours we'll watch donald trump and hillary clinton come face-to-face on this debate stage behind me. it will be the first meeting since trump apologized for some vulgar comments he made about women back in 2005 but also suggested that bill clinton has done in his words, much worse. donna brazile is joining me live. thanks for joining us. >> you know, i find it unfair. unfair for donald trump to try to place blame on hillary for being in a marriage that was in trouble. i mean, clearly, they had to work it out. when that happened, she suffered. chelsea suffered. it would be unfair for hillary to walk up to the stage tonight and you say, i'm going to blame melania trump for your behavior. she's known donald trump for many years. i think she will be able to handle this without going into
what i call the cesspool of the 1990s. >> how should she handle it? he says your husband is not running but what you said about these women accusing him of all of these sexual acts, you degraded these women and spoke ill of them, what if he goes down that road? >> first of all, donald trump is not one who can throw a stone. given the comments that the, the lewd comments he's on record, on tape. given the things he's said throughout this campaign season about women, about carli fiorina and megyn kelly, these are public women. and the things he's said about hillary clinton. how long it takes for her to go to the bathroom. i think he needs to come in here with a bit of contrition. a little bit of contrition knowing that the american people will be the final judge of whether or not you're really serious about saying i'm sorry.
>> if he does raise these issues, how should she react? >> with grace. with the dignity of the office she's seeking by looking at voters that will ask the questions. that's the crudest locker room banter i've heard. donald trump needs to come here tonight and not just look into the camera and say to the american people i'm sick and tired of what i've been saying about so many people from john mccain to hillary clinton. tonight i want to talk to you. he needs to come in here and change his game. hillary is going to clean his clock. >> in the election? >> she's going to clean his clock because he's not going to let him get away with the vile, predatory behavior he's espousing in those videos. she's fought her entire life to make sure women are respected
and treated with dignity. secretary clinton will come here tonight with real solutions to that the american people know there's a choice between the two candidates. one is unfit. she is the one that will succeed. >> if he does apologize, should he just move on? >> she's not coming to throw the mud. he's been the mud throwing and saying i'm going to bring this up. what kind of candidate would spend most of his time talking about trash and not real issues. real issues. wolf, how are we going to raise wages? how are we going to keep the country safe and secure in real issue, climate change. hurricane matthew. i think secretary clinton will come here with real solutions. >> you've heard some republicans saying trump should drop out. pence should be the candidate. how would you react if that were to happen? it's unlikely to happen but that's what some republicans are calling for? >> i got a new watch and i'm going to tell you, it's a little bit too late to do that.
first of all, the rnc wiould hae to meet to remove him off the ticket and then state parties all over the country will have to decide, governors and secretaries of state will have to decide on the ballots. if you live overseas and if you a democrat or a republican abroad, guess what, or independent, your ballots have been delivered. by the middle of this week more than half the american people will have their ballots. too late. they knew he was prone to be this vulgar. >> some republicans are suggesting that they've already lost this election. do you think they already have in. >> i'm going to work hard because i know the clinton campaign, dnc, all of us we're working for down ballots from the courthouse to the white house. we're going to work every day over the next 30 days to ensure we can bring about a victory not
just at the white house but all across the board. >> thanks very much. >> we're working hard. >> i know you are. trump's presidential ambitions aren't the only thing at stake. republicans worry his latest controversy could cost control of the u.s. congress. up next, we'll talk about the turmoil inside the gop. we are live here at washington university in st. louis just ahead of the second presidential debate. i thodid the ancestrydna toian. find out i'm only 16% italian. so i went onto ancestry, soon learned that one of our ancestors was eastern european. this is my ancestor who i didn't know about. to be taken care of. in good hands? like finding new ways home, car, life insurance obviously, ohhh... but with added touches you can't get everywhere else, like claim free rewards... or safe driving bonus checks.
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the republican party is in turmoil right now just hours before one of significant debates in u.s. presidential history. donald trump's vulgar comments about women are triggering a crisis within the gop. loyalists like former new york city mayor rudy giuliani and alabama senator jeff sessions are sticking with trump. republicans are backing away from him as well including arizona senator john mccain, new hampshire senator kelly ayotte both facing re-election battles. former secretary of the state condelezza rice and arnold schwarzenegger is abandoning trump. there seems to be some disunity
within the republican establishment, the republican leadership. you' you've been doing a lot of reporting. what are you finding out? >> for most part they're tepidly standing behind him. they want to see what happens tonight. how he clear a big hurdle, shows some humility and apology for his comments and also communicates a vision for their party. that's going to be very destr t destructi destructive. house republicans are convening and having a conference call to talk about the presidential race going forward. we don't know yet. majority leader mitch mcconnell where he stands. we have seen a number of rank and file republicans run away, we have not seen the elected republican leadership run away. >> dana, you and i have been
talking about chris christie, the new jersey governor to donald trump, all of a sudden he's mia. he is supposed to be here. he didn't go on any sunday talk shows. you're getting new information. >> i don't think that we have to read too far between the lines to know why he is not here. he's been an incredibly loyal soldier to donald trump not just kind of following but trying to shape the way trump is approached this campaign since christe, donald trumped out as trump's opponent and been trying to play the role as the guy who is trump's old friend who can and is willing to say things to trump that nobody else will. it seems as though what happened on friday night was so big and so monumental that even chris christie couldn't bring himself to get on trump's airplane and come here and be his
representative. just didn't have it in him to do that. >> let's not forget what happened over the weekend. trump was supposed to go out to wisconsin. paul ryan was going to be there. a will the of other republicans. the video tape comes out and all of a sudden his disinvited. mike pence doesn't want to go. these are extraordinary developments. >> they are. the republican party is in self-preservation mode. republicans are worried about putting off voters, women voters, suburban women voters but they also need trump supporters. they're trying to navigate the fine line. you have folks that worried about 2020 like mike pence. how he deals with this key moment could go a long way this determining his own political future. a lot of republicans are looking out for themselves. >> which is why mike pence is only somebody we're talk about
because of donald trump because donald trump put him on the ticket is giving some distance between himself and donald trump saying you're on your own until this debate is over, until we can figure out whether or not you have properly been contrite, apologized and been able to kind of right this big, big wrong that he's upset about. >> he's going to be watching this debate closely. >> but not here. he won't be here. >> he's going to watch it in terms of where he goes. >> it's his desire to be out in front of this ticket and be the person who represents donald trump in wisconsin or anywhere else until he sees how tonight goes. >> you remember a time when the majority leader in the senate, the speaker of the house, another republican, paul ryan, they issued those blistering statements in the aftermath of that video. >> this has been remarkable year
for that reason. republicans can barely get to say the same of donald trump. they call him the nominee. they don't like to answer questions about him. they showed some unity in recent weeks. when the tape came out it was too much for the leaders. the dam is about the break if donald trump doesn't clear a major hurdle tonight. >> you'll be with us throughout this night, a historic night here in america. thanks very much. i want to send it back to erin now. it's going to be pretty lively tonight. >> i think in typical wolf way, understating. lively, it will be. you have this on the heels of the republican establishment fleeing trump as if there was a straw that broke the camels back. they all go fleeing and this morning he said i will never quit. is that no means no.
>> i was in communication with two yesterday. one of doesn't know the person. if tonight goes badly maybe never was the starting part in a negotiation. i think that's most unlikely. there are those watching him who say remember donald trump said in the past by tanking the polls, maybe i'll get out. the people who are remembering those words are saying these things and saying it not because they think it's going to happen. some want it to happen but because of the gravity of this moment. when we were at the first debate, donald trump had a chance to seize control. now florida, north carolina, ohio, nevada, colorado, virginia, michigan, pennsylvania, hillary clinton is stretching leads in the ones where she was aahead.
even before this tape came out this was the defining night. he has to find a big way to deal with this tape issue as soon as possible and so he can move onto other issues. those e-mails, great opportunity for trump. i want a hems atmosphere of borders. >> on this front, there's some in the past 36 hours, republican establishment saying they will write this mike pence. you had people saying that. mike pence, even though he didn't appear on stage yesterday made it clear that he is not going anywhere. he's going to stand by his man. >> he's going to be on the campaign trail in different swing states next week campaigning for him. mike pence looks at the same polls that some of these leaders are looking at. that is donald trump is doing well among republican voters.
90% of republican voters are going to vote for donald trump come november. a lot of these folks have thinking about their calculations going forward. pence is thinking about 2020. cruz is thinking about 2018 and 2020. there is a big split between these leaders who are making their calculations and rank and file voters who are going to vote for donald trump. >> the fact we have to check, his vice presidential nominee still with the nominee. that's something. >> there were a lot of people who were hoping that would be the way. >> that's not going to happen. pence is behind trump. i think john mentioned the art of the deal which is donald trump's thing but he also wrote a book called the art of the comeback. one thing that's more powerful and that's the beauty of a comeback. tomorrow morning that will be the story if trump can paint the picture that he needs to paint tonight that he's the one standing between the cultural elites, the federal reserve elites who are acting against
the american public's interest and donald trump is the guy and he's willing to go it alone without the republican party hierarchy and he needs to appeal directly to the people. >> this is what's so stunning about what corey said a few minutes ago. >> calling reince priebus weak and feckless. >> the hierarchy has been behind donald trump. reince priebus has been behind donald trump for quite some time and taken a lot over it from a lot of republicans. he stuck with his candidate. what we see -- >> would you prefer he's supporting hillary clinton? >> it's not my job to tell the rnc chairman what to do. you have the context of the debate playing out which is a trump apologize, what will he do and you have a sub context of what's going on in the republican party. i think what we see happening,
corey, you would call it the establishment. >> hundreds of people call it the establishment. that's what it is. >> the party being split apart even further -- >> from working class. >> can that work for donald trump? if he goes in tonight and makes that the dividing line, can that work for him tonight to get undecided voters? >> absolutely. this is not just a debate about donald trump. this is a debate about what kind of presidency hillary clinton can have. she went into the last debate even. he came out five points ahead several days later. if she can raise that again and get a landslide in this election and can determine that, she can take the senate back. if she comes in with a landslide, there will be a lot of republicans that have to work with her. there's a lot of republicans that go the other way. this has an enormous amount to do with the capacity to govern. >> that's what i want to talk about. we spent a lot of time talking about this tape as if donald trump is debating himself. he's not. donald trump's going to have to
worry about getting out of his own way first. hillary clinton can put this election away tonight. people are giving donald trump one more look over tonight. if hillary comes out, this is what she had to do last time, i think this is the only time tsh missed in the last debate. she has to become this inspirational figure that a lot of people are waiting on her to become. i expect her to tell a lot of personal stories about people she met on the campaign trail. i think she's waiting on that attack that bill clinton line of attack because she can sit up there an talk about not only going through that pain as a woman cheated on but contrasting donald trump and about to be the first female president in the history of the united states. i think that's going to be very powerful. >> no one wants to talk about the wikileaks and the fact she has a private and public persona. >> how about the fact she said
the bankers and wall street know how to regulate. all of a sudden we see the wikileaks where she says i'm for open borders and free trade where she's said i've never said. never have the media reported and ever time she's been accused the response is there's no proof to that. now there's proof. he knows every single one is accurate. >> donald trump has to have the credibility to make the argument. you make great points. there's some things to use against hillary clinton. there's a great basket of material there. the question is, are the american people going to listen to donald trump. do they view him with the credibility. >> can he do that? that is the question. last time to his failure was unable to bring up those points and criticize her. he ended up playing defense. >> those are great things he should bring up but he can't be on the attack the other time. let's remember one of the main
problems is he wasn't as substantive as hillary was. he wasn't as up on the issues and from the sounds of it he hasn't studied that much more an she's been studying more for the debate. maybe we'll get past, we've been spending this whole time talking about this, maybe they will get past >> thank you, all, very much. of course, women could cast the decisive ballots in this election. the 2005 tape of trump making vulgar comments makes winning the votes a lot harder on the undecided women front. up next, john king does the math and explains why this controversy put the republican candidate's campaign in jeopardy. we'll be back live from the second presidential debate right here in st. louis next.
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nation's electorate. john king, tell us about the trends we've been seeing with women voters. >> it's been moving this way in hillary clinton's candidacy so far. in the 2012 election, mitt romney lost to president obama nationally and lost by 11 points among women. 11-point gender gap in the obama-romney race, key to obama winning reelection. let's compare it to this race. the latest national poll. 13-point gap, clinton over trump. in line a little better than the president nationally. the polls don't take into account what we're learning from the donald trump conduct in the tape. we elect presidents state by state. the first debate, trump was ahead in ohio. now, clinton is a little ahead and the gender gap is one of the
reasons. 11 points like the national split. it was 11 points in ohio, obama winning the women's vote. clinton has a slightly bigger lead than the president in battleground ohio. north carolina, one of the most competitive states. obama won in '08. romney took it in '12. conservative state. president obama barely won, 59-49 among women voters. clinton has a bigger lead heading into the debate. one reason it's gone from slightly trump ahead to slightly clinton ahead. trump can't win without winning ohio, north carolina and florida. florida, again, conservative state. the closest state in 2012. obama had a seven-point edge among women, key to the victory in florida. clinton, a bigger lead with women right now. heading into the first debate, advantage, trump. heading into the second debate, advantage, clinton, with the
wind at her back. her support among women voters, her gap over donald trump was a key factor already. the question now is what happens tonight and as we go through this week, we'll get the impact. are women voters more turned off by the trump tape, and does the clinton advantage stretch out? if it does, it is an advantage into the final 30 days. >> do you get the sense, john, that trump and his advisers are really sensitive to this issue? finding more support among the women voters? >> well, his campaign manager kellyanne conway, this has been her calling card in republican politics. she understands that close elections are won in the suburbs. outside of philadelphia, in montgomery county, they're won there. in other states like the research triangle in north carolina. if you bring that out here. kellyanne con understands this. can she get her candidate to communicate to women in ways that gains him votes?
the clinton cam tpaign believes t comments in the tape helps them solidify her advantage. donald trump must use his national platform tonight to try to cut into it, wolf. the math tells the story. right now, the arithmetic is moving her way. he has to bring it back. >> last thing he needed was the videotape surfacing on friday, late on friday. it's caused him and his campaign enormous grief. there may be more down the road in these coming days, at least that's what a lot of people suspect. thanks very much. our cnn special debate coverage continues right now with erin burnett out front.
tonight, a presidential debate rematch. donald trump facing a fire storm over his shocking comments about women captured on video. renewing the threat to ratchet up his attack on the clintons and their past. >> the american people have had it with years of clinton corruption and scandal. >> hillary clinton riding new momentum after her first face off with trump heading into this crucial night with new fuel for her attacks. >> this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs. >> this is cnn's coverage of clinton versus trump in their second presidential debate. >> her run for the presidency will never, ever work out. >> this time, they'll be eye to eye with undecided voters, as well as each other. >> friends don't let friends vote for trump. >> two nominees, one stage and america's future up for debate.