In the hours and days leading up to Sunday’s second presidential debate in St. Louis, establishment Republicans had been abandoning the Trump campaign in droves; they are now all of a sudden shocked (shocked!) by the latest Trump revelations.
Yet they are really protesting a bit too much. Prominent Republicans such as Senators John McCain and Kelley Ayotte, who were quick to denounce Trump and try to separate themselves from him over the weekend, were plenty aware of Trump’s history of deranged commentary regarding women, including his own daughter, which have been public for years.
Lost in all of this, to Clinton’s great benefit, are new revelations from the leaked e-mails—which come courtesy of WikiLeaks—of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Behind closed doors before big-money audiences at Goldman Sachs, Clinton declared, “You need both a public and a private position” on issues like trade.
Regarding financial regulation, Clinton opined: “People that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.” Clinton also put in a good word for the austerity measures that severely undermined the American recovery after 2008 and continue to choke the European economy.
Like any good neoliberal, Clinton spoke of budget-tightening as the answer to slow growth. “Simpson-Bowles,” said the former secretary of state, “put forth the right framework. Namely, we have to restrain spending, we have to have adequate revenues, and we have to incentivize growth. It’s a three-part formula.”
While the neoliberal vision Clinton laid out before the investment bankers is one that would only serve to prolong the non-recovery, it is important to note that these speeches and policy positions were laid out well before Clinton’s bruising primary against Sanders, who moved Clinton to the left on issues such as financial regulation and free trade.
On the debate stage tonight, it got ugly quickly between the two candidates, who refused to shake hands as they entered the arena.
Trump gave a typically disingenuous and rambling answer to questions about the recent audio tape in which he brags about committing sexual assault and repeatedly and pathetically complained he was being ganged up on by Clinton and the moderators.