The third and final US presidential debate began in Las Vegas on Wednesday with Republican candidate Donald Trump arguing that the Second Amendment giving rights to citizens to bear arms be upheld, while his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called for measures to prevent killings by those who carry firearms. Given that the next president is likely to appoint several Supreme Court judges, the views of the two presidential candidates –- Clinton and Trump are crucial for the American people who vote in the November 8 general elections.
Donald Trump asserted in the final presidential debate that no one respects women more than he does. Yet in its closing moments, standing onstage with the first major-party female presidential nominee in US history, he called Hillary Clinton “such a nasty woman.”
A look at the top moments from the debate:
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On abortion: Clinton promised to appoint justices who would uphold a woman’s right to abortion laid out in the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision. “This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make and I do not believe the government should be making it,” Clinton said.
Trump promised to appoint what he called “pro-life” justices who would overturn the decision. Under current law, Trump said, “You can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.” “Honestly, nobody has business doing what I just said, doing that as late as one or two or three or four days prior to birth,” Trump said. Clinton said Trump’s “scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate.”
On Russia President Vladimir Putin: Clinton called Trump the Russian president’s puppet. Clinton responded: “Well that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.” “No, you’re the puppet,” Trump retorted. Clinton said Trump had refused to condemn Putin and Russia for recent cyber attacks. “He’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence officials that are sworn to protect us,” Clinton said.
Trump charged that Putin had repeatedly outsmarted Clinton. “Putin has outsmarted her and Obama every single step of the way,” he said in a reference to US President Barack Obama, a Democrat like Clinton. Trump rejected the idea that he was close with Putin, but suggested he would have a better relationship with Russia’s leader than Clinton. “He said nice things about me,” Trump said. “He has no respect for her, he has no respect for our president and I’ll tell you what, we’re in very serious trouble.”
US intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security have said the Russian leadership was responsible for recent cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee and the leaking of stolen emails.
On Mosul: Donald Trump said, “We don’t gain anything” by restoring Iraqi government control of Mosul. “Iran is taking over Iraq.”
On US presidential results: Donald Trump refused to say he would accept the results of the November election if he loses to Hillary Clinton. Trump has spent the days leading up to Wednesday night’s presidential debate warning voters that the election will be “rigged.” Asked whether he would accept the results, he said, “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.”
The Democratic nominee declared Trump’s resistance “horrifying.”
On gun rights: Trump said he would appoint a Supreme Court justice who would protect American gun rights. He has said in the past that Clinton wants to “essentially abolish” the Second Amendment of the US Constitution guaranteeing a right to bear arms.
Clinton said she supports gun rights, but wants additional regulations on guns, citing examples of children being hurt or killed in gun accidents. “I see no conflict between saving people’s lives and defending the Second Amendment.”
On respecting women: Donald Trump asserted in the final presidential debate that no one respects women more than he does.
On immigration plan: Donald Trump said said that Clinton’s immigration plan would lead to a disaster on trade, open borders.
Clinton replied that Trump’s immigration plan would require a massive law enforcementeffort to identify and deport all undocumented people.
Nuclear weapons: Clinton also said Trump had been “cavalier” about nuclear weapons and should not be trusted with the nuclear codes.