PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Political pundits AB Stoddard of Real Clear Politics and John Hayward of Breitbart assessed the second presidential debate, giving Donald Trump the edge but emerging split on how his tone will impact the race moving forward in light of a video released Friday night of the Republican nominee making grossly sexist comments to television host Billy Bush during a taping of Access Hollywood in 2005.
Stoddard told Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that while Trump dictated the pace of content to the debate, she is unsure he did what was necessary to jump back into a race that has been slipping away from him for weeks.
“I think he had a good night because he put her on the defensive. He did far better than anyone expected him to do because I think people thought he was going to not show up or meltdown or whatever. He had her on the defensive. She was rattled. But, I really just look at these moments now at 29 days and counting as it’s all about the math. So, we can talk about the tape, maybe there’s another tape. Producers are promising there’s more…He made the people who love him happy last night. He went after the Clintons. He was tough. He fought back. Did he grow his vote? Does he have the undecided women that have been skeptical of him for a year and a half that he needs to win in the suburbs of key battlegrounds? I don’t know.”
She pointed out some key errors in his performance that may keep him from breaking through to undecided or Clinton-leaning voters.
“He was not humble about the tape. He said it was locker room talk. He was not humble and he was not honest. I wonder what Mike Pence is going to say about that today. He didn’t even face the questioners. He would pivot around the stage. If you were a woman who voted for Romney and still lost, I’d add, by 14 points…if this is the group that Kellyanne has been telling you since August 12th that you need to bring back in the fold, you have to focus on policy and you need to be genuinely contrite.”
Stoddard cautioned to wait for the next round of polling to assess the overall performance but is not anticipating a large swing back to Trump.
“I watch the polls. Nothing would surprise me at this point. Maybe he boomerangs back into real contention, but if you look at the battle ground states this morning and then we’ll look at them a week from now. I don’t know that threatening to send her to jail and interrupting her and saying she has evil in her heart, I don’t know what went on, I just don’t know that that works.”
However, John Hayward from Breitbart, told Stigall that he believes the former Secretary of State should already be in jail and agreed with Trump’s promise to call for a special prosecutor to investigate her use of a private email server again.
“He’s right. Let’s keep talking banana republic because that’s what we’ve got right now. There is no other word for an FBI so utterly corrupt, so utterly and totally corrupt that an obvious guilty person, Hillary Clinton, there’s no doubt she’s guilty of felony offenses, none whatsoever. Trump didn’t hit her hard enough. He could’ve come back with a lot more on that email thing. We’ve got documented proof, no question about it, 100 percent documented proof that she deleted work related emails with sensitive material in them. Thousands of them. Not one or two of them. Those no reason should be standing on that stage. She should be in an orange jumpsuit.”
He also criticized debate moderator Martha Raddatz, insisting she favored Clinton throughout the whole debate.
“She was debating Trump as much as Clinton was. She never stopped yelling at him. She was beside herself. It was embarrassing for the Republic because Martha Raddatz has not business being anywhere near a presidential debate. They know that. They really need to insist that if there’s going to be two moderators, one of them has to somebody who isn’t part of the Clinton news network.”