With the presidential election just over four weeks away, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off Sunday night at Washington University in St. Louis in what Politico described as “the ugliest debate in American history.” We play excerpts and expand the debate by giving Green Party nominee Jill Stein a chance to respond to the same questions posed to Trump and Clinton. Stein and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties. We invited both Stein and Johnson to join us on the program; only Stein took us up on the offer.
Don’t miss a beat
Get the latest news and thought-provoking analysis from Truthout.
AMY GOODMAN: We spend the rest of today’s show airing excerpts of the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton debate and give Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein a chance to respond to the same questions posed to the major-party candidates. Again, Dr. Stein and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties. We invited both Stein and Johnson to join us on the program; only Stein took us up on the offer. So we go now to Washington University. The debate co-moderators were Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz. This is Martha Raddatz of ABC.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, I want to get to audience questions and online questions.
DONALD TRUMP: So, she’s allowed to do that, but I’m not allowed to —
MARTHA RADDATZ: You’re going to have —
DONALD TRUMP: Sounds fair.
MARTHA RADDATZ: You’re going to get to respond right now.
DONALD TRUMP: Sounds fair.
MARTHA RADDATZ: This tape is generating intense interest. In just 48 hours it’s become the single most talked-about story of the entire 2016 election on Facebook, with millions and millions of people discussing it on the social network. As we said a moment ago, we do want to bring in questions from voters around the country via social media, and our first stays on this topic. Jeff from Ohio asks on Facebook: “Trump says the campaign has changed him. When did that happen?” So, Mr. Trump, let me add to that: When you walked off that bus at age 59, were you a different man, or did that behavior continue until just recently? And you have two minutes for this.
DONALD TRUMP: It was locker room talk, as I told you. That was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country. And certainly I’m not proud of it. But that was something that happened.
If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action. His was — what he’s done to women, there’s never been anybody in the history politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women. So, you can say any way you want to say it, but Bill Clinton was abusive to women. Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously, four of them here tonight. One of the women, who is a wonderful woman, at 12 years old, was raped, at 12. Her client she represented got him off, and she’s seen laughing on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped. Kathy Shelton, that young woman, is here with us tonight.
So, don’t tell me about words. I am absolutely — I apologize for those words. But it is things that people say. But what President Clinton did, he was impeached, he lost his license to practice law. He had to pay an $850,000 fine to one of the women, Paula Jones, who’s also here tonight. And I will tell you that when Hillary brings up a point like that and she talks about words that I said 11 years ago, I think it’s disgraceful, and I think she should be ashamed of herself, if you want to know the truth.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Can we please hold the applause? Secretary Clinton, you have two minutes.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first let me start by saying that so much of what he’s just said is not right, but he gets to run his campaign any way he chooses. He gets to decide what he wants to talk about, instead of answering people’s questions, talking about our agenda, laying out the plans that we have that we think can make a better life and a better country. That’s his choice. When I hear something like that, I am reminded of what my friend Michelle Obama advised us all: When they go low, you go high.
And look, if this were just about one video, maybe what he’s saying tonight would be understandable. But everyone can draw their own conclusions at this point about whether or not the man in the video or the man on the stage respects women.
But he never apologizes for anything to anyone. He never apologized to Mr. and Mrs. Khan, the Gold Star family whose son, Captain Khan, died in the line of duty in Iraq, and Donald insulted and attacked them for weeks over their religion. He never apologized to the distinguished federal judge, who was born in Indiana, but Donald said he couldn’t be trusted to be a judge because his parents were, quote, “Mexican.” He never apologized to the reporter that he mimicked and mocked on national television, and our children were watching. And he never apologized for the racist lie that President Obama was not born in the United States of America. He owes the president an apology, he owes our country an apology, and he needs to take responsibility for his actions and his words.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, you owe the president an apology, because, as you know very well, your campaign, Sidney Blumenthal, he’s another real winner that you have, and he’s the one that got this started, along with your campaign manager, and they were on television just two weeks ago. She was saying exactly that. So you really owe him an apology. You’re the one that sent the pictures around. Your campaign sent the pictures around with President Obama in a certain garb. That was long before I was ever involved. So you actually owe an apology.
And number two, Michelle Obama. I’ve gotten to see the commercials that they did on you, and I’ve gotten to see some of the most vicious commercials I’ve ever seen, of Michelle Obama talking about you, Hillary. So, you talk about friend? Go back and take a look at those commercials — a race where you lost, fair and square, unlike the Bernie Sanders race, where you won, but not fair and square, in my opinion. And all you have to do is take a look at WikiLeaks and just see what they said about Bernie Sanders and see what Deborah Wasserman Schultz had in mind, because Bernie Sanders, between superdelegates and Deborah Wasserman Schultz, he never had a chance. And I was so surprised to see him sign on with the devil.
But when you talk about apology, I think the one that you should really be apologizing for and the thing that you should be apologizing for are the 33,000 emails that you deleted and that you acid-washed, and then the two boxes of emails and other things last week that were taken from an office and are now missing. And I’ll tell you what, I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it. And we’re going to have a special prosecutor. When I speak, I go out and speak, the people of this country are furious. In my opinion, the people that have been long-term workers at the FBI are furious. There has never been anything like this, where emails — and you get a subpoena. You get a subpoena, and after getting the subpoena, you delete 33,000 emails, and then you acid-wash them or bleach them, as you would say. Very expensive process. So we’re going to get a special prosecutor, and we’re going to look into it, because you know what? People have been — their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you have done. And it’s a disgrace. And honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, I want to follow up on that. I’m going to let you talk about emails.
HILLARY CLINTON: Martha, let me just quickly say, because everything he just said is absolutely false, but I’m not surprised.
DONALD TRUMP: Oh, really?
HILLARY CLINTON: In the first debate —
MARTHA RADDATZ: And really, the audience needs to calm down here.
HILLARY CLINTON: In the first debate, I told people that it would be impossible to be fact-checking Donald all the time. I’d never get to talk about anything I want to do and how we’re going to really make lives better for people. So, once again, go to HillaryClinton.com. We have literally Trump. You can fact-check him — fact-check — fact-check him in real time. Last time, at the first debate, we had millions of people fact-checking, so I expect we’ll have millions more fact-checking, because, you know, it is — it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, because you’d be in jail.
AMY GOODMAN: Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, it’s your chance to respond.
DR. JILL STEIN: This — this debate, so-called, is really a sad commentary on what our political system has become. This debate is indeed a sham debate. The League of Women Voters called this process established by the Commission on Presidential Debates a fraud being perpetrated on the American voter. What we’re hearing, as this debate opens, is the candidates go at it about their personal histories, about Hillary’s emails, about Donald’s despicable, abusive behavior and language towards women. And yes, this is all, you know, fair terrain, but it’s — it’s shameful that this has to be the focus of the discussion here. The American people have very serious issues before us, and we need to get past this debate over whether Hillary or Donald is more corrupt, who has the more offensive history.
Let me, you know, just say, there are critical issues before us. The American people have really had it economically. This recovery has been a recovery at the top, despite some minor — minor suggestions that income is rising. Indeed, this is only a small amount among lower- and middle-income families, probably due to the living-wage battles that have been led by the working people of America. An entire generation is locked in debt. Black lives are struggling for safety, walking down the street or driving down the street. Millions of immigrants are living in fear of deportation. Donald Trump has shown that the Republicans are the party of hate and fearmongering, but the Democrats are the party of deportation, detentions and night raids.
We have wars for oil that are massively expanding, have no end. The Obama administration is now bombing seven countries. This is bankrupting our budget. Half of our discretionary budget is being spent on these wars, which are not making us more safe, but rather less safe. Almost half of your income taxes are going to this massive Defense Department, which is not really not a Defense Department, it is an offense department.
And the climate is in meltdown. We are seeing superstorms now in the Caribbean, a thousand people tragically killed in the country of Haiti, illustrating again how it is people of color and people in undeveloped nations and poor people who are really on the front lines of climate change; extended drought, continuing fires in the — in the West of the country. We have a climate crisis here.
And these two are bickering about who is more abusive and who has been more derelict in their responsibilities towards the American people. And I — personally, I think they’re both right, that Donald Trump’s behavior is absolutely abusive and inexcusable; Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, though her demeanor is certainly much nicer and her message is easier to hear, it’s important to remember that it’s not the talk, it’s the walk. And while Hillary is talking about, you know, her history defending and promoting women and children and the cause of our families, remember, it was the Clintons who dismantled Aid to Families with Dependent Children — that is, the major social safety net — throwing over a million families and children into poverty. The Clintons actually passed — and I mean Bill signed, but Hillary supported — NAFTA, which sent millions of jobs overseas, and Wall Street deregulation, leading to the economic meltdown and, in fact, the miserable economic conditions that have led to the rise of Donald Trump.
So, let’s be clear, what Hillary is offering is more of this neoliberal centrism, especially now that Republicans are fleeing into her camp. It’s one big happy Demo-Republican party. And let’s not fool ourselves for a moment that Hillary has the solution. As Bernie Sanders himself said repeatedly, the only real solution to this crisis of right-wing extremism that Donald Trump represents — and he’s certainly not the only one — the real solution is truly radical, progressive policies that are represented by the Green Party. Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump gets into the White House — and let’s hope neither of them do — but there needs to be a strong movement and a strong political voice to that movement to continue fighting against this rule by the economic and political elite that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump represent.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go back to debate co-moderator Anderson Cooper.
ANDERSON COOPER: Last month, taxes were the number one issue on Facebook for the first time in the campaign. The New York Times published three pages of your 1995 tax returns that show you claimed a $916 million loss, which means you could have avoided paying personal federal income taxes for years. You’ve said you pay state taxes, employee taxes, real estate taxes, property taxes. You have not answered, though, a simple question: Did you use that $916 million loss to avoid paying personal federal income taxes for years?
DONALD TRUMP: Of course I do. Of course I do. And so do all of her donors, or most of her donors. I know many of her donors. Her donors took massive tax write-offs.
ANDERSON COOPER: So have you not paid personal federal income taxes?
DONALD TRUMP: A lot my — excuse me, Anderson. A lot of my write-off was depreciation and other things that Hillary Clinton, as a senator, allowed. And she’ll always allow, because the people that give her all this money, they want it. That’s why. See, I understand the tax code better than anybody that’s ever run for president. Hillary Clinton — and it’s extremely complex. Hillary Clinton has friends that want all of these provisions, including they want the carried interest provision, which is very important to Wall Street people, but they really want the carried interest provision, which I believe Hillary is leaving. And it’s very interesting why she’s leaving carried interest. But I will tell you that, number one, I pay tremendous numbers of taxes. I absolutely used it, and so did Warren Buffett, and so did George Soros, and so did many of the other people that Hillary is getting money from. Now, I won’t mention their names, because they’re rich but they’re not famous. So we won’t make them famous.
ANDERSON COOPER: Can you — can you say how many years you have avoided paying personal federal income taxes?
DONALD TRUMP: No. But I pay tax, and I pay federal tax, too. But I have a write-off. A lot of it’s depreciation, which is a wonderful charge. I love depreciation. You know, she has given it to us. Hey, if she had a problem — for 30 years she’s been doing this, Anderson. I say it all the time. She talks about healthcare. Why didn’t she do something about it? She talks about taxes. Why didn’t she do something about it? She doesn’t do anything about anything other than talk. With her, it’s all talk and no action.
ANDERSON COOPER: In the past —
DONALD TRUMP: And again, Bernie Sanders, it’s really bad judgment. She has made bad judgment not only on taxes. She’s made bad judgements on Libya, on Syria, on Iraq. I mean, her and Obama, whether you like it or not, the way they got out of Iraq, the vacuum they’ve left, that’s why ISIS formed in the first place. They started from that little area, and now they’re in 32 different nations, Hillary. Congratulations. Great job.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary — I want you to be able to respond, Secretary Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, here we go again. I’ve been in favor of getting rid of carried interest for years, starting when I was a senator from New York. But that’s not the point here.
DONALD TRUMP: Why didn’t you do it?
HILLARY CLINTON: You know —
DONALD TRUMP: Why didn’t you do it?
ANDERSON COOPER: Allow her to respond.
HILLARY CLINTON: Because I was a senator with a Republican president.
DONALD TRUMP: Oh, really?
HILLARY CLINTON: I will be the president —
DONALD TRUMP: You could have done it. If you were an effective —
HILLARY CLINTON: — who will get it done. That’s exactly right.
DONALD TRUMP: If you were an effective senator, you could have done it. If you were an effective senator, you could have done it. But you were not an effective senator.
ANDERSON COOPER: Please allow her to respond. She didn’t interrupt you.
HILLARY CLINTON: You know, under our Constitution, presidents have something called veto power.
Look, he has now said repeatedly 30 years this and 30 years that. So let me talk about my 30 years in public service. I’m very glad to do so. Eight million kids every year have health insurance because when I was first lady I worked with Democrats and Republicans to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Hundreds of thousands of kids now have a chance to be adopted, because I worked to change our adoption and foster care system. After 9/11, I went to work with Republican mayor, governor and president to rebuild New York and to get healthcare for our first responders, who were suffering because they had run toward danger and gotten sickened by it. Hundreds of thousands of National Guard and reserve members have healthcare because of work that I did. And children have safer medicines because I was able to pass a law that required the dosing to be more carefully done.
When I was secretary of state, I went around the world advocating for our country, but also advocating for women’s rights to make sure that women had a decent chance to have a better life, and negotiated a treaty with Russia to lower nuclear weapons. Four hundred pieces of legislation have my name on it as a sponsor or co-sponsor when I was a senator for eight years. I worked very hard and was very proud to be re-elected in New York by an even bigger margin than I had been elected the first time. And as president, I will take that work, that bipartisan work, that finding common ground.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you.
HILLARY CLINTON: Because you have to be able to get along with people to get things done in Washington.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you, Secretary.
HILLARY CLINTON: And I’ve proven that I can. And for 30 years, I’ve produced results for people.
AMY GOODMAN: Green Party candidate Jill Stein?
DR. JILL STEIN: Donald Trump made the point that he takes advantage in every way of tax deductions and pays as little taxes as possible, and that Hillary’s donors do that, as well. I think that statement is kind of a microcosm of a larger dynamic here, which is that one candidate represents the billionaire class, the other candidate represents the donors — or, I should say, her donors represent that billionaire class. I’m the only candidate in this race that does not take money from lobbyists, from corporate interests, and that does not have a super PAC. So, that liberates me to actually represent what the American people desperately and urgently need.
In this election, we are not only deciding what kind of a world we will have, but whether we will have a world or not going forward. We are facing catastrophic climate change. I’m the only candidate that is talking about that and the transformative solutions that we need. We call, quite simply, for an emergency jobs program that will solve the emergency of climate change, creating 20 million good-wage jobs to transform our economy to 100 percent clean, renewable energy, a healthy and sustainable food system, and public transportation which is efficiently and renewably powered, and restoring our ecosystems. This will revive the economy, turn the tide on climate change, make the wars for oil obsolete, and it pays for itself simply in terms of the incredible benefits to our health from phasing out fossil fuels. There are — I should mention, we call for phasing out these fossil fuels completely by 2030, so a truly emergency program. And we call for an immediate ban on all new fossil fuel infrastructure. This includes in the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where this battle is going on that is being so courageously led by our indigenous brothers and sisters who are setting an example for us all of how we must stand together and stand strong for our water supply, for our human rights, for our democracy and for the one Mother Earth that we share, who is incredibly imperiled, as we speak.
AMY GOODMAN: Jill Stein, we’re going to break — Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein — as we break the sound barrier, joining the major-party candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. All are in St. Louis. The major debate took place on Sunday night. This is Democracy Now! Back with more in a minute.
AMY GOODMAN: “Wheels of Confusion” by Black Sabbath, here on Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re spending the show airing excerpts of the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis and giving Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein a chance to respond to the same questions posed to the major-party candidates. We invited, as well as Dr. Stein, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, but he did not take us up on this invitation. We turn now back to the debate. This is debate moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, in December, you said this: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. We have no choice. We have no choice.” Your running mate said this week that the Muslim ban is no longer your position. Is that correct? And if it is, was it a mistake to have a religious test?
DONALD TRUMP: First of all, Captain Khan is an American hero. And if I were president at that time, he would be alive today, because, unlike her, who voted for the war without knowing what she was doing, I would not have had our people in Iraq. Iraq was a disaster. So he would have been alive today. The Muslim ban is something that, in some form, has morphed into a extreme vetting from certain areas of the world. Hillary Clinton wants to allow —
MARTHA RADDATZ: And why did it morph into that.
DONALD TRUMP: — hundreds of thousands — excuse me.
MARTHA RADDATZ: No, did you —
DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me.
MARTHA RADDATZ: No, answer the question: Do you still believe —
DONALD TRUMP: Why don’t you interrupt her?
MARTHA RADDATZ: I do.
DONALD TRUMP: You interrupt me all the time. Why don’t you interrupt her?
MARTHA RADDATZ: Would you please explain whether or not the Muslim ban still stands?
DONALD TRUMP: It’s called extreme vetting. We are going to areas like Syria, where they’re coming in by the tens of thousands because of Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton wants to allow a 550 percent increase over Obama. People are coming into our country like we have no idea who they are, where they are from, what their feelings about our country is. And she wants 550 percent more. This is going to be the great Trojan horse of all time. We have enough problems in this country.
I believe in building safe zones. I believe in having other people pay for them — as an example, the Gulf states, who are not carrying their weight, but they have nothing but money and take care of people. But I don’t want to have, with all the problems this country has and all of the problems that you see going on, hundreds of thousands of people coming in from Syria, when we know nothing about them. We know nothing about their values, and we know nothing about their love for our country.
MARTHA RADDATZ: And, Secretary Clinton, let me ask you about that, because you have asked for an increase from 10 to 65,000 Syrian refugees. We know you want tougher vetting. That’s not a perfect system. So why take the risk of having those refugees come into the country?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, I will not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us. But there are a lot of refugees, women and children. Think of that picture we all saw of that four-year-old boy with the blood on his forehead because he’d been bombed by the Russian and Syrian air forces. There are children suffering in this catastrophic war, largely, I believe, because of Russian aggression. And we need to do our part. We, by no means, are carrying anywhere near the load that Europe and others are. But we will have vetting that is as tough as it needs to be from our professionals, our intelligence experts and others.
But it is important for us, as a policy, you know, not to say, as Donald has said, we’re going to ban people based on a religion. How do you that? We are a country founded on religious freedom and liberty. How do we do what he has advocated, without causing great distress within our own country? Are we going to have religious tests when people fly into our country? And how do we expect to be able to implement those? So, I thought that what he said was extremely unwise and even dangerous. And indeed, you can look at the propaganda on a lot of the terrorist sites, and what Donald Trump says about Muslims is used to recruit fighters, because they want to create a war between us.
And the final thing I say, this is the 10th or 12th time that he’s denied being for the war in Iraq. We have it on tape. The entire press corps has looked at it. It’s been debunked. But it never stops him from saying whatever he wants to say.
DONALD TRUMP: Has not been debunked.
HILLARY CLINTON: So, please —
DONALD TRUMP: Has not been debunked. And I was against — I was against —
HILLARY CLINTON: Go to HillaryClinton.com, and you can see it.
DONALD TRUMP: I was against the war in Iraq. Has not been debunked.
AMY GOODMAN: Jill Stein?
DR. JILL STEIN: [inaudible] is a crisis, a global humanitarian crisis. Millions of people are fleeing for their lives from Syria. I think it’s something like half of a million people have actually been killed in Syria. It is a humanitarian catastrophe that we have very much to do with. The power of ISIS in Syria comes directly out of the catastrophe of Iraq, which Hillary Clinton supported, and Donald Trump did, as well. At least initially, he supported going into Iraq. Hillary Clinton certainly led the charge into Libya and created that catastrophe, which led to the release of huge stockpiles of arms and incredible violence and catastrophic situation in Libya, all of which helped fan the flames in Syria. So, we have certainly a great deal to do with the crisis in Syria, and not to mention that we have been bombing in Syria, as well, and apparently funding some of the rebel groups, the very unsavory rebel groups, which appear to be al-Qaeda-related. So, we have had a major hand in the chaos of Syria and, indeed, the major hand instigating the chaos in the Middle East.
So, being the wealthiest country in the world, it’s very important that we do our share in caring for the Syrian refugees. But, let me say, it’s also really important that we go back to this crisis in Syria and in the Middle East, and instead of continuing to pour gasoline on this fire, we need to take a stand on behalf of a weapons embargo to all parties, since our weapons are getting into the hands of all parties. We need to impose a freeze on the bank accounts of our allies that are continuing to fund terrorist enterprises, and to work with the Turks, who are our ally — in name, at least — to close down their border to the flow of terrorist militias across their border. That is the contribution that we need to make. And we need to reinstigate the ceasefire and begin a peace process in Syria. The language being used by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton toward Syria is extremely irresponsible and very dangerous and is bringing us to the brink of conflict with Russia, another nuclear-armed power that could blow up on us very quickly. We need to be very cautious about where this is going.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go back to debate moderator Anderson Cooper of CNN.
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump, let me follow up with you. In 2008, you wrote in one of your books that the most important characteristic of a good leader is discipline. You said if a leader doesn’t have it, quote, “he or she won’t be one for very long.” In the days after the first debate, you sent out a series of tweets from 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., including one that told people to check out a sex tape. Is that the discipline of a good leader?
DONALD TRUMP: No, there wasn’t “check out a sex tape.” It was just take a look at the person that she built up to be this wonderful girl scout, who was no girl scout.
ANDERSON COOPER: You mentioned “sex tape.”
DONALD TRUMP: By the way, just so you understand: When she said 3:00 in the morning, take a look at Benghazi. She said, “Who’s going to answer the call at 3:00 in the morning?” Guess what. She didn’t answer, because when Ambassador Stevens —
ANDERSON COOPER: The question is: Is that the discipline of a good leader?
DONALD TRUMP: — six hundred — wait a minute, Anderson. Six hundred times — well, she said she was awake at 3:00 in the morning. And she also sent a tweet out at 3:00 in the morning, but I won’t even mention that. But she said she’ll be awake. Who’s — the famous thing: “We’re going to answer our call at 3:00 in the morning.” Guess what happened. Ambassador Stevens — Ambassador Stevens sent 600 requests for help, and the only one she talked to was Sidney Blumenthal, who’s her friend — and not a good guy, by the way. So, you know, she shouldn’t be talking about that.
Now, tweeting happens to be a modern-day form of communication. I mean, you could like it or not like it. I have — between Facebook and Twitter, I have almost 25 million people. It’s a very effective way of communication. So you can put it down, but it is a very effective form of communication. I’m not unproud of it, to be honest with you.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, does Mr. Trump have the discipline to be a good leader?
HILLARY CLINTON: No.
DONALD TRUMP: Oh, I’m shocked to hear that.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, it’s not only my opinion, it’s the opinion of many others — national security experts, Republicans, former Republican members of Congress. But it’s in part because those of us who have had the great privilege of seeing this job up close and know how difficult it is — and it’s not just because I watched my husband take a $300 billion deficit and turn it into a $200 billion surplus, and 23 million new jobs were created, and incomes went up for everybody. Everybody. African-American incomes went up 33 percent. And it’s not just because worked with George W. Bush after 9/11, and I was very proud that when I told him what the city needed, what we needed to recover, he said, “You’ve got it,” and he never wavered. He stuck with me. And I have worked, and I admire President Obama. He inherited the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That was a terrible time for our country.
ANDERSON COOPER: We have to move along.
HILLARY CLINTON: Nine million people lost their jobs. Five million homes were lost.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, we have to — Secretary Clinton, we’re moving on.
HILLARY CLINTON: And $13 trillion in family wealth was wiped out. We are back on the right track. He would send us back into a recession with his tax plans —
MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton —
HILLARY CLINTON: — that would benefit the wealthiest of Americans.
MARTHA RADDATZ: — we are moving to an audience question. We’re almost out of time. We have another —
DONALD TRUMP: We have the slowest growth —
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, we’re moving to an audience question.
DONALD TRUMP: — since 1929. It is — our country has the slowest growth, and jobs are a disaster.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, Secretary Clinton, we want to get to the audience.
AMY GOODMAN: Jill Stein, your final comment for this hour? You have 90 seconds.
DR. JILL STEIN: I want to finish this discussion about this endless war in the Middle East. And I think it’s very important that the American people have the benefit of knowing what we are paying for this war and what we are getting from it. This war, according to a Harvard study a couple years ago, would cost us about $6 trillion for just Iraq and Afghanistan alone, when you include the ongoing costs of caring for our wounded veterans, who deserve far more than what they’re getting, not only in healthcare, housing, PTSD support, job training, etc. But it’s about $6 trillion, which comes down to about $50,000 for every American household.
But what have we achieved with this endless war? Failed states, mass refugee migrations and worse terrorist threats. They are not getting better, whether you look at the Taliban, who are stronger, have more territory now than they did when we began fighting them some 16 years ago, whether you look at al-Qaeda, which has become a global movement, or ISIS. This doesn’t work, yet it’s costing us half of our discretionary budget and almost half of your income taxes. So, it’s very important that we have a new offensive in the Middle East. We call it a peace offensive. And it begins with a weapons embargo and with a freeze on the bank accounts of our allies, like Saudi Arabia, if they continue to insist on funding terrorist enterprises around the world.
AMY GOODMAN: Green Party —
DR. JILL STEIN: That is the way forward.
AMY GOODMAN: Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, as part of our “Expanding the Debate” two-hour special. We will do another hour of this debate. You can go to democracynow.org.
AMY GOODMAN: With the presidential election just over four weeks away, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off Sunday night at Washington University in St. Louis in what Politico described as the “ugliest debate” in U.S. history. The debate came two days after The Washington Post published a shocking video from 2005 of Donald Trump talking on an open microphone, bragging about sexually assaulting women. Trump is now facing a growing number of calls to step down as the Republican Party’s nominee.
We will spend the rest of the show airing excepts of Sunday’s debate and giving Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein a chance to respond to the same questions posed to the major-party candidates. Stein and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties. We invited both Stein and Johnson to join us on the program; only Stein took us up on the offer. We turn now to the debate moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz in St. Louis at Washington University, Raddatz of ABC, Anderson Cooper of CNN. This is Cooper.
ANDERSON COOPER: We have a question here from Ken Karpowitz. He has a question about healthcare. Ken?
DONALD TRUMP: I’d like to know, Anderson: Why aren’t you bringing up the emails? I’d like to know. Why aren’t you getting to the bottom —
ANDERSON COOPER: You brought up the emails.
DONALD TRUMP: No, it hasn’t. It hasn’t. And it hasn’t been finished at all.
ANDERSON COOPER: Ken Karpowitz has a question.
DONALD TRUMP: It’s nice to — one on three.
KEN KARPOWITZ: Thank you. Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, it is not affordable. Premiums have gone up. Deductibles have gone up. Copays have gone up. Prescriptions have gone up. And the coverage has gone down. What will you do to bring the costs down and make coverage better?
ANDERSON COOPER: That first one goes to Secretary Clinton —
DONALD TRUMP: Thank you.
ANDERSON COOPER: — because you started out the last one to the audience.
HILLARY CLINTON: He wants to start. He can start.
DONALD TRUMP: No, go ahead, Hillary.
HILLARY CLINTON: No, go ahead, Donald.
DONALD TRUMP: No, I’m a gentleman, Hillary. Go ahead.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think Donald was about to say he’s going to solve it by repealing it and getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. And I’m going to fix it, because I agree with you. Premiums have gotten too high, copays, deductibles, prescription drug costs. And I’ve laid out a series of actions that we can take to try to get those costs down.
But here’s what I don’t want people to forget when we’re talking about reining in the costs, which has to be the highest priority of the next president. When the Affordable Care Act passed, it wasn’t just that 20 million people got insurance who didn’t have it before. But that, in and of itself, was a good thing. I meet these people all the time, and they tell me what a difference having that insurance meant to them and their families. But everybody else, the 170 million of us who get health insurance through our employers, got big benefits. Number one, insurance companies can’t deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Number two, no lifetime limits, which is a big deal if you have serious health problems. Number three, women can’t be charged more than men for our health insurance, which is the way it used to be before the Affordable Care Act. Number four, if you’re under 26 and your parents have a policy, you can be on that policy until the age of 26 — something that didn’t happen before. So, I want very much to save what works and is good about the Affordable Care Act. But we’ve got to get costs down. We’ve got to provide some additional help to small businesses, so that they can afford to provide health insurance.
But if we repeal it, as Donald has proposed, and start over again, all of those benefits I just mentioned are lost to everybody, not just people who get their health insurance on the exchange. And then we would have to start all over again. Right now we are at 90 percent health insurance coverage. That’s the highest we’ve ever been in our country.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, your time’s up.
HILLARY CLINTON: So I want to get to 100 percent but get cost down and keep quality up.
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump, you have two minutes.
DONALD TRUMP: It is such a great question, and it’s maybe the question I get almost more than anything else, outside of defense. Obamacare is a disaster. You know it. We all know it. It’s going up at numbers that nobody’s ever seen worldwide. It’s — nobody has ever seen numbers like this for healthcare. It’s only getting worse. In ’17, it implodes by itself. Their method of fixing it is to go back and ask Congress for more money, more and more money. And we have right now almost $20 trillion in debt. Obamacare will never work. It’s very bad, very bad health insurance, far too expensive, and not only expensive for the person that has it, unbelievably expensive for our country. It’s going to be one of the biggest line items very shortly.
We have to repeal it and replace it with something absolutely much less expensive and something that works, where your plan can actually be tailored. We have to get rid of the lines around the state, artificial lines, where we stop insurance companies from coming in and competing, because they wanted, President Obama and whoever was working on it — they want to leave those lines, because that gives the insurance companies essentially monopolies. We want competition. You will have the finest healthcare plan there is. She wants to go to a single-player plan, which would be a disaster, somewhat similar to Canada. And if you ever noticed, the Canadians, when they need a big operation, when something happens, they come into the United States in many cases, because their — their system is so slow, it’s catastrophic in certain ways. But she wants to go to single payer, which means the government basically rules everything. Hillary Clinton has been after this for years. Obamacare was the first step. Obamacare is a total disaster. And not only are your rates going up by numbers that nobody’s ever believed, but your deductibles are going up, so that unless you get hit by a truck, you’re never going to be able to use it.
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump, your time —
DONALD TRUMP: It is a disastrous plan, and it has to be repealed and replaced.
AMY GOODMAN: Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, your response?
DR. JILL STEIN: It’s not rocket science how to fix this disaster that the Affordable Care Act is. In fact, healthcare costs are skyrocketing. It’s now — you know, we pay essentially $3 trillion a year, is what the price tag is for healthcare, when you include government, business and out-of-pocket expenses. One out of every three Americans now cannot afford healthcare. Yes, the numbers of coverage have gone up, but there is massive underinsurance, and it is prohibitive. The premiums and the deductibles and the copays are just too high, so many people with insurance cannot afford to get it. There is almost half a trillion dollars of needless expense in the Affordable Care Act. This was the boondoggle built in for insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, that they are making out like bandits here in a healthcare system based on profit, not based on people.
And the solution is pretty straightforward. We need a Medicare-for-all system, an improved Medicare-for-all system. Right now 25 percent of healthcare costs are spent on wasteful paper pushing, on CEO salaries, on advertising, etc., on exorbitant pharmaceutical costs like paying $400 for an EpiPen, which contains $1 worth of medication. This is the kind of abuse that is built into this program, because we do not have the capacity to negotiate and do bulk purchasing, which needs to be built in. Under an improved Medicare-for-all system, that 25 percent overhead is reduced to about 1 percent, 1 to 2 percent overhead. So it enables us to put our healthcare dollars truly into healthcare, so that you are covered, head to toe, cradle to grave, your mental health, your pharmaceuticals, your hearing aid, your insulin pump, whatever, and your reproductive healthcare and your mental healthcare. And the healthcare decisions are between you and your doctor. It gets corporations off your back, and it gets CEOs out of the business of deciding and micromanaging your healthcare.
AMY GOODMAN: Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein. After a short break, we’ll return to the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton presidential debate and give Dr. Stein a chance to respond to those same questions posed to the major-party candidates at Washington University in St. Louis. Stay with us.