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Voters In Ohio React To The Second Presidential Debate


And I'm Steve Inskeep in Cincinnati, Ohio, at WVXU, our member station here. We are in one of the divided states of America. We've been listening to voters in this state. We heard them on the program Friday, before the latest presidential debate. Now we've brought them all back at an insanely early hour to be with us again. Welcome to you all, guys. Glad you're here.

KATIE ROONEY: Thank you.


ENNIS TAIT: Thank you.


INSKEEP: And I'll just remind people - we have Katie Rooney, mother of three, who's voting for Hillary Clinton, Marty Surella, retired plumber, Democrat leaning to Donald Trump. Cincinnati pastor Ennis Tait favors Secretary Clinton. Longtime insurance business owner Linda Caudill favors Donald Trump.

And we're going to get to what was one of the headline moments of last night's debate in which Donald Trump was confronted about a video that surfaced last week, a video from 2005 in which he discussed women on a bus while doing an "Access Hollywood" shoot. Let's listen to some of the discussion about that.


ANDERSON COOPER: Just for the record, though, are you saying that what you said on that bus 11 years ago, that you did not actually kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?

DONALD TRUMP: I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do. I said...

COOPER: So for the record, you're saying you never did that?

TRUMP: I said things that - frankly, you hear these things. They're said. And I was embarrassed by it, but I have tremendous respect for women...

COOPER: Have you ever done those things?

TRUMP: ...And women have respect for me. And I will tell you - no, I have not. And I will tell you that I'm going to make our country safe. We're going to have borders on our country, which we don't have now.

INSKEEP: And Secretary Clinton was given a chance to respond.


HILLARY CLINTON: What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women - what he thinks about women, what he does to women. And he has said that the video doesn't represent who he is, but I think it's clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is because we've seen this throughout the campaign.

INSKEEP: Some of the sound of last night's debate. Marty Surella, I want to begin with you because, of our voters here, you're the one who said you're not totally decided yet, although you've been leaning for Donald Trump.

SURELLA: Correct.

INSKEEP: Have the last several days changed your opinion at all?

SURELLA: No, I'm still shopping.

INSKEEP: You're still shopping, meaning Trump is still an option for you, in spite of the video and everything else.

SURELLA: He is an option. I'm not happy about it. I think it's indefensible, but each one of these candidates comes to the table with quite a bit of baggage, in my opinion. So I'm still open, and I want to hear the last debate...

INSKEEP: Katie Rooney...

SURELLA: ....Before I make my decision.

INSKEEP: ....I see you leaning toward the microphone there.

ROONEY: Get ready. No, you know, last week when we spoke, Steve, I talked a lot about what this campaign means to my daughters in particular. I think that everybody can understand from listening to the words that he uses over and over again - and this was one particularly horrifying statement - statements that he made about women. But it's just a complete lack of decency, I feel.

And when I think about the future of this - this country, I want a role model for my son. I want a role model for the future of this country. And somebody who can say things like this and then be taken off the hook because, oh, well, I didn't mean it, well then what do you say? Do you mean anything?

INSKEEP: Linda Caudill, you're a woman, and you heard these remarks. I imagine you've seen this videotape as well as watching the debate last night. Did it change your support for Donald Trump at all?

CAUDILL: No. The Trump supporters - the only people really who are having an issue with this are the Hillary people and the traitor Republicans, such as Rob Portman, John McCain, Jeff Flake, Kelly Ayotte.

INSKEEP: All of whom have disendorsed (ph) Donald Trump at this point.

CAUDILL: Yes, all of those people are the ones who are having the issues with this. When you look at the unethical and corrupt behavior of the other candidate and you put that in perspective with unfiltered comments, there's no comparison, in my mind.

INSKEEP: I want to ask about something there, though. In addition to the Republicans you mentioned and many others who've disendorsed Donald Trump, there's Mike Pence, Trump's running mate, who had to take a couple of days off campaigning, told Donald Trump he couldn't be an effective surrogate - I cannot defend you on this one - and asked Trump to show what was in his heart in the debate last night. Did he show what was in his heart at the debate last night?

CAUDILL: Absolutely. Yeah, Pence is standing by him.

INSKEEP: Pence is standing, but I'm saying, did Trump actually - did he show contrition? Did he open up at all? Did he explain this very well at all?

CAUDILL: I think he has. I mean, I have - I've been to bachelorette parties that I've heard women talk about things.

INSKEEP: Which we won't discuss explicitly here on the radio.

CAUDILL: Exactly, exactly. But I've - I've heard those things. I've - I mean, men talk about those things. It's just - that's the way it is.

INSKEEP: Ennis Tait, I want to bring you into this discussion. Trump did turn it on Hillary Clinton and say, look, your husband did terrible things, and you defended him. Were you troubled at all by your candidate, by your candidate's performance in defending herself against those charges?

TAIT: No, I would expect - I would expect any wife to stand by her husband, despite, you know, the accusations and even the charges. I guess, for me, the issue is really the double-standard that America has for him to be able to get away with that and even be classified as a criminal charge.

I had to step back because I watched this country destroy Bill Cosby for things that he had done in the '60s. But because he was a black man who had made that mistake, he was not viewed as a role model any longer. He was no longer viewed as a success story.

INSKEEP: Are you saying there's a different standard for Donald Trump now?

TAIT: Different standard for Donald Trump, and that's not - that's - that's typical America. And that's the problem that we're having now, is we're starting to fall into that.

INSKEEP: Although Trump was saying it's words, not deeds.

TAIT: No. If you can - he - the words were things that he explained, and he mentioned that he - things that he had done.

INSKEEP: I want to play another little bit of tape in which the emails were discussed - or there was an effort, anyway, to discuss the emails. Let's listen to Anderson Cooper try to - try to move the debate along here.


TRUMP: From the United States Congress.

COOPER: Secretary Clinton, you can respond, then we have to move on to an audience question.

CLINTON: Look, it's just not true. And so, please, go to...

TRUMP: Oh, you didn't delete them? You didn't delete them?

COOPER: Allow her to respond, please.

CLINTON: Those were personal emails, not official.

TRUMP: Over 33,000? Yeah, right.

CLINTON: Well, we turned over 35,000, so it was...

TRUMP: Oh, yeah. What about the other 15,000?

COOPER: Please allow her to respond. She didn't talk while you talked.

CLINTON: Yes, that's true. I didn't.

TRUMP: Because you have nothing to say.

CLINTON: I didn't in the first debate, and I'm going to try not to in this debate because I'd like to get to the questions that the people have brought here tonight to talk to us about.

TRUMP: And get off this question.

INSKEEP: Katie Rooney and Marty Surella, I want to ask each of you, did you see anyone with dignity and self-control who seemed presidential last night? Katie, you get to go first.

ROONEY: I saw somebody pretending that what it means to be presidential is to look like a bully. I wouldn't tolerate that sort of behavior on the playground with my children, let alone in the highest office in the land.

INSKEEP: You're referring to Donald Trump jumping in.

ROONEY: To Donald Trump, yes. I felt that he - his predatory behavior - encircling and constantly interrupting - was offensive to everyone.

INSKEEP: And, Marty Surella, I'm going to give you the last word here.

SURELLA: I thought both candidates were offensive. I wanted to hear about policy. I made a note on my sheet at 9:29 - policy, question mark, question mark.

INSKEEP: Did you still have those question marks at the end of the night?


INSKEEP: OK, all right. But you're still - you're still undecided at this point?


INSKEEP: OK, Marty Surella, thanks very much. And thanks to all of you. As we're hearing from four Ohio voters throughout this morning, let's do a little bit of fact-checking now with our colleague Scott Detrow, who was in Washington, D.C. And, Scott, I want to ask about some specific statements that were made in this debate.

There's a moment in which Anderson Cooper said to Trump, referring to that video, you brag in the video that you have sexually assaulted women, do you understand that? And Trump said, no, I didn't say that at all. Did he say it?

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: He did say it. In that 2005 recording, Trump talks about kissing women he just met. He used a vulgar term to say that he likes to grab their genitals. And he added that, when you're a star, you can do anything. Now, Trump's close ally, Rudy Giuliani, did concede yesterday that Trump was talking about assault.

Giuliani's defense was that Trump was just exaggerating, that he never actually did these things. And Trump did deny that he'd done that. But as we just heard, Anderson Cooper had to ask him three times before Trump answered.

INSKEEP: OK, and on the other side here, there's a Trump statement - Bill Clinton was abusive to women; Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously, four of them here tonight. That's the Donald Trump quote. Did Hillary Clinton attack women, and in what way?

DETROW: Well, to walk through this, Bill Clinton did have multiple affairs, including that relationship with Monica Lewinsky that was a key part of his impeachment. If you remember the 1992 campaign, you may remember Hillary Clinton attacking one of the women that Bill Clinton had a relationship with, Gennifer Flowers, as a failed cabaret singer.

As for Juanita Broaddrick, she has said that Bill Clinton raped her in the 1970s. No charges were ever filed based on that accusation. But when it comes to Hillary Clinton, Broaddrick says that there was one encounter with Hillary Clinton, that Hillary Clinton shook her hand, said thank you for everything you're doing in Bill Clinton's campaign.

There was another similar exchange later that event where Hillary Clinton thanked her. Broaddrick said she took that interaction as a threat. But years later in an interview, she conceded that she had no idea whether Clinton knew anything about her when they briefly met. So that's a very murky situation.

INSKEEP: OK, got to stop you there. Murky situation - we'll leave it there for now, continue talking about this debate. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Steve Inskeep
Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
Scott Detrow is a White House correspondent for NPR and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast.

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