Second presidential debate got NASTY

In case you missed it, a damning tape was released on Friday in which Donald Trump made vulgar remarks toward women in 2005, throwing his campaign and party into turmoil. We knew his claws would be out in the second presidential debate Sunday evening, an event that afforded him an opportunity to show contrition for his remarks and stop the bleeding.

Trump made good on the warnings he had issued earlier in the campaign that he could potentially bring up Bill Clinton's affairs if he were provoked to do so. He actually went a step further by not only mentioning it in the debate, but inviting several of the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault. There's no question the invitation was a deliberate attempt to rattle the Democratic presidential nominee.

So who won?

I would say it was draw.

Trump turned in a much better performance than he did in the first debate. This time, he wasn't on the defensive nearly as much, and he threw several effective punches over the course of the night. He made sure to hit topics on which Hillary is most vulnerable, like Benghazi, the email scandal, and her calling half of Trump's supporters "deplorables."

Stylistically, Hillary probably beat Trump in this showdown. While he seemed to invade her space and pace around at times, she remained more composed and made a clear effort to speak directly to those asking questions in the audience. She didn't provide any memorable zingers, though, and I felt Trump succeeded at putting her on the defensive several times.

Perhaps the most jaw-dropping moment of the night was when Trump said she would be in jail if he were president. He said he'd have his attorney general appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's private email server should he win the election.

As expected, Clinton questioned his fitness for president in light of the disparaging remarks he has made toward women, minorities, POWs, and other groups. Trump apologized once again for the comments made in the bombshell video released Friday, but it was evident he did everything he could to deflect attention away from the controversy.

The debate concluded on a lighter note, with the final question being whether they could each say one positive thing about their opponent. Clinton praised Trump's children, and Trump conceded that Hillary is a "fighter" who never gives up.

It was do-or-die for Trump, and I think he managed to stem the bleeding -- for now. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of the infamous tape and I wouldn't be surprised if new ones surface in the coming days.

I think both candidates succeeded at exciting their respective bases, but I'm not sure any of them did well enough to draw undecided voters to their respective camps. There's no question, though, that you could cut the tension in the air on that stage last night with a knife!

The final debate will take place Wednesday, October 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Did you watch the debate? If so, what'd you think of each candidate's performance?

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