You knew it was going to come up eventually. After one voter question, moderator Anderson Cooper asked Donald Trump about the hot mic tape that surfaced from 2005 of Trump talking about kissing women without their consent and bragging that he could "grab them by the pussy." That tape was released on Friday and it's taken the political world by storm ever since. Trump's response to Cooper's question was a dismissal—"This was locker room talk"—and a whiff of contrition. "I'm not proud of it," he said. "I apologized to my family, to the American people." Then he started talking about how he would "knock the hell out of ISIS."
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, had a lot to say about the tape—and it was something to behold. In just over 300 words, Clinton boiled down Trump's voluminous history of misogyny before making a larger point about all the various communities of Americans Trump has offended. Then she wrapped it all up by shouting out diversity in the United States and even hit Trump's campaign slogan, remarking that "America already is great."
Read the whole thing for yourself:
Well, like everyone else, I spent a lot of time thinking over the last 48 hours about what we heard and saw.
You know, with prior Republican nominees for president, I disagreed with them. Politics, policies, principles. But I never questioned their fitness to serve.
Donald Trump is different. I said starting back in June, that he was not fit to be president and commander-in-chief. And many Republicans and independents have said the same thing.
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. We have seen him insult women. We've seen him rate women on their appearance, ranking them from one to ten. We've seen him embarrass women on TV and on Twitter. We saw him after the first debate spend nearly a week denigrating a former Miss Universe in the harshest, most personal terms. So, yes, this is who Donald Trump is.
But it's not only women and it's not only this video that raises questions about his fitness to be our president. Because he has also targeted immigrants, African Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, POWs, Muslims, and so many others. So, this is who Donald Trump is, and the question for us, the question our country must answer is that this is not who we are.
That's why, to go back to your question, I want to send a message—we all should—to every boy and girl and indeed to the entire world, that America already is great. And we are great, because we are good, and we will respect one another, and we will work with one another, and we will celebrate our diversity.
These are very important values to me because this is the America that I know and love. And I can pledge to you tonight that this is the America that I will serve if I'm so fortunate enough to become your president.
Ali Gharib is a journalist based in Brooklyn. Sometimes he writes about bars and broke down cars.