Presidential Debate

Trump vs. Clinton: These are your candidates, America. Pick your poison

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton walks past Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton walks past Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women—I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet.  Just kiss.  I don’t even wait.  And when you’re a star, they let you do it.  You can do anything.  [I] grab ‘em by the p***y.”

As everyone knows by now, presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke these words into an "Access Hollywood" “hot mic” in 2005 to the surprise of absolutely no one

I mean, did anyone really think that The Donald sponsored all of those beauty pageants for their profitability—as if that’s how Gates and Buffett made their fortunes—or did they think he was in it for the intellectual stimulation of the contestant interviews?

When Trump, during Sunday night’s debate, said that, “no one has more respect for women than me,” did anyone—anyone at all—really believe that other than Trump himself?

Of course not.

The left, however, seeking to prop-up their (literally) wobbly and equally unscrupulous candidate have responded to this tape—released as it was with impeccable timing before Sunday's presidential debate—as if these unguarded remarks were those of Pope Francis.

Debate moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, full of the mock horror we have become so accustomed to in recent days, wasted no time in bringing this subject of global importance to our attention.  Indeed, the debate was precisely four minutes and thirty-five seconds old when Anderson Cooper used an audience question—wasn’t this debate supposed to be about audience questions?—to segue into the topic. This was hard-hitting journalism at its best.

On Friday, presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton tweeted a link to Trump’s remarks and added:  “This is horrific.  We cannot allow this man to become president.” 

Reading this, I had to make sure I was looking at her verified Twitter account and not a parody.  “Horrific”?  Such strong language is usually reserved for Benghazi or ISIS execution videos, but she has a point. God forbid that we should have a womanizing president.  After all, such a man might grope White House interns.

And that brings us to The New York Times.  Who are they kidding with their “Groper in Chief” headline?

Where was that in 1998 when Bill Clinton was sharing cigars in the Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky? 

Where, in the 1960 presidential election, was the timely release of JFK’s letter in which he offered up this gem:  “Expect to cut [one woman] out of the herd and brand her shortly”? 

I’m not sure which is worse:  Trump comparing the women of his advances to female dogs or Kennedy—whose approach to women was, according to biographer Robert Dallek, “slam, bam, thank you, ma’am”—comparing them to heifers.

It seems that Donald Trump would do well to take a page from Secretary Clinton’s playbook.  While NBC was releasing the "Access Hollywood" video, WikiLeaks was releasing a trove of Ms. Clinton’s private speeches. 

On one such occasion the presidential hopeful said:  “If everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least.  So, you need both a public and a private position.”  Make note of that, Mr. Trump.

Hot mics notwithstanding, no one, be they on the left or right, has any illusions about Donald Trump, least of all Hillary Clinton who is married to just this sort of man. And, just in case she had forgotten it, Trump brought Paula Jones, Kathy Shelton, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathleen Willey with him to the second debate. 

Secretary Clinton’s “not fit to be president” barb is all too true of herself and her rival.  The remark also comes more than two decades too late.

But what about the right? Where is their outrage? 

Many on the right have decided they prefer a president who treats women like sexual objects to a president who is a globalist and, in their view, a crook. 

For their own part, many on the left have decided they prefer a president whose chief characteristics are, according to Colin Powell, “unbridled ambition [and] greed” to a president whose uncouth deportment is an embarrassment when they’re sipping champagne with the French.

Perhaps the difference is as simple as this:  the left dismisses the amorous pursuits of a Bill Clinton or a JFK because they imagine they would like it. But the advances of a Donald Trump? Not so much.

Regardless, the only people who seem to be deceived about the nature of these candidates are the candidates themselves. 

Just as Trump has confused his compulsive and unrestrained heterosexual appetite with respect for women, Hillary has confused her compulsive and unrestrained lust for power with respect for America.

As for the rest of us, well, we know what we are getting. 

These are your candidates, America.  Choose your poison.

Larry Alex Taunton is the author of The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist (2016) and the Executive Director of the Fixed Point Foundation. You can follow him at or on Twitter @LarryTaunton.