By Sarah Toy
BU News Service
In an unprecedented move for a presidential nominee, Republican Donald Trump refused to agree to accept the results of the election during the final presidential debate last night.
“I will look at it at the time,” he said.
He insisted that the election was rigged against him, saying the media had “poisoned the minds of the voters.” He said that there were “millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote,” implying voter fraud.
When moderator Chris Wallace noted that America prides itself on the peaceful transition of power, Trump repeated himself.
“I will tell you at the time,” he said. “I’ll keep you in suspense.”
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said she was appalled.
“That’s horrifying,” she said.
It has been a politically fraught week for Trump, whose poll numbers continue to fall. Since the second debate, nine women have come forward saying he groped or kissed them without their consent. Trump denied their claims.
“Their stories have been largely debunked,” he said during last night’s debate, which took place at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. “I think they either want fame or [Clinton’s] campaign did it.”
“Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Trump said.
Trump also blamed Clinton for the violence at his rallies.
“She’s the one and Obama that caused the violence,” he said. “They hired people.”
Clinton did not respond to the violence accusations, but she quoted Trump as saying, “Look at her, I don’t think so,” when speaking about one of his alleged assault victims at one of his rallies.
“He goes after their dignity, their self-worth,” she said. “I don’t think there is a woman anywhere that doesn’t know what that feels like.”
The candidates rehashed several topics they covered in previous debates, including immigration, foreign policy, and economics, covering little new ground. They clashed severely on abortion, with Trump saying he would appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court and Clinton vowing to defend Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood.
Trump discussed so-called “partial-birth” abortions in grotesque terms, saying, “You can take baby and rip the baby out of the womb.”
“On the final day,” he added, though only 1.2 percent of abortions occur after 20 weeks gestation, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The Supreme Court has banned partial-birth abortions on the national level, except for when the mother’s life is in danger.
Clinton, usually subdued, was visibly agitated.
“The government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in accordance with their faith, with medical advice,” she said.
The candidates jabbed at each other, with Trump calling Clinton a “liar” and “such a nasty woman” at various times during the debate. At one point, Clinton said that Putin would rather have a “puppet” as president of the United States, implying Trump.
“No puppet,” said Trump, fuming. “You’re the puppet!”
Each candidate ended with a pitch to the American people. Clinton tried to reach across party lines and position herself as a defender of the middle class.
“I’m reaching out to all Americans,” she said.
Trump declared he would fix America and boded ill for a Clinton presidency.
“We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama,” he said. “That’s what you get when you get her.”