Trump faces uphill battle
> Mogul desperately needs strong showing at second debate after lewd remarks
WASHINGTON: White House candidate Donald Trump desperately needs a strong debate performance against Hillary Clinton today, with stakes sky-high amid intense scrutiny of his treatment of women, and a damaging video of him boasting that he beds married ones.
His unprecedented, outside-theestablishment presidential bid, and the embattled Republican Party with it, was thrown into disarray by the misogynistic comments, with growing calls from top Republicans for him to step aside.
Even before the latest fallout, Trump was already in need of political magic to reverse his slide in the polls barely four weeks from Election Day.
Now his campaign has been rocked by its worst crisis, with the video echoing in voters’ ears, day in and day out. The media have dug up some of his gems of bad and bizarre behaviour, including vulgar remarks about his daughter Ivanka.
In a 2002 interview with Howard Stern, Trump also said he preferred leaving women as they age. “What is it at 35? It’s called check-out time,” Trump said.
At 9pm (10am today in Malaysia), the real estate magnate and the former secretary of state will face off in the second presidential debate at Washington University in St Louis.
The format poses difficulties for Trump: half of the questions will be asked by undecided voters. He will want to build a personal connection with these everyday Americans and show his capacity for empathy, a quality that often has been drowned out in his large, raucous rallies.
Despite an angry backlash threatening to destroy Trump’s campaign, over remarks boasting about his ability to grope women as he pleases with impunity, he insisted there is “zero chance I’ll quit”.
Late yesterday, a defiantTrump stepped outside of his New York tower, brandishing his fist to cheers from dozens of supporters.
Asked if he was staying in the race, he responded: “100%.”
Trump’s wife Melania said she was offended by his “unacceptable and offensive” comments, caught on a hot microphone just months after the two married. But she urged voters to support him. “I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world,”she said.
The videotape, released Friday by The Washington Post, forced a rare apology from a campaign peppered by controversies over Trump’s treatment of women, roiling his Republican Party with a chorus of leading Republican members withdrawing their support including former presidential runner, John McCain.
Trump called the disclosure a “distraction”, defiantly attacking the Clintons for Bill’s infidelities, and hinting strongly he would say more on the topic during the debate. – AFP
Yemeni rescue workers carry a victim on a stretcher amid the rubble of a destroyed building following reported airstrikes by Saudi-led coalition on Sanaa on Saturday.
Students pose with their sign yesterday outside the site of the second US presidential debate at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.