Trump faces up­hill bat­tle

> Mogul des­per­ately needs strong show­ing at sec­ond de­bate after lewd re­marks

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

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.

AFPPIX

Stu­dents pose with their sign yes­ter­day out­side the site of the sec­ond US pres­i­den­tial de­bate at Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity in St Louis, Mis­souri.

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