Schieffer: Presidential Debate ‘Was Just Disgraceful’

ST. LOUIS (CBSNewYork) — Bob Schieffer was not a fan of Sunday night’s presidential debate.

The CBS News contributor and former “Face the Nation” host called the debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump “disgraceful.”

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“How have we come to this? This is supposed to be a campaign for the most powerful office of the land. Here we’re marching in women into the hall who supposed to have some relationship with one of the candidate’s spouses. What’s that supposed to prove?” Schieffer said, citing women who claim former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault sitting in Trump’s box at the debate. “I mean this is what they do in Banana Republic. This is the United States of America.

“I just hope to God I don’t see another campaign like this one. America can do better than what we have seen here tonight. This was just disgraceful,” Schieffer said.

He continued, “This was WrestleMania, this wasn’t about presidential politics. I think Donald Trump gets most of the blame here, but I didn’t see much to be proud of on either side, although I thought she handled herself as well as she could under the circumstances.”

However, a focus group conducted by CBS News contributor and pollster Frank Luntz said that Trump won the debate against Clinton.

Of the 30 people who took part in the focus group, 21 said Trump had the greater positive impact on their voting choice, compared to nine for Clinton.

Luntz said that before the debate, eight people were willing to vote for Clinton and nine for Trump. Afterwards, however, 18 said they were willing to vote for the Republican nominee and only four for the former secretary of state.

Luntz tweeted that Trump’s sense of humor helped him during the debate – that he was “funny and ironic, not mean and nasty.”

Luntz stated that Clinton was on defense most of the night and that she “struggled on it and suffered for it.”

“Trump had the best closing tonight and probably of any debate we’ve seen this year – a sincere compliment about his opponent,” Luntz said.

However, the pollster added that Trump did “weaken” in the final half-hour of the debate.

Luntz added, though, that Trump is “back in this race.”

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