Political commentators on presidential candidates’ behavior

Thursday, October 20, 2016

 

Visit PBS NewsHour Extra for more education resources designed to help teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

 

Essential question

What should students do to prepare before watching the third and final presidential debate?

 

Undecided voters asked presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton about their stances on the issues and recent campaign controversies during a town hall Sunday in in St. Louis, Missouri.

Republican nominee Trump was immediately asked to answer for recently discovered comments he made more than 10 years ago describing himself grabbing women inappropriately. Trump apologized after the tape emerged Friday and called his remarks “locker room banter.” At the debate, CNN moderator Anderson Cooper asked Trump if he acknowledged that his comments described sexual assault.

“I have great respect for women, nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Trump said. He denied ever having done any of the things he described in the video and referred to his opponent’s husband Bill Clinton, who was previously accused of sexual assault but never charged.

Clinton said the comments from the video further demonstrate Trump’s divisive rhetoric and the kind of president he would be.

“He has also targeted immigrants, African Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, POWs, Muslims and so many others,” she said. “So the question the country must answer is that this is not who we are.”

 

Key terms

sexual assault – sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim

demagogue – a leader who tries to gain support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason

carried interest – a share of any profits that the general partners of a financial firm receive as compensation, regardless of whether or not they contributed any initial funds; the method is put in place to motivate the general partner to work towards improving the fund’s performance.

Questions: 

 

Warm up questions (before watching the video)

 

  1. Did you watch Sunday’s presidential debate? Why or why not?
  2. If you watched or have heard about what happened at the debate, which candidate do you think fared better?
  3. Which candidate is currently leading in the presidential race?

Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)

  1. What do you think Donald Trump meant when he said his words in the video tape were “locker room talk”? Do you agree with his explanation?
  2. As a result of the rhetoric and actions of the Republican nominee Donald Trump, several Republican congressmen and women have said they will not support him as their party’s candidate. What is significant about this decision and what do you think about it?
  3. Do you think questions about foreign affairs and the economy received adequate time and attention in this debate? Why or why not?
  4. Are there any topics you wish were receiving more attention in this election? Which ones?