The Republican presidential nominee has gone into attack mode against his opponent, the moderator, and even a former beauty pageant contender after the first presidential debate on 26 September 2016.
According to the New York Times, Donald Trump has been working to tame a freewheeling persona he has cultivated, but that seemed to take a turn the day after the debate:
Sounding weary and impatient as he called into a Fox News program, Mr. Trump criticized Lester Holt, the NBC News anchor, for asking “unfair questions” during the debate Monday evening, and speculated that someone might have tampered with his microphone. Mr. Trump repeated his charge that Mrs. Clinton lacked the “stamina” to be president, a claim critics have described as sexist, and suggested that in the future he might raise Mr. Clinton’s past indiscretions.
And defying conventions of civility and political common sense, Mr. Trump leveled cutting personal criticism at a beauty pageant winner, Alicia Machado, whom Mrs. Clinton held up in Monday night’s debate as an example of Mr. Trump’s disrespect for women.
Trump defended his actions in an interview with Fox News, in which he continued his attack on Machado’s weight:
She was the winner, and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem… not only that, her attitude. And Hillary went back into the years and… found the girl and talked about her like she was Mother Teresa, and it wasn’t quite that way, but that’s OK. Hillary has to do what she has to do.
The 26 September debate was the first of the 2016 election season, with two more scheduled for early October. The Monday night event at Hofstra University in New York reportedly broke ratings records, with 80 million people tuning in, the most in sixty years.