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5 talking points from the second Presidential debate

Insults, policy, taxes and emails are among the talking points from Sunday night's debate.
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The dust is settling on Sunday's Presidential debate and both the Republican and Democratic parties are taking stock after Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton tussled for the second time.

The "Town Hall" style debate moderated by Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz was watched by tens and millions of Americans. The two candidates will meet again just one more time before the election on Nov. 8.

Here are the main talking points from last night:

The nastiest debate ever?

Early on in the debate Trump was quizzed on his recently revealed lewd comments about women, the notorious "Trump tapes," and he turned his ire on Hillary Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, and allegations made about his sexual conduct.

Clinton wouldn't be drawn on her husband, but did fire back by saying the comments Trump made represent "exactly who he is."

Both Politico and the New Yorker have dubbed it "the nastiest Presidential debate of all time," with the latter saying what lingered afterward "was the sense of the depths to which this election has sunk."

Politico has put together the seven nastiest insults from the debate, the existence of which is a rather depressing indictment of the current state of politics.

Actual domestic policy discussed

In between all the insults, the two best segments where you can see proper domestic policy differences between the candidates came during the discussions on taxation and environment/energy.

On taxes, Clinton is pledging tax hikes for the wealthiest, saying during the debate it'll remain largely the same for anyone earning less than $250,000. The Tax Policy Center says her plans would see three-quarters of the extra tax revenue generated by her proposals come from the top 1 percent of earners.

Trump favors tax cuts, reducing the top rate of federal income tax to 33 percent and the middle rate of 25 percent. This would reduce the tax among the wealthiest by 5.3 percent, but the overall tax cut for everyone would be less than 1 percent, NPR reports.

On energy, Trump advocates deregulation of the energy sector, including in "clean coal," as a way of increasing competition and jobs, but said little on climate change.

Clinton plans to promote a variety of energy sources, including natural gas, but with a focus on "clean energy programs" that can fight climate change, USA Today reports.

Trump disagrees with running mate, admits to not paying taxes

A couple of big moments for Trump came when he disagreed on Syria with his running mate Mike Pence, who says he'd be willing to back airstrikes against Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, who is a key Russian ally.

He was also quizzed on his 1995 tax return, a copy of which was obtained and published by the New York Times last week. It suggested that he didn't pay federal income taxes for 18 years because he wrote off a $916 million loss.

NBC News reports Trump was asked if he didn't pay federal income taxes, and he replied: "Of course," saying he made use of loopholes that allowed him not to pay – which he says Clinton did nothing to reverse when she was a senator.

"A lot of my write off was depreciation," he said.

Clinton pressured on Wikileaks

It wasn't all plain sailing for Hillary Clinton, either. Despite the Trump tapes she has been on the receiving end of controversy of her own this week, after Wikileaks released emails from her staff that revealed excerpts of private speeches she gave before Wall Street bankers.

One of her comments was that she referred to politicians as having "public" and "private" views on matters, which some have taken to mean she is kinder to the banking sector in private than she makes out in public.

She tried to explain it a way by saying she was making reference to comments by Abraham Lincoln that featured in Steven Spielberg's recent film, "Lincoln," at which point Trump pounced.

"She got caught in a total lie. And she lied," Trump said. "Now she's blaming the lie on the late great Abraham Lincoln."

Trump says he'd "lock her up"

Clinton also had to revisit the email controversy that saw her called careless by the FBI director for sending of dozens classified emails via a private server.

She admitted her mistake again, and pointed out there's "no evidence" her email was hacked by outside actors (which is true, according to Politifact).

NBC News says she should have left it there. Instead she "tried to litigate the subject," which makes her look like "she's not being truthful or unconcerned."

But Trump became the talking point when he said that if he's elected president he'll ensure his political opponent is prosecuted, even though the FBI recommended that it was not necessary to pursue charges.

"If I win, I am going to instruct my Attorney General to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception, there has never been anything like it, and we're going to have a special prosecutor," he said, according to ABC News.

Clinton responded by questioning his temperament, before adding: "It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country."

"Because you'd be in jail," he answered.

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