Beyond the headlines: 5 takeaways from the final presidential debate

Digging deeper than the "nasty woman" quote and who "won."

The third and final presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump came Wednesday evening. Many of the headlines are about Trump's non-commitall answer on accepting the election results, his "nasty woman" quote, or how Clinton "won" the debate.

But digging deeper, here are five takeaways from last night's conversation.

1. Filling the Supreme Court seat

Early in the debate, moderator Chris Wallace (who people really seemed to like) asked about the open U.S. Supreme Court seat, and what types of judges both candidates would look to nominate.

Trump first mentioned we need justices who will support the 2nd Amendment, which is "under such trauma."

"I feel that the justices that I am going to appoint -- and I've named 20 of them -- the justices that I'm going to appoint will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bent. They will be protecting the Second Amendment," he said.

He also said he'd pick "pro-life" nominees, and when asked by Wallace, said Roe v. Wade (the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that ruled a state law banning abortions was unconstitutional) would be overturned.

Clinton, who spoke first, went the other way on Roe v. Wade, and also mentioned the problem of "dark, unaccountable money" that influences elections.

"I feel that at this point in our country's history, it is important that we not reverse marriage equality, that we not reverse Roe v. Wade, that we stand up against Citizens United, we stand up for the rights of people in the workplace, that we stand up and basically say: The Supreme Court should represent all of us," she said.

2. Donald Trump and women

Over the past couple weeks, numerous women have come forward to say they were touched, groped, or kissed by Trump without consent – the LA Times has a full list if you want a rundown. Trump has denied all the claims, and suggested it's all part of the conspiracy against him. To which Wallace asked: Why would they make up the stories?

Trump responded by saying he believes Clinton's campaign got these alleged victims to come forward, and said the "stories" have been "largely debunked."

Clinton then said, since the allegations have come out, Trump has insinuated he didn't do some of them because the women weren't attractive enough.

"Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger," she said. "He goes after their dignity, their self-worth, and I don't think there is a woman anywhere that doesn't know what that feels like."

3. Doubling down on the 'rigged' rhetoric

Trump has aggressively been suggesting the election (and many of the stories surrounding it) have been rigged against him. Wallace asked him outright if he'd accept the results of the election, no matter what happened. To which a cagey Trump replied: "What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense, okay?"

Trump also continued: "Millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn't be registered to vote. So let me just give you one other thing. I talk about the corrupt media. I talk about the millions of people. I'll tell you one other thing. She shouldn't be allowed to run."

Clinton then accused Trump of constantly claiming "rigged" when something doesn't go his way – from the Republican primaries and caucuses he lost, to the federal justice system looking at the lawsuit against Trump University, to not winning a third consecutive Emmy for The Apprentice, to the FBI, which determined there was no case against Clinton in the email scandal.

"This is a mind-set. This is how Donald thinks, and it's funny, but it's also really troubling," she said. "That is not the way our democracy works."

4. The WikiLeaks leaks

Leaked communications from Clinton advisor John Podesta and other Democratic allies have been released by WikiLeaks recently. Those got brought up by Wallace, specifically a quote from a speech Cilnton gave to a Brazilian bank in which she said: “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.”

Clinton said the full context of the quote shows it was specifically about energy – you can read the full quote here, via WikiLeaks.

But she pivoted to the actual questions surrounding WikiLeaks, and accusations the Russian government is influencing the leaks and potentially the American election. Wallace used the opportunity to ask Trump if he condemns any interference by Russia in the elections, to which Trump replied:

"Of course I condemn, of course I condemn - I don't know Putin."

5. Ignoring the debt?

Wallace, citing a study from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said under both candidates' plans for the economy, the national debt would grow to take up more of the GDP. Right now, as a share of the economy the debt takes up 77 percent of GDP – under Clinton it would inflate to 83 percent, under Trump, 105 percent, the study said. He then asked, "Why are you both ignoring this problem?"

Trump, who answered first, said Wallace was wrong, and that his plan would "create tremendous jobs" and increase the GDP rate. He also said America doesn't make products anymore, and we've given that up to other countries.

Clinton said she pays for every one of her proposals, much of it in the form of taxes for people making more than $250,000 a year and big corporations, and said she wants to invest it in infrastructure, education, and keeping the cost of prescription drugs down.

To find news, commentary, and local events leading up to the 2016 election, head to GoVote MN.

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