The final question of the second presidential debate came as quite a surprise last night. Karl Becker, one of the audience members, stood up and asked each of the candidates to do something they’ve never done before: say something nice about one another.
“My question to both of you is, regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?”
Both seemed a bit thrown by the question.
Clinton answered first.
“Look, I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald. I don't agree with nearly anything else he says or does, but I do respect that. And I think that is something that as a mother and a grandmother is very important to me.”
Trump said he considered Clinton’s statement to be a “very nice compliment,”whether it was supposed to be or not. “I'm very proud of my children. And they've done a wonderful job, and they've been wonderful, wonderful kids. So, I consider that a compliment,”said Trump.
He then went on to answer Becker’s question.
“I will say this about Hillary. She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. I respect that. I tell it like it is. She’s a fighter. I disagree with much of what she's fighting for. I do disagree with her judgment in many cases. But she does fight hard, and she doesn't quit, and she doesn't give up. And I consider that to be a very good trait.”
Today, MSNBC’s Tamron Hall interviewed Becker, the man behind the question.
Becker told Hall that he ran the question by his kids, who at first didn’t like it (his daughter is 18 years-old and will be voting in her first election). After some thought, Becker’s children came around and gave him the go-ahead on the question.
Hall then asked what Becker thought of the candidates’ responses.
“The answers were pretty good on both parts for me surprising them—which wasn't my intent. It was to bring some civility to a campaign that has been full of mudslinging.”
Becker continued saying that both Clinton and Trump are “very nice people,”something you don’t hear often.
Becker also mentioned that he went into the debate undecided and came out undecided—a problem many other Americans are likely facing.