Montgomery voters react to second Trump/Clinton presidential debate

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama voters had a lot to say about the confidence - and in some cases the lack thereof - in their candidates following the second presidential debate on Sunday evening.

The biggest hot button issue going into the debate was the recent release of an audio recording of Donald Trump making disparaging comments about his interactions with women. CNN's Anderson Cooper, who was one of the moderators for the debate, addressed the topic early.

Trump said he was "not proud" of his actions, referred to his comments as mere "locker room talk" and then moved his focus to his plans for defeating ISIS.

"He told them it was 12 years ago, it was locker room talk and that's the way it is," Jim Fondren, an Alabama voter, explained. "Men are men, and they like that, you know?"

For Cheryl Blake, Trump's comments do not sway her from supporting him either.

"Boys will be boys," Blake said. "I think there's more at stake than that with the future of where our country's heading."

But Beth Anne Dunagen saw it differently. She was keeping up with the debate transcript on Sunday night to keep track of the fact checking, and she said she was dissatisfied with Trump's explanation for his comments.

"I was astounded, not surprised, that he responded by saying he could defeat ISIS," Dunagen said. "He didn't even give women the respect to say, 'Let me own up to this. Let me address this. Let me assure you.' He just ignored it completely, and I feel like that's been his tactic all along."

Caylor Rolling, who said she tried to watch the debate with her 7-year-old daughter, didn't like the way the topic was brought up at all.

"We have to talk about that because it is a very critical piece for people to understand and include in their decision-making process," Rolling stated. "I was hoping for a little more of a policy discussion so my daughter could think about the issues that are going on in the presidential debate."

As far as other issues, many residents feel as if the debate was more focused on going back-and-forth between the candidates instead of focusing on what matters to the American people.

"It was disgusting," Mark Snow, who plans to vote for Trump, said. "It was like watching a junior high schoolyard brawl. It's embarrassing that this is the best that we can do at this point in life. I don't have warm feelings about him, and I certainly don't have warm feelings about her."

While some voters share Snow's mindset of voting for who they believe is the lesser of two bad options, others are standing with the candidate they are voting for because they truly believe they will make a good president.

Dunagen and Rolling said they both plan to vote for Hillary Clinton and are proud to do so.  Blake said that she is a Republican and even though she voted for President Barack Obama in the last presidential election, she is standing with her party and believes Trump will put America "back where it needs to be".

Although there were mixed motives and feelings toward the candidates, everyone who spoke to us said they are exercising their right to vote and are sticking with the person they initially were leaning toward. The general consensus was that neither of the two debates that have aired so far have swayed anyone's political view.

The third and final presidential debate will be held on Oct. 19 in Las Vegas.

Oct. 24 is the last day to register to vote in Alabama in time for election day, which is Nov. 8.

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