At the third presidential debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump interrupted each other, slung insults and raised their voices.
But the most notable shout fest might have come as campaign surrogates Mark Cuban and Rudy Giuliani battled it out in the CNN spin room before the main event in Las Vegas.
The Dallas Mavericks owner and ex-New York City mayor started their pre-debate tiff with a row over Clinton’s e-mails as secretary of state - Republicans have alleged that she violated the law in sending classified information over a private communications server.
“She’s not fit to be president, I couldn’t hire her to be an Assistant U.S. Attorney,” said Giuliani, who once served as the United States Attorney for the District of New York. “She either has a seriously flawed memory or she is lying.”
“This is like out of the X-Files,” Cuban shot back. “No, this is from the FBI files,” the former New York mayor retorted.
Cuban and Giuliani moved onto other topics — among them Trump’s business record and sexual abuse charges leveled against the Republican nominee and Bill Clinton – and the rancorous tone persisted.
“He has the ability to get things done, and I think he has the ability to change Washington,” Giuliani said, citing Trump’s “success” in business. “She’s a poster child for term limits.”
“Success in business?” Cuban asked incredulously. “Name any of his products that are still successful. When someone has to give their name and sell their name that often, it shows they’re desperate,” he added, referring to Trump’s licensing of his name to products that he does not control.
Cuban and Giuliani have emerged as key emissaries for their respective candidates. Clinton invited Cuban to attend last night’s debate in order to rile Trump, whom he has antagonized over the past two months.
Meanwhile, Giuliani delivered a primetime speech at the Republican National Convention, and vehemently defended the Republican nominee after the release of the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape in which the presidential hopeful bragged about sexually assaulting women.
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.