Trump’s Campaign Can’t Recover, Panelists Say

This week’s question: After Sunday’s debate that capped a wild week in presidential politics, is Donald Trump’s campaign doomed, or can it recover?

Nolan Karras, former Utah House speaker and gubernatorial candidate. It is done, overcooked and he is history.

Theresa Foxely, attorney and deputy director, Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Trump’s campaign is doomed. It was doomed before the #trumptapes were released when the popular and electoral college votes started to diverge in Clinton’s favor late last month. Although Trump performed better during Sunday’s debate than he did in the first, based on the latest polling and trends, I do not see a path to victory for the Republican nominee. 

Derek Miller, President & CEO, World Trade Center Utah, and former chief of staff to Gov. Gary Herbert. Many Americans see this presidential election as a choice between the lesser of two evils.  A binary decision, however, presumes both candidates reach a minimum standard of competence and character.  Sadly, neither does.

Trump says, “Nobody respects women more than I do.”  Someone needs to buy this man a dictionary or download some Aretha Franklin to his playlist.  Trump’s words about women are vile, but what his words infer is even worse: He believes he can abuse women because of power derived from fame.  The country has witnessed Trump’s disregard for other human beings over and over again.  One shudders to think what he might do in a position of true power.

Clinton is also infamously cruel towards others.  She has a record of being abusive to the women her husband abused.  She seems to view people as either tools or obstacles to her ascendency.  Her time as Secretary of State has made the world less safe.  Her desire to ignore the rising tide of terrorism contributed to the tragedy in Benghazi.  Her actions concerning classified information and subsequent deletion of emails went far beyond being careless to criminal. 

Neither candidate is fit to be president.  Neither deserves our support.  For the good of the country, both should step aside.  

Bonus question: Who won the vice presidential debate and will it make an impact on the presidential race?

Peter Corroon, former Salt Lake County mayor and current state Democratic Party chair. The reality of the situation is that debates, even highly anticipated presidential one, rarely have much impact on the polls. So no, this vice presidential debate will not have a big impact on the presidential race. The debate itself was a bit difficult to muddle through with all of the interrupting on both sides. That being said, I have to pick Kaine as the winner because he was centered and in solidarity with his campaign’s issue—whereas where Pence won, Trump lost. Trump’s campaign has been characterized by a smattering of claims and insults, to the point it’s hard for a layperson to see the core of its issues. Pence had a chance to use his calm, level-headed demeanor to put some sense behind Trump’s seemingly off-the-cuff claims. Instead, he opted to blatantly deny Trump’s most despicable quotes and move on. While Pence may have been trying to lay the foundation for his own presidency in 2020, it definitely wasn’t successful in laying the groundwork for Trump’s. 

Justin Harding, chief of staff to Gov. Gary Herbert and former top congressional staffer. Governor Mike Pence was the clear winner.  He was articulate, unflappable, and articulated a clear vision for a Republican Administration and what is at stake with a Democrat one.  In contrast, his opponent tried to smother the debate by talking over Pence and baiting him with incendiary commentary.  I have followed and admired Pence since his early days in Congress.  Everything that I’ve admired about him was on display as part of Tuesday night’s debate.  Ironically, Senator Tim Kaine was a refreshing alternative to Secretary Clinton.  If anything, the debate has left many wondering (myself included): Why aren’t these two at the top of the ticket?!