ST. LOUIS (CN) — The second presidential debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton got off to an icy start as the participants refused to shake hands setting the tone for a hostile debate.
Trump wasted no time trying to deflect from the damage a video released Friday by attacking Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. The video, from 2005, showed Trump making several derogatory comments about women.
"When you look at Bill Clinton, mine were words, his were actions," Trump said, referring to several women who had accused the former president of sexual misconduct.
Trump also attacked Hillary Clinton's defense of a man accused of raping a girl in Arkansas.
When pressed about the video, Trump tried to play it off as "locker room talk" and apologized for it.
"That was locker room talk," Trump said. "I am not proud of it. That was something that happened. If you look at Bill Clinton, what he has done is far worse. There is no one in the history of politics that has been so terrible to women."
Clinton responded by saying she believes in the advice offered by First Lady Michelle Obama: "When they go low, you go high."
Trump tried to divert the discussion to Hillary Clinton's email scandal, threatening to hire a special prosecutor to reopen the investigation into the deletion of 33,000 emails if elected.
Trump was pressed on his statement in December about banning the entrance of all Muslims into the country.
Trump backtracked, calling it "extreme vetting." He said Hillary Clinton's plan to let Syrian refugees into the country would be "the greatest Trojan horse of our lifetime."
Hillary Clinton responded that Syrian men, women and children are suffering in part due to Russian aggression and attacked Trump's statements.
"What he said was extremely unwise and dangerous," Hillary Clinton said. "And if you look at propaganda on terrorist websites, what Trump's said is being used to recruit fighters."
Trump repeatedly interrupted Hillary Clinton and the debate moderators, CNN's Anderson Cooper and ABC's Martha Raddatz. Ha also accused Cooper and Raddatz of siding with Clinton.
"Three against one, that's very nice," he said at one point.
Finally, Clinton retorted, "I know that you're into big diversions tonight."
The subject turned to an email released by a WikiLeaks last week in which Clinton said it's acceptable for a president to have two positions, one for private consumption and one for the public.
Raddatz asked Clinton whether she was being two-faced.
Clinton responded by saying if she remembers correctly, the quote was inspired by Doris Kerns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," which focused on Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet.
Clinton said Lincoln did whatever he could to get the 13th Amendment passed, allowing emancipation of the slaves, by lawmakers who did not support African-American equality.
"I was making the point it is hard sometimes to get the Congress to do what you want them to do. That was a great display of presidential leadership," she said.
Trump rolled his eyes.