President Obama, candidate Gary Johnson and more react to the second presidential debate

By Stephanie Petit
October 10, 2016 02:09 PM

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton returned to the debate stage on Sunday with an almost unprecedented amount of animosity. The two presidential candidates exchanged insults, repeatedly spoke over each other and had to be told by moderators to move on to other topics several times.

Washington politicians were among those Americans who watched in shock as the second presidential debate turned from a town hall to a circus, as the candidates sparred over lewd comments, deleted emails, tax write-offs and more.

President Barack Obama tweeted a quote by his wife used by Clinton Sunday night, applauding the Democratic nominee’s performance.

“Just like Michelle says, when they go low, we go high,” he wrote. “@HillaryClinton went high and showed why she’ll be a POTUS for all Americans.”

Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who was not on the debate stage in St. Louis, released a statement reacting to the scene.

“Americans deserve better. They deserve candidates who are not embarrassments, who aren’t interested in pitting Americans against one another, and who have actually proven that they can lead with principle, nonpartisanship, and a singular purpose of giving Americans the opportunity to improve their lives, be safe, and be free,” he said. “That’s why Bill Weld and I are running, and why Americans deserve a chance to see the very different approach we take to governing.”

Former lieutenant governor of Maryland Michael Steele live-tweeted the debate, responding to other users playing drinking games and commenting on the absurdity of the display.

In response to one user who wrote, “OFF THE RAILS,” Steele replied, “You’re assuming this began ON the rails.”

Former governor of Maryland and former mayor of Baltimore Martin O’Malley tweeted a photo with his dog. He captioned the shot, “My dog, Rex, is embarrassed by @realDonaldTrump.”

In another tweet, O’Malley wrote, “@HillaryClinton is a fighter. And she just proved, once again, that she’s the only candidate who has what it takes to be POTUS.”

Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, tweeted that there was “no question who won tonight.”

Despite a slap in the face on the debate stage, Mike Pence congratulated his running mate on a successful debate.

“Congrats to my running mate @realDonaldTrump on a big debate win!” Pence wrote. “Proud to stand with you as we #MAGA.”