Prominent evangelist Pat Robertson on Monday described Donald Trump as a "phoenix" for his performance at Sunday's presidential debate amid the fallout caused by a recently resurfaced 2005 video of the Republican presidential nominee speaking in a crude way about women.
In the video, obtained by The Washington Post and published Friday, Trump and "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush can be heard ogling actress Arianne Zucker on the set of "Days of Our Lives" and joking about Trump's attempt to "move on" Bush's co-star, Nancy O'Dell.
On an episode Monday of Robertson's "The 700 Club," the prominent Christian leader dismissed the talk as Trump attempting to look "macho."
"I mean, let's face it: A guy does something 11 years ago as a conversation in Hollywood, where he's trying to look like he's macho, and 11 years after that they surface it … bring it out within 30 days or so of the election, and this is supposed to be the death blow," Robertson said.
"Everybody writes him off -- OK, he's dead now and you better get out of the way and let Mike Pence run the campaign. … But as I say, he's like the phoenix – they think he's dead (but) he's come back and he came back strong. So, he won that debate."
Commentators and pundits praised Trump's performance Sunday night. However, a pair of scientific polls -- one conducted by CNN and ORC International, the second by Politico and Morning Consult -- named Clinton the winner.
The third and final presidential debate will take place next week in Las Vegas.
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