Rudy Giuliani, Mark Cuban Face Off on CNN Ahead of Debate

CNN; Mark Ralston-Pool/Getty Images
Rudy Giuliani and Mark Cuban debate on CNN

The televised showdown of opposing surrogates was promoted by the network as "the debate before the debate."

Rudy Giuliani and Mark Cuban are going head to head on debate night.

Ahead of the third and final presidential debate Wednesday night, the former New York City mayor and Donald Trump surrogate appeared on CNN with the Dallas Mavericks owner and Hillary Clinton supporter. The pre-debate between the two "outspoken men" was introduced by CNN's Erin Burnett as "perhaps the best debate you will see the entire campaign."

Giuliani quickly went after Clinton's emails. "Everything you've just said about Hillary Clinton is 100 percent incorrect," said Cuban minutes into the televised sit-down, kicking off the hyped "debate before the debate."

When pressed about Trump's temperament, Giuliani fired back about Clinton: "She's been there forever and she's gotten nothing done."

Breaking down the candidates, Giuliani said: "What he's going to have to do is prove that he is fit to be president, and that because of the FBI finding her extremely careless in the use of national security information, not only isn't she fit to be president, I couldn't hire her as assistant U.S. district attorney."

When asked about the sexual assault allegations lodged against Trump, Giuliani said the accusers are using a script, "groping, groping, groping," and spoke for Trump, saying "he believes it is untrue." Calling the GOP nominee a "gentlemen" with women, he said Trump "is justifiably upset about the allegations against him."

“I know men who are touchy-feely," he said. "Donald Trump is not one of them.”

In addition to the nine women who have come forward against Trump since the leaked Access Hollywood tape, Cuban said he knows two additional women who won't come forward. In one instance, Cuban said Trump allegedly walked into a massage room and hit on a woman, and in another, Trump allegedly made a rude comment in an elevator. One story came second-hand to Cuban, and another came direct from the accuser.

When Trump makes mistakes, "he never owns it," said Cuban. When Giuliani said Trump owned up to the tape, Cuban fought back: "How could you disavow a tape?"

Giuliani then took a page out of Trump's playbook by bringing up Bill Clinton's past indiscretions: "Clinton should have been thrown out of office."

"He is not running," shot back Cuban. "So now we're going to question Melania, Mrs. Trump, and how she dealt with it? We shouldn't judge her for dealing with a difficult situation any more than we should judge Hillary Clinton for how she handled it."

Giuliani even brought up Bill Clinton's "illegitimate children," which Cuban pointed out was discredited. He then criticized Giuliani for saying he refuses to operate under hypotheticals only when it comes to Trump.

The pair will return to continue their debate at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.

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