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Washington Post's Cillizza: Trump sexist for referring to Clinton as 'she'

Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza on Monday inferred that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE engaged in sexism by referring to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMueller's team asking Manafort about Roger Stone: report O'Rourke targets Cruz with several attack ads a day after debate GOP pollster says polls didn't pick up on movement in week before 2016 election MORE as "she" and "her" during the second presidential debate.

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Cilizza, also an MSNBC contributor, argued on "Morning Joe" that Trump "kept referring to Hillary Clinton as 'she' and 'her,' which was a concerted strategy. I’m not sure why.”

"He needs independents, he needs women,” Cillizza explained. “There’s just not much there last night that I think would convince you if you were not for him previously, particularly if you’re a woman.”

In looking at the official debate transcript from Sunday night's debate in St. Louis, it appears both candidates continually referred to the other in pronoun form.

In Clinton's first answer to a question of the evening, for instance, she refers to Trump as "he," "his" or "him" on eight different occasions.

Trump in the first debate referred to his Democratic rival as “Secretary Clinton.”

“Now, in all fairness to Secretary Clinton — yes, is that OK?” he asked. “Good. I want you to be very happy. It's very important to me.”

Cillizza also criticized the debate audience, which was comprised of undecided voters, in a blog post today, calling their questions "terrible."

"When the audience did get a chance to ask their questions, those questions were, well, terrible," writes Cillizza. "'Can you be devoted to all people as president?' Huh? 'Name one thing you like about your opponent?' What?" he asks incredulously.

"Look, I get the desire to have average people ask questions," Cillizza argues. "But the questions have to be better, or else it's a total waste of time."

The third and final presidential debate will be held Oct. 19 in Las Vegas.