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Trump debate challenge: Keeping his cool if Clinton attacks

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Trump has eschewed the kind of mock debate setups candidates traditionally use to get ready for the high-pressure events and hasn’t tapped anyone to play Clinton in his prep sessions.

WASHINGTON >> Donald Trump’s advisers are urging him to keep his cool during next week’s presidential debate and resist attempts by Hillary Clinton to provoke him with questions about his business record, wealth or controversial comments about minorities.

The focus underscores the campaign’s concern that too many Americans still don’t believe the Republican has the temperament to be president, which could be a difference-maker in a close race with Clinton.

“He can’t let Hillary get under his skin,” said Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and Trump adviser.

Gingrich is part of a rotating cast of politicians and policy experts traveling with Trump on his private plane for mid-flight debate preparations, according to Republicans familiar with the preparations. Others include retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who is advising Trump on national security, and economist Peter Navarro. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a loyal Trump supporter, has been helping on issues such as the federal government’s relationship with the states.

Trump has eschewed the kind of mock debate setups candidates traditionally use to get ready for the high-pressure events and hasn’t tapped anyone to play Clinton in his prep sessions. But aides say he is studying written briefing material on domestic and international issues and is also talking through topics with advisers.

“He’s a formidable, well-prepared candidate with a formidable, well-prepared team,” said Navarro, a professor at the University of California, Irvine.

Some Trump aides are more concerned about Trump’s disposition on the debate stage than his command of the issues, according to Republicans who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the private debate preparations.

In particular, Trump advisers are trying to steel him for the likelihood that Clinton will aim to get a rise out of him on live television in front of what both campaigns expect to be a record-setting audience.

The Republican has long lashed out at critics in deeply personal ways, especially after a perceived slight. Clinton has raised that habit as evidence that Trump is too thin-skinned to be trusted with nuclear weapons and other life-and-death decisions that cross a president’s desk.

Voters seem to share Clinton’s concerns. According to a new AP-GfK poll, just 30 percent of registered voters say they consider Trump at least somewhat qualified to be president. Only 24 percent consider him at least somewhat civil, while half consider him at least somewhat racist.

It’s unclear how aggressive Clinton will be in trying to bait Trump during Monday night’s faceoff at New York’s Hofstra University. On the campaign trail and in television ads, she’s targeted Trump’s criticism of a U.S.-born judge of Mexican descent, his feud with an American-Muslim family whose son was killed in Iraq while serving in the Army and his mocking of a disabled reporter. She’s also challenged his business success and suggested he isn’t releasing his taxes to the public because he’s not as wealthy as he contends.

“We have no doubt that his handlers are prevailing on him to arrive at the debate more subdued and to try to suppress his true self,” said Brian Fallon, Clinton’s spokesman. “Clearly his advisers agree that that is not a very presidential image.”

Trump backers say the real estate mogul is prepared to stay steady no matter what Clinton throws at him.

“We’re going to see the debate prep making sure that she’s not going to be able to pull him somehow off the message,” said Rep. Chris Collins, a New York Republican who is one of Trump’s most loyal backers in Congress. He spoke shortly after joining other supportive lawmakers for a meeting Thursday with Trump political director Jim Murphy.

Collins said the Republican nominee understands the importance of presenting “President Trump to the American public.”

Trump has had more success staying on message following an August campaign shakeup and he’s given in to his new senior team’s insistence that he stick to a more scripted message during campaign rallies. The debates will be the biggest test of whether he can keep that up for 90 minutes of live television with his political opponent standing just a few feet from him.

In an interview Thursday morning on “Fox and Friends,” Trump said he would “stay cool” in the debate.

“I’m going to be very respectful of her,” he said. “I think she deserves that and I’m going to be nice. And if she’s respectful of me, that’ll be nice.”

But during a Thursday night rally in suburban Philadelphia, Trump revived his efforts to cast Clinton’s stamina as weak.

“Where is Hillary today?” he asked. “They say she’s been practicing for the debate. Some people think she’s sleeping.”

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  • Mrs. Clinton is going to decimate Mr. Trump in the debates. Mr. Trump is relentlessly ignorant, so beating him on substance will be very simple.

    Mrs. Clinton should do what she can to get under Trump’s skin, so he has an on-air psychotic meltdown.

    • Klastri, Crooked Hilliary has been in seclusion undergoing blood transfusions to increase her energy. She is taking stem cell remediation to replace damaged brain cells. She’s had a complete face lift and liposuction.
      She’ll be screaming like a raving banshee. Incoherent, make up dripping, choking, coughing, sputum dribbling from her mouth and nose. Complete and utter breakdown.
      Millions of dollars of attack ads so she can’t act like a lady. For every one thing she can throw at Trump there is no limit what he can throw back at her. Trump is a counter puncher.

        • Hope hiLIARy doesn’t have a coughing fit…eyes rolling out of sync…faint…gets wobbly and fall flat on the floor like how she did on 9/11…or mysteriously not return from her potty break…or come out from a break refreshed as if she had a body double….
          OldDiver..wonder if Crooked hiLIARy will have her ears covered this time?

  • the female felon is nowhere to be seen, most likely hidden away to allow her team of doctors to dose her with new med regimens and treatments to keep her sober, awake and steady during the hour long debate.

    at the same time her handlers are fitting her with a smaller ear piece to allow them to prompt her when she relapses and suffers on stage confusion from the questions, loud noises or just plain fatigue. her handlers are also busy practicing formations to surround the female felon as she moves around in public areas to avoid having another embarrassing video exposing her spiraling health. it’s tougher to get a current candid photo or video of the female felon than it is to capture a pokemon.

    the debate will be broadcast live with at least 2% of american voters tuned in. sad to think that an american idol rerun might pull in more viewers than this first debate.

    • Will hiLIARy demand to have chairs instead of the normal standing thruout the debate?
      Will hiLIARy display her accomplishments? (5 seconds)
      Will hiLIARy have a new hair style to cover her ears?
      Will hiLIARy be truthful?
      So many questions…not enough time.

        • hiLIARy has American Blood on her hands…Amb. Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty & Tyrone Woods…The Donald has none.
          Get your priorities in order old diver.

        • Sorry Keonigohan, the Donald has lots of blood on his hands. From stiffing the Freedom girls and various employees and contractors, the Donald is devoid of class. His Trump University has probably led to many deaths. As for Stevens, etc. Just remember who ignited the middle east. You might remember him? G W Bush?

        • Boots…Pay-forPlay…jeopardizing National Security…33,000 BleachBit emails…Clinton Foundation (only 5-6% charity donations)…blew up the Middle East..disastrous IRAN deal…Open Borders…mysterious deaths associated with the Clintons…Health Issues.
          “His Trump University has probably led to many deaths.”…please list.

        • Sorry Boots but I forgot to add LYING like there’s no tomorrow and her GREED and LUST for POWER.

        • I’ll list the Clinton Associates Death List bc I know you’ll be asking me for it.
          THE CLINTON DEAD POOL

          1- James McDougal – Clintons convicted Whitewater partner died of an apparent heart attack, while in solitary confinement. He was a key witness in Ken Starr’s investigation.

          2 – Mary Mahoney – A former White House intern was murdered July 1997 at a Starbucks Coffee Shop in Georgetown .. The murder …happened just after she was to go public w:th her story of sexual harassment in the White House.

          3 – Vince Foster – Former White House counselor, and colleague of Hillary Clinton at Little Rock’s Rose Law firm. Died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruled a suicide.

          4 – Ron Brown – Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman. Reported to have died by impact in a plane crash. A pathologist close to the investigation reported that there was a hole in the top of Brown’s skull resembling a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being investigated, and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a deal with prosecutors. The rest of the people on the plane also died. A few days later the Air Traffic controller commited suicide.

          5 – C. Victor Raiser, II – Raiser, a major player in the Clinton fund raising organization died in a private plane crash in July 1992.

          6 – Paul Tulley – Democratic National Committee Political Director found dead in a hotel room in Little Rock , September 1992. Described by Clinton as a “dear friend and trusted advisor”.

          7 – Ed Willey – Clinton fundraiser, found dead November 1993 deep in the woods in VA of a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Ed Willey died on the same day his wife Kathleen Willey claimed Bill Clinton groped her in the oval office in the White House. Ed Willey was involved in several Clinton fund raising events.

          8 – Jerry Parks – Head of Clinton’s gubernatorial security team in Little Rock .. Gunned down in his car at a deserted intersection outside Little Rock Park’s son said his father was building a dossier on Clinton He allegedly threatened to reveal this information. After he died the files were mysteriously removed from his house.

          9 – James Bunch – Died from a gunshot suicide. It was reported that he had a “Black Book” of people which contained names of influential people who visited prostitutes in Texas and Arkansas

          10 – James Wilson – Was found dead in May 1993 from an apparent hanging suicide. He was reported to have ties to Whitewater..

          11 – Kathy Ferguson – Ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, was found dead in May 1994, in her living room with a gunshot to her head. It was ruled a suicide even though there were several packed suitcases, as if she were going somewhere. Danny Ferguson was a co-defendant along with Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit Kathy Ferguson was a possible corroborating witness for Paula Jones.

          12 – Bill Shelton – Arkansas State Trooper and fiancee of Kathy Ferguson. Critical of the suicide ruling of his fiancee, he was found dead in June, 1994 of a gunshot wound also ruled a suicide at the grave site of his fiancee.

          13 – Gandy Baugh – Attorney for Clinton’s friend Dan Lassater, died by jumping out a window of a tall building January, 1994. His client was a convicted drug distributor.

          14 – Florence Martin – Accountant & sub-contractor for the CIA, was related to the Barry Seal, Mena, Arkansas, airport drug smuggling case. He died of three gunshot wounds.

          15 – Suzanne Coleman – Reportedly had an affair with Clinton when he was Arkansas Attorney General. Died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, ruled a suicide. Was pregnant at the time of her death.

          16 – Paula Grober – Clinton’s speech interpreter for the deaf from 1978 until her death December 9, 1992. She died in a one car accident.
          17 – Danny Casolaro – Investigative reporter, investigating Mena Airport and Arkansas Development Finance Authority. He slit his wrists, apparently, in the middle of his investigation.

          18 – Paul Wilcher – Attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport with Casolaro and the 1980 “October Surprise” was found dead on a toilet June 22, 1993, in his Washington DC apartment had delivered a report to Janet Reno 3 weeks before his death.

          19 – Jon Parnell Walker – Whitewater investigator for Resolution Trust Corp. Jumped to his death from his Arlington ,Virginia apartment balcony August 15, 1993. He was investigating the Morgan Guaranty scandal.

          20 – Barbara Wise – Commerce Department staffer. Worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang. Cause of death: Unknown. Died November 29, 1996. Her bruised, naked body was found locked in her office at the Department of Commerce.

          21 – Charles Meissner – Assistant Secretary of Commerce who gave John Huang special security clearance, died shortly thereafter in a small plane crash.

          22 – Dr. Stanley Heard – Chairman of the National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee died with his attorney Steve Dickson in a small plane crash. Dr. Heard, in addition to serving on Clinton ‘s advisory council personally treated Clinton’s mother, stepfather and brother.

          23 – Barry Seal – Drug running TWA pilot out of Mena Arkansas, death was no accident.

          24 – Johnny Lawhorn, Jr. – Mechanic, found a check made out to Bill Clinton in the trunk of a car left at his repair shop. He was found dead after his car had hit a utility pole.

          25 – Stanley Huggins – Investigated Madison Guaranty. His death was a purported suicide and his report was never released.

          26 – Hershell Friday – Attorney and Clinton fundraiser died March 1, 1994, when his plane exploded.

          27 – Kevin Ives & Don Henry – Known as “The boys on the track” case. Reports say the boys may have stumbled upon the Mena Arkansas airport drug operation. A controversial case, the initial report of death said, due to falling asleep on railroad tracks. Later reports claim the 2 boys had been slain before being placed on the tracks. Many linked to the case died before their testimony could come before a Grand Jury.

          THE FOLLOWING PERSONS HAD INFORMATION ON THE IVES/HENRY CASE:

          28 – Keith Coney – Died when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a truck, 7/88.

          29 – Keith McMaskle – Died, stabbed 113 times, Nov, 1988

          30 – Gregory Collins – Died from a gunshot wound January 1989.

          31 – Jeff Rhodes – He was shot, mutilated and found burned in a trash dump in April 1989.

          32 – James Milan – Found decapitated. However, the Coroner ruled his death was due to natural causes”.

          34 – Richard Winters – A suspect in the Ives/Henry deaths. He was killed in a set-up robbery July 1989.

          THE FOLLOWING CLINTON BODYGUARDS ARE ALSO DEAD
          35 – Major William S. Barkley, Jr.
          36 – Captain Scott J . Reynolds
          37 – Sgt. Brian Hanley
          38 – Sgt. Tim Sabel
          39 – Major General William Robertson
          40 – Col. William Densberger
          41 – Col. Robert Kelly
          42 – Spec. Gary Rhodes
          43 – Steve Willis
          44 – Robert Williams
          45 – Conway LeBleu
          46 – Todd McKeehan

          And the most recent, Seth Rich, the DC staffer murdered and “robbed” (of nothing) on July 10. Wikileaks found Assange claims he had info on the DNC email scandal.

          Not Included in this list are the 4 men killed in Benghazi.

          Not the kind of person I want in charge of my country.

          GOD BLESS THE USA.

        • “Clinton Dead Pool”? Man, that’s some serious Tin Foil Hat Brigade stuff! You’d probably be interested in buying some shares in a bridge I have; I’d give you a good deal. Meet you at the next Sunset on the Beach; I’ll be wearing a white carnation.

        • GW Bush appointee Federal Judge klastri how you doin!!??
          your stated major predictions:
          Officer Darren Wilson’s exoneration will be contested/overturned by your doz lawyer buds.
          Brexit will CRASH the stock market.
          hiLIARy will decimate Trump in the Debate.
          hiLARy will win in a LANDSLIDE.
          Any other predictions?

        • Keonigohan, how about republicans will actually be fiscally responsible? lol Too much to ask for I know.

        • hey boots well its actually the same answer to “Will Bubba have at it with another female other than hiLIARy?”

    • od and baghdad boots are plucking at vapors.

      “charged with a felony” never happened.

      “led to many deaths.” again, never happened.

      “ignited the middle east.” that happened, and it was all bill clinton. his 1998 iraq liberation act that listed “weapons of mass destruction, biological warfare, nuclear capacity, and the capacity to restart production and build many, many more weapons.” clinton built that fire in the middle east way before w even thought of living at the white house.

      • To us Deplorable Trump supporters we knew who you meant.
        IMHO maybe if you had stated…”Devious lying and cunning and with American Blood on her hands” then the libs would get it.

        Trump Pence 2016 Make America Great Again!

  • I have suggestions for future debates. Hold them in a TV studio; not in front of a live audience (too noisy, they may heckled). Mics are set so if the candidate goes over time (say they have 3 mins to respond), they automatically switch off. Also, mics go off if you try to interrupt someone.

    Or maybe just cancel them all together. Polls have shown they don’t make much difference to who you vote for. Most people know today who they’d vote for, the debates won’t change that.

    They just seem another excuse for people to unleash their hostility. This thread is a pretty good example of that.

  • Would you entrust your family for someone who changes his story every day? And if you say you will still be willing to entrust your loved ones to Trump, will you constantly make excuses for him no matter what he says or does?

    As to Clinton, would you entrust your loved ones to someone who has a hard time showing her heart and who she really is? You would probably make your decision by first getting to know who she is, and then decide whether you trust her or not. That decision would be a lot easier to make because if you looked at her resume, she will have a lot of good, solid experience behind her.

    • List her greatest accomplishment that benefitted a MAJORITY of Americans? Job Title/Descriptions do not merit.
      Ask Amb Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Hoherty & Tyrone Woods families if they would TRUST her?

    • What America does everyday affects many people in the world, each and every day. Imho, we take many things for granted that other people in the world do not. To have dialog where everyone is free to express their opinions on any subject matter is a part of what makes this country the greatest in the world.

      Republicans surely must realize that Trump is neither a democrat or republican, but someone who decided to run for POTUS because he believes in things like conspiracy theories. So, who will really make the final decisions on critical matters if he is elected POTUS? Certainly, having won his presidency, you will see another Trump, one that does not simply read from teleprompters or say what he is told to say (which of course explains why he flip flops almost daily on everything he says). And the risk that Trump becomes a loose cannon is not a small one.

      If Trump loses the election, that is something the current republican party members who back Trump has somehow decided they will deal with later, with far too little thought about how much it will damage their party, because in their minds, What Do They Have to Lose?

      • Can you TRUST someone who’s a pathetic neurological liar?
        Did any of the 33,000 BleachBit erased emails contain any of her claimed YOGA or Chelsea’s wedding info?
        She would be someone who you’d bring home to meet Mom?
        Whats her biggest accomplishment for America?

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