Donald Trump is reportedly not using any of the "classic" debate prep methods

By Lindsay Kimble
August 30, 2016 11:40 AM
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The fall Presidential debates are fast approaching, and Donald Trump is busy … snacking?

The Republican nominee has taken a much more relaxed approach to debate preparation than his opponent – and arch enemyHillary Clinton, according to The Washington Post.

While Clinton reportedly toils over heavy briefing books, Trump is taking leisurely lunches at his New Jersey golf course. On Sunday, he was enjoying bacon cheeseburgers and ice-cold Coca-Colas with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, who is embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal.

The first of three presidential debates run by the Commission on Presidential Debates is scheduled for Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. It will be followed by an Oct. 9 outing in St. Louis and another on Oct. 19 in Las Vegas.

The format and topic of each debate is expected to be announced in early September. Each debate will run for 90 minutes, with no breaks for the candidates.

Clinton has formally agreed to the broadcasts, while Trump is avoiding a commitment while awaiting moderator announcements, reports the Post.

Still, the former Secretary of State is already ensuring she’s ready with endless rehearsals and focused readings of opposition research.

“She feels like it is a proving ground, that this is a job interview. I think she will approach the debate with a great deal of seriousness and a sense of purpose, and also keenly aware that Donald Trump is capable of anything,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told the Post.

Clinton has employed Ronald Klain, two-time vice presidential chief of staff, and Washington lawyer Karen Dunn to prep her and run practice sessions. Other assists come from police advisor Jake Sullivan and campaign strategist Joel Benenson. There’s even a Trump stand-in – whose identity, though, remains unknown.

Trump, on the other hand, is more concerned with showmanship. He hopes to take down Clinton with his usual zingers and controversial insults (see: “Crooked Hillary”), reported the Post.

“Not only does he want 100 million viewers, he wants to be a showstopper at the Roman Colosseum, the main event at WrestleMania,” Sam Nunberg, a former Trump advisor, told the Post. “He’s going to love this, eat it up and take her on. For Hillary to go in and think she’ll be professional and wonky, or give a long lecture, that’ll play against her.”

Yet, the candidate still has a ramshackle prep team. According to the Post, Retired Army generals Michael Flynn and Joseph “Keith” Kellogg handle national security, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie covers other policy areas.

Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said that he’s an “unconventional candidate, so debate prep in the classic sense doesn’t apply to him.”

Third-party candidates will likely prove to be a non-issue, reported Politico. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson would need a 15 percent threshold in the Commission’s determining polls to make the debate stage.

And if he doesn’t? Well, then, he admitted to Politico, it’s “game over.”

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