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In a detailed look at the debate preparations for the Democratic and Republican nominees, the Times reports that Clinton and her advisers have sought advice from Trump’s Art of the Deal ghostwriter Tony Schwartz, asking him about Trump’s insecurities. Schwartz declined to comment on his involvement in Clinton’s debate prep, but said, “Trump has severe attention problems and simply cannot take in complex information — he will be unable to practice for these debates. He told the publication, “Trump will bring nothing but his bluster to the debates. He’ll use sixth-grade language, he will repeat himself many times, he won’t complete sentences, and he won’t say anything of substance.”
“I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization,” Schwartz told The New Yorker.
The Clinton campaign also has reportedly spoken to psychology experts in an effort to understand how to bait Trump into going off on rants and making mistakes, The Times reports. The article says Clinton’s advisors think Trump’s deepest insecurities include his intelligence, network and success as a businessman.
As has been reported in the past, the Clinton campaign also is considering various options as they try to find someone to play Trump in mock debates. Possible stand-ins have included James Carville, Mark Cuban and Rep. Joseph Crowley, The Times reports, adding that some of her aides have suggested hiring professionals like Alec Baldwin or Jon Stewart.
Meanwhile, the Times reports that Trump has resisted doing too much debate prep on his part. Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was reportedly at one of his debate prep meetings, as was radio host Laura Ingraham, who offered to play Clinton. Trump declined and instead asked about possible moderators and debate topics.
“I mean, it’s possible we’ll do a mock debate, but I don’t see a real need,” he told the Times in an interview. He suggested if he did one, his daughter Ivanka could be cast as Clinton.
The first debate is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 26.
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