tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 26, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
ask questions pertinent to today. not yesterday, not last month. not 10 years ago. we want to know about fracking, global warming. ask the questions and keep asking until they answer. i have never seen anybody that can avoid a question as easily as trump does. he walks around it. he says believe in me. i need more of an answer than that. thank you so much. host: with that we conclude our program leaving you with images of hofstra university at the site of tonight's debate. 9:00 is when the debates start. 7:30 is our coverage on c-span. you can go to c-span.org for more information on that. another coverage where we discussed tonight's debate will come your way tomorrow. the first of several debates
for the next hour 15 minutes we will preview the debates. will discuss the debating strategies. we will also talk to a former debate moderator to what it is like to moderate of presidential debate. >> with the three presidential debates and the one vice about to getdebate underway, what to express -- .xpect from the candidate a preview on c-span. the debate will take place monday in hempstead, new york. the second presidential debate ona town hall meeting format the campus of washington
university in st. louis, missouri. therson cooper were will be moderators. the first debate on the campus of the university nevada las vegas. joining us on the phone, and followingwho has been -- following all that this for political. thank you for being with us. >> what is the approach to debate? ofthe most critical moment the race for both of them. , she hasry clinton been preparing in a very teamard way with a big around her for debate prep. she has two goals. him ands to discredit and him look unqualified
give voters up positive read or voting for her. the campaign is a series trying to give voters something to vote for, not just against. donald trump has been going about this in an unorthodox way. he has said he does not want to do mock suggestions -- debates with the hillary clinton stand-in. roger ailes has been advising him. like he is waiting. hillary clinton had been pouring book, doing this the standard way it is done. the talking points after finding
out about pneumonia and then not just closing it if you days later. >> the fact that she did not it did raise questions about transparency, which is along with the e-mail transparency, this has eaten -- eaten away at the favorability ratings. he is very secretive or private. this idea that they could power it.ugh without revealing the question is, would it have inter to reveal it retrospect, yes. maybe it is not really pneumonia, maybe it is something else. is probably the thinking
of not disclosing it. she did notparent even tell a lot of the campaign officials. isolated with a small number of trust around her. that is all this question of is trustworthy?nt or >> finally, what do you think is the overriding question for trump that we will hear from lester holt? >> for him, i think the thing here is that law -- the bar is much lower. he will have lower expectations. donald trump, i think if he can
minutes of being able to answer questions on and not attacking her ways or talking about hands or hijacking people oldhe primary debates, the will think he did ok. democrat who compared him to the dancing bear test. that is a democrats fear, that there will be some sort of lower bar for him and look like he did well, even if it is not the performance of equivalents of hers. from lester holt, i think the challenge is fact checking and real-time. matt lauer got eviscerated for letting donald trump say he was against the war in iraq.
letting the statement go unchallenged. pressure fort of the moderators to hold the candidates accountable in real-time. donald trump will have to himselfwith six leaning and not just saying things that are untrue. >> work available online at politico. you for being with us. we want to look at some of those moments in this campaign and .illary clinton what to expect the first three presidential debates. i want to introduce brad o'donnell. thank you very much for being with us. veryat you don't see is
prepping.al most think of it as a couple of hours debating someone in a mock debate, because we have seen it in television shows. in reality, it is many hours on a set that is usually built to this is the occasions of the debate set themselves. careful planning on the part of policy teams, communication teams, exactly how they will argument.r and trying to plan out the moments they can seize advantage over their opponent. debates are about message and moments. carrying a message narrative press cane debate the write, and having moments that have moments that will draw away from the candidate. or other famous moments.
just moments like that that draw attention that show competitive advantage over your other candidates. >> it was just over a year ago participating in a at theate in california reagan library. carly fiorina came up. here is that moment. this.ant to ask you about donald trump said the following about you -- look at that face, would anyone vote for that? mr. trump later said he was talking about your persona, not your appearance. please feel free what you think about his persona. >> it is interesting to me, mr.
trump said he heard mr. bush clearly and what he said. think women all over the country heard very clearly what mr. trump said. >> i think she has a beautiful face and i think she is a beautiful woman. likely something potentially like that could happen between hillary clinton trump? >> i don't know if it will be over hillary beauty, but certainly her personality. 2008, herremember in personality came up. barack obama said you are enough, hillary. i think that is still a? , and something that could come up with donald trump. he has made her stamina and issue. he seemed to question whether or be she had the appearance to
president of the united states. it would be a mistake for him to bring that up. onneeds to stay focused substance. there are a ton of substance attacks he could go on. if he moves it to the intensely personal, i think it will backfire. and hisssue of jeb bush wife also came up. >> mr. trump has suggested your views are influenced by your mexican born wife. said if my wife were from mexico, i think i would have us bought for people from mexico. did he go too far? >> you are proud of your family just as i am. this was completely inappropriate, and i hope you apologize for that. >> i hear phenomenal things.
she is right here. >> i want do that, because i said nothing wrong. is a mexican american. she loved this country as much as anyone in this room. but tots a secure border embrace the secure values that make a special and unique. are we going to take the reagan approach, the hopeful and optimistic approach, legally you pursue this. but to or the donald trump approach. >> i am on the reagan site of this. >> they come to our country is love. of of the problems in so
many instances, this is not an act of love. by the way, in favor of common core, which is also a disaster. week on immigration does not get my vote. not apologize. mistakeot say he made a . that has been part of the trump persona during the campaign. >> i thought that was a good moment. he moved it from jeb's wife. instead moved it to the issue of immigration. that ended up working for donald trump and not jeb bush. he needed to pin him down and say you are going to . that has been part of the trump persona during the campaign. >> i thought that was a good moment. he moved it from jeb's apologize or it will not perceive. that is really what trump needs to do. he needs to keep the debate on the substance. include some personal things.
he needs to keep it on the substantive and not the personal. >> that was a multiple debate.es they will be facing each other. no third-party candidate, just the two of them for 90 minutes. means he really issues.tudy up on he has not sustained a 90 minute debate where he is had to talk policy for 90 minutes. he has to do that this time. in this debate he has to show where he is at on the issues. there is still a bar that shows he is confident and ready to be president of the united states. for hillary clinton, the bar is different.t
it is the trustworthiness, but act.erformance as we have not seen her not only project division but the hopeful herself. one of the things that made it hard to run against barack obama is that he was likable. not project that as well. lineas to walk a fine between aggression and likability. for her, a little bit more difficult. face a tougher test with genderes, given the communication roles. this is unfortunately an rule and communication. there are a lot of studies that this that say when men are aggressive they are viewed positively.
also the kind of image she projects. she stayed on defense most of night. for her, this means doing the things that she can do well. she has done them well in prior debates. i think it means upping her game the performance side. i have likened these to the bush gore debate. he had been governor of the state of texas but had not worked with international issues. low in terms of issue preparation. hillary, who had been worked in national. people expected a lot out of him in the debate and he could never voice.s
clinton faces this as well. she is still searching for this voice as well. >> we will have some of the later withing up hillary clinton. i want to go back to what you earlier. how do you do that and make it seem natural? >> it is practice. that is why i think both candidates should be doing life practices. a football team does not talk about the place they're going to run. the same is true for the candidates. natural, theyem have to be practiced over and get a feelso you can for how that exchange will go down.
it is very obvious he is very good at branding. the question is, have they debate of moments in the where he could draw the attention and sees competitive advantage over her. they handling of the clinton foundation is another issue. issue is secretary of state and something he has talked about before. the question is whether or not they thought about how to game out the scenarios.
so he did not really have a game wouldor how the scenario play out. the same thing is true for trump. about what will happen if clinton responds in ways.ent of the seminal moments in the republican primary, megyn kelly at the fox news channel. >> one of the things people love mind you is you speak your and do not have a politician filter. not without its downside. you call women that you do not slobs, andtakes, disgusting animals. >> only rosie o'donnell. >> for twitter account
the record, it was well beyond .o'donnell >> your twitter account has several disparaging comments. you once said it would be a her on herure to see knees. does that sounds like the temperament of a man we should >> i thinkesident? the big problem this country has is being politically correct. i have been challenged by so many people and do not frankly have time for total political correctness. honest with you, this country does not have time either. this country is in big trouble. win any more. we lose to china. we lose to mexico.
we have a good time. say.i say is what i honestly, if you don't like it, i am sorry. we need strength. we need strength and energy to around to . host: the first debate that took place before the convention a year out. back -- let me go back. then he brought it back to donald trump. attacking the moderator is not a good idea. your audience.
the audience are the people watching at home and your opponent. taxwant to keep your focused on the opponent and the people watching the debate. the moderators job is really tough, but the debater's job is particularly tough as well. there are moments when you need moderator when they have made a terrible mistake. for instance in the romney and obama debate when the moderator herself wrongly about whether or not president obama called the incident in benghazi a terror attack. have to walk a fine line, and it is very difficult for them. they have to fact check and ask the questions. the fact checking job should
really be the job of the opponent to say you are wrong about the issue. debate is between them, not the moderator and the candidate. the debaters need to keep it about theing personal moderator? most of the time that can come off very poorly. have advised senator mccain.mney and when you look back, was there a moment in your rehearsals that stands out? >> there was. there is one story that i hold during the primary debates we used to be much more relaxed -- relaxed with the senator in preparing him for debates. after senatoring clinton for an earmark that she had requested for a woodstock in new york.l
that happened to be a payback to donor of hers. prepre sitting in debate and had thought about having a funny response, something that imagination ofhe the press. senator mccain reminded us he prisoner during the time woodstock. we all said that you need to say that in this line. asked, how would i do that? let's use our line, greatis it was a coldrolled experience. i would have loved to have been there, but i was all tied up at the moment. that's got a standing over nation from the crowd. it was a great moment. it shows that for the candidates
to really perform cannot be programmed by a bunch of advisors. that was a great moment where senator mccain fully immersed in the prep process came up with a line that worked in the debates. another moments from march of this past year in detroit, michigan. >> i have a question for you. >> don't worry about it, little markup. don't worry about it. >> i would like to ask you a policy question. >> your proposed tax cuts would add $10 trillion to the nation's debt over 10 years. little marco, lion ted
hillary.oked quick to add a moderator. jeb, which was one hurte things that really governor bush and his candidacy. trump has been very good about branding. he has been very effective at branding. the question becomes, can he move beyond sloganeering and branding and createhe has been t branding. the question becomes, can he move beyond sloganeering and branding and create moments and message? him in thehigher for presidential debates. i thought it was a mistake for marco and trump to get into the back and forth with the name-calling. stock ande labels they did severe damage because they were not effectively primary process.
for secretary clinton, can she effectively answer branding that will come her way. >> another moments from another debate in cleveland, ohio, last year. his contributions to a number of people. isi will tell you our system broken. before this i was a businessman. i get to everybody. when i need something from them two years later or three years later, i called them. they are there for me. system.a broken clinton i said bfi wedding, and she came to my wedding. she had no choice goes i gave. i did not know her money would be used on private jets going world.r the it was.
that foundation and his own foundation likely to get a lot of questions. the issue of the rules not candidates would shy away from saying i have given something in the past and .otten something in return >> the rules have not applied to .onald trump at all i think that is largely because he is more of an icon representing a feeling of this frustratedt will are usualgry with policy as -- politics as usual. politics asired of usual, promises and not having delivered upon. i think there is a large segment using donaldt are trump to take that out on the political system. so they are willing to overlook -- something that a
typical politician would be held accountable to. host: one viewers that if you want to watch them the correct way, turn off the sound and watched the body movements. >> absolutely. move forward in 2004 where in the first debate in miami, governor bush -- then president layings criticized for sighing in hisnd debate with john kerry. body language and how you say say matters significantly. research says it may be that audience takes 65% of meaning from how you say what you say not just what you say. that is why i said earlier that hillary clinton has to pay attention to the presentational the debate as well. she has performed poorly in
debates. if you start the sound off and watched her on the she would not likable, someone you would like to sit down and have a conversation with. donald trump smiles a lot. he gets television. he understands the presidential aspects of the debate. anddvising president bush romney, can a candidate over prepare? >> i think a candidate can over reading theerms of briefing book. feet.not an essay on its moment.are message and you have to be able to sound like it is coming from the heart.
that they important not just study the briefing book, but think about how they will present the arguments. then, they have to be relaxed. keep ae to find a way to candidate loose, make sure they are relaxed going into the first debate. the first will be the most important. the first 30 minutes are the important of all the debates. year they of this debate on fox news and the issue of new york values with ted cruz trump.fter donald >> i think most people know exactly what new york values are. you are from new york, so you might not.
i promise you in the state of carolina, we do. wonderful working men and women in the state of new york, but everyone the value in new liberal. are socially focused around money and the media. not a lot of conservatives come out of manhattan. i am just saying. >> conservatives do come out of fnhattan including william buckley and others. new york is a great place that has great people. when the world trade center came down, i saw something that no on earth could handle more humanely thanore new york.
i saw them come down. we saw were deaths and even the smell of death. no one understood it. it was with us for months. rebuilt downtown manhattan. world loved new york and new yorkers. that wasn't very variance hoping statement that ted made. >> courtesy of fox news, the pendant moment between ted cruz and donald trump. >> that moment was probably best from the primary. moment we see from him monday, he is in for a good debate. trump has been much more disciplined on message. if he is able to be that disciplined in responding, he will have a good night.
there was no lying ted, personal cruz. on ted a very elegant counterattack about new york. an attack that they had been debate.oing into the cruz wanted to continue to litigate, and donald trump ended it. working with jeb bush, how did he approach it? with studyingned policy books, being briefed on issue.ingle once we got through that debate, started to turn his attention toward the communicative aspect. senator mccain loved talking thinkh the answers and
that would happen. film of watch a lot of prior debates, but more relaxed. >> governor mitt romney? >> a very much business approach. he would want things to be formalized. each strategy. a great debate in place. if there was polling data in as datao feed point. on the policy side that were experts. preparing.gh and >> rett o'donnell, he has advised president bush, mccain, and romney. president of his own firm. thank you for having -- four joining us.
what to expect from the debate. first, the c-span video library, hosted andho has moderated more debate than anyone else. in 2013 he ago talked about the importance have.debates >> the presidential debates have become the only time during a campaign where the candidates, usually two, sometimes three, are on the same stage at the same time talking things.e same they come usually in october with the election pretty close. only a month away. or more ofhow in 90% the people have already made a , but some are leaning, some are not.
mostly what they want to do, the issues are on the table and people have decided whether they oxidantsvor of lock for sosa security or whatever. all of those decisions have been made by the voters. is this person -- forget what the issues are. crisis?there is a what if there is another 9/11? majorf there is a catastrophe? that is why it is important. book tension the city, because of course it is. make candidates have to people like them. with george h w bush who said to you the debate are quote ugly.
i don't like them. why? he feels very strongly it is all showbiz. a three-person debates with bill perot. and ross and he looked at his watch watchd ok, i looked at my and they are all over me. does that have to do with issues and whatever. said why were you looking at watch? tosaid i looked at my watch see when this thing would be over. those kinds of things, it leaves an impression. language impression but a body language impression rather than a spoken word impression. bush pointrge h.w.
of view, he thinks it is to have so much riding on the 90 minute exchanges. host: jim layer and his book. that is available on our website. continue to look at what to debates. the upcoming we are joined by the editor in chief in think progress. let me pick up on what jim layer said. ,oments into a debate especially youtube generation, such an impact on how voters perceive candidates. >> i think this is particularly debates.he primary it is important this time, to. i do think the whole debate itself will be important. of millionse tens
of people who will watch the debate. probably hundreds of millions exposed to two or three things that happen over the of hours that resonate in some way. a good moment or bad moment. saying was caught something was not true or in an or reinforces an existing narrative. those can have a real impact on narrative. appeal, lack of accessibility, you were in new hampshire the week before the debate. this debate, let us watch the that resonated back then and today. >> new hampshire voters seem to believe that of those of you on
you are the most experienced and most electable. in terms of change, they see obama as agents of change. my question to you is simply this, what can you say to the voters of new hampshire on this whose your resume and like it that are hesitating issue whereility they seem to like barack obama more? >> while that hurts my feelings. [laughter] i am sorry. >> but i will try to go on. he is very likable. i agree with that. i don't think i am that bad. >> you are likable enough. >> i think this is one of the most serious decisions the
voters of new hampshire have ever had to make. i really believe the most important question is who is dayy to be president on one? where were you when that moment occurred? >> i believe debate took place at a college in new hampshire and staff set up in one of the classrooms with a tv watching it. i think it was clear that was an moment.t it was only a day or two before the voting occurred in new hampshire. the governor had just lost iowa. probably the end or close to the end. i think it was a moment that helped reconnect her to some of the voters.
maybe broke down stereotypes of approachable. was a human moment that was now president obama being a little bit more terse than maybe he intended to be but it contrasted with how it.handled i think that combined with a couple of other things that happened in the lead up to election day swung things back in her favor. host: do you remember if she was of western?at type is then't think that type of thing you'd typically prepare for. you really can't. something like why are your low can benumbers something that comes up again and again, so i am sure it is not the first time she answered that western. but the whole moment, the way it out was not a scripted
moment. if you try to script a moment like that, it would not come off very well. host: clearly the issue of credibility and trustworthiness will come up. that?ould she handle >> a very tough question. the way to do it is to on. it straight obviously a tough question to whyer because it is saying do these people feel this way about you? who knows is the actual answer. think trying to express genuine, why she is question. a related i think issues of trust speak to motivation. why you are running, what
motivated you. i think that is probably the it. that you can do with host: i want to share with you a debate that took lace courtesy news. asking them russert question. the republican candidate. hillary clinton was still first lady at the time. >> right here. is. it i signed it. we can both sit down together, media in here. by anythingo abide that we all agree on, but let's now.t done i admire that. wonderful
performance, and you did it very well. i would be happy to come out when you give me -- we will shake on it. >> i want everyone to see some you are signing for. why don't use and up and do america? important for leadershipou show because it shows trust and character. >> the new radio ads is not part of your campaign. >> we're out of time. as you look at the moment from 2000, a couple of things stand out. one candidate moving into the space of the other candidates, and just how far you think rick io went and how far donald trump might go in attacking clinton. >> i don't think he will move podium.her that would very much surprised me. think it is an example of what
happens when you try to force a moment. he was going to force a decision from hillary clinton to sign the pledge about third party influence in the campaign and was going to keep going. him.nk it backfired on will an issue because he does notggressive and seem to have self-awareness in ands of how he comes off seems to revel in projecting of extreme macho image. i think obviously strength is probably where he gets some of appeal, but if he crosses i -- the line to be belittling someone who is admired, deserving of , it couldct definitely backfire on him.
make theseyou what theeard? candidates can expect hearing natural and spontaneous and not rehearsed because the audience difference.ll the i think it is rangeant to have a whole of possibility and options and only pull the trigger if the right moment comes up. you may think there will be a large discussion on the topic, and the topic does not,. i think you need to get the candidate 10, 15, 20 different options, and then you only use the one that presents themselves. that way it can seem natural. candidate in that moment will revise and twist and adapt. if they do that, it is natural.
if you come in and say i will say this line and say it in this way and this will be the moment in the debate, i think you are setting yourself up for failure. john dickerson in a debate that took place in iowa and the street and special interest came up. the exchange between hillary clinton and bernie sanders. >> i have never heard of a amountte to receive huge of money from oil, coal, wall , military-industrial complex. the campaign contributions will me.influence i am going to be independent. make millions of dollars in campaign contributions? they expect to get something. i am running campaign differently. small campaignon donors. $30 per piece. >> weight of minutes. 0-- wait a minute.
wait a minute, senator. , not only do i have hundreds of thousands of donors, of them small, and i am very proud that the majority of 60% -- so ie women, represented new york and i represented new york on 9/11 attacked.re we were attacked down 10 -- downtown manhattan were wall street is. i spent a lot of time helping rebuild. repeal the terrace that had attacked our country. another pivotal moment. how she tried to turn the wall street money. >> the perfect example that the is the debates are very
hard and happening in real time off ok andcan start thence slowly slip away for you. rightk she was probably to stop things and get the right -- away in. i think she has a reasonable point to say i represented new york and will have the backers associated with wall street. recommendation would be go ahead and pivot to the substance to dot you are proposing to regulate wall street. into a littlen trouble when she started evoking 9/11. everything is happening quickly what popped into her head. created a moment that does not really help her. betters is she will be prepared if it comes up in this debate.
host: you advised her in 2008. what was her approach? how did she study, prepare, and how is she doing it in 2016? >> more capable of 2008, so let me start there. there is two sides to it. preparationot of for trying to do the best you can to anticipate what will happen. i think that will be kind of trump.lt with donald he is pretty much off the seat of his pants a lot of the time. you are really trying to say, especially attacks. here are responses that have worked for you in the past. here is information that can rebut that. then you go into sessions where game it out and do mock debates. debate there may be more than one mock debate.
have one.bates just i imagine they will try to anticipate to have someone play role of trump and get into a live situation so you can to the best of your ability having gone through as many of the situations as you can in order to spot problems. >> from the outside looking in, how much more difficult is it preparing for donald trump, versus another more traditional candidate? >> i think it is immensely challenging. i know we were involved in 25 debates in the primaries. there were more than 10 this year. prettyve all been sensitive.
stay on issues. do notty substantive i think trump is intending to come in and have a detailed policy with hillary clinton. i think he knows that is a losing strategy. he is a very experienced television personality. knows how to make television happen. differenttotally thing to do. have all of the responses and fax lined up, and i do not know have a will help you debate against donald trump. e facts lined up. a debate for who is progressive and how hillary evolveds views may
have . >> even some democrats believed positions based
on political expediency. obamafended the immigration policy, and now you .ay they are too harsh you even call that the gold standard. last week you are against it. will you say anything to get elected? very consistent. i have always fought for the same values and principles. most human beings, i do new information and look at what is happening in the world. deal.he trade i did say i hoped it would be the gold standard. it was just finally negotiated week. in looking at it, it did not more goodandards for jobs, raising wages, and i want make sure i can look into the eyes of any middle-class american and say this will help .aise your wages i could not. >> the question is really about
expediency. you told the crowd you take a back seat to no one when it values. progressive last month you said you plead guilty to center. do you change or political identity based on who you're to?ing no, i think i have a range of views but they are rooted in value and experience. i don't take a backseat to anyone when it comes to progressive experience and commitment.
street my first job was with the children's defense fund. i have been focused on how we will unstaffed the deck and make possible for people to have the experience i had. a grandfather who was a factory worker, a father that was a small business owner, and now asking the people of america to elect me as president. likes toogressive who
get things done. i know how to find common ground , and i know how to stand my thatd, and i have proved in every position i have had. dealing with republicans hid never had a good thing to workut we found ways to together on everything am reforming foster care, adoption. history of long getting things done. rooted in the same values i have always had. host: anderson cooper, enough moderator. -- readyhe was readies for that question. >> something you can prepare for. the idea you have changed your why.ion on some issue, and basket anticipating the of things altogether that cooper presented.
i think she handled it fairly well. history.early knew her she had an explanation. i think at the end you have a moment where she is prepared, but because she is prepared, she lastle to improvise the answer on being a progressive but a progressive who wants to get things done, which i think was an effective counter on the question telling people you are different things. i think that was an example of how it can prepare you to take on a complex or difficult because you have the facts and some idea of where you want to go with it. if you were in a room privately with hillary clinton, her?would you tell >> i think there is a real getting dragged into the debate that donald trump
.ants to have i think he will want it to be more of a circuit band debate. i think it will be difficult, detail and talk about what needs to be done for education. for so been involved many decades. she has so much to say. ithink trump will make difficult for her to get there. he will not want her to say whatever. i think you have to stick -- you thatto pick your spots on and the places you will deliver your message. key, that shehe is able to show people what she can bring to the table, and not just always be at -- attacking countering. host: are you apprehensive or confident in how she will do? i think it is a very big
challenge. i think trump is very prepared moment. not in the sense that he knows nose --e issues but a but he knows how to move a big audience and so i think that this presents a huge challenge for hillary clinton. i don't think she is faced anything like it. and so, i guess i have to say i am a little bit apprehensive on her behalf but i think it will be interesting to see how it plays out. i know she will be thinking a lot about that and i know her campaign staff will be. he had -- host: thank you for adding her insights to our conversation. there are five moderators for the upcoming quarter debates. three presidential and one ice presidential. -- of the washington post was one of the moderators and we will talk to her new moment. here is her question to hillary clinton. >> secretary clinton, you have
known donald trump for a long time. [laughter] >> you have seen what kind of campaign he is running. it is donaldnton, trump a racist? hillary clinton: i will follow my friend, senator sanders, model here. if i'm fortunate enough to be the democratic nominee, there will be plenty of time to talk about him. i was the first person to call him out. i was the first person to call him out when he engaged in he engaged in things i found offensive. i think others are also joining in making clear that his rhetoric is trafficking and prejudice and paranoia. it has no place in our political system. especially from somebody running
for president. whether or not, he is sponsored by the ku klux klan and david duke. -- america's great. host: the question this past march at a bait cosponsored by the washington post. karen is joining us, thank you for being with us. what makes a good question in these debates? guest: a couple of things. one of the biggest challenges for the moderator is to get the candidates off their talking points. to get them to say something, to engage with your question in a way that isn't necessarily something that voters will have heard day in and day out. the other big challenge is to
get them to engage with each other. and honestly, they will almost always default to their talking points if they can. came underlauer intense criticism for his questions and lack of follow up on a couple of key areas on nbc. the moderator to fact check the candidates? how should he or she go about doing that? to the degree you can, if the candidate says something outrageously false, you do need to check them in the moment. -- there's soink much going on, right there, when you are in that seat, that it is really difficult to catch them on absolutely everything. and as much as people criticized matt lauer, i think that they have overlooked the fact that he actually got donald trump to say andt of interesting provocative things that we had
not heard him say before, where he talked about the general's eyes being rubble and suggested he might fire general's if you he talked ine and discreetly about things he was hearing in the intelligence briefings. so while there was a lot of criticism of the way he handled heself, in the end, i think actually got these candidates to be interesting and provocative and that is a big accomplishment. host: how do you frame the big issues in the upcoming debate and what questions would you ask each of the candidates. guest: you know, one thing you is frame your question. you don't want it to be so long that it turns out to be about the moderator and not the person being questioned. the second thing you want to do is stipulate as many of the talking points in the question so they cannot just immediately revert back. ar instance, there is
question of whether hillary clinton will be asked about the e-mails, yet again. matt lauer was criticized for dwelling on that. do you know what i would like to ask her? i would like to ask her, not about her past behavior, but how does what she learned about the whole experience with the private e-mail server, how is that going to inform her decision-making and her management style, going forward? how will she change things, going forward? thatshe agree to the rules president obama has on his blackberry, where all e-mails are submitted to an independent archivist? with donald trump, i think there is a lot to be answered still on his renunciation of his own position on the birth or controversy. did you decide that barack obama was, in fact, born in this country? he's trying to move on from that subject.
there's still a lot of interesting questions to be answered about that and things that will sort of tell you fundamental about donald trump's character host: and about his judgment. host:on the issue of character, i want to go back to two things that you brought up, karen tumulty. you said with hillary clinton, use of the fact that she has nothing to hide dates back 25 years ago. guest: this was an article i wrote years ago and i go back to a decision in the first year of bill clinton's presidency when the washington post -- i was not working there at the time -- when dillard went -- went to the white house and ask for the documents that have been compiled regarding whitewater. were a number of people in the white house at the time.
david gergen, george stephanopoulos -- they thought it was a good idea to go ahead and hand over the documents and let the press see that there was really nothing there. nothing that suggested any kind of culpability or anything improper on the behalf of the clintons. there was a big argument in the white house and hillary clinton essentially won the argument. they did not turn over the documents. and that led to the appointment of a special prosecutor who became an independent counsel who became ken starr, who ultimately found model: ski and all of this led to the impeachment of bill clinton over something that ultimately had nothing to do with whitewater. and a lot of people in the white house at that time thought that if hillary clinton had just been a little bit more open, had handed over the documents, history would have been written differently. we seen the same impulse over and over again in her career. and again, often things that on the face are not -- damaging.
host: with regard to donald trump, you wrote that story with the headline "never wrong, never sorry, never responsible." guest: yes, and this is after his announcement that he believes that barack obama was born in the country. still ank that there is lot more there to be asked and answered, and again, stuff that -- it is not just about the past. he really does get to something fundamental about donald trump's character. the first debate, maybe as many as 100 million viewers will be watching. be fortical will this the trump campaign or clinton campaign and for the election, overall? be thethe debates will last moment between now and the election when you have this take of a slice of the country paying
attention at the same time. and you and i both watched enough of these things to know that it is often the person who goes in with the highest expectations of being polished and sure of themselves as a debater who often has the most to lose. especially in the first debate. gore in 2000ith al and that debate turned out to be a disaster. the night of the debate, oddly enough, most people thought he won but ithe had turns out that his manner was found irritating. it was the next day that people caught up with something that he said that hadn't been accurate. the same thing happen to barack obama in the first debate in 2012. everyone expected him to come in and be by far a stronger debater was antt romney and it off night for him. and he spent the next couple of
debates trying to get his footing back. host: when mitt romney had that statement -- "binders full of women," he wanted to find the woman to serve in a administration, that was quickly brought up. i guess i'm talking about the quickness of social media, that was even before the debate had included? thet: yes, and that is difference between a debate today, in real, and even as recently as 2000. when it really wasn't until the next day when people began to catch up with the factual statements that our gore had made during the debate. isse days, the reaction instantaneous, as is the fact checking. sometimes if the moderator doesn't catch an inaccuracy or a bese statement, you can guaranteed that somebody out
there in the twitter audience is going to catch it. and is going to have a link. and there will be a whole separate conversation going on in real time, while the debate is going on. karen tumulty, you have been inside the debate hall and washington on television. explain the difference as a reporter, covering these debates? well, i can't begin to describe how overwhelming it is. as you saw in that little clip, you are not only trying to stay on top of your own questions, and listen very carefully to the but youes answers, sometimes have an audience behind you, cheering -- the moderator has an earpiece and you have instructions coming at you from the control room. you are trying to pay attention. if there is more than one moderator, what goes on with their questions -- it just really feels like one of the old circus acts were you are juggling a whole bunch of plates and anyone of them could drop
and shatter. host: what advice would you give the moderators of this debate? what did you take away from your own research and debate rehearsals in which he met with other folks who moderated to make sure you framed the a way that was direct and to the point? guest: you cannot over prepare for the job. sureeed to absolutely be that whatever you are going to ask about, that you note absolutely everything that this candidate has ever said about this subject. and you have to be really well prepared for an answer that goes off into some strange territory where they have never been before. you rein themdo in, especially donald trump, who can take one question and go five or six different directions? guest: that's another thing.
sometimes it makes for interesting and revealing television to let the candidates go out each other. but it's a real judgment call, as to what point the moderator steps in and asserts himself or end to thed puts an fighting or the filibustering or whatever is going on up there. is not a job i n b of any of these moderators. finally, if you could anticipate a couple different storylines, what will he be talking about monday evening and tuesday morning? think thatst whenever donald trump sets foot on a debate stage, he has automatically going to be the most obvious storyline. whether he is having a night where he feels aggressive. whether it is a contentious night, with a lot of insults. i've never seen a candidate who single-handedly set the
storyline the way donald trump can for aid during the republican debate. hillary clinton is a very skillful in settings like this. i did a candidate forum with her in 2007 and she comes to these things extremely well prepared. so this will be fascinating. it is the force moving the immovable object. karen tumulty is a national political correspondent for the washington post and you can check out her work online. joining us now from the newsroom, thank you for being with us. once again, let's look at the schedule. live coverage of all of the debate coming up with monday's debate on the campus of hofstra university in new york. nbc's lester is holt. the first of three debates between hillary clinton and donald trump. the vice
presidential debate will take place in farmville, virginia. the second presidential debate is a townhall meeting. anderson cooper and martha rather as will lead the 40 questionsy selected by the organization and also questions via social media on the campus of washington university in missouri. and the final debate on october wallacerated by chris at the university of nevada in las vegas. this is a live picture from hofstra university in hempstead, new york where the first presidential campaign of the -- presidential debate of the campaign season will take place. the debate hall is an exhibition watch this,as we this is what students will see as they head towards tonight's debate.
>> tonight will be the first of the three president of debates. 90 minutes televised at hofstra university in long island. secretary clinton has debated more than 30 times at the presidential level, including several one-on-one contests against president obama in 2008 and senator bernie sanders in 2016. today's contest will be her first debate against a candidate from the opposing party. once again, tonight's debate gets underway at 9:00 eastern and coverage starts at 7:30 eastern. here's a look at what's ahead.
again, the 7:30 p.m. portion will be a preview of the debate. the debate itself will get underway at 9:00 p.m. eastern. government funding runs out on friday and congress is working on legislation to fund several federal agencies in 2017. the house will be back today and members will consider 16 bills dealing with a number of issues including veterans programs and maritime transportation. live coverage gets underway at 2:00 p.m. eastern. the senate gavels in at 3:00 p.m. eastern. they will continue government spending. continue ourto look ahead at tonight's debate. there is a prediction that the presidential election is a virtual tie, giving hillary clinton a 51% chance of winning
49%.onald trump a he says donald trump may have more to gain from tonight's debate than hillary clinton. here is a look at the history of presidential debates. host: joining us from las vegas to talk about tonight's debate and to give us historical context is alan schroeder from the school of journalism. he teaches at northeastern university. and he is the author of the book "presidential debates -- risky business." alan schroeder, thank you for being with us. involved forrisks hillary clinton and donald trump for tonight's debates? guest: it's always risky. knowlive tv -- as you well for doing this for a living, anything can happen. candidates are used to being in a controlled setting but you put them in a spontaneous, on choreographed thing like a , and theial debate
thing that happens is they have no control anymore. they go in with prepared remarks and strategies but the thing is, you don't know what the other person is going to do. so it can be tricky, in that regard. history that along the way in history things have not worked out well for particular candidate so there is a great deal of risk involved. host: as far as the format, 15 minute blocks with longform discussion. when did we see that kind of format come into it? all, this is the format used in 2012 between barack obama and mitt romney. a disastrous debate for barack obama. six segments, 50 minutes each and open-ended discussion.
there is been a lot of focus on the moderator but not a lot of focus on the format. as far as the history of these things and what has happened is that you have everything from mistakes being made, visual problems, richard nixon sweating, george h.w. bush glancing down at his watch, al gore invading the space of his opponent -- over the years i've been a lot of different things that are performance mistakes and visual mistakes and content mistakes that show us just how risky this format can be. tell us ifhistory debates can be game changers? and tonight is the potential for one for either kind of the candidate? guest: because of the high ratings and because the races up in the air, i think that does lend some urgency and importance
to what happens tonight. historically, you know, people argue about this -- you could never really say that a particular debate one of lost an election. but you can look at a couple of instances when they were important. reagan debate between and carter a week before election day. the latest we have ever had a debate. reagan did well and carter, not to great, and there wasn't time for him to recover before people voted. and 1960, the first time ever with kennedy and nixon -- nixon was not prepared for it the way kennedy was. kennedy came in and use that opportunity and that was quite a close election. so i think if you factor in the debates, you have to think that it does have something to do with kennedy's success. host: our guest is a historian and professor who takes a look
answertes and is here to your questions about the format of tonight's debates. the history of these types of debates. you've heard him talk about how this can be a game changer. himif you want to talk to and asking questions, call us on the phone lines. if you support donald trump, (202) 748-8001. if you support hillary clinton, (202) 748-8000. if you support third-party candidates, (202) 748-8002. .nd undecided, (202) 748-8003 in 1992. it was ross perot -- what you thought about not having a third-party candidate, this time around? i think the threshold that you have to reach in the polls to get into the debate, i think that does make sense. debates are about finalists. and debates are taking place in
the home stretch of the election. so candidates have a lot of time and elections last for ever in the united states so there is time for outsiders to make their case to catch fire with the public and to earn that place on the stage. and ross perot was a great example of that. but i think the idea of just having a lot of people on the stage -- we saw that during the primaries. if you just open that up to everybody, you are going to have so many people on the stage that nobody gets a say much of anything. so i think that's a counter argument to opening it up beyond the threshold. host: on dynamics itself, now we see a man and woman on the stage. does that change the dynamics? guest: i think it does. -- wethe first time ever have had to instances of male versus female. between one was in 1984
george bush and geraldine borrow george bush and geraldine ferrero. and he was patronizing to geraldine ferrero and she called him out on it. in 2008, you had biden and sarah palin. joe biden was much more careful. he had a strategy of not stepping on her toes that will cause people to perceive that he was being sexist. in the case of what is happening tonight, you have one candidate, donald trump, who has said a lot of things about women that are not very pleasant. that perception about him already exists. so he has to be very careful at how he approaches her and not to fall into that trap of doing what he did with megyn kelly and carly fiorina, etc., etc. host: again, alan schroeder is our guest. professor at northeastern university and author of a book. "presidential debates -- risky business on the campaign trail. "
todd from ohio, a third-party supporter. you are on with our guest. go ahead. caller: there are three things i wish that could be put more emphasis on in these debates. the first when he can address directly is we need to reduce the sensationalism that comes along with these campaigns, especially the presidency, but not exclusively the presidency. i wish that was a topic for debate. i would like to know what you think about that. one, although the department of education surely needs to be reduced, the ones being -- the one thing the federal government should the apartment is implementing well structured civics in every curriculum from the third grade through 12th grade so that this would add to getting rid of the sensationalism because they have a better appreciation of how government works by the time they make it to the 12th grade and become voters. the final thing is, most small
businesses fold within the first five years. most of those small businesses have employees of less than 100 people. and they are retail-type businesses. host: we will let our guest response. professor, go ahead. guest: that is an excellent point about the teaching of civics. that used to be much more a part of the standard of education in public school children in america than it is now. as far as the tone, the idea of sensationalism, this has been a difficult year in that regard. one of the things is you had a candidate who sort of speaks in a way that no other candidate has and used language and insult as a part of his approach to things. the tone has not been great. yes, it would be wonderful if he could get back to a higher level of engaging with each other. engaging in -- engaging in each other's ideas, but not attacking
their physical appearance or their disability. host: a supporter of hillary clinton in maryland, this is hannibal. caller: i am a supporter of hillary clinton. i think we saw from bush how disastrous that can be, even though his father was not terrible. i want to ask the professor who mentioned the obama ann romney debate if the format of -- who mentioned the obama-romney debate, if the format of subsequent debates obama clearly won, was the same and whether the subsequent debates between mr. trump and secretary clinton will be the same as this open-ended version that we will see tonight? guest: yes, the answer is yes. this set of formats for 2016 is identical to what was done in
2012. so, you had the first and last debate for debates that had the six blocks of 15 minute open-ended discussion periods. and then there is a town hall and then there is a slight variation on the one tonight, nine 10 minute blocks to achieve the 90 minute total. it was interesting in 2012 because obama did so bad the first time out, he realized and his coaches realized they needed to work with him and get him prepared for the subsequent debates. he did much better in the town hall and in that same format and the final debate of 2012. i would quickly add that the people who are coaching hillary clinton right now are the same in many cases that coached obama. they have the benefit of having mentored that format before. it is a very different format from anything during the
primary. the format will be really important in the way things unfold tonight. host: professor, we will show a little bit of history. we will take you back to october 22, 2012, the final debate between president obama and mitt romney. president obama tried to use humor to make a point. we will let you here and get your comments. [video clip] >> our navy is smaller now any time since 1917. they said they needed 313 ships. we're now down to 285. the low to hundreds if we go through sequestration. that is unacceptable. i want to make sure we have the ships that are required by our navy. our air force is smaller than any time it was founded in 1947. we have changed the first time since fdr. since fdr, we always had the strategy of fighting in two complex at one time. now we are at one conflict.
this is the highest responsibility of the american president, to maintain the safety of american people. and i will not cut the budget by $1 trillion. that, in my view, is making our future less certain and less secure. president obama first of all, : sequesters is not something i propose. it will not happen. the budget we are talking about is not reducing our military spending, it is maintaining it. i think governor romney have not spent enough time looking at how the military works. you mention the navy and that be a fewer ships than we did in 1916. we also had fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. we have these things called airplane craft carriers. airplanes land on them. we have ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. the question is not a game of battleship where we are counting ships.
it is, what are our capabilities? the i sit down with secretary of the navy and the joint chiefs of staff, we determine how we will be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that also keeps pace with our troops. and also making sure that our veterans have the kind of support they need when they come home. that is not reflected in the kind of budget you are putting forward because it does not work. host: your thoughts? guest: there is a good story about this and it refers to the phrase "horses and bayonets." that is what the obama administration planned. when he said horses and bayonets, his campaign was ready to go and started tweeting like mad to get that as a meme. a lot of people were commenting on it. it shows you now that social media is a place where a lot of the debate conversation takes
place and the campaigns are fully aware of this. the campaigns not only have a strategy for winning the debate, but a social media strategy and that would include specific phrases and things they hope will catch on with the public. host: let's go to michigan, third-party supporter, dave. you are on with our guest. caller: yes. i have been voting since election innnedy 1960. but i will have to hold my nose this time. i think the problem we have is that we have two nincompoops running for president. i will vote for mickey mouse, i guess. maybe i will vote for donald trump. host: let's go to edward,
houston, texas, supporter of hillary clinton. caller: good morning. i watched the kennedy-nixon debate last night on c-span. and i was intrigued that nixon looked so bad. i was just wondering, will the appearance of each candidate make a big difference to the public? guest: yes, i think it does. you know, the difference between the kennedy-nixon example and now is that the candidates today have the benefit of all of this history and they know very well what not to do. in 1960, nixon wore a suit that was a light gray. when he got to the debate set, the background of the debate set was pretty much that same shade. so he blended into the background and got lost. they were painting the debate set hours before the debate began trying to get it darker so that richard nixon would not get lost against the backdrop. that kind of a mistake would never be made today because the candidates go to such lengths to think about their clothing,
makeup, hair, tie, and all that stuff. it was a much more casual thing back then. and again, richard nixon was ill, he had been hospitalized, and you can see it in his face and in his posture that he was kind of suffering that night. he was not in good shape and probably should have been home in bed. it is what it is. if it is debate night, you have to be there. host: edward from houston, texas. me, again? host: i'm sorry. it is ed in rockford, michigan, a third-party supporter. caller: good morning from michigan. i am a former democrat activist, but i am voting for the green party this year. the debates will have no affect on me.
right now, hillary got a good lead in michigan. if the time comes that it is a very close election, i might have to hold my nose reluctantly and vote for hillary. but hillary clinton is no huber humphrey, and i just don't like either one of them. so, take care and vote third-party whether it is for the green party, or the libertarian party. express your frustration, and thank you very much. host: professor, what is the evidence that debates can sway people to choose to vote for another candidate? guest: well, it does not happen that way.
the debates reinforce the decision that people have already made. with that in mind, some of what the candidates are doing tonight is not just trying to persuade people to change their minds, but fire up and bolster the enthusiasm of their supporters. both candidates need to have their voters not just be enthusiastic, but to get out and vote on election day. there is, this year, a relatively sizable group, 15 percent undecided for whom the debates could be useful at arriving at a decision. by and large, people have made up their minds. debates become almost a way of infusing your voters as much as persuading people that they are
to vote for you the first place. host: alan schroeder is an author. from georgia, a supporter of hillary clinton, go ahead. caller: hi, good morning. i am supporting hillary because some of the utterances of donald trump are disgraceful. i am flabbergasted that he is still standing in that position. , in it comes to education have been in education for several years. and it would be good if, at least starting from middle school, students are exposed to at least three trades that will continue through to high school. work with the business people in the communities so that at the end of high school, some of them will find a useful position.
i am also hoping that hillary will hold the debate at a very high standard, and not don't squalor with donald trump. guest: tone is a really important thing. during the primary debates, the public and primary debates got pretty nasty and pretty ridiculous. kids do watch and they are getting value, and getting information about how our system works. maybe even getting enthused about the idea politics and government. if all people are doing it on stage just slinging mud at each other, that goes away. i hope the tone will be at a higher level tonight than some of what we saw earlier this year. host: talk about the role of the moderator. not only in tone, but what he faces? there have been several comments about others, not only by donald
trump, but about the idea of the moderator as a fact checker. what does lester holt face tonight? guest: this has been kicked around this year as we look at how questions are asked and the role the moderator. my feeling is that the moderator does not have the time or the resources in a live debate to do extensive fact checking. if it is an obvious thing that can be dispensed in an instant, sure. point out that such and such was an error. but this idea of having to go in and unravel a complicated set of circumstances and a timeline is hard to do on live tv. it has been interesting for me to read about how the moderator needs to do this and that. it is always people who have never worked in television who say that. if you worked in television, you know you have a finite amount of time and have to be careful how you allocate that time.
and frankly, the debate needs to be about the candidates. if it becomes a squabble between the candidate and the moderator, then the people are not getting the information they need about the candidates. so, i say the moderator ought to be there to facilitate, to keep it moving and to make sure the rules are observed. there are a lot of other places that will fact checked these debates and they will be more appropriate and frankly, will give you a better quality of fact checking them the moderator. host: what rules are agreed upon by the parties involved, both donald trump and hillary clinton before tonight's event? guest: the rules are few. it is this idea of this format . that we have 15 minutes, they know what the topics are, and they know the moderator is going to be asking some questions, but moving things along. i think the rules are actually pretty loose.
that is something that is interesting. does that favored donald trump, because he is loose as a performer? or does that favor clinton? can dealt as loose but with things in more detail and in a way that 15 minutes would allow you to do? it is a really interesting question, the idea of the format and rules. it is really up to them once the debate is rolling down the tracks to find out what the rules will be and how they will play out. host: marie is a portland, oregon. she is an undecided voter. marie, good morning. caller: i am undecided because i see this as the grand finale on the moral decay of our country. we have two candidates that have legal things pressing. foundations have questionable and they are allowed
to stand up on the stage. and when debbie wasserman schultz pulled that at the dnc and was still allowed to step down and then run for congress anyway, even though she'd done something that was fraudulent, and nobody looks at that -- where do we stand? there is no moral standing. i was in goodwell and i watch them take a man out in handcuffs because he stole a t-shirt. and these people have these massive lawsuits, yet they are allowed to run. i don't know where to go with this anymore. it is a complete moral decay of our whole system. host: professor, do you want to respond? guest: i would just say that this is a kind of an unusual election that way. two candidates who have high disapproval ratings. trump is higher than hillary clinton's but they are both higher than 50%. that is quite a contrast when you go back to the last
election, or the last few elections where you always have candidates who are unpopular for one reason or another with a certain segment of the population, but not to this degree. host: don, a supporter of donald trump. you are on with the guest. caller: i want to see donald get in and put morals back in the families. these protesters that are protesting -- in our streets -- i hope donald gets into bring it back to normal and put morals in our lives. host: professor, we have seen protesters arrive at events. what is the likelihood that protesters could be at this debate? guest: there are always protesters at presidential debates. i think the green party candidate jill stein plans to be there and have some people with her.
ralph nader has showed up. in years where he has not been allowed into the debate with his supporters. and you have the protesters against the major party candidates. it is part of the great american tradition of free speech that people feel strongly about these things and wish to get out and express those feelings. there are also a lot of security measures that protesters don't get that close to the venue, but they will certainly be there. host: laguna woods, california. mike, good morning. caller: good morning, gentlemen. it strikes me that authentic democracy demands more than a ballot, it demands informed choice. the so-called nonpartisan commission with 15% threshold seems to be designed to limit informed choice. the american people seem to get it. there is a poll commissioned by
usa today by the suffolk university that basically says that a large majority, 76% of likely voters, favor the libertarian candidate gary johnson. even active military troops favor gary johnson 39% over donald trump and 31% over hillary clinton. -- 14% over hillary clinton. i would like the professor -- i know he opposes the inclusion of gary johnson and endorses the 15% threshold, i would like for him to explain to the american people, the 76% of americans who think that johnson should be part of the debate, where they are wrong? guest: each debate, they reevaluate who gets invited. if so many people are supporting
gary johnson and gary johnson is catching fire with the public, then he will be invited to the debates. and it seems to me that he has had a lot of opportunities. i watched a townhall he did on cnn with his running mate and a number of other interviews, so those opportunities exist for candidates to --ratify their standing with the american public. at various points along the way. but by the time you get to the debates, you are almost at the end of the line. it is not a place to create a candidacy, it is a place for candidates who have already established themselves. gary johnson could rise in the polls if this weight of sentiment supports him and he would be included in the debates. but 15% has been the standard for a lot of years. ross perot was able to get in because he did do what gary
johnson has not been able to do, which is really enthuse a lot of voters who were turned off by the major party candidates. host: our guest has had a history at newspapers and television. he teachers at northwestern university. alan schroeder joining us to talk about tonight's debate. i want to show you a clip from october 17 of 2000. it is between george w. bush and al gore. and in part of the scene, you will remember that al gore gets up and goes over to george w. bush. i want to show you the clip and then talk to you about it. [video clip] >> it has strong bipartisan support. it is being blocked by the republican leadership. and i specifically want to know if governor bush will support the norwood bill. the main one. >> you may answer that if you want but i want to know how you see the differences between the
two of you. >> the differences that i can get it done. i can get something positive done on behalf of the people. that is what the question in this campaign is about. can you get things done? [laughter] i believe i can. >> what about the norwood bill? host: talk about the intimidation factor and the psychology involved during the debate. guest: al gore thought he would intimidate bush and that would play to his advantage, but of course, it does just the opposite. thingrst thing about the is not just that bush gives him one of these, is that the town hall audience laugh at al gore. he is really reduced to a laughingstock. there is an interesting story, behind that moment, which is during the preparation, al gore was prepped to do that.
he made that maneuver during practice. his debate coaches say, you know what, don't do that. but he did it anyway. there is a reason why you prepare and why you go through reversals. -- why you go through rehearsals. the of that is to weed out ideas of something that won't work. but in this case, he rejected that and did it anyway. host: you heard a lot of stories about who was sitting in the front row. mark cuban is sitting in the front row for hillary. there was talk about gennifer flowers showing up. does that make a difference on who was there and is that part of the psychology game? guest: it is part of the psychology game, but it does not make any difference because first of all, the debaters have so much to think about. the last thing they are thinking about is who was in the front row. the gennifer flowers thing, that really amused me because it was
a rumor in 1992 that one of the bush-clinton,-perot debate, they were going to plant gennifer flowers in the audience and embarrass clinton. all these years, we are still talking about gennifer flowers showing up. it is a sideshow and just ridiculous. it is kind of part of the psychological intimidation, you are trying to make your opponent nervous, but it does not add up to anything. host: cnn reporting say they did not invite gennifer flowers to make that point. next call, chuck in massachusetts, a supporter of hillary clinton. caller: good morning. whatever the outcome is, the damage has already been done to our country, by the fact that trump has gained so much popularity with so much of america. that being said, professor,
donald trump claims to be smart. he says he knows words. i was under the impression he went to wharton business school. but he did not. he went to wharton undergraduate school. after spending two years at fordham. and for some reason, no one remembers him at the undergraduate school. is he misleading people by giving the impression that he is such a smart guy? -- well, and you know what i'm talking about. please comment. guest: you know, look, there is a lot about the biographies of the candidates that needs further investigation. there has been a lot done on trump's biography. he is a harder person for the press to cover in the sense he does not have a political record. so, that thing you are talking about, i have not seen a lot of emphasis on that particularly.
maybe that is something anybody who is listening would want to google and look up. but i think -- if you have a non-politician running for office, you do have to pay attention to the rest of their biography in a way that you wouldn't for a traditional politician. then you can look at how they have voted or what they have done, there are more concrete data. but i do think his personal biographical details are very relevant. host: joe is in philadelphia, pennsylvania. he is a donald trump supporter. joe, you're next. caller: hey, good morning. i was wondering if you feel that donald trump will bring up paul combetta that was exposed on reddit. do you think he will drop that bombshell? guest: i really have no idea what you're talking about, sorry. host: that was joe in philadelphia.
as far as the bar of performance, what have you heard about the level of performance for both candidates, and who has the higher bar? guest: they come at it from such different places, and they come at it from different experiences. the advantage for trump is he is a creature of reality tv. you can look at a debate and say, that is a high-stakes form of reality tv. him up on a stage, live cameras, microphones, that is a world he has lived in and is at home in. for hillary clinton, she is not a natural. she has been on tv a lot, but she does not relish the idea the way that he does of tv as a platform to put yourself across. so i think she will be coming at it from a much more methodical way, and he will becoming at it from a much more intuitive way. it is a little bit of a culture
clash. that will be one of the really fascinating things to watch is the venus versus mars, if you will. the aspects of their personalities. host: as far as communicating their command of subjects, what works best for a candidate in this kind of format? guest: you do have to know your subjects. especially in a format where you got a 15 minute discussion. you better have something that makes sense and is substantive. that is one of the things that they practice and make sure they know what is going on in the news and make sure what the controversial hot buttons. the advantage of hillary clinton in that is that it's something share it he has. having been in government for so long and trump has not.
he has to learn all of this from scratch. one of the things we will be looking at is has he bothered to learn any of this? if he wants to be the president, there is stuff you has to deal with and people need to be sure that he is capable of understanding what that is. host: let's hear from carol, a third-party supporter from key west, florida. go ahead. caller: thank you very much for taking my call. i appreciate it. hello? are you listening? host: go ahead. caller: which of the candidates will be stronger in the law and order and transparency? those are two important things. which is stronger? with law and honesty and transparency? donald trump is very experienced and well educated and very intelligent.
what do you think about that? thank you for taking my call, sir. guest: on the question of transparency, well, i mean, look, these are political candidates. donald trump has certainly not been transparent about releasing his tax returns, which seems like a pretty basic thing that all candidates do. how you arrived at the conclusion that he is transparent. and of course, hillary clinton been upfront with showing everything either. they want you to see what they want you to see. our job is not to really except -- our job is not to accept that at face value but to be a little skeptical and demand things like the release of tax records. i don't think that is asking too much from people who want to be president of the united states. >> we are looking at a live
picture of the scene of hofstra university. the site of today's debate between hillary clinton and donald trump. it picture there of where members of the media will be. i understand demonstrators are expected at hofstra university for the debate tonight but police are keeping them at a distance from the debate hall. police are setting up a designated protest hall. they say the goal is to keep opposing groups from tangling with each other.
working to pass plans past the deadline. the house will be back in a couple of moments and members will deal with a number of issues including veterans issues. now, to live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. september 26, 2016. i hereby appoint the honorable mac thornberry, to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2016, the chair would now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate.