WASHINGTON: After months of tangling from afar, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will confront each other face-to-face for the first time in Monday night’s presidential debate, laying out for voters their vastly different visions for America’s future.
The high-stakes showdown — the first of three presidential debates — comes as both candidates are viewed negatively by large numbers of Americans, with Democrat Clinton facing questions about her trustworthiness and Republican Trump struggling to convince many voters that he has the temperament and policy depth to be president.
Interest in the presidential race has been intense, and the campaigns are expecting a record-breaking audience to watch the 90-minute televised debate at suburban New York’s Hofstra University.
Clinton’s camp is worried that Trump will be held to a different standard in the debate and is particularly concerned that the notoriously hot-headed businessman will be rewarded for simply keeping his cool.
“We also are concerned that Trump is going to continue to lie,” Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said Monday.
The debate about the debate was still unfolding in the hours before the two candidates were to take the stage.
Clinton backers were publicly pressing moderator Lester Holt of NBC News to fact-check Trump if he tries to mislead voters about his record and past statements. But Trump’s campaign pushed back, accusing Clinton’s team of trying to put its thumb on the scale by enlisting the media to do Clinton’s job for her.