HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Hofstra University was buzzing with last-minute preparations Thursday, ahead of the first presidential debate next week.
But as CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been somewhat coy about their routines for getting ready.
Trump has stayed on the stump, projecting the air of a man ready to rumble who does not need to get up to speed.
“You can over-prepare and then your mind is so cluttered,” said upstate U.S. Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), a Trump supporter. “I don’t know how she’s doing hers, but I’ll bet she is over preparing compared to Donald Trump.”
This week, Trump tweeted: “Hillary Clinton is taking the day off again. She needs the rest. Sleep well, Hillary. See you at the debate.”
Clinton’s campaign said she is not napping, but mapping out a strategy to push back at the debate.
“He doesn’t often tell the truth, so she’s going to have to spend some time probably correcting the record and making sure that voters understand the facts,” said Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook.
Trump, of courses, sliced and diced more than a dozen Republicans during primary season debates. But in his first-ever faceoff against Clinton, he will need to gauge how aggressive to be.
Many believe Republican Rick Lazio pushed too hard during a debate with Clinton for the U.S. Senate in 2000. He demanded that she sign a campaign finance pledge and rejected her offer just to shake his hand.
The move raised attention for Lazio, but even more sympathy for Clinton.
Ultimately, many supporters feel Trump has a knack for TV showmanship and should just do his thing.
“How do you advise someone who vanquished 16 other challengers in the primary through the debates for the nomination?” Collins said.
But for all his nonchalance, the Washington Past said Trump is preparing diligently – working with former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and others on “zingers” to create memorable moments.
“While Hillary is listening to a team of psychologists and advisors to teach her what to say, I’m turning to the very people who got me where I am today… YOU. I’m asking you to take the TRUMP Debate Preparation Survey within the next 24 hours to help me prepare for the biggest night of our campaign,” the letter said.
“We will only win this debate if our strongest supporters offer their thoughtful input on the issues Americans care about most,” Trump added.
The letter was sent to a list of Trump’s strongest supporters across the country selected by his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, according to the letter.
Meanwhile, Clinton has reportedly reviewed videos of Trump from primary debates, looking for trigger points that might cause him to lash out and lose points with voters.
The Commission on Presidential Debates said moderator Lester Holt will follow a format that calls for six 15-minute time segments. Each topic will get two segments, according to the commission.
The 90-minute debate will begin at 9 p.m. Monday. You can watch the debate on CBS2.