The man who simulated President Donald Trump in mock debates for Hillary Clinton in 2016 does not think the second presidential bout will be as rancorous as Tuesday night’s contentious affair between Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden because of the format.
Philippe Reines, a Democratic political consultant who was senior adviser to Clinton when she was secretary of state and was promoted to deputy assistant secretary for strategic communications in the department, told Newsmax TV on Wednesday he doubted that suggested measures of muting candidates microphones will be needed for the Oct. 15 clash in Miami.
“That’s pretty extreme, and it’s unfortunate that we’re there,” Reines told “National Report.” “I don’t think that we need that for the second debate, for the simple reason that it’s the town hall. And while President Trump can find a way to be President Trump in any circumstances, talking to voters more than the moderator might temper some of what we saw last night.
“Obviously not completely, but I would give it one more try before deciding about cutting the mic in the third debate. But this is pretty extreme.”
Tuesday night’s debate in Cleveland was viewed by many as a highly contentious exchange with both candidates talking over one another, interrupting, and bitter accusations.
Reines said he did not know if the debate helped either candidate, given he believes the electorate is so polarized.
“I don’t know who’s undecided at this point,” he said. “I don’t know that I believe it. I think some are genuine. I think a lot of them either just didn’t vote in 2016 or won’t vote. But this whole notion that they haven’t seen enough of the candidates? Give me a break.”
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