- REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
While participating in a town-hall event in New Hampshire on Thursday, Donald Trump balked at suggestions that he was using the event as preparation for the next presidential debate.
The Republican nominee is set to meet Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival, on Sunday for the second of three matchups – with Sunday’s coming in the style of a town-hall event.
“This has nothing to do with Sunday,” Trump said, after taking numerous questions submitted by the audience. A countdown clock was reportedly present at the event, according to CNN. The affair was moderated by Howie Carr, a conservative talk-radio host who supports Trump.
“Do you really think Hillary Clinton is debate-prepping for three or four days?” Trump asked. “Hillary Clinton is resting, OK? She’s resting. She wants to build up her energy for Sunday night, and you know what – that’s fine.” Scattered laughter could be heard from the crowd.
Trump and Clinton will meet at Washington University in St. Louis on Sunday in a format similar to Trump’s Thursday event. According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the format will feature questions submitted by an audience of registered voters.
Other questions will come from moderators Martha Raddatz of ABC News and Anderson Cooper of CNN. The candidates will have two minutes to respond to the questions and another minute for further discussion.
Numerous official polls deemed Clinton the winner of the opening debate, during which Trump suggested Clinton “decided to stay home” days before while he campaigned in multiple cities.
The Democratic nominee responded simply: “I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And, yes, I did. … You know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president.”