Similar paths for campaigns after 1st debate
Trump, Clinton each see performances as springboard to boost traditional bases
COUNCILBLUFFS, Iowa — Unmoved by harsh debate reviews, a defiant Donald Trump showed no sign Wednesday of making any big changes before his second faceoff with Hillary Clinton, pressing ahead with a strategy focused on speaking directly to his white working- class loyalists across the Midwest.
Democrat Clinton, meanwhile, pushed to improve her standing among younger voters with the help of the president, Sen. Bernie Sanders and other key allies, 48 hours after a debate performance that seemed to spark badly needed enthusiasm.
Those closest to Trump insisted the Republican presidential nominee was satisfied with Monday night’s debate, even as prominent voices within his party called for more serious preparation next time after an opening confrontation marked by what they said were missed opportunities and missteps. The next debate is Oct. 9. Unlike Clinton, Trump is not planning to participate in any mock debates, although he is likely to incorporate what one person described as “tweaks” to his strategy.
Specifically, Trump is likely to spend more time working on specific answers and sharpen his attacks after spending much of the first meeting on defense, said that person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal campaign strategy.
That may not be enough to satisfy concerned Republicans.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Trump should have been better prepared and he recommended that the candidate work harder with skilled coaches. He said, “What you need is people who are professional debaters.” Donald Trump in at a rally in Iowa, on Wednesday. His campaign said he wasn’t altering his strategy for next debate.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said simply: “The only advice I could give him, and take it for what it’s worth: Prepare better.”
The New York businessman struggled to attack Clinton consistently on the debate stage Monday night, but has lashed out at her aggressively in the days since.
He attacked her record as the nation’s chief diplomat during a Wednesday appearance in Chicago. He went further at a later rally in Iowa.
“If she ever got the chance, she would put the Oval Office up for sale,” Trump told hundreds gathered in a Council Bluffs convention hall the day before early voting begins in the battleground state.
Clinton, meanwhile, sought Wednesday to parlay her widely praised debate performance into stronger support from women, young Americans and other critical voter groups. She got help from her party’s biggest stars.
President Barack Obama hammered Trump over his business practices and treatment of women in an interview aired on Steve Harvey’s radio show, which is particularly popular among black audiences. The president said his own legacy was “on the ballot” in November. He also suggested Clinton wasn’t getting enough credit, possibly because she’s a woman.
And his wife, first lady Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders speak to young voters at the University of New Hampshire on Wednesday. Michelle Obama, accused Trump of trying to undermine her husband’s presidency for years by questioning his birthplace. Trump publicly admitted the president was born in America for the first time this month after spending years questioning the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate.
“Trust me, a candidate is not going to suddenly change” once in office, Mrs. Obama said at a rally for Clinton in Pennsylvania.
Hoping to broaden her appeal among millennials, Clinton joined her primary rival, Vermont Sen. Sanders, on the trail for the first time since they held a “unity” rally in July in an attempt to heal divisions within the Demo- cratic Party. Since then, Clinton has struggled to win over young Americans who formed a crucial pillar of the coalition that twice elected Obama.
Flanked by campaign signs promoting Clinton’s college affordability proposal, Sanders and Clinton touted a plan they developed to make college debt-free for millions of students from middle-class and low-income families.
“None of this will happen if you don’t turn out and vote,” Clinton said at the University of New Hampshire, after a quick hug with Sanders. For his part, Sanders declared, “It is imperative that we elect Hillary Clinton as our next president.”