Bill Clinton on Hillary's Debate Prep: 'She'll Be Ready'

The former president explains why his wife doesn't need advice from him.

ByMATTHEW CLAIBORNE
September 9, 2016, 6:58 PM

UNIONTOWN, Pennsylvania -- President Bill Clinton pulled up today into a cozy Italian restaurant in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, not to dine but to shore up support for his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

And today, for the first time, he addressed his role in Hillary Clinton’s debate prep.

As the first presidential debate nears, the candidates are upping their preparations, arming themselves for whatever their opponent might throw.

“I feel pretty good,” the former president said of the upcoming presidential debates, starting Sept. 26. “I mean, you know, she knows a lot, she’ll work hard, she’ll be ready.”

Hillary Clinton has said that she would unleash her “secret weapon” husband Bill Clinton on the campaign trail, but today in western Pennsylvania the former president said he was not her secret weapon in debate prep.

Clinton told reporters he believes his wife will be prepared and ready without his advice.

“I just go and listen,” he said. “I think she’s done well in all these debates and, you know, she just knows so much.”

But Clinton, a seasoned debater himself, did give some insight into racing the clock from the debate podium.

“It’s pretty easy prep. You just have to do it over and over again, because you can never forget that you know you don’t have five minutes,” he said.

Clinton remains confident that his candidate is prepared to debate even after being on the defensive end during the recent Commander-in-Chief Forum, moderated by NBC’s Matt Lauer. The former president stood by his candidate, saying he believed her performance, despite the scrutiny of Lauer, proved that she is fit to be president.

He did, however, suggest that Donald Trump’s visit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto should have been a focal point of the forum. He argued that there are two Trumps, one who was measured in demeanor during a joint news conference with Nieto, and one who was boorish when he came back to U.S. soil later that same day.

“If you're going to be president, you have to say the same thing at home and abroad,” Clinton said. “You can’t go to someplace and make it look like everything is going be nice, and come back and dump all over him. Because it makes people all over the world distrust America.”

Western Pennsylvania has seen a lot of political action this week as the candidates duke it out for the battleground state, and Hillary Clinton has also dispatched daughter, Chelsea Clinton to campaign around the Keystone State.

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