Campaign 2016 updates: Trump doubles-down on former Miss Universe insults, and Alicia Machado jabs back

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It’s the morning after the first presidential debate, and here’s the verdict from our analysts: It wasn’t even close. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump.

Trump decries Clinton and the media as he seeks to recover from debate troubles

Donald Trump cast Hillary Clinton as a corrupt and incompetent politician from a bygone era as he sought to recover Tuesday from his poorly received performance in the first debate of the general election.

The Republican presidential nominee wrapped up a one-day Florida campaign swing with blasts of lacerating rhetoric at a rally near Cape Canaveral.

“We’re going to take on the special interests, the lobbyists, and the corrupt corporate media right back there,” Trump told thousands of supporters packed into a sweltering airplane hangar. As many of them turned to boo the news crews behind them, Trump added: “They are as corrupt as you can get.”

Reading from a teleprompter, Trump reminded the audience that the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State failed the bar exam in 1973.

“Without the mainstream media, she wouldn’t even be here, folks, that I can tell you,” Trump told the crowd.

Trump cast his debate performance as a success, taking credit for highlighting Clinton’s support of free-trade agreements. He summed up Clinton’s career as “30 years of disappointments on foreign policy, on domestic policy, on helping women, on helping children.”

“The only thing she succeeded at was helping her donors and covering up her crimes,” Trump said, drawing one of many “Lock her up!” chants from the raucous crowd.

Trump also returned to his signature theme of illegal immigration, which he barely touched upon in the debate, lamenting what he called “a one-way highway right into Mexico with our jobs and our money.”

When the crowd shouted, “Build that wall!” Trump did the call-and-response routine that excites his loyalists and offends his critics.

“Who is going to pay for the wall?” he asked. “Mexico!” the audience hollered back.

Earlier, Trump attended a fundraiser at his Doral golf resort in Miami, then met with Latino business supporters at a college nearby. The largely Republican crowd of Cuban Americans asked Trump friendly questions and gave him a white monogrammed guayabera shirt.

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Must-see celebrity tweets from Monday night’s presidential debate

As millions of Americans tuned in to watch Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump square off Monday night in the first of their three scheduled presidential debates, many also turned to social media to share their thoughts on the event, including a host of celebrities.

Many of Trump’s most prominent celebrity advocates were quiet Monday evening, but there were a few tweets of support for the Republican candidate, specifically from Stephen Baldwin (“The Usual Suspects”) and Adam Baldwin (“Firefly”), two actors who are unrelated.

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Add Melissa Joan Hart to the list of actors and personalities backing Gary Johnson

What do the host of “The Price is Right,” the bassist from Nirvana and Sabrina the Teenage Witch all have in common? They all back Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson for president.

Melissa Joan Hart, star of the aforementioned supernatural sitcom from the late 1990s, is the latest celebrity to line up behind the Libertarian presidential hopeful, announcing she will chair Johnson’s campaign in Connecticut.

“I want to break away from this two-party system, and I think it’s important for people to know that there’s another candidate out there who really toes the line between Democrat and Republican,” Hart told People magazine. “I mean he’s libertarian. But socially he’s liberal, but fiscally conservative.”

The major parties tend to attract the flashiest celebrity backers, but Johnson’s upstart campaign has attracted a number of boldfaced names. Game show host Drew Carey threw a fundraiser for Johnson this summer; his guests included former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and NBA commentator Kenny Smith.

Hart backed Mitt Romney in 2012, but in her recent foray into third-party politics, she’s already quite familiar with the common question posed to Johnson supporters: Aren’t you throwing away your vote?

“Everyone that I keep hearing say that, if they all voted for him, we could have a third-party win,” she said. “Even if he doesn’t get that far, I just hope that they let him debate.”

Johnson, who is averaging around 7% support in national polls, failed to qualify for last night’s debate.

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Obama seems ready to hand over both his house and his Twitter account

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It’s National Voter Registration Day

The fourth Tuesday of every September is the unofficial day to register to vote in America.

Be sure to register far enough in advance before the Nov. 8 election.

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Debate watchers wanted more accountability from Trump and Clinton

(David Goldman / Associated Press)

Moderator Lester Holt warned viewers at the beginning of Monday’s presidential debate that there wouldn’t be enough time to ask Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump every pressing question.

The Times asked readers on Facebook and Twitter what they would have liked to have seen the nominees discuss. Of those questions that went unasked, a clear theme emerged about what was overlooked: accountability for the controversies that have followed the candidates throughout the campaign. Questions about Clinton’s emails and the Benghazi attacks, and her foundation as well as Trump’s, were cited most frequently by readers.

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Nancy Pelosi taunts Trump: ‘I don’t think he shows up’ for the next debate

Some Democrats have openly agonized over Hillary Clinton’s inability to close the deal with voters against Donald Trump. Others have bemoaned the tight state of the race.

But House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi? She appears more inclined to humor over “what’s-his-name.”

“Mr. Last Night, I felt sorry for him, really,” Pelosi told reporters after the first Trump-Clinton debate.

“He was so sort of scattered ... and so incoherent.”

Pelosi said Tuesday that she doubts Trump will be back for a second debate with Clinton, and described their first round in boxing terms — “TKO.”

“Nooo,” Pelosi said, all but taunting Trump onto the stage. “I don’t think he shows up.”

Pelosi acknowledged Clinton still has work to do to get out the vote, especially with younger voters.

Former rival Bernie Sanders can help with that on the campaign trail, she said, but ultimately Clinton is “going to have to make her own case.”

As for Pelosi’s own chance to regain the speaker’s gavel, she believes only that Democrats will narrow the GOP majority in the House chamber.

But hers was an optimistic outlook after so much Democratic hang-wringing over the November match-up between Clinton and the Republican nominee, a profligate name caller whom Pelosi also refers to as “Mr. Gift-that-Keeps-On-Giving.”

Pelosi told a story of standing behind then-President George W. Bush during the 2008 state of the union address, and mentally fast-forwarding to Clinton winning the election that year.

It didn’t turn out that way, obviously. But Pelosi said she believes President Obama’s rise as the nation’s first African American in the White House helped pave the way for the first female president.

“I always thought she would be president,” Pelosi said, “and now she will be.”

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First Clinton-Trump matchup breaks presidential debate record with about 84 million TV viewers

The contentious first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump lived up to its big ratings expectations with an estimated average TV viewership that will top the previous record of 80.6 million.

The total average audience for Monday’s matchup for the ad-supported broadcast and cable networks as well as PBS came in at about 84 million, according to Nielsen numbers.

Monday’s faceoff tops the previous record for a presidential debate set when Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan clashed on Oct. 28, 1980. It was their only meeting of that year’s presidential campaign, which occurred in an era when U.S. households had only a handful of channels to choose from.

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Hillary Clinton tees off on Donald Trump and taxes

Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters on her plane on Tuesday.
Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters on her plane on Tuesday.
(Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty)

Hillary Clinton is ramping up her attacks on Donald Trump’s tax history after the Republican candidate said his ability to avoid paying any federal income taxes in some years showed he was “smart.”

Speaking at a community college on Tuesday here in the battleground state of North Carolina, Clinton said Trump was using his campaign to criticize a country he has refused to support with his own money.

“He actually bragged about gaming the system to get out of paying his fair share of taxes,” Clinton said.

“And this is a man who goes around calling our military a disaster. Who goes around criticizing every institution, from healthcare to education, our vets,” she said. “But he probably hasn’t paid a penny to support our troops, or our vets, or our schools, or our healthcare systems.”

Trump has not released his tax returns, breaking with decades of tradition for major party candidates. Clinton has released years of documents, and pointed out that they show her family, which has made millions since her husband Bill Clinton left the White House, has paid the highest marginal rates.

“We believe in this country,” she said. “And we believe that with the blessings that we’ve been given, we should do our part.”

Throughout her speech, Clinton tried to draw a contrast between her kinder, gentler vision of the country and what she described as Trump’s cut-throat approach.

She pointed to Trump’s view of the housing bubble as an example.

“What kind of person would want to root for 9 million families losing their homes?” she said. “One who shouldn’t be president.”

As a contrast, Clinton talked about the people who helped her mother, who had a difficult childhood, including the teacher who shared food with her in elementary school.

“She was so often saved by the kindness of other people,” she said. “You know, we overlook the importance of just how we treat each other, the respect we show, the kindness, the love that we show.”

Hillary Clinton with her mother, Dorothy, and father, Hugh, in 1992.
Hillary Clinton with her mother, Dorothy, and father, Hugh, in 1992.
(Ron Frehm / Associated Press)
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Rudy Giuliani calls Clinton ‘too stupid’ to be president because she didn’t know about Bill’s affair

(Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani labeled Hillary Clinton “too stupid to be president” because she did not know about her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Giuliani, a top surrogate for Republican nominee Donald Trump, castigated Clinton for what he said was an effort to shame Lewinsky, then an intern, following the exposure of Lewinsky’s sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton while he was in office.

“The president of the United States, her husband, disgraced this country with what he did in the Oval Office, and she didn’t just stand by him, she attacked Monica Lewinsky,” Giuliani said in video posted to on social media by a website focused on coverage of millennials. “And after being married to Bill Clinton for 20 years, if you didn’t know the moment Monica Lewinsky said that Bill Clinton violated her that she was telling the truth, then you’re too stupid to be president.”

When confronted with similar remarks in the past, Clinton has noted that her husband concealed the sexual relationship not only from the nation, but from his family.

In later years, Hillary Clinton, in personal correspondence with a friend, described Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony toon.”

Giuliani went on to say he would have raised questions about the Lewinsky affair during the debate. Trump hinted during the debate that he was tempted to bring up a “rough” topic, but he said in several interviews after the event that he restrained himself out respect for Chelsea Clinton, the couple’s daughter.

“When she hit me at the end with the women, I was going to hit her with her husband’s women and I decided I shouldn’t do it because her daughter was in the room,” Trump said Tuesday morning on “Fox and Friends.”

“I didn’t feel comfortable doing it with Chelsea in the room. I think Chelsea is a fine young lady,” he said.

Trump, whose support among women voters lags Clinton, was assailed by the former secretary of State for his past rhetoric about women.

“This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs,” Clinton said during the debate.

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Former Miss Universe on Hillary Clinton: ‘I’m here for her’

Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe who was insulted by Donald Trump for gaining weight, has emerged after Monday’s debate as a high-profile Hillary Clinton backer.

Clinton’s campaign arranged a press call on Tuesday in a bid to needle Trump, who acknowledged Tuesday morning he was rattled when Clinton referenced Machado last night.

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Lost on the campaign trail? Check the sign on the table.

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You might see some of Trump’s debate comebacks again — in Democratic attack ads

The way Monday night’s debate played out did not just please the strategists and pollsters of the Democratic Party. It also surely pleased the party’s video editors.

Donald Trump’s penchant for interrupting, bragging and shooting from the hip was a gift for ad makers trolling for clips that could help fire up the Democratic base and give pause to swing voters contemplating casting a ballot for him.

The biggest super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton had already seized on one of those moments before Monday night was even over. Priorities USA found Trump’s bragging about his temperament a perfect setup to a montage of earlier moments when he did not exactly keep his temper in check:

Earlier in the debate, a different boast by Trump also created fodder for Democratic ad makers trolling for material. When Clinton accused Trump of cheering on the mortgage crisis because it presented an opportunity for profit, he didn’t object. He told her it was good business:

And when Clinton accused Trump of failing to pay taxes, again he responded by bragging about it. “That makes me smart,” Trump said:

Trump’s loud “ugh” and head shaking while Clinton talked about the vibrancy of black communities in America also likely makes for a convenient clip at a time Democrats are aggressively seeking to mobilize the African American vote.

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What the debate looked like to these swing-state voters: A Super Bowl without a clear outcome

Iowans in the capital of this battleground state watched the first presidential debate with the intensity of fans at a Super Bowl game.

The state’s residents and its six electoral votes are crucial in the 2016 race for the White House, where polls show a tight race in a state that went for President Obama in the last two elections. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton planned to campaign in the state this week.

A watch party at an underground bar at the Des Moines Social Club was billed as nonpartisan, though the crowd was heavy with Clinton supporters.

“It definitely didn’t disappoint in terms of entertainment value,” said Brandon Bock, who celebrated his 24th birthday by watching the debate. “There was a lot of back and forth, there was a lot of excitement.”

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‘Let’s play two!’ Hillary Clinton channels Ernie Banks after the first debate

A confident Hillary Clinton said she enjoyed Monday’s leadoff presidential debate so much that Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks came to mind: “Let’s play two!”

Speaking to reporters aboard her campaign plane before departing for a rally in Raleigh, N.C., the Democratic nominee said she was already looking forward to the second debate after Monday’s highly anticipated forum with Donald Trump. She said voters got a chance to “begin to compare us on policy,” which, she added, has often been lost amid the “back and forth.”

“That all began to come into focus for people,” she said.

She charged that Trump failed the ultimate test voters expect of a potential president.

“His demeanor, his temperament, his behavior on the stage could be seen by everybody, and people can draw their own conclusions,” she said when asked how female voters might respond to his frequent interruptions and defensiveness.

“He can run his campaign and present himself however he chooses. But the real point is about temperament, and fitness, and qualification to hold the most important, hardest job in the world. And I think people saw last night some very clear differences between us.”

Asked about Trump’s assertion that he showed restraint by not bringing up her husband’s infidelities, Clinton repeated that Trump could conduct himself however he chooses, but chided him for an overly negative tone throughout the race.

“He talks down America every chance that he gets,” she said.

Clinton, grinning for much of the brief Q-and-A session, couldn’t help but get in one last dig at her rival. After starting to walk away from reporters, she turned back and mentioned Trump’s claim that a technical issue may have hampered his performance.

“Anybody who complains about the microphone,” she said, “is not having a good night.”

Times staff writer Michael A. Memoli contributed to this report.

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What 4-year-old tweet surged back to life as the most recirculated of debate night?

(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

The first debate match-up of Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton was the most tweeted about debate in history, according to Twitter.

Millions of people tweeted on the debate, with the top topics focused on the economy, foreign affairs, energy and environment, terrorism and guns.

According to Twitter, the tweet that was retweeted the most during the debate was a 2012 missive from Trump saying China created the concept of global warming to steal American manufacturing.

When Clinton accused Trump of calling climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese, he responded, “I did not say that.”

But Trump’s tweet was still online, and the retweets began to spike.

Twitter reacts to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump going head-to-head in their first presidential debate

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A few of the insults lobbed during Monday’s debate

Watch: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trade insults at debate

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House Speaker Paul Ryan praises Trump’s ‘spirited’ debate performance against Clinton’s status quo

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A view of the U.S. presidential debate from Cairo

Asked what he thought of the U.S. presidential debate as he walked to work through the streets of Cairo’s affluent Zamalek neighborhood, Raffik Kamel laughed.

The debate aired at 3 a.m. local time, and Kamel, who owns a factory making office furniture, had not stayed up to watch live. But he watched the rebroadcast later Tuesday morning before leaving home.

As he stood on a bustling street corner, Kamel, 61, said Hillary Clinton appeared stronger. But he also criticized her record as secretary of State in the Obama administration during the “Arab Spring” uprising in 2011.

“We had a bad experience with her with the revolution in 2011,” he said.

Kamel, part of the Coptic Christian minority in Egypt that faced increased attacks and discrimination during the unrest, blamed the Obama administration for mishandling the revolution, which led to the rise of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood until the military retook control of the country.

Trump clearly has his problems too, Kamel said, chuckling at the comments Trump made during the debate about having a good temperament.

But Kamel said he has warmed to Trump, especially after the Republican met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi last week during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“I hope Trump comes” to power, he said. “In the beginning, I was not convinced about him. After he met our president, I see he can help us.”

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Five false statements from the presidential debate

Here are five false statements from the first debate.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went head-to-head for the first time in Monday’s debate. Here are Times staff writers’ fact-checks of the candidates.

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Former Miss Universe derided by Trump as ‘Miss Piggy’ can’t wait to vote against him

A former Miss Universe from Venezuela earned her U.S. citizenship just in time to vote — against Donald Trump.

Alicia Machado tweeted a picture of herself with a U.S. passport after the first presidential debate Monday and vowed to use her new status to vote for Hillary Clinton. Trump and Clinton sparred over Machado in the debate because of Trump’s past comments on Machado’s weight.

“And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest … he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy,’ ” Clinton said, referring to Machado during Monday’s debate. “Then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina.”

Machado and Trump, former executive producer of the Miss Universe pageant, fell out in 1997 after Machado gained weight following her 1996 win. She said Trump encouraged her to lose weight in order to keep her title.

She recently campaigned for Clinton to boost Latino voter support in Florida.

How the former Miss Universe became a topic of conversation during the presidential debate.

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Hillary Clinton heads to Raleigh and Donald Trump goes to Miami

The candidates are hitting the trail the morning after the first debate, and we’re traveling with the campaigns.

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Trump complains of ‘hostile questions’ during debate

The morning after his first debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump complained Tuesday of “hostile questions” from the moderator and conceded that Clinton rattled him by bringing up his past remarks about the weight of a Miss Universe contestant.

The Republican presidential nominee said the moderator, NBC anchor Lester Holt, leaned left in his questions. Specifically, he cited questions about Trump’s record of challenging whether President Obama was born in America, housing discrimination suits filed against Trump by the Justice Department, and his refusal to release his tax returns.

“Those questions aren’t answerable in a positive light,” Trump told Fox News in a telephone interview Tuesday morning.

Trump also complained of a “bum” microphone. “I wonder if it wasn’t set up that way on purpose,” he said.

The volume of his mic in the debate hall at Hofstra University on Long Island was lower than Clinton’s, Trump said, and “it was going on and off.”

“I don’t want to believe in conspiracy theories, of course, but it was much lower than hers and it was crackling, and she didn’t have that problem,” said Trump, who often argues that things are rigged against him and his supporters.

Despite many loud sniffles caught by the microphone, Trump denied he was sniffling.

“I have no allergy. No. No cold,” he said.

Asked whether Clinton succeeded in getting under his skin, Trump conceded that she did when she reminded him that he’d called Alicia Machado, a winner of his Miss Universe pageant, “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.”

“She was the worst we ever had -- the worst,” Trump recalled of the Venezuelan immigrant. “The absolute worst. She was impossible.”

Trump said Machado “gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.” Clinton, he said, “found the girl and talked about her like she was Mother Teresa, and it wasn’t quite that way.”

It was tempting to respond to Clinton by bringing up her husband’s marital infidelity, he said.

“When she hit me at the end with the women, I was going to hit her with her husband’s women,” he said. “And I decided I shouldn’t do it because her daughter was in the room.”

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Post-debate spin: DNC head wants an apology, Trump campaign defends his climate position

(Paul Sancya / AP)

The cable news shows the morning after a debate are a prime time for the national parties to steer the narrative on how their candidate did.

Here are interim head of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on how they think the debate went.

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Miss last night’s debate? Catch the full 90 minutes here

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Arab tweeters react to the first Trump-Clinton debate

“The difference between Trump and Clinton is like the difference between Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola, or Seven-Up and Sprite.” — Faisal Al-Kasim, host of a talk show on Al Jazeera

“The supporters of Trump have issues with their brain, one of them says that Hillary has prepared her answers and speaks as if she is reading off a paper. Do they want a stupid politician?” — Jamal khashoggji, Saudi commentator

“Whether Trump wins or Hillary wins, the American President is merely an executive manager who executes pre-made plans and both of them have their own way.” — Guevera198, Twitter user

“A wise man told me: the competition is not between Hillary and Trump, but between an America we know and a new America that may be a disaster for the world.” — Salman al-Dosary, editor of Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper

“Both of them are on the army side in foreign policy... The only difference between them is in internal affairs!!! Don’t expect anything good from them.!!!!!!!!” — Sultanghamdi201, Saudi historian and academic

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See how we scored the debate round by round

L.A. Times political analysts judged all five rounds of the first presidential debate. The winner? Hillary Clinton. Read more >>

And read more of our round-by-round analysis here.

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Vice presidential candidates weigh in on the debate

Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and Democratic counterpart Tim Kaine hit the morning news shows early Tuesday to talk about Monday’s debate.

Both appeared on “Good Morning America,” saying their candidates had a good night.

Pence said he was disappointed moderator Lester Holt didn’t go after Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for some of the issues Republicans have used against her in the campaign.

Kaine said Republican nominee Donald Trump looked rattled as the 90-minute debate wore on and Clinton looked like she could keep going.

Kaine and Pence will get their turn on stage Oct. 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.

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The Trump onstage last night was the Trump seen every day in his campaign

The Donald Trump onstage Monday was the Trump seen every day in his campaign. He used the same language, told the same stories, decried the same disasters. But he did not do what a 90-minute debate gives candidates an opportunity to do: flesh out an explanation of how he would run the country, and invite voters who aren’t already committed to come along for the ride.

Instead, Trump flinched under Hillary Clinton’s tough criticism.

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