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John Dickerson: Trump Must Show He Can Act Presidential

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – John Dickerson, the Moderator of Face The Nation on CBS, previewed Sunday night’s second presidential debate with Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, saying Donald Trump has to prove he can act presidential on a national stage.

Dickerson believes that coming in, the town hall style format of the next debate gives Clinton a slight advantage.


“He gets his energy from the big crowds and the response. It fills up his tank. She gets her energy from tucking in to some complicated problem. That’s been the case for her entire career. Her friends have described her, both to journalists, but also in their private journals that have since come out, in writing about Hillary Clinton, she would just rather be doing that kind of work. In the town hall format, I should say, a town hall is quite different than the kid of rally Donald Trump has. Donald Trump has a feedback mechanism in his rallies. Hillary Clinton has done a lot more through the course of her career of these town hall style events where you talk to a voter, you listen to voter, you respond to a voter. She does that pretty well and she’s done that for years and years and years. In that sense, she has a bit of a leg up, even though he’s much more of an extrovert.”

He stated that Trump has to show the nation he can be more focused and mature than he was during the first time the candidates squared off.

“The big test for this debate is whether Donald Trump has prepared and, secondarily, whether he can go through 90 minutes and show a certain amount of restraint. The reason that matters is that both of those go to his central Achilles heal in this campaign, which is does he have what it takes to actually occupy the office of the Presidency? He has said that when the time comes, he can get up to speed on issues he knows nothing about and after getting up to speed will know more and be better at them than even the generals who’ve been fighting the war. Well, the debates are a test of that. Can he get up to speed for this compulsory exercise of the presidential campaign and pull it off as brilliantly as he said he will?”

Dickerson also reflected on the state of the campaign and said whoever dominates a particular news cycle ends up suffering in the polls.

“I think both candidates have decided that the best way for them to rise in the polls is by keeping their opponent in the center of the spotlight. Now, that only takes you so far because there are a lot of people who want to vote for something and not against something. Now, having said that, the polls show the majority in both cases are voting, the majority of voters supporting both candidates, are voting against the opposition.”


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