(The entire interview is chock full of obfuscation and blame shifting but the debate comment comes around the 3:34 mark.)
Courtesy of Politico:
On the eve of the first presidential debate, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, described her candidate Sunday as “the Babe Ruth of debating,” a glowing assessment that’s unusual at a time when both camps typically work to rein in expectations.
“He's a brilliant debater,” Conway said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Newt Gingrich put it best. The former speaker recently said Donald Trump is the best debater he's ever seen. He's like the Babe Ruth of debating. He really shows up and swings and does a great job.”
Too be charitable Babe Ruth was known for eating poorly and drinking alcohol the night before a game and still knocking the ball out of the park with amazing frequency. So perhaps that is what Conway and Gingrich are suggesting, however in his past debate performances Trump hardly knocked anything out of the park.
And according to a recent article Trump's advisers are either losing faith in his ability as a debater, or are setting the media up to underestimate him.
Here is a link, judge for yourself:
Mr. Trump is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of Mrs. Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities … He has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials.
He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of
his advisers … He prefers not to do a full-length mock debate, and has no set person playing Mrs. Clinton.
He is not using a lectern for mock debate drills, despite suggestions from some on his coaching team that simulating a one-on-one debate is good practice after the primary debates that featured several rivals
Some Trump advisers are concerned that he underestimates the difficulty of standing still, talking pointedly and listening sharply for 90 minutes.
He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.
He does not like practicing an answer over and over until it is letter-perfect and appropriately brief. But this weekend’s work will be geared to running through questions while Mr. Trump is on his feet and aware of a countdown timer when he is speaking.
He believes debates are not won or lost on policy minutiae since most viewers will not remember them in an hour. His advisers see it as a waste of time to try to fill his head with facts and figures … Advisers are urging him to focus on big-picture themes rather than risk mangling facts.
His instinct in debates is often to attack and insult opponents, which had an upside during the circuslike primary debates but could be grating during a 90-minute one-on-one debate.
Mr. Trump can get bored with both debate preparations and debates themselves. His advisers have been reinforcing the importance of listening and focusing on every word Mrs. Clinton says and looking for ways to counterattack.
Like I said this could all be mind games designed to lull the Clinton campaign into complacency, however much of what is written here looks exactly like what we have seen in past debate performances.
However I do know that Clinton has taken several days off this last week to prepare, and is aware that she might see a completely different Donald Trump show up then the one we are all used to seeing.
But to think that Hillary is unprepared in any way for this debate, or that attempts to psyche her out by lowing expectations or inviting Gennifer Flowers will work, is to have not been paying any attention for the last twenty five years or so.