Clinton, who debated Trump three times during the 2016 race, called this week's debate "all insult and attack and braggadocio."

By Nick Romano
October 01, 2020 at 09:31 AM EDT
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Hillary Clinton, who shared the debate stage three times with President Donald Trump during the 2016 election campaign, definitely has some thoughts on this week's debate between Trump and Joe Biden.

Popping over to The Late Late Show, Clinton told host James Corden, "It was nerve-wracking."

Referring to Trump, she said, "I know he will do or say anything, as we saw last night. So, I was watching but every so often I'd kind of be cringing or I'd be going 'oh!' A lot of dramatic moments. And there were a couple of times i just had to get up and walk [out] because it's very sad to think that we're having the most important election in maybe our history coming up and the president, one of the two candidates, can't be bothered to answer the questions, put forward any kind of agenda for the future. It's all insult and attack and braggadocio. It was sad, James. It was maddening and sad at the same time."

The debate, appropriately summed up by CNN's Jake Tapper as "a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck," turned into a constant barrage of interruptions as Trump routinely tried to talk over Biden and break debate rules by tossing out insults and claims during Biden's answers. According to a report from CBS News, the commission that oversees these general election debates is planning to cut off the microphones of both Trump and Biden if they break the rules.

Clinton told Corden that she offered some guidance to Biden's campaign when it comes to debating Trump. "You cannot let Trump knock you off your game," she said. "Now, he will, as we saw last night, as we saw in my debates with him, try to dominate, try to interrupt, try to control whatever the conversation is. And so you have to be really focused and very disciplined about not getting totally off the reservation all the time because he'll attack you in the middle of you answering a question — totally against the rules — and you want to continue answering your question but you don't want to look like you're avoiding his."

The former secretary of state also said Trump is "incapable of not lying. He has made his career on the basis of lies about his wealth." Noting the New York Times report on Trump's tax returns, Clinton continued, "We now know definitively something that I said back in 2016, he's not as rich as he claims, he doesn't pay income tax, and everything else that we learned. So, lying is not just second, it's first nature to Donald Trump."

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