Debate Night: Clinton, Trump set for high-stakes showdown

Trump, Clinton battle it out in 2016's new social media landscape. (AP File)
Trump, Clinton battle it out in 2016's new social media landscape. (AP File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of tangling from afar, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are preparing to confront each other face-to-face in the first presidential debate, laying out for voters their vastly different visions for the nation’s future.

The high-stakes Monday night showdown is the first of three presidential debates. It comes as both candidates are viewed negatively by large numbers of Americans, with Democrat Clinton facing questions about her trustworthiness and Republican Trump struggling to convince many voters that he has the temperament and policy depth to be president.

Interest in the presidential race has been intense, and the campaigns are expecting a record-breaking audience to watch the 90-minute televised debate at New York’s Hofstra University.

Trump tried to discredit Lester Holt, Monday night’s debate moderator, when he told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly last week that “Lester is a Democrat. It’s a phony system. They are all Democrats.” Holt is a registered Republican.

The two presidential campaigns are disagreeing on whether moderators should fact-check the candidates’ comments during debates. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, says debate moderators should correct any false statements by Trump so Clinton can use her time discussing her plans instead of correcting her rival. But Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, says fact-checking Trump is tantamount to helping Clinton.

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