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Trump rarely appears before small audiences, preferring raucous campaign rallies in large arenas, so Thursday’s town hall provided him an opportunity to practice speaking in a more intimate setting and to prepare for Sunday’s town hall-style event with Clinton.
The event lasted just over 30 minutes, and the questions, selected from an invitation-only crowd, were complete softballs, bearing little resemblance to what he will encounter from moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, and audience members during Sunday’s debate
Donald Trump swears the small town hall his campaign held for him here wasn't debate prep. And after hearing the questions, maybe he was right.
And while Sunday’s debate will stretch for 90 minutes without a bathroom break, Trump bolted from his town hall in Sandown after barely more than one-third of that time.
Trump’s campaign did place a two-minute countdown clock in front of their candidate on Thursday. He repeatedly blew past that time limit anyway.
“I said forget debate prep. I mean, give me a break,” Trump said at one point. “Do you really think that Hillary Clinton is debate-prepping for three or four days. Hillary Clinton is resting, okay?”
“It’s so disconcerting when you hear, even tonight, ‘Donald Trump is going to New Hampshire to practice for Sunday,’” he said. “This has nothing to do with Sunday—they make you, like, a child.”
He asserted that the event had been planned “a little while ago” and that his campaign was considering canceling it for debate prep—“I said, forget debate prep,” he said. “I’m here for one reason: I love the people of New Hampshire. I said I was going to be here and I’m here. Very simple.”