Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump: Anyone complaining about microphones is 'not having a good night'

Clinton basks in Trump's misery the morning after the big debate

David Usborne
New York
Tuesday 27 September 2016 18:30
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Hillary Clinton on Trump - Anyone who complains about mic is not having a good night

Hillary Clinton evinced ebullience with reporters on her plane the day after the first televised debate with Donald Trump, declaring he had made claims on stage that were “demonstrably untrue” and mocking him for suggesting he had somehow been given a wonky microphone.

She also seized on remarks by Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York, suggesting that Mr Trump might skip the two further debates that are scheduled before Election Day on 8 November unless he is given assurances the moderators at each of them will treat him better.

“If I'm the only person onstage, well, you know, I'm the only person onstage,” Ms Clinton said, clearly savouring the mostly kind reviews of her performance at Hofstra University on Long Island on Monday night and the rather less glowing assessments of his.

Mr Trump’s response on Tuesday appeared to be first to blame everyone but himself if the perception was that he had fallen short at the debate and to attempt belatedly to deflect some of the more effective attacks that Ms Clinton had unleashed against him, thus making sure the media spotlight stayed on them when it was perhaps in his best interests that it did not.

That included his returning to an allegation that he had shamed a winner of a beauty pageant he once owned calling her “Miss Housekeeping”, apparently because she was from Latin America. On Tuesday, he implied she deserved his scorn because she gained weight. “She gained a massive amount of weight. It was a real problem. We had a real problem,” he told Fox News.

Arguably, Mr Trump had opened himself up to additional post-debate mockery with his suggestion that debate organisers may have given him a microphone that was faulty or set at a lower volume than Ms Clinton's. “My mic was defective within the room,” Mr Trump told reporters before leaving the venue on Monday. ”I wonder … Was that on purpose? Was that on purpose?”

“Anybody who complains about the microphone is not having a good night,” Ms Clinton suggested to reporters on her plane on Tuesday just before returning to her seat for a flight to North Carolina where she was due to hold her first post-debate rally.

She also sought to contrast how she sees America with the more dystopian characterisation of it that Mr Trump offered on Monday. He had spoken of the country in “dire and dark terms”, she said, adding: ”That's not who America is.“

Clearly aware that she was having a better ‘day-after’ than her rival, Ms Clinton said she had had a “great, great time” and was “thrilled” with how it turned out. There had been widespread agreement among political commentators on Tuesday morning that she had come far more prepared for the debate than he had even if some thought she had occasionally seemed smug.

She also sought briefly to reiterate the contention she had made on stage that Mr Trump lives in his “own reality” when it comes to some of the things he said. She agreed that he “was making charges and claims that were demonstrably untrue, offering opinions that I think a lot of people would find offensive and off-putting.”

Also on the trail yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden excoriated the Republican nominee for responding to Ms Clinton’s assertion that he had avoided paying income tax to the federal government for years by calling himself “smart” for it. “What in the hell he is talking about?” Mr Biden said, campaigning for Ms Clinton in Pennsylvania.

Xavier Becerra, a Congressman from California who is the chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives, told reporters that Mr Trump had seemed to come “unhinged” at moments in the debate, although he didn’t specify which ones they were.

“Donald Trump essentially showed who he is,” the congressman offered. ”He gave us a sense of his character and his temperament.“

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