DECISION 2016 | Pre-debate chat with 'NBC Nightly News' anchor Lester Holt
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) - Ahead of the third and final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, News 3’s Jim Snyder grabbed a few moments with "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt.
During their few moments of peace, Snyder spoke with Holt about expectations ahead of the final showdown.
“Round one had some nastiness, round two, a lot more. Are we going to go any further tonight, you think?” asked Snyder.
“Well, all you can do is take what we’ve seen in the campaign over the last week leading up to this. And Donald Trump has been very out there, very much like the guy we saw in the primary. So, I think we’ll probably see that Donald Trump tonight. Hillary Clinton has the challenge of, you know, she’s got a lead in most of the polls. That makes her vulnerable, so she has to find a way to make sure that the people that are behind her are still with her, and people on the fence, well, there’s no reason to shake them off the fence or at least get them onto her side,” said Holt.
Wednesday night, Fox News journalist Chris Wallace will be moderating the final debate. Snyder asked Holt about his time in the moderator seat, a challenging position for anyone during this election cycle.
“Tough is an understatement,“ laughed Holt. “First of all, I think Chris is a great choice, I think he’ll do a great job. As I watch these debates, I have great empathy and sympathy for them, because I’ve sat in that chair. It is the hardest chair in the world. There’s a lot of passion in any debate, and they want to get their points out. The great thing about the format is that there’s not a lot of time constraints, you know, there’s the two-minute initial responses to the questions and then a free exchange. But you want to try and get as many topics in and that’s the challenge. They’re both very outspoken and, as I found, very hard to contain,” said Holt.
He believes Wallace will have the advantage, having seen the first two debates play out over the last few weeks.
“To a large extent, [the candidates] will drive this conversation,” said Holt.
As for the issues, Holt believes the candidates will choose what’s most important to them.
“They are both very adept at getting in their talking points, even though they may have nothing to do with the specific question being asked, but that, in some ways, is typical. You go back and look at any debate and candidates tend to answer what they want and then they’ll get to what you want,” said Holt.
One strategy being used in Wednesday night’s debate is that of invited guests. Last time, Donald Trump invited women who had accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault. This time, he’s invited President Barack Obama’s half-brother to sit in the audience.
“Having spent time with both of these candidates along the way, I think it’s hard to imagine either of them being rattled by anything. They are both pros at all of this. I’m not sure how that stuff plays. It gets a lot of conversation going about the debate, but for the millions of viewers, you don’t see those folks sitting there,” said Holt.