“He came in unprepared and what we saw was kind of a meltdown,” said Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
“We’ll have to see how the voters judge this,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters.
“But I think the consensus of this entire debate was that Secretary Clinton was the only one on that stage prepared to be president, and I think the totality of the debate proved how deeply unfit he was.”
Aides to Clinton said they had expected Trump to showcase a more subdued demeanor, citing his efforts in recent weeks to stick to a teleprompter on the campaign trail and tone down his bombast.
“We thought we’d see a more disciplined Trump tonight – maybe someone who’d try to steal an early headline with a gesture of grace and show some magnanimity,” said Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon.
“Instead, this was the same Donald Trump in the primary. Which, of course, is the true Trump.”