Donald Trump served as his own coach during a Wednesday night campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida, telling himself aloud not to get off-message.
“We’ve gotta be nice and cool,” Trump said to himself after predicting an Election Day victory. “Nice and cool. All right? Stay on point, Donald. Stay on point. No sidetracks, Donald. Nice and easy. Niiiiice.”
“Because I’ve been watching Hillary the last few days,” Trump went on. “She’s totally unhinged. We don’t want any of that. She has become unhinged.”
The Republican nominee’s onstage pep talk laid bare his campaign’s strategy for the final stretch of the race. By avoiding negative attention with one of his characteristic off-color remarks, Trump will allow the media’s focus to remain honed in on WikiLeaks document dumps and the FBI’s analysis of emails possibly related to Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
The real estate mogul has mostly stuck to the teleprompter script and kept his onstage asides aimed at Clinton in the final week before Election Day. His team’s previous efforts to keep his rally speeches and debate performances on track were derailed by his attacks on a former Miss Universe, suggestion that “Second Amendment people” could deal with Clinton, and promise to sue the women who have accused him of sexual assault, among others.