White House spokesman Josh Earnest says President Obama will tune into the first U.S. presidential debate instead of watching Monday Night Football as he normally does. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama will spend his Monday night at the White House the same way he usually spends his fall evenings, doing work with the TV on in the background. But tonight, he plans to sideline 'Monday Night Football,' and watch the first presidential debate instead. White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that "instead of Monday Night Football, there will be a little more politics discussed in context of the debate." Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump will face off for the first time on Monday in a presidential debate that could rank as one of the most watched, highly anticipated political showdowns in U.S. history. The tight race for the White House and the unpredictable clash in styles between well-known but polarizing opponents has generated wide interest in the potentially pivotal debate, which comes six weeks before the Nov. 8 election after a campaign that has stretched over more than a year. The gap between the two candidates in recent national opinion polls has narrowed in the past week, with the latest Reuters/Ipsos polling showing Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points, with 41 percent of likely voters.