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Adviser to Donald Trump says GOP nominee will be ready for 1st presidential debate

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LISTEN: Trump's debate preparation.

PHOENIX — The co-chair and chief policy adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign said the GOP nominee will be well-prepared for the upcoming presidential debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Sam Clovis told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s “Arizona’s Morning News” on Thursday of Trump’s public speaking, that “what appears to be off the cuff is not really.”

The first debate between the candidates was set for Monday evening at Hofstra University on Long Island in New York.

Clovis said despite Trump’s apparent freewheeling style, “Mr. Trump is a very serious about preparation. He is an incredibly intelligent man.”

The GOP and Trump’s campaign posted a debate-prep survey on their websites.

The survey asked what topics voters wanted to hear about during the debate and included a lengthy list of subjects, ranging from immigration to taxes to Obamacare and whether Trump should attack Clinton or defend his agenda.

Trump is best known for attacking candidates but Clovis said,”He can talk about (issues) in a way that is very engaging to the people that hear him.”

Clovis had high praise for Trump running mate Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana.

“He is a solid four-square, serious, sober man. He is a conservative of incredible pedigree. … He is an incredible asset to the campaign.”

Pence will speak in the Valley on Thursday evening, at Living Word Church in Mesa.

Pence visited metro Phoenix in August and Trump has been in the Republican-leaning state several times in the past year. It has been nearly 25 years since a Democrat running for president has carried Arizona. President Bill Clinton pulled that off in 1992.

“We want to make sure we put Arizona in the red column and make sure we get those electoral votes,” Clovis said.

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