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Trump shouldn't get a 'passing grade' if he lies, Clinton campaign manager says

Clinton's campaign manager on tonight's debate

Donald Trump's "erratic" personality makes him a unique debate opponent, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager said Monday.

"Donald Trump is special. Nobody's ever had to face an opponent like him," Robby Mook told CNBC's "Closing Bell" ahead of the first presidential debate pitting Clinton against Trump.

The event comes as the race between the two major party candidates has tightened, with Trump gaining ground or pulling ahead of Clinton in some national and swing-state polls in recent weeks. Republican Trump, who stormed into the race last year with outlandish and divisive statements, has proven more restrained, by his standards, in recent weeks.

Robby Mook, campaign manager for 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mook said the campaign is "curious to see which Donald Trump shows up" to Monday night's debate at Hofstra University. The Clinton campaign has prepared for both the off-the-cuff and more subdued versions of Trump, NBC News reported.

Mook expressed concern that Trump would be lauded for acting civil during the debate, even if he lies or does not go into detail about his policies.

"You cannot give this guy a passing grade if he doesn't tell the truth," Mook said.

Mook contended that Clinton resonates with voters when she has a chance to describe her policies in detail and said he hoped she got that chance on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, informal Trump advisor and CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow told CNBC he wanted Trump to repeat his economic plans throughout the debate.

Tune in to CNBC's coverage of the first presidential debate at 9 p.m. ET.