Clin­ton keeps up anti-Trump push

Trump bashes her ac­cep­tance speech

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - LISA LERER AND JONATHAN LEMIRE

Fresh off a spir­ited con­ven­tion, Hil­lary Clin­ton told prospec­tive vot­ers they face a “stark choice” in Novem­ber and pressed ahead with the scald­ing rhetoric against her Repub­li­can ri­val that marked many of the speeches in Philadel­phia. Donald Trump de­nounced her con­ven­tion speech as “full of lies” and said he’s start­ing to agree with those call­ing for Clin­ton to be locked up.

The celebratory mood of this week’s Demo­cratic con­ven­tion spilled over into Fri­day as Clin­ton boarded her blue cam­paign bus, wrapped with the slo­gan “Stronger To­gether,” to open a three-day bus tour through the Rust Belt bat­tle­grounds of Penn­syl­va­nia and Ohio. The ef­fort to por­tray Trump as un­fit for the pres­i­dency car­ried over, too.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that ev­ery elec­tion is im­por­tant in its own way, but I can’t think of an elec­tion that was more im­por­tant in my life­time,” Clin­ton told thou­sands of sup­port­ers in a West Philadel­phia arena. “It’s not so much that I’m on the ticket, it’s be­cause of the stark choice that’s posed to Amer­i­cans in this elec­tion.”

She said she had “a re­ally late night” af­ter her speech ac­cept­ing the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion. “It was just hard to go to sleep.”

Ral­ly­ing in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Trump at times seemed to brush off the fierce Demo­cratic crit­i­cism, which went so far as to ques­tion his san­ity. Sound­ing more like a pun­dit than the sub­ject of all the vit­riol, he pro­nounced her speech “so av­er­age” and “full of clichés.” But he grew harsher as his event went on.

“Re­mem­ber this,” he said, “Trump is go­ing to be no more Mr. Nice Guy.” And for the first time he en­cour­aged his crowd’s anti-Clin­ton chants of “lock her up.”

“I’ve been say­ing let’s just beat her on Novem­ber 8,” he said, “but you know what? I’m start­ing to agree with you.”

Polls find that most Amer­i­cans ques­tion Clin­ton’s hon­esty. But in her con­ven­tion speech and her first events af­ter­ward, her pri­or­ity was to go af­ter Trump, not ask for trust.

Joined on the bus tour by her hus­band, Bill Clin­ton, run­ning mate Tim Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, Clin­ton stopped at a toy and plas­tics man­u­fac­turer in Hat­field, Penn­syl­va­nia, where she and Kaine cast Trump as a con artist out for his own gain.

“We don’t re­sent suc­cess in Amer­ica but we do re­sent peo­ple who take ad­van­tage of oth­ers in or­der to line their own pock­ets,” said Clin­ton, ad­dress­ing lo­cal of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees on the fac­tory floor.

Trump is also fo­cus­ing on Ohio and Penn­syl­va­nia, as states where he might make head­way with blue-col­lar white men. That group of vot­ers has eluded Clin­ton and was per­haps a hard sell af­ter a Demo­cratic con­ven­tion that heav­ily cel­e­brated racial and gen­der di­ver­sity.

Clin­ton is play­ing up eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity, di­ver­sity and national se­cu­rity. Democrats ham­mered home those themes this week with an ar­ray of politi­cians, celebri­ties, gun-vi­o­lence vic­tims, law en­force­ment of­fi­cers and ac­tivists of all races and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.

Their goal is to turn out the coali­tion of mi­nor­ity, fe­male and young vot­ers that twice elected Barack Obama while off­set­ting ex­pected losses among the white men drawn to Trump’s mes­sage.

Democrats con­trasted their op­ti­mistic mes­sage with the more troubled vi­sion of the state of the na­tion presented by Trump and oth­ers at the GOP con­ven­tion a week ear­lier. Kaine told CNN he found the Repub­li­can gath­er­ing “dark and de­press­ing.’ The con­ven­tion pro­vided hours of glow­ing trib­utes to Clin­ton, in­clud­ing deeply per­sonal tes­ti­mo­ni­als from her hus­band, daugh­ter Chelsea Clin­ton and Obama. And Clin­ton of­fered an open hand to back­ers of Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders, her pri­mary sea­son ri­val, say­ing, “I’ve heard you. Your cause is our cause.”

AN­DREW HARNIK, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton, Demo­cratic Vice Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, Sen. Tim Kaine, and former Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton, ar­rive for a rally at Tem­ple Univer­sity in Philadel­phia, Fri­day.

JOE MAHONEY, GETTY IM­AGES

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Donald Trump on the cam­pus of the Univer­sity of Colorado.

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