Clin­ton draws record crowd Trump tee­ter­ing on the precipice af­ter video leak

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

An in­vig­o­rated Hil­lary Clin­ton com­manded a record crowd of more than 10,000 sup­port­ers Mon­day, leav­ing Don­ald Trump floun­der­ing as Amer­ica’s top elected Repub­li­can all but con­ceded the White House.

The former sec­re­tary of state look­ing to make his­tory as Amer­ica’s first woman com­man­der-in-chief held an even­ing rally at Ohio State Univer­sity ahead of the state’s dead­line to regis­ter to vote. The turnout marked a record for her cam­paign, with Trump tee­ter­ing on the precipice af­ter dam­ag­ing rev­e­la­tions of his lewd com­ments about women. The Clin­ton camp es­ti­mated the size of the crowd at 18,500, in­clud­ing 5,000 out­side the perime­ter. An AFP re­porter said the num­ber at more than 10,000. The Demo­crat tried re­peat­edly to get un­der her Repub­li­can op­po­nent’s skin, mock­ing his tele­vi­sion career.

“On the day that I was in the Situation Room watch­ing the raid that brought Osama bin Laden to jus­tice, he was host­ing ‘Celebrity Ap­pren­tice,’” she said, a day af­ter the two can­di­dates held their se­cond pres­i­den­tial de­bate watched by an es­ti­mated 66.5 mil­lion peo­ple. “So if you want to talk about we’ve been do­ing the last 30 years: Bring. It. On,” added Clin­ton. The Demo­crat, who has strug­gled to en­er­gize young vot­ers, fo­cused her speech on youth turnout, re­peat­edly stress­ing the stakes of the No­vem­ber 8 elec­tion, just four weeks away. “This is turn­ing the clock back not just a few years but cen­turies. The only way to re­buke this is to vote,” she re­peated. Her ri­val’s can­di­dacy suf­fered a crip­pling blow af­ter the 2005 tape was re­leased Fri­day in which he claimed he could grab women by the crotch with im­punity be­cause, as a celebrity, “you can do any­thing.”

Limp­ing to fin­ish line

The fallout saw a wave of Repub­li­can law­mak­ers aban­don him, in­clud­ing some who have urged him to step aside. A new NBC News/Wall Street Jour­nal poll, con­ducted af­ter the video was re­leased but be­fore Sun­day’s de­bate, showed Clin­ton with an 11point lead in a four-way elec­tion — 46 per­cent to 35 per­cent-and a 14-point lead in a head-to-head matchup.

“I may be limp­ing across that fin­ish line, but we’re go­ing to get across,” con­ceded Trump at a rally in Wilkes-Barre in the crunch state of Penn­syl­va­nia, for once con­ced­ing the scale of the fight be­fore him. He promised to make six cam­paign stops a day in the fi­nal week be­fore the elec­tion, in­sist­ing there was still a path to vic­tory and urg­ing his core sup­port­ers to come out and vote on No­vem­ber 8. “We have to make sure this elec­tion is stolen from us and not taken away from us,” he said.

It was the cus­tom­ary rock-star re­cep­tion for the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee at the Mo­he­gan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, which has a max­i­mum ca­pac­ity of 10,000 and which was close to-but not en­tirely-full. “Without the me­dia, Hil­lary Clin­ton couldn’t be elected dog catcher,” said Trump, call­ing US tele­vi­sion net­work CNN “a dis­grace.” CNN host An­der­son Cooper was one of the two mod­er­a­tors at Sun­day’s de­bate. At one point, Trump picked up a tod­dler dressed as a mini-Trump in a grey suit, red tie and white shirt, with blond hair. “Trump,” replied the child into the mi­cro­phone to laughs when the Repub­li­can can­di­date asked whether the boy wanted to go back to his par­ents or stay with the nom­i­nee, be­fore he handed him back over.

Trump threat­ens Clin­tons

But as he promised to bring back jobs, end il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, rene­go­ti­ate trade deals and re­duce taxes, one man shouted “how are you go­ing to do it?” and turned his head away in dis­gust. Faced with the tape scan­dal, House Speaker Paul Ryan told fel­low Repub­li­can law­mak­ers that he could no longer “de­fend” Trump, and that the pri­or­ity now was main­tain­ing the party’s con­trol of Congress. “You all need to do what’s best for you in your district,” he said, ef­fec­tively giv­ing cover to law­mak­ers con­sid­er­ing sev­er­ing ties with the con­tro­ver­sial GOP flag­bearer.

Sun­day’s town hall-style de­bate was a study in heated per­sonal at­tacks and a stark re­minder of the di­vi­sive­ness of the 2016 race. In a room that in­cluded Bill Clin­ton and three women who have ac­cused the former pres­i­dent of sex­ual mis­con­duct, Trump threat­ened to jail his ri­val and lobbed in­cen­di­ary al­le­ga­tions against her hus­band.

The 70-year-old real es­tate mogul apol­o­gized for “locker room talk,” but ac­cused Bill Clin­ton of be­ing “abu­sive to women.” On Mon­day, Trump dou­bled down on a pledge to in­ves­ti­gate his ri­val if he wins, de­spite the sug­ges­tion be­ing roundly de­nounced. “Spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor here we come,” Trump sneered at a rally in Am­bridge, Penn­syl­va­nia, brand­ing Bill Clin­ton a “preda­tor.” “If they want to re­lease more tapes... we’ll con­tinue to talk about Bill and Hil­lary do­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate things.” — AFP

OHIO: Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton ar­rives on stage dur­ing a rally at Ohio State Univer­sity in Colum­bus. — AFP

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