Obama warns ‘democ­racy it­self’ at stake in elec­tion

Trump de­nies sex as­sault ‘lies’, faces first lady re­buke

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

CLEVE­LAND/WASH­ING­TON: Don­ald Trump sav­aged the US me­dia for re­port­ing “out­right lies” that he groped and forcibly kissed women, as US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama warned yes­ter­day that Amer­i­can “democ­racy it­self” is on the bal­lot and First Lady Michelle Obama blasted the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee in a pow­er­ful tirade.

Just 26 days be­fore the Amer­i­can elec­torate chooses a suc­ces­sor to her hus­band on Nov 8, a vis­i­bly an­gry first lady de­liv­ered a fiery take­down of the real es­tate mogul and his “dis­grace­ful” be­hav­ior. “Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say, enough is enough,” Mrs Obama told a rally for Demo­cratic nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton in New Hamp­shire. “This has got to stop right now.”

Her hus­band turned up the heat later yes­ter­day, jet­ting to the key swing state of Ohio to lash Repub­li­cans tight to their sink­ing ship. The New York mogul came from a “swamp of crazy” that Repub­li­cans had cul­ti­vated over decades, Obama told the state where Trump has long held a lead but where a poll on Thurs­day edged Clin­ton ahead.

Obama warned that Amer­i­can “democ­racy it­self” is on the bal­lot. He trashed Trump as a dic­ta­tor-in-the-mak­ing, but also voiced con­cerns about how Trump’s le­gion of sup­port­ers might re­act to a pos­si­ble elec­tion de­feat. “Ci­vil­ity is on the bal­lot,” Obama told a group of largely young vot­ers in the swing state. “Tol­er­ance is on the bal­lot,” he con­tin­ued. “Cour­tesy is on the bal­lot. Hon­esty is on the bal­lot. Equal­ity is on the bal­lot. Kind­ness is on the bal­lot. All the progress we made in the last eight years is on the bal­lot,” he said. “Democ­racy it­self is on the bal­lot right now.”

With an eye on win­ning back con­trol of Congress, Obama also used the rally in Cleve­land to lash Repub­li­cans tight to their sink­ing White House nom­i­nee. Clin­ton is now the fa­vorite to win the pres­i­dency, but the bal­ance of the Se­nate and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives is much less clear. “A lot of Repub­li­can elected of­fi­cials have just stood by,” Obama said. “They’ve al­lowed a lot of crazy talk to just be pumped out again and again.”

But the 70-year-old Trump was de­fi­ant, cas­ti­gat­ing his ac­cusers as “hor­ri­ble liars” and ac­cus­ing Clin­ton of con­spir­ing in a co­or­di­nated me­dia at­tempt to sab­o­tage his cam­paign. At least six women have ac­cused Trump of mak­ing un­wanted phys­i­cal ad­vances in ac­counts re­ported by The New York Times, NBC, Peo­ple Mag­a­zine and oth­ers, most of them af­ter Trump as­serted in Sun­day’s de­bate with Clin­ton that he had never sex­u­ally as­saulted a woman.

With his cam­paign in free-fall and slid­ing in the polls, Trump pounded the bat­tle­ground states of Florida and Ohio. “These vi­cious claims about me of in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct with women are to­tally and ab­so­lutely false,” Trump told a rally in West Palm Beach. “The at­tacks are or­ches­trated by the Clin­tons and their me­dia al­lies.” Trump said his lawyers were pre­par­ing a law­suit against The New York Times - which pub­lished the ac­counts of two women who ac­cused him of grop­ing and kiss­ing them un­less the pa­per re­tracts the ar­ti­cle.

The Times re­fused to back down. “We pub­lished news­wor­thy in­for­ma­tion about a sub­ject of deep pub­lic con­cern,” the pa­per’s as­sis­tant gen­eral coun­sel David McCraw wrote in a let­ter to Trump’s lawyers. The women’s ac­cu­sa­tions sur­faced af­ter a video emerged of Trump boast­ing in 2005 of grop­ing women with im­punity be­cause he was fa­mous, send­ing the White House race into un­prece­dented lev­els of vul­gar­ity.


US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama ar­rives to speak at a Hil­lary for Amer­ica cam­paign event in Cleve­land yes­ter­day. (In­set) Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump speaks to a crowd at the US Bank Arena in Cincin­nati on Thurs­day.—

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