Clinton, Trump kick off race to finish line
RIVALS Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump sprinted out of the campaign blocks to begin their two-month dash to the US presidential election, descending on Ohio as ground zero of their 2016 battle.
The candidates used Labour Day – the traditional launch of the home stretch of the presidential campaign – to push their arguments that they would be best for working-class Americans.
Democrat Clinton maintains an edge over Mr Trump in national polls, has dramatically deeper ground operations in swing states, and trounced Mr Trump in August fundraising.
But the Republican flagbearer’s unorthodox White House bid, including his campaign’s apparent imperviousness to criticism about his harsh rhetoric, assures a tight contest for the next 64 days.
“I’m not taking anybody, anywhere for granted,” Ms Clinton told a crowd of more than 1000 at a picnic in Cleveland.
Highlighting the intensity of the fight for battleground states like Ohio, Mr Trump was already on the ground in Cleveland for his own campaign events when Ms Clinton landed, their planes parking about two football fields apart on the tarmac.
“I’m ready. I’m more than ready,” she said of the intense two-month battle ahead as she attempts to become the first female US commander-inchief.
But after a few days of rest from campaigning, Ms Clinton coughed her way through portions of her Cleveland remarks.
Suffering one of her worst coughing bouts of the race, she paused to sip water, her voice reduced to a crackling whisper at times.
That is sure to fuel critics’ claims that Ms Clinton, 68, has serious health problems. Ms Clinton dismissed such “conspiracy theories,” saying her coughing was just from seasonal allergies.
Ms Clinton expressed “grave” concern about reports that Russia has been interfering in the US electoral process through invasive cyber attacks on the Democratic Party and an apparent attack on voter registration systems in Arizona.
And she implied Moscow was trying to help get Mr Trump elected.
“I think it’s quite intriguing that this activity has happened around the time Trump became the nominee,” she said.
Mr Trump, who visited a Cleveland diner to meet with union members, is seeking to capitalise on simmering frustration among blue-collar workers over jobs and wages.
Mr Trump, 70, dominated last week’s political messaging and imagery that included his visit to an AfricanAmerican church in Detroit.
The first of three presidential debates that are expected to be the most watched moments of the election is just three weeks away – on September 26 in New York.
After hinting last month that he might not participate in all of them, Mr Trump said he was on board.
“I expect to do all three,” Mr Trump told reporters. – TWO Muslim mothers wearing headscarves were accosted and prevented from entering a nursery school on the French island of Corsica by two other parents.
The incident happened on September 5 as parents were dropping off their children at the start of the school day in Bonifacio.
The two women, wearing Muslim headscarves, “were stopped by two men, two brothers, who thought it wasn’t right that their children are not allowed to wear emblems of their religion at school and yet these women could enter with their veils”, said local prosecutor Eric Bouillard.
Bonifacio Mayor Jean-Charles Orsucci said his education official “had intervened to allow normal entry to the school”.
Police were sent to the scene “and the situation calmed down. There was no violence and therefore no laws broken,” said Mr Bouillard.
While religious symbols are banned for pupils and teachers in French schools, there is no such constraint on parents.
The incident is the latest example of intercommunal tensions in France. –
Donald Trump (left) and Hillary Clinton will engage in three debates in the run-up to the November 8 presidential election.