War of words as race enters home stretch
HILLARY Clinton and Donald Trump, sensing the urgency of a presidential campaign entering its home stretch, assailed one another on multiple fronts and in coarse terms as new data showed them in a dead heat.
It was another day of scathing rebukes, intense rhetoric and tit-for-tat accusations as the bitter rivals sought to claim the advantage with voters just nine weeks before the November 8 election.
In Florida, Ms Clinton branded Mr Trump a “demagogue” and declared his campaign to be “one long insult”.
After the brash billionaire made a sudden trip to Mexico last week to meet President Enrique Pena Nieto, Ms Clinton said Mr Trump choked because he failed to discuss his demand that Mexico pay for Mr Trump’s border wall.
“Let me just tell you about choking,” Mr Trump fumed to ABC. “I don’t choke. She chokes.”
Mr Trump has edged ahead of Ms Clinton in a new CNN/ORC poll, at 45 percent to 43pc among likely voters, while an NBC News poll of registered voters shows Ms Clinton’s lead at six percentage points – 48pc to 42pc.
Another survey, by The Washington Post, looking at all 50 states shows Ms Clinton with a solid lead in terms of electoral college votes, and even strength in some traditional Republican strongholds.
Ms Clinton, however, said she pays no attention to polls.
“We’re sticking with our strategy. We feel very good about where we are,” she said.
But the polls show how close the race is looking ahead of the vote, making the battle for the so-called swing states all the more critical.
Ms Clinton rallied supporters at a voter registration event in swing state Florida, while the billionaire real estate mogul held a town hall meeting with military veterans before heading to North Carolina for an evening campaign rally.
“We have 62 days – just 62 days – to make the case, and I can’t do it without you,” Ms Clinton said.
She took pains to make herself more than available to reporters travelling with her, after nearly nine months without holding a formal press conference, taking questions for more than 20 minutes on her plane for a second-straight day on September 6.
Ms Clinton had sharp words for Mr Trump, describing him as “dead wrong” for saying that his tax returns were not the concern of everyday Americans, despite every major presidential nominee since Richard Nixon releasing their taxes before the election.
Ms Clinton also repeated her charge that Mr Trump is “temperamentally unfit” for the office. Before some 1500 supporters in Tampa, she denounced him as a “demagogue” preying on Americans’ insecurities.
Mr Trump assured veterans in Virginia Beach that he was in their corner, and used the opportunity to slam Ms Clinton’s ineffectiveness as a top diplomat and politician.
“She’s a disaster in so many different ways, folks,” he said. –
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (left) speaks during a campaign event in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on September 6. Mr Trump participated in a discussion with retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn (right).