Clinton energised, Trump hits battleground state
AN exuberant Hillary Clinton came out swinging against Donald Trump, lashing him as “dangerously incoherent” as her Republican opponent hit the campaign trail hard in battleground state Florida.
Ms Clinton’s energy suggested she was climbing out of perhaps the worst period of her 15-month campaign, when she blundered by belittling Mr Trump supporters and then was laid up with pneumonia earlier this month.
“I felt so positive about it,” Ms Clinton, 68, told reporters the day after going toe to toe with 70-year-old Mr Trump and frequently forcing her prickly opponent onto the back foot.
“The point is about temperament, fitness and qualification to hold the most important and hardest job in the world. I think people saw some very clear differences between us.”
The White House hopefuls sparred over judgement, trade, the economy and terrorism in the debate on September 26 watched by an estimated 84 million television audience. Most political analysts said the debate went in favour of Ms Clinton.
But both sides cried victory after the clash with polls now locked in a near dead-heat, showing Ms Clinton’s lead has all but evaporated.
In a campaign that has defied predictions, polarised the country and upended the political establishment, few can forecast for sure any impact on American voters at the ballot box on November 8.
Mr Trump jetted into Florida to woo Hispanic voters, who polls show overwhelmingly prefer Ms Clinton. He attended two fundraisers in a bid to play catchup with his opponent’s vast war chest and lead a large rally.
He complained to Fox News that moderator Lester Holt failed to press Ms Clinton on controversies over her emails as secretary of state and her handling of a 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
In Florida, ardent supporters of Mr Trump said they thought their man had performed well by presenting himself as the anti-establishment leader who could bring back jobs and keep the country safe from terrorism.
Mr Trump blamed Ms Clinton and the political class for losing jobs to Mexico and China through bad trade deals and incompetence.
Ms Clinton berated Mr Trump further on September 27 in North Carolina, telling young voters that while she has detailed policies, “what we hear from my opponent is dangerously incoherent”.
Mr Trump weathered allegations of bigotry and sexism, refusing to release his tax returns, won a vicious Republican primary campaign, and now has a real shot at being sworn in as the 45th president on January 20.
There are two more debates in the 2016 race, which could be pivotal in deciding whether Ms Clinton will become the first woman president, or if Mr Trump can pull off the greatest coup in US political history. –