Trump rips Obamacare and Clinton as rivals blitz Florida
WHITE House rivals Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump staged simultaneous rallies in crucial battleground Florida, with the Republican billionaire zeroing in on the Obamacare health overhaul as a job-killing, wallet-busting “monster”.
With just two weeks before the November 8 election, polls showed Democrat Ms Clinton – who is vying to become America’s first female president – dominating and looking for a resounding mandate to govern the bitterly divided country.
Early voting began in Florida on October 24, an urgent reminder that candidates have little time left to make their case in the country’s third most populous state, one with a wide mix of constituencies, including numerous retirees, Latinos and Bible Belt whites.
Mr Trump made a pitch to Florida’s elderly voters by assailing a sharp rise in health insurance premiums expected next year under President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform, vowing to “repeal and replace” Obamacare if elected.
At a stop in Tallahassee, he assailed the “stupid” government officials “who rammed this monster down our throats”.
Poll averages show that the former secretary of state, who turned 69 yesterday, is ahead in Florida by 3.1 percentage points, and nationally by 5.4 points.
Rallying supporters at a college in southern Broward County near Fort Lauderdale, Ms Clinton urged Floridians to help propel her to the White House by getting out and voting “right now”.
“This is bigger than me. It’s bigger than any of us. It’s even bigger than Donald Trump if you can believe it,” she told the cheering crowd.
Mr Obama – who will campaign for Ms Clinton on October 28 in Florida – has said he wants an overwhelming Democratic victory in order to send the message that Americans reject Mr Trump’s divisive rhetoric.
No one has forgotten that the 2000 presidential election hinged on Florida, where a virtual tie was decided in favor of George W Bush by the US Supreme Court.
Earlier, Mr Trump took direct aim at Mr Obama, alleging based on the WikiLeaks release of hacked Ms Clinton campaign emails that the president knew about his secretary of state’s controversial use of a private email server at the time.
Mr Trump’s standing in polls has been hit hard, particularly among female voters, since this month’s release of a 2005 video on which he boasts that his celebrity allows him to grope women with impunity.
But a more disciplined Mr Trump largely stayed on message in Florida, attacking Ms Clinton over taxes and foreign policy, and jabbing at her email scandal.
Ms Clinton received an endorsement from the latest in a long line of prominent Republicans who refuse to vote for their party’s nominee, as exsecretary of state and retired four-star general Colin Powell announced he would vote for her. –
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addresses an early vote rally at Broward College in Coconut Creek, Florida, on October 25.