Trump rips Oba­macare and Clin­ton as ri­vals blitz Florida

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

Photo: AFP

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton ad­dresses an early vote rally at Broward Col­lege in Co­conut Creek, Florida, on Oc­to­ber 25.

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