At swing-state ral­lies, each says it would be too risky to elect the other

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE -

Don­ald Trump warned on Thurs­day that a cloud of in­ves­ti­ga­tion would fol­low Hil­lary Clin­ton into the White House, evok­ing the bit­ter im­peach­ment bat­tle of the 1990s in a clos­ing cam­paign ar­gu­ment meant to bring way­ward Repub­li­cans home. Clin­ton and her al­lies, led by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, told vot­ers to get se­ri­ous about the dan­gers of Trump.

As some polls show Trump clos­ing in on Clin­ton in key bat­tle­ground states, her cam­paign is rush­ing to shore up sup­port in some long­stand­ing Demo­cratic strongholds. That in­cludes the cam­paign’s Michi­gan fire­wall, a re­mark­able sit­u­a­tion for a can­di­date who looked to be cruis­ing to an easy win just a week ago.

Clin­ton’s shrunken lead has given Trump’s cam­paign a glim­mer of hope, one he’s try­ing to broaden into a break­through be­fore time runs out. That means ze­ro­ing in on ques­tions of Clin­ton’s trust­wor­thi­ness and a new FBI re­view of an aide’s emails.

The at­tack is aimed at ap­peal­ing to mod­er­ate Repub­li­cans and in­de­pen­dents who have been the hold­outs of his cam­paign, turned off by his be-

hav­ior but equally re­pelled by the pos­si­ble re­turn of the Clin­tons.

“Here we go again with the Clin­tons — you re­mem­ber the im­peach­ment and the prob­lems,” Trump said Thurs­day at a rally in Jack­sonville. “That’s not what we need in our coun­try, folks. We need some­one who is ready to go to work.”

Clin­ton and al­lies, mean­while, are seek­ing to keep the spot­light on Trump, charg­ing that his dis­parag­ing com­ments about women and mi­nori­ties, and his tem­per­a­ment, make him un­fit for of­fice.

“He has spent this en­tire cam­paign of­fer­ing a dog whis­tle to his most hate­ful sup­port­ers,” Clin­ton said, sin­gling out Trump’s en­dorse­ment from the of­fi­cial news­pa­per of the Ku Klux Klan and not­ing that he has retweeted mes­sages from white su­prem­a­cists.

“This has never hap­pened to a nom­i­nee of a ma­jor party,” Clin­ton said.

“If Don­ald Trump were to win this elec­tion, we would have a com­man­der in chief who is com­pletely out of his depth and whose ideas are in­cred­i­bly dan­ger­ous,” she said at Pitt Com­mu­nity Col­lege out­side of Greenville, N.C. Clin­ton was to cam­paign later Thurs­day with for­mer pri­mary op­po­nent Sen. Bernie San­ders and pop star Phar­rell Wil­liams in Raleigh.

Trump’s path to vic­tory re­mains nar­row. He must win Florida to win the White House, no easy feat. Still, his cam­paign has been buoyed by tight­en­ing polls there and in other key bat­tle­grounds, as well as by signs that African-Amer­i­can turnout for Clin­ton may be lag­ging.

Clin­ton en­listed Obama’s help urg­ing those vot­ers to the polls and light­ing a fire un­der other Democrats, par­tic­u­larly young peo­ple, who share some of the wari­ness about Clin­ton. Speak­ing to stu­dents at Florida In­ter­na­tional Univer­sity in Miami, Obama told vot­ers now was the time to get se­ri­ous about the choice.

“This isn’t a joke. This isn’t ‘Sur­vivor.’ This isn’t ‘The Bach­e­lorette,’” he said, taunt­ing the for­mer re­al­ity TV star. “This counts.”

Rel­ish­ing one of his last turns on the cam­paign stage as pres­i­dent, Obama re­peat­edly re­turned to his new cam­paign catch­phrase cap­tur­ing his dis­be­lief in the un­pre­dictable race to re­place him.

“C’mon, man,” he said, to cheers.

Obama has been try­ing to bait Repub­li­can into veer­ing off mes­sage — count­ing on Trump not to have the dis­ci­pline or the ground game to cap­i­tal­ize on a late surge.

But the fa­mously un­con­ven­tional Trump has been hew­ing closer to con­ven­tion, run­ning some up­beat ads, bring­ing out his wife for a rare cam­paign ap­pear­ance and even talk­ing pub­licly about try­ing not to get dis­tracted.

“We don’t want to blow it on Nov. 8,” Trump said Thurs­day at the rally in Jack­sonville, his fourth in Florida in two days.

Clin­ton’s week­end sched­ule un­der­scored the Democrats’ fresh anx­i­ety in the fi­nal stretch. She is due to cam­paign Fri­day in Detroit, where a large turnout of black vot­ers has long been cru­cial to suc­cess, fol­low­ing up on a last-minute meet­ing by for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton with black min­is­ters on Wed­nes­day night.

Clin­ton and Obama, along with their spouses, will head­line a fi­nal pre­elec­tion rally in Philadel­phia next Mon­day even­ing.

Trump has had far fewer al­lies car­ry­ing his mes­sage. Sen. Ted Cruz, his GOP pri­mary foe, did cam­paign with vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mike Pence out­side Des Moines, Iowa, on Thurs­day, but he never men­tioned Trump by name in a 14-minute speech.

Trump’s wife, Melania, made her first ap­pear­ance on the trail since the Repub­li­can con­ven­tion in July. At a get-out-the-vote rally in the Philadel­phia sub­urbs, the for­mer model tried to counter the Clin­ton cam­paign’s pound­ing at­tacks on her hus­band as set­ting a poor ex­am­ple for chil­dren.

She told the group that if she be­comes first lady she will fo­cus on com­bat­ting on­line bul­ly­ing and work­ing against a cul­ture that has “got­ten too mean and too rough,” she said.

Melania made no ref­er­ence to her hus­band’s reg­u­lar name-call­ing on so­cial me­dia. On Twit­ter, Don­ald Trump has called Clin­ton “crooked,” ‘’pa­thetic,” ‘’liar,” ‘’a fraud” and “very dumb.” He’s called Cruz a “true lowlife pol” and a “com­plete and to­tal liar.”


Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton speaks dur­ing a rally Thurs­day at Pitt Com­mu­nity Col­lege in Win­ter­ville, N.C.


Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump waves Thurs­day dur­ing a cam­paign stop at the Jack­sonville Eques­trian Cen­ter in Jack­sonville, Fla.

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