Clinton hones closing argument against Trump, asks supporters to stage 'intervention' – Washington Post
By Abby Phillip, Jenna Johnson and Katie Zezima,
PITTSBURGH — Hillary Clinton honed her closing argument against Donald Trump Friday, asking supporters to imagine Trump standing in front of the Capitol and being in charge of the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
“Think about what it would mean to entrust the nuclear codes to someone with a very thin skin who lashes out at anyone who challenges him?” Clinton asked. “Imagine how easy it would be that Donald Trump would feel insulted and start a real war, not just a Twitter war at 3 in the morning.”
Clinton urged supporters to stage “an intervention” with friends and family members who plan to vote for Trump by explaining to them that “anger is not a plan.”
“Sometimes the fate of the greatest nations comes down to a single moment,” Clinton said. “This is one of those make-or-break moments for the United States. This is in your hands.”
The Democratic nominee’s exhortation, along with a campaign video depicting headlines of a Trump presidency, stating that “reality has no rewind,” came as she and Trump blitzed across the nation’s swing states with four days until Election Day as polls show the race tightening.
Clinton dispatched her most potent surrogates around the country Friday. President Obama, Vice President Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders all stumped for Clinton. In Denver, former president Bill Clinton talked about everything — from his wife’s work on special education to the credit ratings of millennials — assuring around 500 Democrats that they were on track to win. Clinton has also injected wattages of star power: Jay Z will headline a get-out-the-vote show in Ohio, while Stevie Wonder will play a “Love Trumps Hate” show in Philadelphia.
“My name’s not on the ballot, but everything we’ve worked for is on the ballot,” Obama said in Fayetteville, N.C. “Democracy’s on the ballot. I need you to vote. Don’t choose fear. Choose hope.”
Obama continued to assert that Trump is “temperamentally unfit” to be the commander in chief and has a long track record of insulting minorities, the disabled, women and others.
“If you disrespected women before you were in office, then you will disrespect women once you take office. If you accepted the support of Klan sympathizers, if you don’t denounce them right away because you’re not sure, well that’s what you’re gonna do once you’re in office,” Obama said.
Here in Pittsburgh, businessman and reality television star Mark Cuban relentlessly needled Trump for potentially not being as wealthy as he claims and for lacking the temperament to be president. Cuban also claimed Trump could be bribed.
“If Donald Trump, who rips off people for thousands, gets offered by some dictator — somewhere some despot somewhere — $20 billion, do you think he’s going to do what’s right for the country or do you think he’s going to take the money?” Cuban asked. “Do you think he cares about you or his bank account?”
Clinton will also hold a rally in Detroit.
A subdued Trump took the stage in New Hampshire, where for another day the Republican nominee heavily focused on Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, accusing her of committing crimes and perjury.
“How can Hillary manage this country when she can’t even manage her emails?” asked Trump, who will also campaign in Ohio and Pennsylvania Friday.
Trump called Clinton “unstable” and “trigger-happy,” and criticized the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. However, in 2011, Trump had supported the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
Trump’s crowds typically yell “lock her up” when the candidate discusses Clinton’s emails. The one in New Hampshire took a menacing turn, when one supporter shouted “execute her.”
Trump repeated promises to “drain the swamp” of Washington, bring back jobs and help veterans, leading one veteran to wave his prosthetic leg, which had a New England Patriots logo sticker affixed to it, in the air.
But Trump’s surrogates continued to create headaches for his campaign. At the New Hampshire rally, former New Hampshire governor John H. Sununu joked that Clinton’s husband does not want to have sex with her.
“Do you think that Bill was referring to Hillary when he said: ‘I did not have sex with that woman?’” Sununu said, referring to former president Bill Clinton.
A small crowd gathered at a country club laughed at the joke. One man shouted: “You mean Bill the rapist?” Trump’s campaign has yet to respond to the comment.
Sununu was governor of the state in the 1980s and was later White House chief of staff under President George H.W. Bush. He is the father of former senator John E. Sununu and Christopher Sununu, who holds a local office and is running for governor.
While talking about how he plans to win Texas, Trump called the state’s agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller, a “wonderful guy.” Miller called Clinton the c-word in a tweet.
Also on Friday, two former aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is chairing Trump’s transition team, were convicted of all charges related to a plot to create a mammoth traffic jam on the nation’s busiest bridge as political retribution. Three people, including the traffic jam’s admitted mastermind, testified in federal court that Christie knew about it as it was happening. Christie, on Friday, continued to deny he knew about the plan.
The convictions are a coda to a huge scandal in a state where political misdeeds are as common as the traffic jam that started this one. Known as “Bridgegate,” the scheme hobbled Christie as his national star was rising and imperiled his presidential campaign, which ended in February. Since then his approval rating has nose-dived in New Jersey, where only about 20 percent of residents surveyed believe he is doing a good job.
But all of this has had little impact on Christie’s standing within the Trump campaign, where the governor is tasked with spearheading Trump’s transition to the White House should he win. On Thursday, Christie hosted a $5,000 a person fundraiser for Trump’s transition team at a law firm office in Washington.
Clinton campaign chair John Podesta said Christie should step down from the campaign.
“Rather than just crisscrossing the country and hop-scotching, talking about cleaning up the swamp, he might start by draining his own swamp and asking Mr. Christie to resign as the head of his transition,” Podesta said of Trump.
At a rally in Ohio, Trump said Clinton should fire Podesta and longtime aide Huma Abedin. The FBI said it found additional emails possibly pertinent to the Clinton investigation on a computer belonging to Abedin’s estranged husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner.
Trump’s campaign, which has said it will pass massive ethics reform, did not return a request for comment.
Meanwhile, a federal judge on Friday ordered elections boards in three North Carolina counties to restore voter registrations canceled through a so-called “individual challenge law” after the state NAACP sued over thousands of the challenges.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs issued the ruling after an emergency hearing earlier in the week on NAACP allegations that at least three counties purged voter rolls through a process disproportionately targeting blacks.
The ruling could affect several thousand voters in the swing state.
John Wagner in Washington and David Weigel in Denver contributed to this article. Zezima reported from Washington, and Johnson from New Hampshire and Ohio.
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