Mon, Oct 24, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Clinton focuses on congressional races

FINAL DAYS:The Democratic candidate said she would not respond to the attacks or provocations from her opponent Donald Trump in the run-up to election day

AFP, PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania

Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, and her running mate, US Senator Tim Kaine, left, on Saturday speak to reporters on Clinton’s plane while it is sitting on the tarmac in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Photo: AFP

With polls giving her the edge on Election Day, Democratic White House nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton said on late Saturday that she planned to work hard to see her party make gains in Congress.

Speaking to reporters aboard her campaign plane, the 68-year-old former US secretary of state said she no longer wished to respond to the attacks or provocations of her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, in the run-up to the Nov. 8 vote.

The 70-year-old Republican billionaire, making what his team had billed as a key policy speech laying out his plans for the first 100 days of his presidency, did hit on some key issues, vowing to create 25 million jobs over a decade and cut middle-class taxes.

However, he also angrily pledged to sue the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct — an issue that has dogged his candidacy in recent weeks and put Clinton in the driver’s seat with just over two weeks to go in the campaign.

Barnstorming on Saturday through key swing states, the candidates provided a study in contrast — Clinton was the picture of optimism and inclusion, while Trump lobbed scathing attacks at his critics, including his female accusers, the media and Clinton herself.

“We’re talking about what’s at stake in the election, drawing contrast, but we’re giving people something to vote for — not just against,” Clinton said.

“As we’re traveling in these last 17 days, we’re going to be emphasizing the importance of electing Democrats down the ballot,” she added, determined to capitalize on the divisions in the Republican Party sparked by Trump.

On Election Day, voters will choose a new president to succeed US President Barack Obama, as well as a third of the 100 senators and all 435 members of the House of Representatives, who serve two-year terms. Both houses of Congress are currently under Republican control, but the Democrats believe a changing of the guard in the Senate is within reach.

Remaining cautious on the eventual election result but noting “really encouraging signs” about turnout, Clinton said she was prepared to finish the campaign without worrying about her unorthodox opponent.

“I debated him for four and a half hours. I don’t even think about responding to him anymore,” she said in between two campaign stops in Pennsylvania.

“He can say whatever he wants, he can run his campaign however he wants to,” Clinton added. “I’m going to let the American people decide between what he offers and what we offer.”

Trump, who has dropped in the polls since a number of women have come forward with allegations that he groped or forcibly kissed them, looked to reset his flailing campaign in Gettysburg.

The historic battlefield town in Pennsylvania, is where then-US president Abraham Lincoln delivered his key Civil War speech to try to unite the nation.

“Change has to come from outside our very broken system,” Trump told a room of several hundred supporters, hitting on many of his usual stump speech themes — immigration, trade, congressional term limits and his call for Obamacare to be repealed. “Hillary Clinton is not running against me, she’s running against change.”

He invoked the legacy of Republican Lincoln, saying the nation should look to heal sharp divides.

He even repeatedly used Lincoln’s words to champion government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

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