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Campaign 2016 updates: Hillary Clinton is making the election a referendum on Trump

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Bernie Sanders campaigns with Hillary Clinton in North Carolina. Donald Trump makes stops in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Donald Trump portrays Hillary Clinton as untrustworthy and unfit to lead the military

Donald Trump campaigns in Selma, N.C.
(Jim Lo Scalzo / European Pressphoto Agency)

Donald Trump cast Hillary Clinton on Thursday as unfit to lead the nation’s military, pronouncing her guilty of multiple crimes as he sought to maximize his gains from the FBI’s disclosure of its renewed interest in her private email server.

At an evening rally with retired military supporters here, Trump called Clinton the most dishonest person ever to seek public office.

“You know, when I look at these great admirals, and these great generals, and these great Medal of Honor recipients behind me, to think of her being their boss? I don’t think so,” Trump said, drawing boos, aimed at Clinton, from thousands of supporters.

“And you know they’re incredible patriots and would never say a thing, but I know what they’re thinking. It’s not for them, believe me.”

Trump cited a CBS News report quoting an unnamed U.S. official saying that the FBI had found emails related to Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The report said it was unclear whether the emails were significant.

But Trump, offering no evidence, said they showed that Clinton “committed perjury absolutely, because of her statements, in addition to all of her other crimes.”

“Probably also in that batch are classified emails at the highest level that would now have been hacked by foreign countries, because you saw today where they said yep, she was hacked.”

Trump was apparently referring to a Fox News report quoting anonymous sources contradicting FBI Director James B. Comey’s statement in July that there was no evidence showing that a foreign country had hacked Clinton’s email.

Praising his military supporters, Trump also said they were “so much more brave than me. I wouldn’t have done what they did. I’m brave in other ways. I’m financially brave. Big deal.”

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Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton team up to target Trump

(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Bernie Sanders was effusive in his praise of Hillary Clinton. The Democratic nominee returned the favor, declaring how much fun it was to be running with him, not against him.

And together, Clinton and Sanders delivered a tag-team assault on Donald Trump before a crowd of more than 5,000 here, alternately mocking the Republican for his inflated ego and warning of the danger he could pose in the Oval Office.

“I disagree with Donald Trump on virtually all of his policy positions. But what upsets me the most -- it’s beyond disagreement -- is we have struggled for so many years to overcome discrimination,” the Vermont senator said. “And he is running his campaign, the cornerstone of which is bigotry. We are not going back to a bigoted society.”

Clinton, as she has all week, said it was difficult to imagine a man who demeaned women, minorities and the disabled as president.

She returned to the example of the so-called Central Park Five, black and Latino teens who were charged but later exonerated in a New York rape case. Trump had taken out ads calling for their execution at the time, and even to this day has said they should still be in jail, Clinton said.

“Evidence didn’t matter. The law didn’t matter. To him, those kids would always be guilty,” she said. “If he wants to keep exonerated people in jail, how can we trust him to fight for the rule of justice and fairness and criminal justice reform.”

She said the latter would be a major cause for her as president. Entertainer Pharrell Williams, who joined her and Sanders here, said Clinton had convinced him that she is committed to ensuring the justice system is fair.

Though Williams was best known for his hit “Happy” -- a note Clinton tried to play off of in her remarks -- she acknowledged the distaste many have shown in this year’s campaign.

“I think that’s an important signal, because this is a big decision,” she said, putting most of the blame for the negative tenor of the race on her opponent. “I think it’s fair to say that my opponent has already revealed who he is.”

Clinton and Sanders also teamed up to take on North Carolina’s Republican governor and Legislature for taking steps to make it more difficult for African Americans to vote.

Sanders called such efforts “cowardly.”

“If you don’t have the guts to participate in a free, open and fair election, get out of politics and get another job,” Sanders said to raucous applause.

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In the closing week, Clinton is once again making the election a referendum on Trump

(Win McNamee / Getty Images))

In the final days of the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has a consistent theme: Donald Trump.

There was a point at which Clinton’s advisors had envisioned a more positive ending, but in the final days of a tight race, the Democratic nominee has backed away from emphasizing a sunny message of inclusiveness. Instead, she has dwelled repeatedly on a vision of a dark future of America under her opponent.

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Tim Kaine, en español

(Matt York / Associated Press)

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine courted Latino voters on Thursday by delivering a speech entirely in Spanish, a first in a race for the White House.

“Whether your family just arrived or has been here since before the United States even existed, Hillary Clinton and I believe we are brothers and ... sisters, and we will be your champions,” Kaine told supporters in Phoenix, according to a translation of his remarks provided by the campaign. “You’re our neighbors, colleagues, friends and families. You make our nation stronger, smarter, and more creative. And I want all of you to know that we see you, and we are with you. America is a better country because of you.”

This is not the first time Kaine how touted his fluency in Spanish, which was burnished by his time as a missionary in Honduras. He delivered his first major floor speech – about immigration reform – in the U.S. Senate in Spanish. And he broke into a few lines in Spanish when he was introduced as Clinton’s running mate.

“With so much at stake for the Hispanic community, it just makes sense to make the case for our campaign in a language that’s spoken by so many families across the country,” Kaine said.

The location of Kaine’s speech was notable – Arizona is a reliably Republican state but could be competitive this year, in part because of motivated Latino voters who are turned off by GOP nominee Donald Trump’s rhetoric. Democrats seem optimistic about their prospects of flipping the state, spending money there and scheduling appearances during the final days of the campaign. Clinton herself was in the state earlier this week, and First Lady Michelle Obama was in Phoenix last week.

“Here in Arizona, our campaign is surging,” Kaine said. “More than a million people have already voted early, and the rate of Hispanic voters has nearly doubled compared to four years ago…. Latinos are going to have a really big voice in this election. And the choice is really clear.”

Kaine said if the Democrats were elected, they would pursue comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship within 100 days of taking office.

Kaine ticked off a list of Trump’s controversial statements about Latinos: He called illegal immigrants from Mexico rapists, drug dealers and “bad hombres,” called the Latina who won the Miss Universe pageant “Miss Housekeeping,” said an American-born judge was biased because of his “Mexican heritage,” and tweeted a picture of a taco bowl on Cinco de Mayo.

“This election isn’t just about where we’re going,” Kaine said. “It’s about who we are.”

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Melania Trump lamented cyberbullying, and the Internet went crazy

(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

Melania Trump’s speech Thursday lamenting cyberbullying caused an uproar on social media as critics pointed to her husband’s well-documented history of attacking those he doesn’t like on Twitter.

Speeches by spouses rarely attract major attention. But all eyes were focused on Trump because she has largely avoided the campaign trail and hasn’t given a campaign speech since the Republican National Convention.

In addition to describing her upbringing in Slovenia and becoming an American citizen, Trump said that if she becomes First Lady she will focus on stopping cyberbullying and increasing civility.

“Our culture has become too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” Trump said at a rally in Berwyn, Pa. “We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other.”

The Internet exploded, and Trump began trending.

Many critics simply highlighted GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s words:

Some made analogies to others they considered ill-suited to deliver a message:

Others created memes:

Trump supporters came to her defense, arguing that liberals were the true bullies:

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Melania Trump says she wants to reduce online bullying: ‘Our culture has become too mean and too rough’

(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

Even as Donald Trump assails political correctness, insults opponents in harsh late-night tweets and draws bipartisan rebukes for racially tinged insults, his wife vowed Thursday that she would devote her energy as first lady to reducing online bullying and promoting more civil discourse in American society.

“Our culture has become too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” Melania Trump said at a small rally in Berwyn, Pa. “We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other.”

Trump’s speech, just five days before election day, was her first solo address of the general election campaign. Her speech at the Republican National Convention, initially well-received, came under criticism after it was discovered that portions of it were lifted from a speech given by Michelle Obama in 2008.

Her message, that children should be protected from bullying on social media and that women should be given greater opportunity, provided a counterpoint to Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Trump, which has focused heavily on his crude language, particularly toward women and minorities.

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Latinos could set a record by casting almost 15 million ballots for president. Activists call it the Trump bump

Voter enthusiasm among Latino voters is at an all-time high this year; as many as 15 million Latinos may cast ballots, and the boost is being reflected in some early voting trends.

Donald Trump’s racially divisive rhetoric — calling Mexicans “rapists” and attacking former Miss Universe Alicia Machado — has galvanized Latino voters against him.

More than 70% of Latinos say this election feels “more important” than 2012, and 80% now view the Republican Party as “hostile” or uncaring of Latinos, according to a Latino Decisions tracking poll.

Democrat Hillary Clinton remains very popular among Latinos and could win as much as 79% of the Latino vote, surpassing the 75% that President Obama won in 2012, according to Latino Decisions projections.

“It’s a combination of enthusiasm to stop Trump — which is probably the strongest driver — but you also see a percent of Latinos that just support Clinton,” said Gabriel Sanchez, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Mexico.

“The Trump bump: That’s basically the reason it’s driving up — to block Trump.”

But some analysts say Latino voter registration has simply kept pace with population growth and is not spiking this year.

A USA Today survey of the 50 counties with the largest Latino populations in swing states found no Trump effect boosting registrations.

The Latino vote has long lagged behind its potential, and turnout may depend largely on voter registrations. Studies show that once registered to vote, Latinos turn out at the same rate as white voters.

But with the window for registrations closed, outside organization are flooding key states to mobilize voters to the polls with volunteers and Spanish-language ads, like one featuring 11-year-old Sarai Gonzalez, the breakout star of Bomba Estereo’s “Soy Yo” video.

Some states are showing an uptick. Florida has seen record Latino turnout for early voting — up more than 100% compared with this point in early voting four years ago, according to data from Daniel Smith, a University of Florida political science professor.

Nevada’s Latino population also is highly organized for turnout, in large part because of the power of the culinary union. And in Texas, the El Paso Times reported record Latino early voting in three counties along the border with Mexico.

In North Carolina, Latino turnout already has topped 38,000 during early voting, according to Michael Bitzer, a professor at Catawba College. That’s more than half the total Latino ballots cast in 2012.

Still, Latino voter participation in the state has been less than 50% among eligible voters, lower than almost anywhere else in the country. That’s partly why advocacy groups have targeted the Tar Heel state along with other battlegrounds.

Among the legions of door-knockers canvassing neighborhoods this cycle are activists who are ineligible to vote because of their immigration or citizenship status but are pushing others to the polls.

Rogelio Reyes, 54, who has no car, has walked miles across Charlotte neighborhoods this year, talking to voters for the organizing group Action NC.

“One vote,” he said pounding the pavement recently, “is the difference.”

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Times cuts ties with freelancer over offensive Trump tweet

The Los Angeles Times cut ties Thursday with a freelance journalist in South Korea after he posted an offensive tweet about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

In a post on his personal Twitter feed, Seoul-based journalist Steven Borowiec wrote: “I would rather see Donald Trump’s life end.”

Borowiec was responding to a Time magazine tweet promoting Trump’s “life in pictures,” a collection of photos of the candidate.

Borowiec later deleted his tweet and posted an apology, saying the comment was “in jest.”

Times spokeswoman Hillary Manning said in a statement that Borowiec’s tweet was “inexcusable, and we have ended our relationship with him.” Borowiec had contributed freelance articles to The Times’ foreign news report for about three years.

“The Los Angeles Times is committed to fair, evenhanded coverage of the presidential campaign, and it expects all journalists representing the paper, including non-staff contributors, to adhere to this standard in their articles and social media posts,” Manning said.

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Condemning Trump’s ‘dog-whistle’ campaign, Clinton cites endorsement in KKK newspaper

(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton contended Thursday that Donald Trump has spent his entire campaign “offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters,” citing as evidence the recent endorsement of his candidacy in an official publication of the Ku Klux Klan.

“They said it’s about preserving white identity, and they placed their faith and hope in him,” she said, noting the endorsement was written under his slogan of “Make America Great Again.”

“You have to ask,” she added, “do any of us have a place in Trump’s America?”

Clinton focused her remarks here on examples of how Trump has discriminated against African Americans. She was introduced by a woman whose application for an apartment in one of Trump’s buildings years ago was denied. The incident later became part of a housing discrimination case.

Trump was “someone who always puts himself first, and doesn’t care who gets hurt along the way,” Clinton said.

“If he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can we trust him to serve all Americans?” Clinton asked.

Clinton also teased her rival for saying just this morning that he had “the greatest temperament,” asking: “He knows we can see and hear him, right?”

When Trump riffed Wednesday about the need to stay on message, Clinton also wondered if the lines were on his Teleprompter at the behest of his wary staff.

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Ted Cruz, once a foe of Donald Trump’s, hits the trail for GOP nominee in final days

(Los Angeles Times )

Ted Cruz called Donald Trump a coward during the bitter Republican presidential primary last spring and snubbed him over the summer at the Republican National Convention by withholding his endorsement.

But that was then.

On Thursday, Cruz was on the road campaigning with GOP vice presidential hopeful Mike Pence.

“I voted for Donald Trump, I voted for Mike Pence,” Cruz said to reporters in Iowa. “I’m doing everything I can to defeat Hillary Clinton. ... I’m doing everything I can to keep the Republican majority in the Senate.”

Cruz added that it was important to elect Trump so that a conservative is appointed to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

While Cruz appeared with Pence on Thursday, he has not campaigned alongside Trump.

During the Republican primary, Trump lobbed personal jabs at Cruz, criticizing the looks of his wife, Heidi, and repeating false rumors that Cruz’s his father had some role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

In late September, several months after the GOP primary ended, Cruz finally endorsed Trump.

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Latest Trump ad seeks to capitalize on Clinton’s email troubles

(Rhona Wise/Getty Images)

Donald Trump unveiled a new TV ad Thursday that seeks to capitalize on the FBI inquiry into new emails that may be related to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server while secretary of State.

The ad is set to air in Florida and North Carolina, both bitterly contested battleground states as the presidential race moves into its final few days.

The 30-second spot contains several misleading statements. Here’s a quick fact-check.

Hillary Clinton is under FBI investigation — again.

The announcement last week by FBI director James Comey about new emails did not reopen the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server. In July, the Justice Department declined to file charges against the Democratic nominee or anyone else, based on Comey’s recommendation. He told a news conference that Clinton and her aides had been “extremely careless” by using a private email server while at the State Department, but said there was no “clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information.”

[Clinton’s] emails were found on pervert Anthony Weiner’s laptop

The FBI found the new emails while investigating whether Anthony Weiner violated federal law when exchanging sexually explicit texts with a teenage girl in North Carolina, a federal law enforcement official said. Weiner, a New York Democrat, served seven terms in Congress but resigned in disgrace in June 2011 when the first of several sexting scandals became public. He is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, a senior aide to Clinton. The two shared the computer that contained the emails, and law enforcement officials think the emails belong to Abedin, not Clinton.

Hillary cannot lead a nation while crippled by a criminal investigation.

Again, while the timing of the FBI announcement just days before the election is far from ideal for the Clinton campaign, she is not under investigation. She has repeatedly said that she erred by using a private server, but that it was not prohibited at the time and has denied any deliberate wrongdoing.

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Darrell Issa and Nancy Pelosi agree: Stop talking about impeaching Hillary Clinton

(John Gastaldo/TNS)

An unlikely duo is working to tamp down talk from a handful of House Republicans who say Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton should be impeached if she’s elected president.

Some House Republicans have in recent days echoed statements from Republican nominee Donald Trump about a potential “constitutional crisis” if Clinton’s emails are investigated by the FBI while she’s in office. The FBI announced recently it is reviewing emails that may be related to Clinton which it didn’t have during its initial investigation.

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) have each urged House Republicans to take the impeachment issue off the table.

“OK, I’m gonna say, be the adult in the room and say ‘calm down, back off, it’s not gonna happen,’” Issa, a Trump supporter and longtime thorn in the Obama administration’s side, said on the “Brett Winterble Show” on 760 KFMB radio San Diego on Wednesday.

Issa previously has said that Clinton should be indicted for using a private email server while secretary of State. Now, however, he’s in an unexpectedly tough race for reelection and has deemphasized his past as a firebrand.

Impeachment is last resort, he said. “I would ask everyone to calm down and go back to the basics, which is we have an opportunity at the ballot box to determine whether Hillary Clinton has disqualified herself with her actions. Do that first.”

Pelosi, a Clinton supporter, released a statement Thursday saying that threats to impeach Clinton if she wins amount to “a brazen attempt to nullify the vote of the American people, outside our constitutional framework and destructive to the Framers’ intent.”

“The American people want Republicans to accept the will of the people and take impeachment off the table. Responsible Republicans must do so immediately,” she said.

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Hillary Clinton’s big election eve rally lineup: Obama, Michelle, Bill and Chelsea

(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton will hold a final election rally Monday evening in Philadelphia with President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea.

Long a politically important swing state, Pennsylvania is seen as a firewall Clinton needs to hold to win. She and Donald Trump both have visited the state repeatedly over the past few months, and Trump’s wife, Melania, is speaking in the state Thursday.

Both Clinton and Trump are scheduled to hold events in New York as they wait for results Tuesday evening.

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Obama at Florida rally: “This isn’t ‘Survivor,’ this isn’t ‘The Bachelorette.’ This counts!”

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Mike Pence sidesteps question on whether Paul Ryan should remain speaker

(John D. Simmons / Charlotte Observer)

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence declined three times to answer the question of whether Paul D. Ryan should be reelected as House speaker, during an interview with National Journal.

“My respect for Paul Ryan is boundless,” he said twice. “I’m not a member of the House Republican conference anymore. I wouldn’t presume upon what the members of the conference choose.”

A spokesman for Pence later told the Journal that Pence would support Ryan if he were still serving in the House.

Though Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has openly feuded with Ryan at times, Pence had largely stayed away from criticizing his former colleague for not openly embracing Trump.

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Catholic parish’s bulletin says Democratic voters are doomed to hell, Clinton is satanic

(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Between requests for prayers for the sick and a notice for an upcoming chastity luncheon, a newsletter from a Catholic church in San Diego’s Old Town that doubles as an election day polling site included a flier that told parishioners they’ll go to hell if they vote for Democrats.

Two Sundays later, the message had changed: Satan was working through former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it said.

The Oct. 16 bulletin from the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church contained a flier in English and Spanish that cited five legislative policies — support for abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, human cloning and embryonic stem cell research — that it said will doom politicians and their supporters to eternal damnation.

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Melania Trump to speak in Pennsylvania; first public address since convention plagiarism flap

Melania Trump will return to the campaign trail Thursday for her first public speech since the summer, when she spoke at the Republican National Convention and came under criticism for plagiarizing some lines from a previous Michelle Obama speech.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign told CBS News that Melania Trump will speak for up to 25 minutes on her husband’s proposed policies for women, families and children, and about what kind of first lady she’d be.

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Trump to himself: ‘Stay on point, Donald’

Stay cool, be nice and don’t mess up, Donald Trump told himself Wednesday on a rally stage in Florida.

“We’ve got to be nice and cool, nice and calm. All right -- stay on point, Donald, stay on point,” Trump said in Pensacola, Fla.

With less than a week to go before the election, the Republican candidate tried to heed the advice of his campaign advisors and not swing any potentially favorable poll results in recent days. Though he did throw in that he thinks rival Hillary Clinton has come unhinged in the last week.

“No sidetracks, Donald. Nice and easy,” Trump said.

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Mike Pence pays respects to slain officers in Iowa

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The polls might seem wild right now, but this election is closing a lot like the last one did

Outside the Santa Clara County registrar of voters office last month
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Charles Franklin is hardly a household name, but for a few minutes Wednesday, the full spotlight of the 2016 presidential campaign focused on the veteran pollster and political scientist as he unveiled the latest results from his closely followed poll of Wisconsin voters.

When he announced the verdict: Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 46%-40% — almost identical to the margin the poll had found in early October — sighs of relief from Democratic activists could be heard from Brooklyn to Santa Monica.

For Democrats, who, as a tribe, seem more inclined to election-season night terrors than their Republican foes, these are anxious days.

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Businesses and investors are betting Clinton will win. What if she doesn’t?

Financial advisors warn against making emotional sells after the stock market dip.
(Richard Drew / Associated Press)

Public opinion polls and political pundits suggest a tightening race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but the way the business community is acting, the election is over.

And Hillary Clinton has won.

Notwithstanding recent Wall Street jitters, most business and financial indicators are betting on a continuation of the current path, with a President Clinton extending Obama administration policies, kept in check by a GOP-controlled House.

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