Campaign 2016 updates: Al Gore campaigns for Hillary Clinton, offering a reminder of 2000 election


Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both campaign in Florida on Tuesday after the state was hit by Hurricane Matthew.

Donald Trump’s first rally without ‘shackles’ keeps focus on Hillary Clinton, not GOP

Donald Trump in Panama City, Fla.
(Mandel Ngan / AFP-Getty Images)

After declaring his shackles had been cast off and spending most of Tuesday swiping at fellow Republicans, Donald Trump stuck to a relatively conventional script Tuesday evening: bashing Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s speech, delivered off a teleprompter, kept its focus largely on the hacked emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, which are being released in batches by WikiLeaks.

Trump ticked off a litany of what he described as revelations from the emails, ranging from excerpts of speeches Clinton delivered to Wall Street interests indicating support for globalized trade to campaign staffers micro-managing the candidate’s message and actions.

“These WikiLeaks emails confirm what those of us have known all along, that Hillary Clinton is the vessel of a corrupt global establishment,” Trump told the crowd of thousands gathered at an outdoor amphitheater in Panama City, Fla..

The Clinton campaign has pushed back against the news dribbling from the hack, arguing the leak was orchestrated by Trump allies to distract from the GOP nominee’s crude remarks about groping women.

Trump alleged there were myriad damaging revelations in these emails, from unspecified insults of Catholics to evidence of collusion between Democrat Clinton and the news media, pointing to a question in a CNN town hall that Clinton allies passed along in advance.

“You see so much from these WikiLeaks. You see so much,” Trump said.

Trump otherwise stuck largely to his stump speech, advocating for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, renegotiated trade deals and rolling back Obamacare.

There was no mention of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Arizona Sen. John McCain or other GOP elected officials with whom Trump has publicly feuded since the release of his controversial comments.

The omission was notable, coming hours after Trump in an appearance on Fox News accused Ryan and McCain of being disloyal.

“I wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with a lot of these people, that I can tell you … especially Ryan,” Trump said while on Bill O’Reilly’s show.


Donald Trump blasts establishment Republicans for abandoning him

(Mandel Ngan / AFP-Getty Images)

Donald Trump said Tuesday that when he tweeted that his shackles had been removed, he was referring to the establishment Republicans -- especially House Speaker Paul D. Ryan -- who are deserting him in the aftermath of recordings emerging of him speaking crudely about women.

“The shackles are some of the establishment people that are weak and ineffective within the Republican Party … led to a certain extent by Paul Ryan being nasty to the nominee,” Trump said in an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News. “… They don’t give the support we really need. I think I’m maybe better off without their support, if you want to know the truth.”

Trump was responding to a question about what he meant when he tweeted Tuesday morning, “It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”

Ryan and Arizona Sen. John McCain were among many Republicans who criticized Trump or announced they would no longer support him after recordings emerged on Friday where he spoke of trying to sleep with a married woman, used crass language to describe women’s anatomy and said he could kiss women and grab parts of their bodies without their consent because of his wealth.

In the interview, Trump was blistering toward Ryan, who on Monday announced that he would no longer defend the GOP standard-bearer and instead focus on down-ballot races. Trump also lashed out at McCain, who dropped his endorsement of Trump on Saturday.

“I wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with a lot of these people, that I can tell you … especially Ryan,” Trump said.

Trump mocked McCain for “begging” for his endorsement before Arizona’s primary and then dropping his backing of Trump over what Trump calls “locker room talk.” He said McCain had the “dirtiest mouth in all of the Senate.”

“McCain was desperate to get my endorsement,” Trump said. “I gave him the endorsement because he needed it for the primary.”

Trumped added, “He easily wins the primary and then all of the sudden he does the un-endorsement thing. Give me a break. He’s never heard salty language before.”


Top Clinton aide accuses Trump allies of leaking emails to distract from tape scandal

John Podesta.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

The FBI is investigating the hacking of the emails of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, he said Tuesday night, suggesting that they were leaked to distract from Donald Trump’s taped remarks about women.

“It wasn’t any coincidence that within minutes of the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape coming out, they decided this was their countermove to try to take the public’s attention off the despicable things that Donald Trump said on that video,” Podesta said aboard Clinton’s campaign plane.

“Circumstantial evidence” exists that Trump allies may have coordinated with WikiLeaks to release Podesta’s emails, he said, calling the act criminal.

Podesta also cast the leak as evidence of the Russian government’s attempt to influence the presidential election on behalf of Trump, something that should “be of utmost concern to all Americans.”

“It may just be policy. It may be just that they found somebody who essentially has adopted lock, stock and barrel the [Vladimir] Putin foreign policy. Or perhaps it’s Mr. Trump’s deep engagement and ties with Russian interests in his business affairs,” Podesta said.

“We can’t be certain of why the Russian government seems to be trying to interfere in this election in favor of Mr. Trump. But we do know that that is in fact what has been going on.”

Podesta declined to comment on the contents of the emails, which the campaign has warned could have been manipulated.

While no one would like their personal emails made public, Podesta said, “I’m kind of zen about it.”


Glenn Beck wants to be clear: He’s not supporting Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton

(Jack Martin / Associated Press)

After penning a Facebook post over the weekend that left some of his supporters believing he would back Hillary Clinton for president, Glenn Beck wants to clear the air: He’s not supporting her, or Donald Trump.

“It has been widely reported I am either endorsing or voting for Hillary Clinton as president,” he wrote on his personal website on Tuesday.

He added, “Let me be clear I am firmly against both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as potential presidents of the United States of America. I believe that neither candidate has the values, decency or principles to be the leader of the free world.”

Beck, a fiery conservative pundit who was once a host on Fox News, assailed Trump on Facebook after a 2005 audio surfaced of Trump making lewd comments about women.

“If the consequence of standing against Trump and for principles is indeed the election of Hillary Clinton, so be it. At least it is a moral, ethical choice,” he wrote.

The comment drew concerns from some of his supporters, so Beck followed up with Tuesday’s statement. Beck, who left the GOP in 2015 because he was concerned it was not conservative enough, said he would support a lesser-known third-party candidate, Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party.

Beck was a staunch supporter of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during the Republican primary.


Obama says Trump’s taped comments offend ‘any decent human being’

(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

President Obama blasted Donald Trump’s comments about groping and kissing women without their consent, saying Tuesday that any “decent human being” ought to be offended.

“You don’t have to be a husband or a father to hear what we heard just a few days ago and say, ‘That’s not right,’” Obama told a crowd at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in Greensboro, N.C.

“You just have to be a decent human being to say that’s not right,” Obama said.

On Tuesday, Obama referred not to Trump but to “what we heard just a few days ago.” It was an obvious reference to the leaked audiotape, in which Trump, thinking he is having a private conversation, talked about grabbing women by their genitals and kissing women without their consent. Trump apologized.

He’s all for forgiveness, Obama said, but an apology doesn’t mean ignoring bad behavior.

“If it makes you mad, if you say, ‘That’s not somebody I want representing the United States of America,’ you can do something about it, North Carolina,” Obama said.


Gloria Allred takes on Donald Trump, demands unaired footage from ‘The Apprentice’

Attorney Gloria Allred, who has a history of tangling with politicians, said Tuesday she had been contacted by women who witnessed improper behavior by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and that she was pressing for the release of unaired footage from “The Apprentice.”

“They allege inappropriate conduct by Mr. Trump,” said Allred, adding that she was contacted before and after the emergence Friday of a recording that showed Trump using vulgar language about women and boasting that he could kiss them and grab them without their consent because of his wealth and celebrity.

Allred declined to say how many women had contacted her to detail their experiences or to explain what they would do next, citing attorney-client privilege. She spoke in an interview after holding a news conference in which she called on “The Apprentice” creator Mark Burnett and MGM to release unaired footage from the show where Trump served as the host, or prove why they are legally prohibited from doing so.

Allred has no obvious legal means of forcing a private business or a citizen to release the footage, but the Los Angeles-based attorney has a history of high-profile roles in prior political controversies.

One of her most memorable cases in California concerned Nikki Diaz, an immigrant living in the country illegally who worked as a housekeeper for 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman until she was fired shortly before Whitman launched her political bid. Whitman probably was already headed toward defeat, but the image of the sobbing housekeeper saying Whitman treated her like “garbage” after she cared for her family for years was one more nail in the coffin.

Although Allred is a Democrat and two-time delegate for Hillary Clinton, she has taken on politicians of both parties.

Among the people Allred has represented are a woman who said 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain sexually harassed her, a porn star who sexted with Anthony Weiner (then a Democratic congressman in New York), and a woman who sued Bob Filner (then the Democratic mayor of San Diego) for sexual harassment.

She has also tangled with Trump before. In 2012, Allred represented a transgender beauty queen who was disqualified from a Miss Universe Canada pageant because she was not a “naturally born” woman. Trump, who owned the pageant, soon eliminated the rule though denied it had anything to do with Allred.

Asked Tuesday what her next move was in the current dispute, Allred said, “We’ll have to wait and see.”


Pence halts Trump supporter who called for ‘revolution’ if Clinton wins

(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Mike Pence has reaffirmed his support for embattled Republican nominee Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean Trump’s running mate agrees with everything supporters say.

At a campaign event Tuesday in Newton, Iowa, a woman expressed concern about the possibility of voter fraud on Nov. 8 and the prospect that Hillary Clinton will be elected president.

“Our lives depend on this election. … If Hillary Clinton gets in, I myself, I’m ready for a revolution because we can’t have her in,” she said.

“Don’t say that,” Pence remonstrated.

“But I’m just saying it,” she replied.

The Indiana governor has dismissed suggestions he might quit the ticket after scores of elected and former Republican officials withdrew support from Trump over his lewd comments about groping women, which was captured in 2005 audio that leaked last week.

On Tuesday, Trump responded to his GOP critics by assailing House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Arizona Sen. John McCain in a barrage of tweets.


Clinton doesn’t want Democrats to get complacent, so she had Al Gore remind them of the 2000 election

Hillary Clinton spoke for more than 20 minutes here, making the case for her own election as president. But it took Al Gore just seconds to deliver the message of the day.

“Your vote really, really, really counts,” the former vice president told an audience in Miami-Dade. “You can consider me as Exhibit A.”

In the 2000 election, Gore lost the state of Florida by just a few hundred votes, and with it, the presidency to George W. Bush. A manual recount of contested ballots was halted by the U.S. Supreme Court more than a month after election day.

Many Democrats blamed the razor-thin loss on third-party candidate Ralph Nader, who won 1.6% of the vote in Florida.

Clinton’s campaign does not want to see a repeat.

Though she is solidly ahead in polls, Clinton and her campaign want to keep supporters from sliding into complacency and ensure high turnout. They’re targeting in particular millennials, among whom Clinton’s standing is improving as voters shift support from Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson.

“We really hope that young people will represent the biggest voting group in this election,” Clinton said Monday.

Officially, the joint appearance was devoted to the topic of climate change. In a lengthy discussion of climate science, Gore praised Clinton, the wife of his own former running mate, as the candidate best positioned to continue the progress of the Obama administration in fighting global warming.

Clinton attacked Donald Trump for refusing to even acknowledge climate change and calling it a “hoax.” She cited Hurricane Matthew as further evidence of how warmer ocean waters are producing more deadly and damaging storms.

Tuesday was originally the deadline for Floridians to register to vote, but state Democrats went to court in a bid to force Republican Gov. Rick Scott to extend the deadline another week because of the hurricane. A temporary order extended the deadline by a day, with a hearing set for Wednesday on whether to grant the full additional six days.


Gerrymandering helped Republicans take control of Congress, but now it’s tearing them apart over Trump

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, left, announced Monday he wouldn’t campaign for Donald Trump, the GOP presidential nominee.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, left, announced Monday he wouldn’t campaign for Donald Trump, the GOP presidential nominee.
(AFP/Getty Images)

Across the country, Republicans in contested races face a terrible bind: They have to run from Donald Trump to hold onto swing votes, even if that angers some core supporters.

But in secure, heavily conservative GOP districts, Republicans face the opposite pressure: to cleave fast to Trump, who remains popular despite statements that have alienated many voters.

The crisis sparked by the Trump campaign has split the Republican Party in two, and, ironically, the gerrymandering of districts that helped build the GOP congressional majority is now working to make that fracture worse.

The division of interests between Republicans who represent solidly conservative districts and those who represent swing areas — or senators who must run statewide — has seldom been more stark.

Their battlefield once was confined mostly to Capitol Hill, crippling the Republican legislative agenda, fueling the tea party movement and leading to a government shutdown.

Now it is upending the presidential race. Trump’s anti-establishment message has unleashed a conservative grass-roots movement inside the Republican Party that leaders are finding they cannot control.

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Mike Pence does not agree with Paul Ryan’s decision to abandon Donald Trump

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Donald Trump slams John McCain, who is caught having to explain past support for GOP nominee

(Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Donald Trump says the “shackles” are off, so on Tuesday, he aimed some of his ire at the 2008 Republican presidential nominee: Sen. John McCain.

McCain, who is locked in a tough reelection fight in Arizona, was among dozens of Republican leaders who condemned and abandoned Trump after Friday’s leak of a 2005 video that revealed Trump boasting about groping women and making other lewd comments.

Trump assailed McCain as “foul mouthed” and noted he had endorsed McCain in his primary fight.

“Then he dropped me over locker room remarks,” tweeted Trump.

On Saturday, McCain officially withdrew his support for Trump.

“Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy,” the five-term senator said in a statement.

McCain was unable to avoid discussing his previous support for Trump during a campaign debate Monday with Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a three-term Democratic congresswoman who is hoping to topple McCain on Nov. 8.

He was pressed to explain why he had abandoned Trump months after endorsing him.

“When Mr. Trump attacks women and demeans the women in our nation and in our society, that is a point where I just have to part company,” McCain responded.

McCain’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment about Trump’s latest tweet.

Relations between the two have been strained since shortly after Trump joined the race last year and publicly disparaged McCain’s military service during the Vietnam war.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in July 2015. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

McCain, then a Navy pilot, was shot down over Hanoi and spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, refusing early release even after he was repeatedly beaten.

McCain ultimately offered grudging support for Trump’s presidential bid, saying he would support his party’s nominee.

Asked during the first debate whom he would support in November, McCain said he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.

“I think I might write in Lindsey Graham,” McCain said, referring to the South Carolina senator who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination. “He’s an old, good friend of mine, and a lot of people like him.”


White House: Obama found Trump’s comments ‘as repugnant as most Americans did’

(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

President Obama found the leaked video of Donald Trump’s lascivious remarks “as repugnant as most Americans did,” the White House said Tuesday, suggesting that Obama considers Trump’s comments a description of sexual assault.

The video, in which Trump said he likes to grab women by their genitals and kiss them without asking, are drawing condemnation for good reason, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said aboard Air Force One.

“There has been a pretty clear statement by people all along the ideological spectrum that those statements constituted sexual assault,” Earnest said, as the president flew to North Carolina to campaign for Trump’s rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Earnest’s comments were the first account of Obama’s reaction to the tape since it emerged Friday in a Washington Post report, inspiring dozens of Republican office holders to repudiate Trump or distance themselves from him.

Obama is likely to expound on the subject in public when asked, possibly as early as Tuesday afternoon in a town hall discussion hosted by ESPN, scheduled to air Tuesday night.

Trump has dismissed his remarks in the video as run-of-the-mill “locker room” talk, recorded in what he thought was a private conversation with a male television host before taping a segment.

But many professional and college athletes protest that characterization and condemn the remarks as out of place in their locker rooms.


Presidential race appears to stabilize, with Clinton holding significant lead

After the immediate shock caused Friday by the video in which Donald Trump boasted of being able to get away with groping women, the presidential race seems to have settled, with Hillary Clinton holding a significant lead.

Seven public polls conducted at least in part since the video became public show Clinton with leads of between 5 and 11 percentage points nationwide. An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, which showed Clinton ahead by 14 points over the weekend in a head-to-head matchup with Trump, found that advantage slip back to 10 points after additional polling on Monday.

Several polls also showed respondents saying that Clinton won the second debate between the two candidates, although by a smaller margin than after the first debate.

In the NBC/Wall St. Journal poll, a comparison of Monday’s polling with interviews done over the weekend indicated that backing for Trump from Republican voters, whose support had dropped sharply in the two days immediately after the video, had rebounded somewhat. That could be a result of Sunday night’s debate or simply the passage of time and the tendency of partisans to stick to their side’s candidate.

Over the weekend, Republicans had been closely divided on the question of whether Trump should drop out of the race, the poll found. By Monday, a majority of Republicans apparently had settled on saying he should continue as the candidate.

Perhaps more important than the national surveys, new polls in swing states, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin, continue to show Clinton ahead. The one battleground state in which Trump still appears to be ahead is Iowa.


Clinton campaign spokesman was in touch with Justice Department officials about email open-records lawsuit

A top Clinton campaign staffer appears to have been communicating last year with Justice Department officials about an open records lawsuit seeking access to the former secretary of State’s emails, according an email made public on Tuesday.

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon, former director of public affairs at the Justice Department, sent an email to Clinton staffers referencing a conversation with Justice personnel about an open-records lawsuit. “DOJ folks inform me there is a status hearing in this case this morning so we could have a window into the judge’s thinking about this proposed production schedule,” Fallon wrote on May 19, 2015, in an email to campaign officials.

The email was among about 1,000 made public Tuesday by Wikileaks that were apparently stolen by a hacker from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s email account. Last week, the Obama administration blamed the Russian government for launching high-profile cyberattacks of political groups, including the Democratic National Committee, in an effort to influence U.S. election. Wikileaks has published that hacked information in the past, U.S. officials have said.

The Clinton campaign has declined to confirm or deny whether the emails are valid.

Fallon did not respond to an email seeking comment. He apparently sent the email just a few months after departing the Justice Department to become the Clinton campaign’s national press secretary.

The email was seized upon Tuesday by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who tweeted that the communications were “unbelievable.”

Jason Miller, a senior communications advisor to the Trump campaign, said in a statement that the Justice Department “must release all communications with the Clinton campaign and her allies as soon as possible in order to definitively prove their investigation was completely above board.”

The email concerned a lawsuit seeking access to Clinton’s email correspondence as secretary of State, not the criminal investigation into whether she mishandled classified information by using a private email server during her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat. The Justice Department declined to press charges in that case.

Fallon’s email dealt with the scheduling of a public hearing in the lawsuit.


Mike Pence stays on Donald Trump’s island, takes expanded role after Paul Ryan’s defection

Buck Caldwell, who attended a rally for Mike Pence in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, said Pence sealed his support for Donald Trump.
Buck Caldwell, who attended a rally for Mike Pence in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, said Pence sealed his support for Donald Trump.
(Noah Bierman / Los Angeles Times)

The crowd beneath the high rafters at the agricultural center was eager to purge its frustration, chanting “Lock her up!” in reference to Hillary Clinton, more than 20 minutes before Indiana Gov. Mike Pence took the stage.

Many were upset, and worried, that Donald Trump had suffered one of his rockiest stretches, with Republicans fleeing his presidential campaign just as it reaches its most crucial phase.

That left Pence, Trump’s running mate, to expand his role as Trump’s chief validator in the conservative movement, with a particular focus on evangelicals. The reserved Midwesterner, whose profile has been dwarfed by Trump’s reality television persona, is now the most prominent establishment conservative speaking on Trump’s behalf, with all the risk and reward that entails.

Pence, who expressed his own misgivings over the 2005 video in which Trump boasted that celebrities were free to assault women, reclaimed his larger role with relish, once he decided that he would stick with Trump. He spoke about his faith and the power of forgiveness. He credited Trump with apologizing, calling him a “big man.” He compared his own family and life story to Trump’s, saying they shared immigrant grandfathers and a calling to honor the biblical invocation to give back.

“If, occasionally, you bow the head, you bend the knee, it’d be a good time to do it,” he said near the climax, after appealing to the crowd to urge their friends to vote. “I still believe with all my heart that if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, He’ll hear again from heaven and He will heal our land.”

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Trump tax plan would increase national debt by $7.2 trillion, while Clinton would hike taxes on top 1%, analyses show

Donald Trump’s tax proposal would dramatically cut income taxes for the wealthiest Americans and, overall, would worsen the national debt by $7.2 trillion over the next 10 years unless offset by spending cuts that he has not proposed.

Hillary Clinton’s plan would increase federal taxes by about $1.4 trillion over the decade, almost entirely by raising the bill on the same people whose taxes Trump would slice the most -- the top 1% of income earners.

Those findings, laid out in new analyses of the Clinton and Trump tax proposals by the nonpartisan, Washington-based Tax Policy Center, outline one of the starkest policy differences between the two major party candidates.

The top 0.1% of income earners -- those with taxable income of $3.7 million per year or more -- would face an average tax increase of $800,000 under Clinton’s plan, which includes four major provisions aimed at extracting more income from top earners.

By contrast, Trump’s plan would deliver a tax cut to those same top earners that would average $1.1 million per family.

Under Clinton’s plan, taxpayers with income below about $140,000 per year would see a small tax cut.

Under Trump’s plan, some middle-income families would see a tax cut. Others, especially single parents and families with large numbers of children, would see a tax increase because of deductions he would eliminate.

Democrats say that top earners have won a disproportionate share of the income gains of the past couple of decades and that they can bear the burden of a heavier income tax. They also argue that reducing income inequality would benefit the economy overall.

Republicans generally contend that raising taxes on top earners will stunt economic growth. Indeed, the new analysis says Trump’s plan likely would lead to increased investment in the economy. But, it warns, that potential investment would be offset by the large increase in the national debt that Trump’s plan would bring about.


Cuff stuff: Trump tweeting ‘shackles’ raises hackles

At long last, Donald Trump is free to speak his mind.

OK, laugh it up. That’s according to the Republican candidate’s tweet this morning: “It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”

What shackles? Who removed them? (Donald Trump was holding back?) Much is unclear, and Twitter being what it is, users rained down amusement and contempt on the business mogul for his imagery, which some said evoked slavery and incarceration.


This is what an unshackled Donald Trump looks like: An ad that feeds into conspiracy theories on Clinton’s health

Donald Trump vowed Tuesday morning to school GOP defectors from his campaign by shedding any remaining restraint he had. He quickly made good on it, releasing this jarring commercial by lunchtime on the East Coast.

It feeds conspiracy theories on the right about Hillary Clinton’s health. The video implies that Clinton is an invalid too weakened by illness to protect America.

It comes only days after Trump said in a presidential debate that the thing he admires most about Clinton is that she is a fighter who “never quits.”


Except for that other guy ...

Before heading off to Florida, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton phoned in to Bishop Victor Curry’s morning show on WMBM radio in Miami. She was discussing her plans to revitalize inner cities and referred to a plan by Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), the assistant Democratic leader in the House, and thus highest-ranking African American in the House.

At one point, she mistakenly referred to Clyburn as the “highest ranking African American in our government.”

President Obama, who campaigns for her today in North Carolina, is, of course, the highest ranking African American in the government.

In the interview, Clinton also downplayed a new poll showing her with a double-digit national advantage over Donald Trump.

“Florida is the key,” Clinton added. “If we win Florida, there’s no way that my opponent can win. ... He is still trying to win this election, and we cannot be complacent.”

Clinton will join former Vice President Al Gore in Miami today. Trump is in Panama City Beach today.


Democrats hold a wide edge among Latino voters, but turnout remains an issue

Fully three-quarters of Latino registered voters in the U.S. have discussed Donald Trump with family, friends or coworkers over the past year, and the tone of those talks is not sympathetic, an extensive new survey shows.

The study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found Hillary Clinton leading Trump by about a 2-1 margin among Latinos — roughly the same as the edge that President Obama held over Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, four years ago. And that was before Trump spent a week feuding with a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado.

The support Trump does have among Latinos came primarily from older, U.S.-born men, especially those who are evangelical Protestants — a heavily Republican group.

The two potential weak spots for Clinton among Latino voters, the survey found, were the same that polls have found among non-Latinos — younger voters and overall turnout.

Latino voters younger than 35 showed even less support for Trump than did their elders, but significant numbers reported that they were considering votes for third-party candidates Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, and Jill Stein of the Green Party. Each of those candidates received support from about one in eight Latino millennials, the poll found.

Overall, the share of Latino voters who said they were definite about voting was somewhat lower than four years ago. That may have changed by now, however. The study was based on a poll conducted Aug. 23 through Sept. 21. It surveyed 1,507 Latino adults, including 804 registered voters. The margin of error for the registered voter sample is 4.6 percentage points in either direction.


Get ready. Donald Trump says the ‘shackles’ are now off

Apparently, Donald Trump feels he has been showing restraint on the campaign trail. Now, with much of the GOP establishment giving up on trying to get Trump elected, the nominee says he is free to say what he wants. Get ready, America.


New WikiLeaks disclosures ignite Clinton campaign tweet storm

WikiLeaks has disclosed this week another large batch of what it says are hacked emails from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and the campaign is not hiding its irritation.

The disclosures have been an inconvenience for Hillary Clinton, to say the least. The emails, which the campaign of the Democratic presidential nominee will not confirm or deny are authentic, expose all manner of inner workings that the famously tight-lipped operation would prefer not be in the public domain.

There is the exchange where longtime Bill Clinton confidant Doug Band calls Chelsea Clinton a spoiled brat. There’s one that includes what appears to be excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s speeches before banking firms, in which she seems to tout the style of free trade she has been railing against during the campaign. There is the plotting that goes on as the campaign braces for the release of the book “Clinton Cash,” an indictment of the Clintons’ ties to foreign donors.

The campaign is now pushing back hard against Wikileaks, pointing to evidence that the hackers who stole Podesta’s emails were Russian operatives. Clinton Press Secretary Brian Fallon unleashed an overnight tweet storm suggesting the WikiLeaks disclosures reflect the Russian government’s effort to give a boost to rival candidate Donald Trump.

Fallon called on reporters to disclose in their stories that the emails are a product of a foreign government hack and questioned why WikiLeaks has seemed to make no effort to unearth Trump’s tax returns.


Millions of people who tuned in for the first Trump-Clinton debate sat out the second one

The number of people who watched the second presidential debate on Sunday night was nothing to sneeze at. But the 66.5 million folks who tuned in represented a marked drop in viewership from the first contest, when an estimated 84 million people watched, according to the Nielsen agency.

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Chris Christie ‘upset’, but not enough to bolt from Trump

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t be going the way of Paul D. Ryan, John McCain and so many other household-name Republicans who are giving up on Trump.


Donald Trump wakes up fuming about Paul Ryan

Donald Trump started Tuesday with another signature Twitter rant.

Clearly, he is not at peace with the fact that House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) will not be working in his corner and has told other lawmakers they should not feel compelled to do so, either.

Trump’s declaration that every poll had him winning the debate in a landslide is also at odds with reality.


Al Gore hits the trail for Clinton — finally

He didn’t endorse Hillary Clinton during the primary. He stayed away from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. But now he’s finally stepping off the sidelines.

Former Vice President Al Gore will campaign with Hillary Clinton in Miami on Tuesday. The appearance — and the location — is laden with symbolism. The event is meant to show unity, send a reminder to liberal voters about the potential peril of casting ballots for a third-party candidate and underscore how far apart the two presidential nominees are on Gore’s signature issue of climate change.

Florida, of course, is the state where Gore lost it all in the 2000 race -- by a few hundred votes. Had restive Democrats not migrated to Green Party candidate Ralph Nader by the tens of thousands that year, George W. Bush probably never would have been president.

Clinton campaign officials say many of the Bernie Sanders supporters who are mulling voting for a third-party candidate can still be brought back into the fold, and this event is targeted at them.

It’s also about climate change. Florida is feeling the effects of it more than most states.

While Donald Trump has aligned with the climate-change skeptics for most of the race, Gore and Clinton will lay out the effects of global warming and Clinton’s plan to address it.

In so doing, they will make a particular display of unity that has been absent from this campaign.

The relationship between Gore and Hillary Clinton has long been fraught with tension. The two jockeyed for attention from the Oval Office during Bill Clinton’s term, and there were hard feelings when Clinton’s VP kept him at arm’s length from his own presidential run.

Their careers veered in different directions as Hillary Clinton joined the Senate and Gore made the transition from politician to full-time environmental activist.


Trump recording tests L.A. Times standards, deadlines

The release Friday of a 2005 videotape of Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women tested The Times’ language standards and its print production deadlines.

In comments caught by an open microphone, Trump refers in crude terms to groping women and pursuing sex with a married acquaintance. The Washington Post broke the story Friday afternoon.

The Times followed soon after with an article posted on That story and a version published in Saturday’s newspaper conveyed the gist of Trump’s comments, but avoided repeating his most offensive language. Some readers criticized that decision.

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Bill Clinton’s accusers only have so much on Hillary

Donald Trump long threatened to put the sex scandals involving Bill Clinton at the center of the presidential race, and now, faced with having to answer for his own transgressions, he is delivering in a big way.

But while Trump wins enthusiastic applause from his base for painting Hillary Clinton as an enabler of her husband’s misdeeds who callously ruined the lives of his victims, it is a tougher sell with the wider electorate.

The cases involving the women were all investigated or litigated years ago, and in most instances the evidence brought against the Clintons fell short — particularly when it came to charges that Hillary Clinton orchestrated cover-ups.

Trump nonetheless sees opportunity in the tawdry nature of the decades-old accusations, and on Sunday night he moved to capitalize on them by bringing as his guests to the presidential debate three women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault and a fourth who says Hillary Clinton cold-heartedly defended the man who raped her as a child.

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Carson Daly to fill in on ‘Today’ as NBC execs weigh Billy Bush’s future

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times))

Billy Bush will be off the “Today” show again on Tuesday as NBC News executives weigh his future on the program.

Bush, 44, was suspended indefinitely Sunday after he was heard in a leaked 2005 video engaging in lewd, sexist conversation with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. NBC News would only say that Carson Daly will fill in for Bush on Tuesday.

The tape, made while Bush was co-host of NBC’s syndicated news magazine “Access Hollywood,” has Trump boasting in obscene terms about his ability to grope women with impunity because he is a celebrity. Bush is heard chuckling and encouraging Trump even as the reality show star crudely talked about how he tried to have sex with then “Access” cohost Nancy O’Dell.

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NBC and Mark Burnett’s fraught dance with Donald Trump

Mark Burnett, the prolific producer behind “The Apprentice,” “Survivor” and “Shark Tank,” is discovering what it means to be on the harsher side of reality.

Within hours of the leak of a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump making lewd comments about women, reports began emerging that other explosive footage existed: specifically on the pre-edited tapes of “The Apprentice,” the reality show that Burnett created and Trump starred in for 14 seasons.

Burnett, who made a fortune selling his production company to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, found himself in the middle of an increasingly nasty political controversy after a former show producer, Bill Pruitt, tweeted Saturday that there “are far worse” offensive comments made by Trump during the taping of “The Apprentice.”

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