• US 2016 ELECTIONS

    Trump to make ‘closing arguments’ of campaign

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    CLEVELAND: Donald Trump will lay out plans on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) for the first 100 days of his presidency, in what his campaign is calling his “closing arguments” in one of the most bitter election campaigns in US history.

    The 2016 election cycle pitting the Republican nominee against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has turned increasingly toxic, with Trump fueling wild conspiracy theories about vote “rigging” and Clinton warning that the provocative billionaire was straying into authoritarianism.

    Clinton excoriated Trump as a threat to American democracy on Friday (Saturday in Manila) for not pledging to honor results of the upcoming presidential election, as the rivals battled for supremacy in battleground states.

    “We know the difference between leadership and dictatorship, and the peaceful transition of power is one of the things that sets us apart,” Clinton told a rally in Cleveland, Ohio, one of the key swing states up for grabs on November 8.

    “Donald Trump refused to say that he’d respect the results of this election. By doing that, he’s threatening our democracy,” she added.

    Her comments marked a stern rebuke to Trump’s bombshell suggestion during their third and final presidential debate that he may not recognize the election result — a surprising rejection of political norms.

    Trump, 70, then told a rally crowd that he could launch a legal challenge if Clinton prevails.

    His remarks follow weeks of Trump warning about the likelihood of a “rigged” election including massive voter fraud, despite members of his own party disavowing the comments and Trump drawing condemnation from President Barack Obama.

    Despite isolated allegations of voter fraud, controversy over the tight 2000 vote and rampant gerrymandering, US elections have been regarded as free and fair.

    Invigorated by both her commanding poll numbers and Trump’s eyebrow-raising declarations, the candidate vying to become America’s first female president was in Ohio aiming to block Trump’s efforts to claim the blue-collar heartland state.

    Trump, well aware that no Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio, campaigned in the Buckeye State on Thursday (Friday in Manila). He is due to head back to the state on Saturday, with running mate Mike Pence.

    On Friday, the Manhattan real estate mogul hosted rallies in the battlegrounds of North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

    “Eighteen days. You’re going to look back at this election and say this is by far the most important vote you’ve ever cast for anyone at any time,” Trump told a crowd in Fletcher, North Carolina.

    AFP

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