Thursday 8 December 2016

Trump hits out at 'Heartless Hillary' over stance on guns

Rachael Alexander in Washington

Published 21/05/2016 | 02:30

Megyn Kelly poses for a portrait in New York. Photo: AP
Megyn Kelly poses for a portrait in New York. Photo: AP

Donald Trump yesterday slammed Hillary Clinton as "heartless" for backing restrictions on gun ownership that he said would leave Americans in high-crime areas unable to protect themselves.

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He also challenged Ms Clinton to follow his lead and release a list of potential Supreme Court nominees.

Mr Trump's remarks came at the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Louisville, Kentucky. The gun rights organisation endorsed the presumptive Republican nominee ahead of his remarks, despite Mr Trump's previous support for measures such as an assault weapons ban that the NRA vigorously opposes.

The businessman has taken a far less restrictive stance on guns during the Republican presidential primary. His call for ending "gun-free zones" across the country was welcomed by the NRA crowd.

Mr Trump centred his remarks on Ms Clinton, claiming she would seek to "abolish" the Second Amendment through the Supreme Court and release violent criminals if elected president. He also called her "Heartless Hillary" - a new nickname from the branding expert for the likely Democratic nominee - for backing restrictions aimed at reducing gun deaths, saying her proposals would instead leave law-abiding citizens exposed to criminals.

"She's putting the most vulnerable Americans in jeopardy," Mr Trump said. He added that women in particular would be at risk, a nod to what he has said will be a security-focused appeal to women in the general election.

Donald Trump addresses members of the National Rifle Association. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump addresses members of the National Rifle Association. Photo: Reuters

Mr Trump heads into the campaign with stunningly high disapproval ratings with women and he appeared to acknowledge that weakness, saying that while his poll numbers with men are strong, "I like women more than men".

"Come on women, come on," he said.

Mr Trump touted the list of potential Supreme Court nominees he released this week as a sign of his commitment to upholding the Second Amendment.

"I'd like to call for Hillary Clinton to put together a list also," said Mr Trump, predicting her potential justices would be "day and night" to his nominees.

Firearms

Ms Clinton has said she supported the Second Amendment, but that safety measures were needed to keep firearms out of the wrong hands and to reduce the nation's 33,000 annual gun deaths.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump is closing in on Ms Clinton's narrow lead in a general election match-up, a new national poll revealed. The NBC News/SurveyMonkey online tracking poll found Ms Clinton holds a three percentage point lead over the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Last week, the same poll had Ms Clinton ahead by five points.

The Democratic frontrunner holds an overwhelming lead among black and Hispanic voters, while Mr Trump is up among white voters by 14 points. She also leads him among female voters by 15 points, while Mr Trump defeats her by 11 points among men.

Recent surveys have signalled a tight race between Ms Clinton and Mr Trump as the primary season winds down.

Irish Independent

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