Monday 19 March 2018

Clinton vows she'll stand up to Trump after attack on Bill

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

Rachael Alexander in Los Angeles

Hillary Clinton has vowed to "stand up to" Donald Trump after the Republican presidential front-runner attacked her husband.

Mr Trump charged former President Bill Clinton of "a terrible record of women's abuse" in a tweet.

In 1998, after a sexual liaison with a White House intern, Mr Clinton was tried for impeachment but not convicted. 

A statement from Democratic front-runner Mrs Clinton's campaign alluded to Mr Trump's criticism of Mr Clinton without defending him. It focused on Mr Trump's "demeaning" remarks about "women, immigrants, Asian-Americans, Muslims, the disabled or hard-working Americans" and said he has "pushed around nearly all of his fellow Republicans".

Earlier, Mr Trump called on supporters to vote. Speaking in New Hampshire, he said: "If you want to make America great, show up at the polls."

The billionaire declared: "If you vote, we win." He made his get-out-the-vote pitch both at the beginning and the end of his rally, and again when he spoke to backers in an overflow room.

"On the ninth, you've got to get out there and you've got to vote," he said, referring to New Hampshire's February 9 primary.

"You've stood here an hour and 20 minutes. I mean, what are you doing standing here all night long if you're not gonna vote?"

The question for Mr Trump has always been whether he can translate the passion of his rallies into votes, a question the surprise national front-runner now appears to be addressing himself as he tries to turn his insurgent campaign into the more nuts-and-bolts operation required to score victories.

His direct plea for supporters to turn out in the nation's first primary came amid reports Mr Trump has reached a deal to access the Republican National Committee's voter files, a vital tool to any get-out-the-vote operation.

Addressing the New Hampshire overflow crowd, he also confirmed a Fox News report that he's preparing to make some major television advertising buys. Unlike most of his major rivals, Mr Trump has not been on the air so far in the early-voting states.

Mr Trump devoted much of his 80-minute speech to reading off poll numbers that, he joked, are so positive "I demand the election be today." 

But he devoted even more time to attacking his detractors, most notably Joseph W McQuaid, the publisher of the 'New Hampshire Union Leader', which endorsed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie last month. McQuaid published an op-ed on Sunday night calling Trump a "crude blowhard".

Trump dubbed McQuaid a "low-life" and "Christie's lap-dog" and predicted the imminent demise of the state's largest newspaper. At one point, he tossed a copy contemptuously into the crowd.

Even some of Trump's supporters at the rally were confused by the 10-minute rant against the paper, long a prominent Republican voice in New Hampshire.

"It was kind of irrelevant," said Tom Carter of Windham.

Irish Independent

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