Putin: Trump taps voters’ hearts
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he isn’t choosing sides, but he gets Donald Trump.
Trump “behaves extravagantly of course, we see this, but I think there’s a reason for this. He represents part of U.S. society that’s tired of having the elite in power for decades,” Putin told a foreign policy discussion group in Sochi, Russia.
“He has chosen a method to get through to voters’ hearts,” said Putin. Also, dismissing as “hysteria” reports from U.S. intelligence officials that Russia was behind email hacks against Democrats, Putin said: “Does anyone really think that Russia could influence the American people’s choice in any way? Is America a banana republic or what?”
He said Russia “welcomes statements that U.S.-Russian relations should be improved from anyone.”
At a rally Thursday, Trump said Hillary Clinton speaks too harshly about the Russian leader. “She speaks very badly of Putin, and I don’t think that’s smart,” Trump said. Then again, Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has called Putin “a small and bullying leader.”
Pence's New York welcome
Trump running-mate Mike Pence and his campaign staff were all reported OK after the Boeing 737-700 charter plane that ferries his team around the country skidded off a rain-slicked runway at LaGuardia Airport.
E-wails from Clintonworld
Top aides and advisers to Clinton felt blindsided when her State Department email server scandal blew up — and they vented their angst in emails since hacked by WikiLeaks.
“Did you have any idea of the depth of this story?” campaign chairman John Podesta asked campaign manager Robby Mook when the news broke. “Nope. We brought up the existence of emails in research this summer, but were told that everything was taken care of,” he replied.
Clinton confidante Neera Tanden asked, “Do we actually know who told Hillary she could use a private email? And has that person been drawn and quartered?
Get out of the vote
It may have been a joke and a throwaway line, but with his insinuations of a “rigged” election and his most extreme supporters saying they would react to his defeat with “revolution,” who knows how it will play?
Trump said this at a rally in Toledo, Ohio, Thursday: “Just thinking to myself right now, we should just cancel the election and just give it to Trump, right? What are we even having it for? What are we having it for?” Her [Clinton’s] policies are so bad.” (Video here)
Half of likely voters say they are at least somewhat concerned about violence on Election Day or after, according to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll. An AP-GfK poll found just 35 percent of Trump’s supporters say they will most likely accept the results as legitimate if Clinton wins.
Trump’s math problem
Private polling for Trump mirrors what public polls have found — that he is trailing, according to Brad Parscale, who oversees digital data-mining operations for the campaign.
Their task, Bloomberg News reported, is to identify and bring out still-uncommitted potential Trump voters and to carry out what a “senior official” described as “three major voter suppression operations” aimed at pro-Clinton groups. The targets: idealistic white liberals, young women and African-Americans.
Michelle: Don’t stay home
Clinton drew one of her biggest crowds of the campaign — 11,000 — thanks to the headliner for her Winston-Salem, North Carolina, rally: first lady Michelle Obama.
“We know the influence our president has on our children, how they turn on the TV and they see the most powerful role model in the world, someone who shows them how to treat others. ... They’re taking it all in,” Obama said.
Deriding Trump’s warnings of a “rigged election,” she said, “They are trying to get you to stay home.” See Laura Figueroa’s story for Newsday.
Barnstorming though Ohio, Trump spliced his usual corruption-themed attacks on Clinton with an extended denunciation of the trade deals he blames for large-scale job losses in the Rust Belt.
“We’re living through the greatest jobs theft in the history of the world.” He listed a half-dozen local companies that have shed hundreds of manufacturing positions in recent years. Read the Newsday story by Paul LaRocco.
What else is happening
- Vice President Joe Biden is said to lead the Clinton list for secretary of state if she wins, according to Politico.
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said that if Clinton wins, Republicans could consider blocking her from filling any Supreme Court vacancies, including the seat left unfilled since Justice Antonin Scalia died in March.
- Obama's ratings now are better than Ronald Reagan's were in 1988, his final year in office.
- Trump struck back at a former dean of the Army War College, Jeff McCausland, who said his comments about the battle for Mosul show he doesn’t grasp military strategy. “You can tell your military expert that I’ll sit down and I’ll teach him a couple of things,” Trump told ABC.
- A state polls sampler from Quinnipiac: Iowa: tied; North Carolina: Clinton +4; Virginia: Clinton +12; Georgia: Trump +1.
- In a good sign for Trump from Ohio, early voting in heavily Democratic counties is lagging behind the pace of 2012, when President Barack Obama won the state, according to cleveland.com.
- Trump’s lead in Texas is less than comfortable, and Republics there worry Clinton has a shot — albeit a long shot — of becoming the first Democrat to win the Lone Star state since 1976.