SANFORD, Fla. — Republican Donald Trump on Tuesday urged the battleground state of Florida to come out big in its early voting to help his campaign as he swings into other key states of North Carolina and Ohio this week.
“The criminal conduct of Hillary Clinton threatens the foundations of democracy. I mean that,” Trump told supporters on a hot tarmac at the Orlando Sanford International Airport. “But we’re going to turn it around.”
Trump also seized on the announcement this week that health insurance rates under Obamacare will rise more than 20 percent under the system some business leaders say is sapping their ability to hire and remain in business.
“They said 25 percent,” Trump said. “It’s going to be 60, 70, 80 percent . . . it’s crazy.”
Trump said the health care program is forcing insurance companies out of business.
On Day One, he said, he would issue an executive order “repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare.” Trump said he would replace it with a plan that expands choice of physicians and is more affordable “at a tiny fraction of the cost and it’s going to be easy.” He offered no other details.
He noted that former President Bill Clinton eight years ago when his wife was running against Barack Obama for president opposed the plan that would become known as Obamacare.
“Even Bill Clinton admitted Obamacare was the craziest thing in the world,” Trump said.
Trump also hit on issues from Clinton’s use of a private email server — which the FBI called reckless and which he said should prohibit her from running for president — to his grand goals of a $1 trillion program to rebuild roads and bridges, funding NASA to explore deep space and the biggest middle-class tax cut “since Ronald Reagan.”
“I invite all Americans — Republicans, Democrats, Independents — to join this incredible movement, the likes of which has never been witnessed in this country. Never, ever.”
Trump repeated many of his talking points at the evening rally in Tallahassee, including his promise to end Obamacare on Day One and blaming Clinton who as Secretary of State “unleashed ISIS and leashed death across the Middle East.”
But Trump also took a shot at Democratic Vice President Joe Biden. Biden recently said he was so disgusted by Trump’s rhetoric that, “I wish we were in high school — I could take him behind the gym.”
In Tallahassee, Trump responded: “Did you see where Biden wants to take me to the back of the barn? I’d love that… he’s Mr. Tough Guy when he’s standing behind a microphone.”
Sinking in the polls with a narrow path to victory in the Electoral College, Trump warned voters he is their only salvation.
“This is the last time we are going to have a chance,” he said. “In four years, it’s over, you don’t have a chance . . . you don’t even have little bit of a chance.”
Supporters wore “I Voted” stickers and T-shirts with “Trump Up the Vote, Vote Early” against a map of Florida.
Florida’s Division of Elections show nearly 300,000 voters went to early voting sites on the first day it was offered in 50 counties. Another 1.3 million voters sent in their ballots by mail, according to The Associated Press.
“We are going to win Florida . . . the lines are record setting,” he said, also vowing to win the battlegrounds of Iowa and Ohio and do well in Pennsylvania.
Most national polls, however, show Clinton leading by as much as 6 percentage points.
Trump’s full-court press put him on local talk radio and four appearances in two days in Florida, including an evening rally in Tallahassee.