SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — Hillary Clinton vowed to defend Americans she says have been attacked by rival Donald Trump on Thursday, telling donors at a fundraiser that the campaign’s negative tone might make some people retreat to the Internet to watch soothing cat GIFs.
Without mentioning allegations of sexual assault against Trump, Clinton said, “disturbing stories just keep on coming” about him. But she offered herself as a buffer to his insults of immigrants, African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and the disabled.
“There’s hardly any part of America that he has not targeted. Now it makes you want to turn off the news. It makes you want to unplug the Internet or just look at cat GIFs,” Clinton said to laughter. “Believe me, I get it. In the last few weeks, I’ve watched a lot of cats do a lot of weird and interesting things. But we have a job to do and it will be good for people and for cats.”
Clinton delivered her most extensive remarks about allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump days after a video showed him bragging about kissing women and forcing himself on them without their permission. She also referenced reports that Trump’s team may aggressively try to use her husband’s past infidelities against her — beyond their decision to bring four former Bill Clinton accusers to last weekend’s second presidential debate.
“His campaign is promising more scorched earth attacks. Now that’s up to him. He can run his campaign however he chooses. And frankly I don’t care if he goes after me. I signed on for this. But I will defend and stand up for every other person or every other group,” she said.
Clinton urged voters not to become wary of the negative tone of the campaign. “I think some people are discouraged by it, feel that they don’t want to even get involved by voting because it’s so abhorrent to them,” Clinton said. “But we have to make the case that the best way to rebuke the kind of campaign that the other side has run is by defeating my opponent and what he stands for.”
Meanwhile, advance voting shows positive signs for Clinton in North Carolina and Florida, two states that could help her lock up the presidency.
There are encouraging signs for Trump in Ohio. That’s a vital state for the Republican nominee, but a victory there would be one of many steps needed to win the presidency.
The latest data represent at least 756,000 ballots cast and millions more requested.
Even if Trump can capture two states he’s targeted — Pennsylvania and Ohio — he would need to pull off major upsets in multiple Democratic-leaning states.
Democrats are stepping up outreach in North Carolina and will launch “souls to the polls” programs in a bid to boost black turnout after in-person voting begins next week.
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