Trump asks voters to elect him president, claims to be beating Clinton
AFP photoU.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump urged Americans Oct. 24 to “rise above the noise” of the caustic 2016 race and elect him president, as he insisted he is winning against rival Democratic Hillary Clinton despite polls that show the opposite.
Casting the election as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to reject the nation’s political elite, the provocative Republican billionaire insisted he was the voice of the American everyman and essentially urged voters to ignore his 18-month candidacy of overheated rhetoric.
“You’ve got to get out and vote,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd in Tampa, Florida, as early voting kicked off in the state barely two weeks before Election Day Nov. 8.
“I’m asking the American people to rise above the noise and the clutter and to embrace the faith and optimism that is... the most crucial ingredient of the American character.”
But instead of treading the optimistic high ground, he swiftly returned to rounding on Clinton, decrying the “phony polls” that show him trailing, and questioning the centuries-old integrity of the U.S. election process.
“Our system is rigged,” he said, as he berated Clinton for using a private email server and highlighted revelations in Monday’s Wall Street Journal that the organization of a Clinton ally paid nearly $500,000 to the political campaign of the wife of an FBI official who later helped oversee the investigation against her.
“She never had a chance of being convicted, even though everybody in this audience... knows that she’s 100 percent guilty,” he said.
Clinton, who turns 69 on Oct. 26, aims to become the nation’s first female president.
She was seeking to cement her lead by conquering battlegrounds including Florida, North Carolina and Ohio where early voting has already begun, and where the race will be won or lost.
Trump, who faces an increasingly narrow path to victory amid damning revelations about his treatment of women, continued to assure his supporters that the polls were unfairly tilted towards Clinton and that he would prevail.
“We’re winning, not only Florida, but we’re going to win the whole thing,” Trump said in St. Augustine.