Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called on the terminally ill to “hang out till November 8. Get out and vote … I don’t care how sick you are”.
Speaking at a rally in Reno, Nevada, on Wednesday, the Republican presidential nominee told dying voters that it doesn’t matter that they won’t be around in two weeks, “don’t let the other side win”.
“I don’t care if you just came back from the doctor and he gave you the worst possible prognosis, meaning it’s over,” Mr Trump said. “Doesn’t matter. Hang out till November 8. Get out and vote.”
The Republican presidential nominee appeared more controlled on the campaign trail on Wednesday and Thursday than he was last week, sticking with scripted speeches, mostly avoiding interviews and sending tweets that appeared to have been closely edited, if not entirely composed, by his staff. He denounced interruptions during debates and said he would avoid mentioning Bill Clinton’s affairs during Sunday’s town hall debate with Hillary Clinton in St. Louis.
In the moments that Trump went off-script, stumbles returned. In Reno, Trump bragged about being able to properly pronounce the state’s name [Nevada] and proceeded to mispronounce it. In an interview with a local television station, he seemed unfamiliar with a pivotal state issue – the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada – and said that if China and the United States became engaged in a trade war that hurt Trump’s hotel in Las Vegas and other tourism businesses, he would “cut off relationships with China.”
Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, told reporters on Thursday that he expects Trump to be “much better prepared” on Sunday for the second presidential debate and not use “the kind of personal and harsh attacks that he has been threatening.”
“We expect a more focused, more prepared Trump at this debate,” Mook said. “What we’re enthusiastic about is that this will be a town hall, that the candidates will be taking questions from voters. . . . And so the real question for us is: Will Donald Trump come with any specific plans? Will he have a command of the issues such that he can really address people’s questions and really explain to them how he will in fact make any difference.”
Trump’s first debate performance September 26 was widely viewed as a damaging flop, and even many of his own supporters have said they hope he is better prepared for the St. Louis town hall. His running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, provided a stark contrast at the vice-presidential debate Tuesday night, where many declared him the clear winner.
“I watched – he won. He won on the issues,” Trump said of Pence at a campaign stop in Las Vegas on Wednesday, an apparent hint on where his own focus might be Sunday. “He won on – somebody said he won on style. The style doesn’t matter. The issues, the policy matters.”
Trump also told the New York Post’s Page Six that he does not plan to bring up Bill Clinton’s sexual history during the debate, something he had threatened to do if Hillary Clinton continues to bring up the disparaging comments he has made about women over the years.
“I want to win this election on my policies for the future, not Bill Clinton’s past,” Trump said in an email to the gossip column. “Jobs, trade, ending illegal immigration, veteran care and strengthening our military is what I really want to be talking about.”