Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump hit the campaign trail in battleground states on a dramatic final day of the bitter race for the White House, which has laid bare America’s deep divides. Trump, the Republican nominee for president, and her Democratic rival made a combined nine stops in battleground states Monday, to make their closing arguments to voters and energize their supporters.
Clinton embraced the legacy of President Barack Obama and talked about the importance of uniting the nation after the election, while Trump blasted his opponent as “the face of failure” and warned of “disaster” if he loses on Tuesday. “We’ve got to heal our country, or, as the Bible says, ‘repair the breach,’ because we have so much divisiveness right now,” Clinton said in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “We’ve got to start listening to each other, respecting each other.”
Clinton was campaigning in several key states on Monday, making two stops in Pennsylvania and a stop in Michigan, before finishing the day with a midnight rally in Raleigh, North Carolina. Trump was scheduled to make stops in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Michigan. The billionaire businessman presented himself as the face of change for Americans and struck a more familiar note with attacking the “corrupt” news media and a “rigged” system that favored Clinton. “Hillary is the face of failure. She’s the face of failure,” Trump said at a rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania. “They say we’re tied in Pennsylvania. I don’t think so. I think we’re going to blow them out tomorrow. Blow them out,” he added.
The optimism came shortly after Trump had issued dark warnings for his supporters if he did not win the election. “If we don’t win, I will consider this the single greatest waste of time, energy. . . and money,” he said at a campaign stop in Raleigh, North Carolina. “If we don’t win, honestly, we’ve all wasted our time.” Trump also lambasted Clinton to the shouts of “She’s a demon!” and “She’s a witch!” from the rowdy crowd. In Philadelphia, Clinton was joined by her husband, former President Bill Clinton in a big rally that also featured President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
The Democratic nominee told an estimated 40,000 supporters that the “best way to thank” the Obamas is “do something really important tomorrow: to vote.” “Tomorrow, we face the test of our time,” Clinton said, while confessing that, “I regret deeply how angry the tone of the campaign became.” Obama also addressed the crowd, trying to help Clinton win an office he had denied her in 2008. The president urged voters to “reject fear and choose hope” on Election Day.
“I’m betting that the wisdom and decency and generosity of the American people will once again win the day and that is a bet that I have never, ever lost,” he added. Earlier in the day, Clinton had implored thousands of mostly young voters at the University of Pittsburgh to grasp the significance of this election.
“This person is temperamentally unqualified, experientially unqualified to be president,” she said of Trump. “We have got to rise above all of this hate-filled rhetoric, all of these insults and scapegoating and finger-pointing and insulting.” Both presidential candidates plan to watch Tuesday’s night election returns in New York, prompting the New York Police Department to stage the largest police deployment of an election day with 5,000 uniformed officers patrolling the polling stations.