New Clinton ad attacks Trump's outreach to black voters

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 26, 2016 12:18 PM

By Emily Stephenson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Hillary Clinton called on Friday for voters to reject what she called the "bigotry" of Donald Trump's White House campaign, releasing a television ad criticizing his efforts to appeal to black voters and saying she was reaching out to people from all parties who are troubled by his candidacy.

The ad shows video of Trump's controversial pitch to black voters, in which the Republican candidate urges them to support him by asking, "What do you have to lose?" It also shows headlines about a racial discrimination lawsuit the New York real estate mogul faced in the 1970s.

Clinton's presidential campaign said the ad, released a day after she gave a speech accusing Trump of fuelling America's "radical fringe," would air in the hotly contested states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Clinton followed up her tough speech by saying on Friday that Trump's temperament and divisiveness made him unfit for the White House.

"I am reaching out to everyone, Republicans, Democrats, independents, everyone who is as troubled as I am by the bigotry and divisiveness of Donald Trump's campaign," she told MSNBC, adding she was asking "fair-minded Americans to repudiate this kind of divisive demagoguery."

Trump countered on Friday by releasing a video showing Clinton in the 1990s discussing a crime bill and referring to "super-predators," or at-risk youth she said needed to be brought under control. Trump's video also shows U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton's main opponent in the Democratic primary this year, calling that a "racist term."

Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer told MSNBC on Friday that Clinton was trying to deflect attention from controversy around her family's charitable foundation and her use of private email address and server rather than a government one while she was secretary of state from 2009-2013.

In targeting what she terms Trump's bigotry, Clinton hopes to remind voters of controversial statements he has made over the course of the campaign. Those include describing some Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, suggesting a judge could not be fair because of his Mexican-American heritage, and proposing a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants to combat terrorism.

Trump also has been criticized for vowing to deport millions of people living in the United States illegally. In recent days, he had appeared to hold out the possibility of toning down his hardline stance, but on Thursday, he denied he would loosen his proposed immigration restrictions.

"I don't think it's a softening," Trump told CNN. "I've had many people say it's a hardening, actually." He said he was still weighing what would become of the 11 million people already in the country illegally.

(Reporting by Emily Stephenson and Susan Heavey; Editing by Frances Kerry)