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Clinton, Trump set for last debate as ugly race nears finish

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A pedestrian walks past the site for the third presidential debate between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas.

WASHINGTON >> Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s ugly and acrimonious battle for the White House is barreling toward the end, with the candidates taking the debate stage Wednesday night for one final primetime showdown.

For Trump, the debate is perhaps his last opportunity to turn around a race that appears to be slipping away from him. His predatory comments about women and a flood of sexual assault accusations have deepened his unpopularity with women and limited his pathways to victory. His supporters remain intensely loyal, but there are few signs he’s attracting the new backers he desperately needs.

Clinton takes the stage facing challenges of her own. While the electoral map currently leans in her favor, the Democrat is facing a new round of questions about her authenticity and trustworthiness, concerns that have trailed her throughout the campaign. The hacking of her top campaign adviser’s emails revealed a candidate that is averse to apologizing, can strike a different tone in private than in public, and makes some decisions only after painstaking political deliberations.

The last in a trio of presidential debates, Wednesday’s contest in Las Vegas comes just under three weeks from Election Day and with early voting already underway in several key battleground states.

Trump has leaned on an increasingly brazen strategy in the campaign’s closing weeks, including peddling charges that the election will be rigged, despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud in U.S. presidential contests. He’s also charged that Clinton attacked and intimidated women involved with her husband’s affairs, bringing three women who accused former President Bill Clinton of unwanted sexual contact and even rape to sit in the audience for the second debate. The former president has never been charged with crimes related to the encounters, though he did settle a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Trump is bringing President Barack Obama’s half-brother, Malik Obama, as his debate guest. Clinton is bringing billionaire and frequent Trump critic Mark Cuban and Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, one of the former secretary of state’s highest-profile Republican backers.

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said the Democratic nominee “will be ready for whatever scorched-earth tactics (Trump) tries” in Wednesday’s debate.

Republicans desperately hope Trump can close the campaign by focusing on Clinton’s weaknesses, a strategy some privately concede may not be enough at this point for him to win, but could help GOP Senate candidates salvage their races.

The businessman has shown flashes of renewed focus in recent days, including highlighting a senior State Department official’s request that the FBI help reduce the classification of an email from Clinton’s private server. It was to be part of a bargain that would have allowed the FBI to deploy more agents in foreign countries, though it was not immediately clear whether the State Department official or someone at the FBI first raised that prospect.

Campaigning Tuesday in Colorado, Trump called the matter “felony corruption” and worse than the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon.

Clinton, who has meticulously prepared for the three debates at the expense of time in battleground states, visibly rattled Trump in their first showdown by using his own controversial comments about women and minorities against him. The businessman was on the defense at the start of the second debate — which came days after the release of a video in which he brags about kissing and grabbing women — but ended on stronger footing, hammering Clinton for being a creature of Washington who won’t be able to bring about change.

Trump denied in the second debate that he had made the kind of unwanted sexual advances he is heard describing on the video. His denial prompted some of the women who have since publicly accused him of assault to come forward.

The Republican has acquiesced to some advisers who pressed for him to do more serious preparations after the first debate. Still, he’s continued to eschew the mock debates and multiday prep sessions that he’s criticizing Clinton for.

“She’s been doing this for 30 years and now she has to do debate prep for five days,” Trump said. “You know what the debate prep is? It’s resting. It’s lying down and going to sleep.

Moderator Chris Wallace — the first Fox News journalist to moderate a debate — has said he plans to ask the candidates about debt and entitlements, immigration, the economy, the Supreme Court, foreign hot spots and their fitness to be president. He aims to spend 15 minutes on each topic.

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  • I notice all sides an news and T.V. media are all using the word scorched earth, which is a book Michael savage wrote and is on the 4th week on the best selling list, I bought the book at Walmart called SCORCHED EARTH, come on you liberals and commenters by the book and read it. its all true facts not fiction.

  • Trump is right to emphasize the rigged election.

    For one thing the so called ‘scientific polls’ are nothing of the sort. They are establishment harpoons crafted and launched to suppress Trump voter turn out. With enough money “scientific results” can be guaranteed to the purchaser (e.g. DNC) by [1] creative sampling and [2] loading the questions.

    But the establishment remains worried and for good reason: my fellow Trump voters and I will if need be crawl on broken glass to get to the voting booth and are not about to lose heart because the gutless quivering ‘establishment’ is desperately resorting to its oft used industrial strength lie creation and dissemination machine masquerading as “news”.

    It is exactly as Sarah Palin described it 8 years ago: “They just make stuff up.”

    Remember the motto by which the “news” media exist: comfort the afflicted (in this case, themselves) and afflict the comfortable (in this case, Trump).

    Regardless of whether Trump wins or loses our “news” media have lost something they will never again attain: the trust of consumers of their product.

    • Trump is right about very little. Be careful what you wish for. A Trump presidency will result in the worst economic meltdown in the history of this country. The Donald as a practitioner of Voodoo will crash the economy in record time. Fortunately the American people are smart enough to vote for sweet Hillary.

      • Trump is right about very little.

        OK, name one thing he IS right about.

        And name one SPECIFIC thing he is wrong about, based not on your biased opinion or rumor, but solid fact.

        • Trump was right in stressing that Russia is not necessarily our enemy. He is wrong in not acknowledging the threat they can be. The fact that he appears to be influenced by compliments, says a lot about him.

        • not acknowledging the threat they can be.?????

          Of how many other nations might this vague phrase also apply, eh?

          One gathers threat assessment is not your strong suit.

        • Here’s ONE BIG THING which he is wrong about that will come down like a mountain over this animal, come (December 16,2016) which is a court hearing in he’s being accused of raping a 13 year old girl numerous times in 1994. read the latest report:

          http//www.dailykoa.com/story/2016/10/14/1582055/-Trump-accused-of-forcibly-raping-a-13-year-old-girl-in-1994

          Donald is going down big time folks.

        • His entire economic and tax plan, have been debunked by hundreds of mainstream economists as adding trillions to the deficit.

      • In defense of Donald Trump: Try to keep these points in mind,

        Donald Trump did not steal your money.

        Donald Trump did not raise your taxes.

        Donald Trump did not quadruple the price of food.

        Donald Trump is not starting a race war.

        Donald Trump did not leave any US soldiers in Benghazi to be slaughtered and desecrated by Muslims.

        Donald Trump did not send the US Navy to fight for Syrian Al-Qaeda.

        Donald Trump did not arm ISIS and systematically exterminate Christians throughout the Middle East.

        Donald Trump did not betray Israel.

        Donald Trump did not provide financing and technology to Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

        Donald Trump did not give our military secrets to China.

        Donald Trump did not remove our nuclear missile shield in Poland at the behest of Russia.

        Donald Trump did not shrivel our military, and betray our veterans.

        Donald Trump did not cripple our economy.

        Donald Trump did not increase our debt to 20 trillion dollars.

        Donald Trump did not ruin our credit, twice.

        Donald Trump did not double African American unemployment.

        Donald Trump did not increase welfare to a record level for eight years.

        Donald Trump did not set free muslim terrorists in Guantanamo bay.

        Donald Trump did not steal your rights, violate US Constitutional law, or commit treason hundreds of times.

        Yet Trump is being ripped apart in the news, nonstop, while Barrack Hussein Obama, Hillary Clinton and the criminals occupying our government, are not.

        • Donald trump did not have a clue about public service

          Donald Trump did not do anything to help anyone but himself.

          Donald Trump did not serve in Viet Nam.

          Come on man, give it a rest.

        • Polls say that Trump is behind.

          It was a misquote and it should read … Trump is a behind.

    • The liberals have a grip on the media. Because homosexual activists and liberals strive to get media jobs to further their destructive agenda – so they are over-represented there .

    • Sarah Palin!!!!!?!! Buahahahah!!!!!!

      When you roll out Ms. I never meet a book, I liked, or read…..then you have officially conceded the election.

      Buahahahah!!!!

  • Who cares to hear the two worst candidates play he said, she said. They kept the debates dumbed down and refused to allow Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson to participate which at the very least would have made these pathetic shows more interesting.

    • The Donald clearly qualifies to be the worst candidate ever to be nominated president. But Hillary? While she was not my first choice, she is qualified to be president. She can hardly be classified as being in the worst category.

      • So your fine with a Pres who cannot recall any of the criminal activity she participated in? Who makes deals for personal gain as Sec of State? And to the comment below yes Hawaii lets get together and show that neither of these two are worthy of our 4 electoral votes.

        • Lots of accusations but little to back it up. Criminal activity? Well yes the Donald has obviously been engaged in a lot of criminal activity and he will soon have to go to court to answer for it. But Hillary? What criminal activity? So she may have violated some bureaucratic rules. Yawn.

    • At most Johnson MIGHT be able to throw the election into the House if neither candidate gets the magic 270. But in that case Paul Ryan would make the call. Do you trust Ryan to make the right choice?

    • Speaking of standing up for himself?, did you see how he paced back and forth on stage behind Hillary during the second debate??, I’d say he was practicing how he’d pace back and forth in his jail cell in prison pretty soon.

  • The democrats and the republicans do not considerate it “ugly”… for them it’s just business as usual. It’s just that the general public is seeing real politics for the first time… LOL LOL LOL

  • A pox on both houses………..so, if Hillary gets in…..it’s same old, same old.

    If Trump triumphs, will the 47% rise up with torches and pitchforks and demand Trumps head on a platter?

    Time will tell my friend…..will we still have gridlock in Government?

    We wake up Wed Nov 9, 2016 with either a lady president or a rich old white guy, said Captain Obvious……

    can’t wait for my absentee ballot…….vote irrational, throw off those exit pollsters!!!!

    stick it to the Man, power to the People.

  • Think the Chumps advisors should have seriously considered having Cesar Milan aka the dog whisperer work with him. Maybe he can figure out how this pooch-s mind really works. Nothing to lose because he has already lost the race.

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