The Latest: Kaine says he doesn’t mind defending Clinton

September 21, 2016 GMT

              Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at High Point University, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, in High Point, N.C. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at High Point University, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, in High Point, N.C. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at High Point University, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, in High Point, N.C. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign (all times EDT):

10:20 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine says he doesn’t mind sticking up for his running mate, but wouldn’t say whether he feels sympathy for his Republican counterpart.

During a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in Los Angeles Tuesday, DeGeneres asked Kaine if he felt bad for GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence for having to defend controversial comments made by Donald Trump.


Kaine demurred on Pence but said he does not mind defending Clinton, whose recent illness revived questions about her penchant for secrecy.

Kaine says: “It is part of the role. I don’t find that a heavy lift at all.”

The Virginia senator also played “You Are My Sunshine” on his harmonica during the show.


10:15 p.m.

Donald Trump says that if he were George H.W. Bush, he might consider voting for Hillary Clinton, too.

The GOP nominee says in an interview Tuesday with TWC News of Central North Carolina that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the former Republican president votes for the Democrat this fall.

A prominent member of the Kennedy family claims Bush told her he planned to vote for Clinton.

Trump is pointing to his tough primary battle against Bush’s son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, as the reason for the reluctance.

Trump says he “can understand how the Bush family feels. He was supposed to win. He was supposed to be the nominee. And not only wasn’t he ... but he didn’t do very well.”


9:15 p.m.

A billionaire-backed Republican organization is quickly marshaling resources to help Donald Trump in the final stretch of his presidential bid.

The leaders of Future 45 say it aims to raise $25 million and already has commitments of $5 million from Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and $1 million from members of the Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs.

Todd Ricketts, the son of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, is Future 45′s chief fundraiser. The project was conceived in early 2015 but has been mostly dormant until now. In fact, the Ricketts family worked against Trump during the hotly contested primary race.

Future 45 President Brian Baker says, “This is an organization dedicated to winning the White House and maintaining majorities in the House and Senate.”


8:30 p.m.

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence is drying off after speaking through protesters and rain in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Several hundred Donald Trump supporters waited through the rain in the heart of the village where English settlers established the early capital of colonial Virginia.

The biggest cheers and jeers for the Indiana governor came after his promise of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.


While several hundred Trump backers roared, about a dozen protesters yelled at Pence as they held Hillary Clinton signs. They chanted that “immigrants make this country great,” and one yelled that Pence is a racist. The governor never acknowledged the small group.


7:22 p.m.

Lifelong Florida Republican Mike Fernandez tells The Associated Press that he will spend between $2 million and $4 million to help elect Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Fernandez says he is giving the money to Florida-based Democratic groups that focus on encouraging Hispanic Americans to vote. The Cuban-born billionaire health care industry executive backed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the GOP primary and has been outspoken against Republican nominee Donald Trump.

He calls Trump “just beyond belief, every time he opens his mouth,” Fernandez said. He declined to name the groups that are receiving his money but said he’d chosen to focus on Hispanic voter turnout because Trump has “made an enemy of that group of Americans.”


6:12 p.m.

Donald Trump is describing the nation’s African-American communities as being “in the worst shape that they’ve ever been.” Ever.

Trump said, “We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever.”

The Republican presidential nominee made the comment Tuesday in North Carolina, where before the Civil War it was considered a crime to teach a slave to read or write. In the 2016 presidential election, North Carolina is a swing state where one in four voters this fall is expected to be black.

The New York billionaire has made similar comments before as he works to improve his standing among minority voters.

President Obama won North Carolina in 2008 thanks in large part to his support from the black community. Obama narrowly lost the state in 2012, but earned 96 percent of the black vote.


5:47 p.m.

Donald Trump says his Democratic rival is “the chief emissary for globalism.”

He used the phrase in battleground North Carolina Tuesday as he accused Hillary Clinton of caring more about so-called special interests than what’s best for the country.

It’s part of his “America First” theme, in which he says he’s not running to be president of the world, but president of the United States.

The declaration drew chants of “USA!” from the crowd.

Trump is also bragging about how much less he’s spent on ads and organizing than his Democratic rival.

He told the North Carolina crowd that if they don’t vote, he’s “going to feel very, very foolish” because of how much personal time and money he’s invested in the race.


5:35 p.m.

Donald Trump is predicting that Hillary Clinton will copy his language and policy on national security at next week’s debate.

He’s telling a rally in North Carolina that Clinton “is all of a sudden going to get tough.”

The Republican nominee said Tuesday that his Democratic rival will call for “strong borders” and “extreme vetting,” the term he uses for screening prospective immigrants.

Clinton has called for an increase in the number of refugees the Obama administration currently allows to seek asylum in the United States from war-torn countries like Syria. She supports a strong vetting program.

Trump wants to stop the refugee program. He called it “a Trojan horse” for terrorists.


4:50 p.m.

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence is defending the son of his running mate after Donald Trump Jr. compared Syrian refugees to poisoned candy.

Pence told MSNBC in an interview Tuesday that the younger Trump was simply using a “metaphor.”

Trump Jr. posted on his social media account Monday the image of a bowl of multicolored candies called Skittles. He asked his Twitter followers, “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?”

Trump’s father is Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. He has called for suspending the refugee program that admits Syrians fleeing the war-torn country once they clear a vetting process that both Trump men suggest is non-existent and admits terrorists.

Pence said it is “remarkable to see the level of outrage” about the tweet when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has called for admitting more refugees to the United States.


3:39 p.m.

Early numbers from advance voting for president show initial strength for Hillary Clinton in the critical state of North Carolina and good news for Donald Trump in Iowa.

In North Carolina, more than 53,000 voters requested ballots, and 2,939 had been returned. That’s up from 47,313 ballots requested during a similar period in 2012. By party, Democrats made up 40 percent of the ballots returned compared to 33 percent for Republicans. At this point in 2012, Republicans were running ahead in ballots submitted.

In Iowa, more than 68,000 have requested ballots. Democrats dominate with 40,476 or 60 percent of the ballots so far, compared to 13,011 or 19 percent for Republicans.

But in a sign of softness among Clinton supporters, the numbers are down significantly from 2012, when 92,850 Democrats requested ballots.


3:00 p.m.

Hillary Clinton plans to speak about how her economic plans will support people with disabilities.

Clinton’s campaign says the Democratic presidential candidate will use a speech in Orlando, Florida Wednesday to “make the case for building an inclusive economy that welcomes people with disabilities, values their work, rewards them fairly, and treats them with respect.”

Clinton will stress her work for people with disabilities, including appointing a special advisor for international disability rights when she was secretary of state. She will also detail how her economic plans help people with disabilities by improving employment opportunities.

This is the latest in a series of speeches designed to showcase Clinton’s positive vision. She spoke about faith in Kansas City recently and stressed her plans for younger voters in Philadelphia this week.