Presidential

Trump denounces apparent KKK support, Clinton goes after heckler as rhetoric revs up

White House reporter for the Associated Press Josh Lederman explains why both nominees are 'retrenching behind their most vicious attacks'

 

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both faced side battles on the campaign trail Tuesday, with one having to denounce an unwanted quasi-endorsement and the other having to spar with a heckler at her rally.

The Trump campaign denounced an apparent endorsement from the Ku Klux Klan publication "The Crusader." The paper’s front page read “Make America Great Again,” a slogan used by Trump during the election season. “You can see it on the shirts, buttons, posters and ball caps. … But can it happen? Can America really be great again? This is what we will soon find out!” it read.

The campaign denounced the support in a statement later.

“This publication is repulsive and their views do not represent the tens of millions of Americans who are uniting behind our campaign.”

Thomas Robb, the paper’s editor, told The Washington Post that it wasn’t necessarily an endorsement of Trump.

“Overall, we do like his nationalist views and his words about shutting down the border to illegal aliens. It’s not an endorsement because, like anybody, there’s things you disagree with,” Robb said.  “But he kind of reflects what’s happening throughout the world. There seems to be a surge of nationalism worldwide as nationals reclaim their borders.”

Meanwhile, Clinton was speaking at a campaign rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. when a heckler shouted “Bill Clinton is a rapist!” and waved a sign that echoed his statement. Clinton wasn’t happy.

“I am sick and tired of the negative, dark, divisive, dangerous vision and the anger of people who support Donald Trump,” she said.

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According to the New York Post, similar protesters aren’t uncommon at Clinton rallies. But it’s rare for her to respond to them.

As the election looms, both candidates are anticipated to increase the heated rhetoric that has driven the campaign. Clinton turned her attention Tuesday to focus on Trump’s comments on women, calling him a bully. This time she brought with her former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. Trump criticized Machado for gaining weight after winning the 1996 contest.

Trump, while in Pennsylvania Tuesday, warned that electing Clinton would "destroy American health care forever."

Clinton's and Trump's closing campaign advertisements reiterate the race's sharply negative tone.

Her campaign has several commercials out that directly question whether Trump would launch a nuclear attack. The ads feature clips of him saying he likes to be unpredictable and would "bomb the (expletive) out of them."

She's also doubled down on her argument that Trump's offensive comments about women, as well as his boasts about touching women without their permission, disqualify him from the White House. A 60-second ad that features Trump in his own words over the years concludes: "Anyone who believes, anyone who says, anyone who does what he does, is unfit to be president."

Meanwhile, Trump's ads reinforce his message that the country risks doom if it doesn't change directions by electing him. "Hillary Clinton will keep us on the road to stagnation," a narrator says in one of his latest ads.

Fox News’ Chris Snyder and the Associated Press contributed to this report.