The Latest: Kaine needles Pence over 'that Mexican thing'

WASHINGTON (AP) " The Latest on the U.S. presidential campaign (all times EDT):

11:15 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine is criticizing his debate opponent, Republican Mike Pence, for saying "that Mexican thing" during their Tuesday faceoff.

Kaine says Pence has shown disrespect to "an entire group of people who are entitled to dignity and respect."

Pence made the comment as he tried to brush aside criticism of Donald Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants being criminals and rapists.

Kaine asks, "Who talks like that?"

Kaine made the comments Thursday at the carpenters' union hall in Las Vegas. The senator from Virginia also stressed Hillary Clinton's commitment to labor unions, saying Clinton would ensure that her nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court would be sympathetic to the labor movement.


8:20 p.m.

An organization representing more than 6,000 Latino evangelical churches in the U.S. is endorsing Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

In a statement Thursday, the group OPEN USA says Clinton has proven her willingness to engage in difficult conversations, listen to contrasting opinions and engage faith leaders.

OPEN USA says faith has played a central role in the lifelong commitment to public service of both Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. The group says the Democrats' commitment to public service is exemplified through their campaign's focus on embracing diverse perspectives and creating an inclusive America

The group offers no direct criticism of Trump, but says it is confident that Clinton and Kaine will represent the community well.


8:12 p.m.

Donald Trump is sending his thoughts and prayers to the millions who may be affected by Hurricane Matthew.

Trump is telling a New Hampshire town hall audience that he spoke with Gov. Rick Scott of Florida earlier Thursday.

The GOP nominee says that, "Whatever happens, we're with everybody because it looks like it's going to be a very bad " maybe the worst in a long period of time."

Trump says he has a lot of friends, investments and employees in the regions the hurricane is expected to hit. His home in Palm Beach " Mar-a-Lago " is in the path of the storm.

Spokeswoman Hope Hicks said earlier that Trump spoke with his employees there and urged them to take safety precautions.

Trump said in New Hampshire to the millions of people in the storm's way: "Please know that we are praying for you and everyone in the path: You've got to take care of yourself, you've got to get out of the area, you've got to listen."


8:06 p.m.

Donald Trump's town hall event in New Hampshire is the same general format as Sunday's debate against Hillary Clinton. There's a two-minute clock timing each of his answers. And standing off to the side is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who coaching the Republican presidential candidate for Sunday's showdown.

But Trump is staunchly denying the event has anything to do with preparing for Sunday's town hall-style presidential debate.

Trump told the crowd, "This isn't practice. This has nothing to do with Sunday." He added that "We're just here because we just wanted to be here."

He's also lashing out at rival Hillary Clinton, claiming that she's not really preparing, but "resting."

Trump said he wants "to be with the people from New Hampshire," adding without evidence, "and she wants to rest."

Trump has held only a handful of town hall-style events over the course of his campaign, preferring giant rallies instead.


7:50 p.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is turning down a request from Hillary Clinton's campaign to extend the state's voter registration deadline.

The deadline for Floridians to register is next Tuesday. The Clinton campaign says the deadline should be pushed back because Hurricane Matthew is threatening to wreak havoc on the state.

But Scott says "everyone has had a lot of time to register" and he doesn't intend to make any changes.

Scott is a Republican who is a strong supporter of GOP nominee Donald Trump and is chairman of a Super PAC running Clinton-bashing television ads. Normally, Scott would have no say over the state's voter registration deadline, but he has emergency powers during a hurricane that could allow him to push it back.


5:55 p.m.

Hurricane Matthew is scheduled to hit Donald Trump's prized Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where the Republican presidential candidate often spends his winter down time and has held numerous campaign events.

The club hasn't opened for the season yet. But campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said that, "Mr. Trump spoke with employees yesterday to ensure they are safe and following instructions from local officials.

She added: "Sounds like they are taking the necessary precautions. We are hoping everyone is safe."


5:02 p.m.

A dozen business leaders, including lifelong Republicans and independents, have written an open letter saying they cannot support Republican Donald Trump for president because he would be bad for the economy.

They write that, "American business needs as much predictability, reliability and stability in our government as possible."

A copy of the letter was given to The Associated Press ahead of the group's push for others to sign on, as well as the release of the group's new website on Friday.

Signatories of include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, chef Jose Andres and Carlos Gutierrez, U.S. secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush and the former chief executive officer of the Kellogg Company.

Andres is tussling with Trump over his decision to pull his restaurant out of Trump's new Washington hotel.


4:40 p.m.

Democratic strategist Steve Schale said he doesn't believe Hurricane Matthew changes the political situation in politically critical Florida.

Schale helped President Barack Obama win the state in 2008 and 2012 and says presidential campaigns are never going to be pretty in Florida."

He says "there's just not a lot you can do" to change the fact that presidential elections in Florida can be expected to always be close. He says both Donald Trump's and Hillary Clinton's campaigns are "doing what they should be doing, which is get their staffs out of harm's way and suspend activities" until the storm clears south Florida.

He acknowledges that lost ballots might happen on a bigger scale than usual because of the storm. But he says there are many checks in place to prevent disruption.


4:25 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he's not appeared until now with Donald Trump because "I've been busy doing my job."

The Wisconsin congressman said during a brief interview that he wants to win "up and down the ballot," but his primary responsibility is the re-election of enough Republicans to maintain the House majority. He spoke during a campaign stop for GOP House candidate Lloyd Smucker, who is expected to win an open Republican seat near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Ryan and Trump are scheduled to appear together on Saturday at an annual fall festival in Wisconsin that is expected to attract other state politicians.

The two men have had an uncomfortable relationship, with Ryan initially reluctant to endorse Trump before coming around. Ryan has criticized Trump over his call for a Muslim ban and slow disavowal of a white supremacist.


4:23 p.m.

Donald Trump is suspending campaign operations statewide in Florida as Hurricane Matthew nears landfall.

Florida campaign spokesman Chad Tucker said the suspension begins at 6 p.m. Tucker said Trump aides will assess the situation after the storm passed and decide when to reopen offices and resume voter outreach and events.

In an earlier statement, the GOP nominee urged Floridians to heed evacuation orders.


3:40 p.m.

The Clinton campaign is calling on Florida officials to extend voter registration deadlines because of Hurricane Matthew.

Voters in the state must register by Tuesday to be eligible to vote in the November election.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said: "We would hope a little bit more time would be given."

Mook said the campaign is focused on ensuring the safety of residents and staff in affected states and will "get back to campaigning when it is appropriate."

The hurricane has killed more than 100 people across the Caribbean and is headed toward Florida.


3:30 p.m.

Donald Trump is urging residents in the pathway of Hurricane Matthew to stay safe and heed officials' warnings.

The Republican presidential nominee said in a statement that residents should listen to governors and emergency officials urging at-risk communities to evacuate.

Trump said: "Nothing is more important than the safety of your family."

Trump is also thanking law enforcement and first responders and extending his condolences to the families of those killed in Haiti.

He said: "The news reports that over a hundred people are feared dead saddens us all." He said the U.S. should offer help.

The hurricane has killed more than 100 people across the Caribbean and is headed toward Florida.


3:10 p.m.

Tim Kaine is mocking Donald Trump for changing the title of his latest book from "Crippled America" to "Great Again."

Kaine said the book's new cover makes Trump look like a used car salesman. The Democratic vice presidential nominee was speaking to supporters Thursday at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Kaine said: "You can change the title of your book, but you are not going to change who you are, Donald Trump."

Politico reported Thursday that Trump and his publisher recently changed the title of Trump's book and cover to include a picture of Trump smiling instead of scowling.

Kaine often uses Trump's book as a prop on the campaign trail, saying it reflects Trump's overly pessimistic view of the U.S. and its citizens


3:05 p.m.

Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka toured a southwest Ohio manufacturing plant and met with workers and businesswomen in a Republican-dominated region in the swing state.

Angela Phillips, the owner of Middletown Tube Works, guided Ivanka Trump on the visit Thursday that included a forum with local businesswomen.

Middletown is some 30 miles north of Cincinnati. It's a steel-mill city within a stretch of counties that have voted heavily for the Republican nominees in recent presidential elections.

The Trump campaign scrubbed a planned fundraising event featuring Ivanka Trump later Thursday in hurricane-threatened Florida.

Trump's eldest daughter is one of his closest advisers and has played a highly visible role in the campaign, including appearing in a recent TV ad.

Her father plans an Oct. 13 rally in downtown Cincinnati.


12:55 p.m.

Hillary Clinton's campaign is canceling ads that were to air on Florida stations that carry the Weather Channel. The decision comes as Hurricane Matthew gains strength.

Clinton spokesman Jesse Fergus said Thursday that the campaign asked the stations to delay the ads until after the storm passes.

The Florida Weather Channel ads were part of a multimillion-dollar reshuffling of Clinton ads to reach voters the campaign sees as critical to winning the election.

In the past few days, Clinton had added numerous local cable stations, including some carrying the Weather Channel in Florida and in New Hampshire.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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