Hillary Clinton fires back at 'rapist' heckler at a campaign rally in Florida

By Charlotte Willis

With Election Day just around the corner and the race for the White House tightening, Hillary Clinton has unleashed a fresh offensive, even taking aim at a heckler in the crowd.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Democratic candidate was briefly interrupted by a protester shouting "Bill Clinton is a rapist" and waving a fluro green sign bearing the same statement. Despite the roaring crowd packed into Delvoe Memorial Park, the man's words could be heard clearly.

Leaning into the microphone, Ms Clinton pointed a menacing finger at the stray heckler who denounced her husband in front of more than 4000 people.

"I am sick and tired of the negative, dark, divisive, dangerous vision and the anger of people who support Donald Trump," she shouted, amid cheers.

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It hasn't been uncommon for "rapist" protesters to show up at Clinton campaign events over the course of this election. But the Democratic nominee, usually unperturbed by their presence, offered a rare reaction this time.

It's a sure sign of the mounting pressure in the Clinton camp following the FBI's new email review and the tightening polls, with both candidates increasing the heated rhetoric in the final week and repeatedly warning of dire consequences if the other is elected.

Ms Clinton's intense condemnation of the "dangerous" vision promoted by Mr Trump, and the male protester's dramatic removal from the venue by security, was captured on social media by many at the rally.

With the sprint to next Tuesday's finish well and truly underway, Ms Clinton made sure to sharpen her broad attack against the Republican candidate during her three events in critical Florida on Tuesday.

She criticised her rival on a number of issues, including Mr Trump's refusal to release his tax returns, the $US900 million-plus business loss he reportedly claimed in 1995, and his comments made about immigrants and women.

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"For my entire life, I've been a woman," Ms Clinton, who would be the nation's first female president, declared during the day. "And when I think about what we now know about Donald Trump and what he's been doing for 30 years, he sure has spent a lot of time demeaning, degrading, insulting and assaulting women."

Ms Clinton didn't address the renewed investigation into emails that may have come from her private server, instead imploring voters not to "get distracted" in the final days.

"It is time for us to say, 'No! We are not going backwards. We are going forward into a brighter future'. How do we do that? For the next seven days focus on what is important. Don't get distracted. Don't get diverted," she encouraged the crowd.

"I have stayed focused on you, on your lives, your families, the problems that keep you up at night."

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Ms Clinton's three appearances in Florida, a swing state where polls show an exceedingly close race, are crucial with less than a week to go until the election.

Former President Bill Clinton was also busy stumping for his wife in Florida City, Immokalee, and St. Petersburg, while President Barack Obama held one of his final political rallies as president in Columbus, Ohio, where he explicitly appealed to working people who are thinking about voting for Mr Trump to reconsider.

"The notion that this guy is going to fight for working people when his entire life, he did not have time for anybody who wasn't rich or a celebrity, who wouldn't let you into one of his hotels unless you were cleaning the room, or let you onto one of his golf courses unless you were mowing the fairway? C'mon, this guy is going to be your champion?" Obama said.

Meanwhile, Republican candidate Donald Trump clashed with Ms Clinton from afar on Tuesday,

speaking at campaign rallies in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Highlighting the developments since Friday's FBI bombshell regarding the email probe, he implored early Clinton voters in the state with "buyer's remorse" to change their votes before it is too late.

"For all those voters who have buyer's remorse, Wisconsin is one of those several states where you can change your early ballot if you think you've made a mistake," Mr Trump told supporters.

"A lot of stuff has come out since your vote. If you live here, or Michigan, Pennsylvania, or Minnesota, you change your vote to Donald Trump."

In Wisconsin, voters are able to change their minds up to three times, but the deadline for doing so is Thursday.

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Mr Trump is making several stops in critical Florida on Wednesday and Thursday, while Ms Clinton targets Arizona, a reliably Republican state in almost every presidential contest for decades.

According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News Tracking Poll, Mr Trump has opened up an eight-point advantage over Ms Clinton on which candidate is more honest and trustworthy, leading 46 to 38 per cent among likely voters.

The rivals were tied on this measure in a September poll, suggesting the FBI investigation is taking a toll on Ms Clinton's campaign.

- news.com.au

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