Donald Trump promised a win in Florida at a rally Saturday morning, vowing to “drain the swamp” of Washington and bring back manufacturing jobs while lashing out at Hillary Clinton over her use of emails.
“We don’t need Jay Z to fill up arenas,” Trump said, referring to the hip hop star’s appearance with Clinton Friday night in Cleveland, part of her blitz through key states with celebrities and high-profile politicians.
“We do it the old-fashioned way. We fill it up because you love what we’re saying and you want to make America great again,” Trump said.
“It is time for change, it is time for new leadership,” Trump declared. “Hillary Clinton is the candidate of yesterday. We are the movement of the future. And they’ve ever seen a movement like this. … and we have to close it out on Nov. 8 or sooner.”
He appeared before a crowd of several thousand, though the rally was put together with short notice. Trump accused the “lying, thieving media” of downplaying the size of his audiences and his standing in key states.
“Oh, I love those signs, blacks for Trump,” he suddenly interjected. “That seems to be the big surprise so far of this election — blacks for Trump.”
Trump went on at length about crowd sizes and polls before vowing to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” He highlighted renewed questions about Clinton’s emails, saying it showed she has poor judgment.
“Can you imagine, Anthony Weiner has possibly every classified email ever sent?” Trump asked, throwing in a bawdy joke that Weiner likely read them all “in between using his machine for other purposes.”
He pledged to end a Syrian refugee program, asserting the move would prevent “generations of terrorism” from taking root in the United States. “We will keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” he said to roars.
Trump said Clinton would raise taxes. He pledged to prevent implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the multi-nation trade deal, and said he would ensure clean air and water, rebuild infrastructure and make inner cities safer.
“The African-American community has been treated terribly, terribly,” Trump said, again vowing to bring back jobs. “What the hell do you have to lose?” Trump said to black voters, who have been slow to turn out for Clinton.
Clinton has already drawn strong support from Hispanics in Florida, giving her campaign confidence she can win.
Still, Florida remains unpredictable.
“As Hillsborough County goes, so goes the state of Florida,” said U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, one of the warm-up speakers.
Clinton will be in Pembroke Pines at 1 p.m., with the same mission: To drive her supporters to the polls and persuade undecided voters — that rare and coveted species — to get behind her. Her running mate, Tim Kaine, has three stops across the state, including a get-out-the-vote concert at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg with Jon Bon Jovi.
The candidates have traded leads in Florida polls in the past two weeks, Trump inching ahead on the back of revived questions about Clinton’s email practices. Now, the RealClearPolitics.com average of polls shows Clinton with a marginal edge.
“He’s going to win,” declared Gary Manning, 62, of Tampa, among several thousand who showed up for the rally. “How many corrupt deals and lies does a politician have to tell before you just say no? No mas.”
The long, divisive election has taken a toll.
“I’ll be glad when it’s over. Just trying to watch TV is exhausting. Anything on my tablet is coming up with commercials. I’m battered by it,” said Pam Wood, 27, of Riverview, an independent voter supporting Trump.
“I just want it to go away.”