PANAMA CITY BEACH (CBSMiami) – An “unshackled” Donald Trump rallied in Panama City Beach in an effort to shore up support in a key battleground state.
Trump mentioned Hurricane Matthew of the top, sending his thoughts and prayers to those affected by the powerful storm.
In mentioning Matthew, Trump reminded the crowd that the voter registration deadline in the state has been extended.
“So register, you got to go out register,” he said. “You know, we are doing something that’s incredible, it’s a movement. But if we don’t win, all it is is a little asterisk in history.”
Trump then began to slam Hillary Clinton over new leaked emails.
“The Hillary Clinton documents released today by WikiLeaks make more clear than ever just how much is at stake in this election,” he said. “The election of Hillary Clinton would lead to the destruction of our country.”
He went on to talk about how leaked documents purport to show the Department of Justice fed the Clinton campaign information about the email investigation.
“This is collusion and corruption of the highest order,” he said. “And it’s one more reason why I ask my attorney general, I will ask, to appoint a special prosecutor. We have to investigate Hillary Clinton and we have to investigate the investigation.”
Trump also touched upon the growing Democratic National Committee email scandal involving Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others.
“The emails also show, yet again, that the DNC, Democratic National Committee, rigged the Democratic election, the primary process, to take it away from Bernie to give it to Hillary Clinton,” he said. “The DNC vice chair was caught feeding Bernie Sanders’ plans to the Clinton campaign.”
He then questioned the legitimacy of debates over some of the leaked emails.
“The emails also show that Hillary was given the CNN town hall questions before her big debate against Bernie Sanders,” he said.
And while Trump went after Clinton hard at the rally, he spent much of the day attacking Republicans who’ve turned their backs on him.
Trump took direct aim at House Speaker Paul Ryan on Twitter, calling him weak and ineffective.
“You know, you have people who can’t fix their budget but then start talking about their nominee,” he said.
The fallout started after a leaked video shows Trump using crude language to describe how he makes advances on women.
Trump also slammed John McCain for no longer endorsing him because of what Trump calls his “locker room” comments.
He tweeted: “The very foul mouthed John McCain begged for my support during his primary (I gave it) then dropped me over locker room remarks.”
And he implied he’ll no longer worry about other Republicans, saying the “shackles” are now off so that he can run the campaign his way.
“I don’t know what he means by unshackled. I’m at a loss at what he could say that would be less disciplined than the things he’s been saying of late,” said reporter Jon Allen.
Speaker Ryan is now focused entirely on protecting Republican majorities in Congress, while Democrats are working hard to tie GOP members to Trump.
Democrats need 30 seats to take back control of the House – and five seats to win back the Senate.
But the 2005 tape has Republicans nervous about keeping those majorities.
CBS News has counted more than two-dozen Republicans who previously endorsed Trump and now say they can no longer do so.
Trump still has the support of Sen. Marco Rubio, who said in a statement: “I wish we had better choices for president. But I do not want Hillary Clinton to be our next president. And therefore my position has not changed.”
As for Hillary Clinton, she spent the Tuesday in South Florida with Al Gore. They focused on climate change and the importance of voting.
The Republican nominee will campaign in Ocala and Lakeland on Wednesday and is scheduled to appear at noon Thursday at the South Florida Fair Expo Center in West Palm Beach.
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