Hillary Clinton opened the last full week of campaigning Monday with a television advertisement revisiting the famous 1964 “Daisy” ad about nuclear weapons, an attempt to shift the presidential election back to a comparison with Donald Trump after a renewed FBI inquiry roiled her campaign.
Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, claimed Monday morning that momentum is shifting toward the Republican.
“I think that you saw that Hillary Clinton’s lead was evaporating in the polls last week before the FBI’s explosive new revelation,” Conway said in a television interview.
“We’re going to win the election. We know that. If you’re an undecided voter, you’re very decided about Hillary Clinton,” Conway said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“There’s really nothing else you were going to learn about her in these last eight to 10 days that was going to change your mind,” Conway said. “I predict that we will win.”
Clinton’s new ad features the same woman who, as a small girl, plucked petals from a flower in the original one, which was aimed at Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. The new one returns to a frequent Clinton theme this year – the claim that Trump is reckless and unfit to be commander in chief. The national security comparison has been one of Clinton’s strongest advantages over the Republican businessman in an election she remains favored to win.
The Democratic nominee was campaigning in Ohio on Monday, while Trump was in Michigan. Clinton’s efforts in Ohio are part of a strategy to provide her several paths to an Electoral College victory – the simplest of which would be to win Florida. Clinton spent the weekend campaigning in Florida, where some polls show Trump leading.
Trump is attempting to seize on what his campaign sees as momentum coming from the FBI news. Michigan has been seen as a state that Clinton would likely win.
Clinton’s campaign pushed back hard all weekend against FBI Director James B. Comey’s decision Friday to notify Congress of a renewed look at potential mishandling of classified material when Clinton was secretary of state.
Democrats demanded swift answers about what Comey is looking for and why – after ending the investigation with charges in July – he chose to renew it less than two weeks before Election Day.
Democratic senators asked for answers by the end of the day Monday.
On Sunday in Colorado, Trump accused Clinton of “willful and deliberate criminal conduct.” The Republican nominee highlighted reports that investigators were sifting through some 650,000 emails from a separate investigation into disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to determine any ties to the Clinton probe.
“In the diamond business, in the coal business … they go, ‘This could be the mother lode!” Trump said. “This could be the 33,000 that are missing. This could be the 20,000 that are missing.”
“I would think they have some real bad ones, but we’re gonna find out…Maybe not,” he added.
Comey reignited a political firestorm when he alerted select members of Congress on Friday that FBI officials had detected a batch of emails pertinent to the case during an “unrelated” investigation. Persons close to the situation have told The Washington Post that the emails were found on a computer belonging to Weiner, who is under investigation for allegedly exchanging lewd messages with a 15-year-old girl. Weiner is the estranged husband of top Clinton adviser Huma Abedin.
On Sunday night, the FBI obtained a warrant to review the emails, which one official said contains a significant number of correspondences associated with Clinton and Abedin. In his letter to Congress, Comey said that whether the emails provide any new information to the Clinton investigation had yet to be determined, but Democrats worry the news could sway the election.
Clinton on Sunday made no direct mention of the FBI controversy, but on several occasions seemed to allude to it during campaign stops in Florida.
“I want you to know, I am focused on one thing: you, the problems that keep you up at night,” Clinton said during an event in Wilton Manors, Fla. “There’s a lot of noise and distraction, but it really comes down to what kind of future we want.”
At that event, which was focused on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Clinton blasted Trump on two fronts: for having “a terrible record on LGBT rights” and for taking credit for charitable contributions he didn’t make. Clinton recounted the lead anecdote in a Washington Post story about how Trump had inexplicably showed up and taken a seat on stage for a 1996 ribbon-cutting in Manhattan for a new nursery school serving children with AIDS despite having donated nothing to the project.
“No, really, who does that?” Clinton asked to an enthusiastic crowd.
John Wagner in Wilton Manors, Fla. and Sean Sullivan in Greeley, Colo., contributed to this story.