ROANOKE, Va. — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is arguing that he’ll do more to help women from the White House than Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. At the same time, he’s taunting her over the infidelities of her husband.
As Trump campaigned in the battleground state of Virginia, Clinton stayed close to home in New York while preparing for Monday night’s opening debate. She was spotted at a Westchester hotel near her home in Chappaqua, but her campaign would not comment on whether she was holding practice sessions at the hotel.
Clinton and Trump were expected to meet separately on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has sought to project neutrality in this year’s election. There were perceptions that he favored Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama in 2012.
Trump told supporters at a rally Saturday in Roanoke, Virginia, that Clinton has not delivered for women and children.
“My opponent likes to say that for decades she’s been fighting for women, that she’s been fighting for children. Why, then, are 70 million American women and children living in poverty or on the brink of poverty in our country?” Trump asked. “For years she’s been doing this and she’s done nothing.”
The appeal came hours after Trump threatened on Twitter to invite a woman who’d had an affair with Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, to sit in the first row at their first debate. The Clinton campaign had invited Mark Cuban, a fellow billionaire and Trump rival, to the event.
“If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row, perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!” Trump said.
Trump’s campaign officials did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday, and it remained unclear whether Flowers would actually attend.
Earlier Saturday, one of Clinton’s supporters, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, accused Trump and his fellow Republicans of “making hate OK.” She told Clinton campaign volunteers in Nashua, New Hampshire, that she never predicted a major presidential candidate would base a campaign on scapegoating Mexicans, women and Muslims.
Warren was particularly critical of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who denounced Trump in the primary campaign but announced Friday that he strongly opposed Clinton and would vote for his former rival.
“Is that really what your word is worth, Ted Cruz?” she asked.
In Texas, Cruz described as “agonizing” his decision to announce that he would vote for Trump but denied that he had given in to pressure to support his rival for the Republican nomination. His announcement Friday, from which the word “endorsement” was conspicuously absent, drew criticism because of his longstanding antipathy for the man he had called a “pathological liar.”
“Any path we took, if I supported Donald, if I didn’t support Donald, the criticism was going to be there,” Cruz told a packed Austin auditorium during a policy forum organized by The Texas Tribune. He had refused to endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention and instead urged Republicans to vote according to their conscience.
Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, assured home-schooling advocates in North Carolina that Trump would be their champion if elected. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Clinton’s running mate, praised American Indian culture and highlighted his efforts to win federal recognition of the state’s tribes while visiting the Chickahominy Indian Tribe Fall Festival near his home in Richmond.
Associated Press writers Ken Thomas in New York; Kathleen Ronayne in Nashua, New Hampshire; Will Weissert in Austin, Texas; Bill Barrow in Des Moines, Iowa; and Alan Suderman in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report.