Hillary Clinton returns to campaign trail
Hillary Clinton returned Thursday to the campaign fray in a tightening race against Republican Donald Trump, who released new details on his physical fitness in response to the health scare that sidelined his rival.
The Democrat Clinton, seeking to turn the page after her poorly handled bout with pneumonia, was headed to North Carolina and then Washington as she resumed the White House race after a three-day convalescence.
“I am so much better,” the 68-year-old former secretary of state told the Tom Joyner radio show.
Clinton was taken ill Sunday during a 9/11 memorial ceremony in New York where she was seen stumbling limp-legged into her vehicle, an episode that raised tough questions about her campaign’s transparency.
With the candidates’ health suddenly at the forefront of the campaign, Clinton looked to head off further scrutiny by releasing new medical records Wednesday indicating that she was “fit to serve” as president.
The disclosure came as the media-savvy Trump, 70, teased new health data of his own during the taping of a medical chat show, before publishing it Thursday in full.
The one-page letter from his long-time doctor lists various lab results including for cholesterol, blood pressure and liver and thyroid function — all deemed to be within the normal range.
While Trump is shown to be overweight, with a body mass index of 29.5, his doctor Harold Bornstein declared the Republican nominee to be “in excellent physical health.”
– ‘Stamina to endure’ –
Trump had made a point of refraining from harsh attacks on his convalescent rival — but the candidates were quick to resume their jousting.
Team Trump included a veiled jab at Clinton in an statement accompany his health update: “We are pleased to disclose all of the test results which show that Mr. Trump is in excellent health, and has the stamina to endure — uninterrupted — the rigors of a punishing and unprecedented presidential campaign.”
While addressing the Economic Club of New York Thursday Trump slammed the policies of Clinton and President Barack Obama as having doubled the national debt as he promised his presidency would bring about “an American economic revival.”
Clinton meanwhile slammed the brash billionaire, who has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his “alarming closeness with the Kremlin.”
“Donald Trump has run a deplorable campaign,” she told the Tom Joyner radio show.
Recent opinion polls show the gap between the two narrowing with less than seven weeks before Election Day.
A CBS News/New York Times survey released Thursday found Clinton had just a two-point edge (46 to 44 percent) over Trump in a two-way matchup among likely voters. Among registered voters, the Democratic nominee was five points ahead, at 46 to 41 percent.
When third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were included, the race was tied among likely voters at 42 percent each.
A Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday found that Clinton edged Trump 41 percent to 39 percent when third party candidates were factored in.
Respected election analyst and FiveThirtyEight website editor Nate Silver Thursday reduced Clinton’s chances of victory from 62.4 percent, from her August 15 high of 78.3 percent.
– ‘A little bit public’ –
Clinton and Trump alike will be hoping to score points with undecided voters through a show of greater transparency on their health.
Both candidates, among the oldest ever to run for the White House, were under intense pressure to share more medical information after Clinton fell ill.
As the Democrat recuperated at home in Chappaqua, New York earlier this week, her campaign released a detailed health bulletin by her personal physician Lisa Bardack.
Clinton was recovering from mild pneumonia and “continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as president of the United States,” she wrote, noting she is in “excellent mental condition.”
Not to be outdone, team Trump finely orchestrated the release of his own test results — with the candidate first producing them during recording of an appearance on the “The Dr. Oz Show.”
In a snippet teased on the site, Mehmet Oz — the show’s celebrity host who is also a professor of surgery — peppers Trump with questions about whether he has had any cancers, “skin issues,” stroke, or head injuries.
Trump is seeing saying “No” to all of them, with an earnest shake of the head. “I have to be very boring for you, right?” he quipped.
“I view this as, in a way, going to see my doctor,” said Trump, who until now had released only four, gushing paragraphs by his physician on his health condition.
“Just a little bit public, that’s all.”