WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton will try to capitalize on tumult in the Trump campaign Tuesday as she hunts for votes in the Philadelphia suburbs, while Donald Trump will shore up support in Arizona.
Clinton will campaign with her daughter Chelsea Clinton and actress Elizabeth Banks at an event aimed at making the case to female voters who have backed Republicans in past presidential elections.
The event comes after an especially grueling day on the trail for her Republican opponent. Trump’s campaign found itself on defense on several fronts after revelations that his massive financial losses could have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for years, as well as new allegations of boorish treatment of women and criticism of his comments about veterans’ health.
The issues were certain to take the spotlight Tuesday night at the first vice presidential debate between Republican nominee Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
Trump has not said whether he has paid federal income taxes in recent years and has refused to release his tax returns. On the stump Monday night, he told supporters he used taxes law “brilliantly” to his benefit, but pointed to “unfairness” in the system.
“But I’m working for you now. I’m not working for Trump,” he said at a rally in Colorado, part of a Western campaign swing due to take him to Prescott Valley, Arizona on Tuesday.
Trump’s tax reform proposals do not call for changing the provision that would have allowed him to avoid paying taxes.
There were signs Trump’s troubles were trickling down to other Republicans on the ballot.
New Hampshire Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte stumbled Monday night, when asked whether she considers her party’s nominee a role model for children. Ayotte, who is in a close race with New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, initially answered “absolutely,” but then issued a statement afterward saying she’d changed her mind.
“I misspoke tonight,” the statement said. “While I would hope all of our children would aspire to be president, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton have set a good example, and I wouldn’t hold up either of them as role models for my kids.”
Ayotte’s trouble answering the question underscores Trump’s trouble with independent, moderate and college-educated women who are turned off Trump.
Clinton is expected to make a play for voters Tuesday by talking about her agenda to help children and families and taking questions from voters in Haverford, Pennsylvania. She’ll also campaign in Harrisburg.
Trump faced new questions over his treatment of women Monday as former cast and crew members from the reality TV show “The Apprentice” described for the first time his treatment of women on the set. Show insiders told The Associated Press that Trump rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about which ones he’d like to have sex with.
The campaign issued a broad denial, calling the claims “totally false.”
Trump was also taking heat over remarks suggesting that soldiers who suffer from mental health issues might not be as strong as those who don’t.
“When you talk about the mental health problems — when people come back from war and combat, and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over, and you’re strong and you can handle it. But a lot of people can’t handle it,” Trump told a veterans group Monday.
Trump made the comments as he discussed his commitment to improving mental health services for veterans.
Vice Presidential Joe Biden, whose late son was in the national guard and served in Iraq, called Trump “out of touch.”
In an interview that aired Tuesday on CNN, the vice president also said Trump is “not a bad man.” But he added: “His ignorance is profound, so profound.”
Trump’s campaign said Monday the comment was being misconstrued.
Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.