With accusations of unwanted sexual advances by Donald Trump dominating the headlines, Hillary Clinton’s campaign said Friday that heading into the weekend it plans to significantly step up outreach to female voters, including Republicans.
Aides said the campaign is planning to launch women-to-women phone banks and focus its door-to-door efforts on female voters across battleground states. In addition, dozens of female lawmakers, celebrities and other supporters are being dispatched to talk about Trump’s lewd comments about women and to make the case for Clinton.
“Our campaign is mobilizing women disgusted by Trump to organize their communities and get out the vote for Clinton, either during early voting or on Election Day,” Mini Timmaraju, the women’s vote director for the Democratic nominee’s campaign, said in a statement.
Some of the efforts began Friday. Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List, an organization that seeks to help elect women to office, was in North Carolina. Actress Eva Longoria urged Latinas to register to vote in Orlando. And former secretary of state Madeleine Albright was set to deliver remarks in Pennsylvania “decrying recent Trump revelations,” Clinton’s campaign said.
Trump, the Republican nominee, on Friday defiantly denied the accusations of several women who have alleged that he groped them or made other unwanted advances, saying their claims were being orchestrated by his Democratic opponent and “dishonest” media. The women have come forward since the emergence last week of a 2005 video in which Trump brags that his celebrity status allows him to kiss women and grab their genitals.
Aides said the Clinton campaign is hoping to build on the momentum of Michelle Obama’s speech Thursday in which she offered a blistering critique of Trump’s alleged behavior. The campaign cited her speech in announcing a new “call team” of supporters who are being encouraged to cite the first lady’s assessment that “enough is enough” when making appeals to female voters.
The campaign surrogates being dispatched to battleground states to woo female voters include Anne Holton, the wife of Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine; at least eight female members of Congress; and actresses including Alfre Woodard, Connie Britton and Marlo Thomas.
Clinton has not announced any public appearances herself this weekend. Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director, told reporters Friday that Clinton would soon address the claims of sexual impropriety leveled against Trump and that she expects the issue to be aired at Wednesday’s final presidential debate in Las Vegas.