PUEBLO, Colo. — Hillary Clinton denounced “scorched earth” tactics by Republicans on Wednesday, saying Democrats must not allow themselves to turn away from the election in disgust.
Those tactics have recently included protesters accusing former president Bill Clinton of rape. Clinton’s campaign appearances were interrupted two days in a row this week by people shouting while holding or wearing T-shirts that brand her husband a rapist.
Her rally here was briefly interrupted by two demonstrators, but it was not clear they were accusing Clinton’s husband.
“Americans want to turn out in as large numbers as possible,” Clinton said to applause. “Reject the dark and divisive and hateful campaign that is being run.”
The Democratic presidential nominee contrasted what she calls Republican Donald Trump’s efforts to divide voters and her own plan to govern inclusively.
“We have done our best to stay out of all the meanness,” Clinton said.
“I want you to know, I want to be the president for everyone,” she said. “I am tired of all the division and the barriers. I want to bring people together across party lines, across all the lines that divide us.”
Clinton welcomed the support she is getting from Republicans and independents and scoffed that “scorched earth” is an act of desperation.
“That’s all they have left — pure negativity,” she said.
“Obviously Hillary Clinton is very concerned about how divisive this race has become and all that Donald Trump has done,” campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri told reporters traveling with Clinton.
Trump’s tactics have just created more enthusiasm and mobilization among Democrats, Palmieri said.
Clinton drew a record crowd of more than 18,000 this week, and early voting and voter registration in Nevada, where Clinton will also campaign Wednesday, Florida and other places are encouraging for Democrats, Palmieri said.
“If anything, we feel that enthusiasm is growing on the Democratic side,” Palmieri said.
Clinton will not directly engage on the “rapist” protests, Palmieri said.
“These are people that are being paid to come and heckle her,” Palmieri said, adding that she applauded President Obama’s dismissal of a similar protest at a pro-Clinton event Tuesday.
“It’s just more of the effort that Trump is undertaking to try to intimidate her,” Palmieri said. “He will find that it will not have much effect.”
Cellphone toting protesters with handmade T-shirts scrawled with “Bill Clinton is a rapist” interrupted President Obama mid-joke in Charlotte on Tuesday.
“Oh, no,” he let out, grinning and chuckling as the crowd booed and the protesters were let out. The chants started “Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!”
He said, “You know, this is the great thing about politics in America. It takes all kinds. Folks will just do . . .”
“Anything” the riled up crowed screamed back.
“Do all kinds of stuff,” Obama finished. “Now where was I?”
Democrats will also hold Republicans to account for their support — current or past — for Trump and for the toxic nature of the contest in the final weeks, Palmieri warned.
The Clinton campaign has directly implicated conservative radio host Alex Jones and his conspiracy-driven website Infowars for urging Clinton opponents to raise the rape allegation — and offering to pay those who get on television.
Jones made such an offer on his Sept. 30 show, and referred to longtime Clinton opponent and Republican operative Roger Stone.
“Another shirt that was designed and licensed from Roger Stone is the Bill Clinton rape shirt,” Jones said. “Looks like the Communist-style Obama ‘Hope’ shirt, but says ‘Rape.’”
“Wear it, get aggressive, start the conversations, get on TV with it,” Jones urged. “Anyone that gets on national TV with the shirt clearly for more than five seconds gets $1,000. Anyone that gets it on air on national TV and gets the words out’ Bill Clinton is a rapist’ or things along the line with a bullhorn,” could get $5,000, he said.
It is not clear whether those protesting last week and this week at events held by Clinton, her husband or other surrogates were directly inspired by that offer, or whether anyone has been paid.
Clinton did not directly address a disruption Tuesday during an appearance in Miami alongside former vice president Al Gore in which a man yelled allegations about Bill Clinton and rape.
Clinton pleaded with voters Monday not to let the nastiness of the final weeks of the campaign become a reason not to vote. That is just what her enemies want, she suggested.
“That’s what the other side wants you to feel, that ‘I’m not going to vote because it’s so nasty,’” she had told a college audience in Detroit.
“That’s the main reason to vote, to make it clear that we’re not going to put up with that kind of attitude.”
That rally was also briefly interrupted by a man in the crowd wearing a T-shirt with Bill Clinton’s picture on it and the word “rape.” The man yelled “rapist” as he was escorted out.
Hillary Clinton said nothing about the accusation and made light of the incident, which came the day after her second debate with Trump and as his support among voters and elected Republicans was melting.
“I hope somebody follows that man out and stages an intervention,” Clinton said to laughter. “He clearly has not been following this election very closely.”
Bill Clinton also laughed off a disruption last week, in Akron, Ohio, in which a woman shouted that he had harmed women while holding aloft a hand-lettered T-shirt that read, “Bill Clinton a Rapist.”
The demonstration was staged near the back of the hangar-style event hall, directly in front of risers where television cameras were recording the former president’s remarks.
Abby Phillip in Washington contributed to this article.