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With A New Sense Of Urgency, Clinton Stumps In Crucial States


And just a week ago, Hillary Clinton was looking to run up the score against Donald Trump. Her campaign was running ads in Texas and planning a trip to the traditionally red state of Arizona. Today, she heads out on that trip but under different circumstances. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hillary Clinton's campaign is launching new television ad buys in states she's supposed to have in the bag - Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico and Virginia. Campaign officials insist they aren't nervous. They say they are spending money in these states because they have extra cash to burn. But in these closing days, Clinton is trying to hang onto her lead as much as she's trying to expand the map.


HILLARY CLINTON: And I hope you will think about how you will feel the day after the election, on November the 9.

KEITH: Her closing argument had been uplifting. The focus was on bringing Americans together after the election. Clinton's positive message is now obscured.


CLINTON: Are we going forward together, or are we going to be pulled backwards by someone who wants to bully us?

KEITH: With a new sense of urgency, Clinton is working to define her opponent, sharpening critique she first delivered months ago. Monday, it was national security, where she talked at length about the prospect of Donald Trump with his finger on the nuclear button.


CLINTON: Imagine him plunging us into a war because somebody got under his very thin skin.

KEITH: Yesterday, the theme was what Trump had said about and allegedly done to women.


CLINTON: But I guess the bottom line is he thinks belittling women makes him a bigger man. And I don't think there's a woman anywhere who doesn't know what that feels like. He doesn't see us as full human beings.

KEITH: And today in Arizona, a state on the U.S.-Mexico border where Trump is pledging to build a wall, a senior Clinton aide says the theme will be Trump's divisive rhetoric and proposals. Tamara Keith, NPR News, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.