The Latest: Huckabee makes light of US Zika outbreak

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential campaign (all times EDT):

8:28 p.m.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is making light of the Zika virus outbreak during a Donald Trump rally in Florida.

Huckabee is introducing Trump in Fort Lauderdale. He says he’s a lot more scared of a Hillary Clinton presidency than he is about a mosquito bite in South Florida.

Florida officials have said nearby Miami-Dade County is where more than a dozen non-travel-related Zika cases were discovered last week. Those are believed to be the first and only active transmissions in the mainland United States.


7:58 p.m.

Donald Trump says he’s concerned that the moderators in the upcoming presidential debates won’t be fair.

Trump has said he wants to participate in all three scheduled debates with Hillary Clinton but hasn’t concretely committed. He’s complained that two debates are scheduled at the same time as NFL games and he says “that’s really unfair to do that.”

Trump tells Fox News that Republicans and conservatives get unfair treatment by moderators and the media. He says he wants to see a “fair moderator” selected.

The commission organizing the debates hasn’t yet announced the moderators.

Trump also says that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be working with the commission on his behalf on the debate-planning.


4:29 p.m.

Mike Pence is personally apologizing to a Republican state representative who was denied VIP seating at Pence’s rally near Dayton, Ohio.

Rep. Niraj Antani, of Dayton, says he was denied promised seating in the VIP area for, he believes, sending a positive tweet about Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Kasich is one of Trump’s most outspoken Republican critics, and Antani had served as one of his convention delegates.

Antani and Pence’s campaign say the GOP vice presidential nominee has called Antani to apologize for the seating incident.

Antani says the Trump campaign had called and asked him to remove a Tweet that said he was finding Kasich supporters, but no Trump backers, while door knocking.

Seth Unger, a spokesman for Trump’s Ohio campaign, is not confirming or denying whether the campaign asked Antani to take down the tweet. He says, “seating in our VIP area is very limited and we can’t accommodate everyone.”

4:10 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine is wrapping up a two-day Texas swing.

The Virginia senator made an unannounced visit to a Salvadoran restaurant in Dallas’ tony Oak Cliffs neighborhood between a fundraiser in Fort Worth and a second in another part of Dallas. He’s leaving for Louisiana later Wednesday.

Kaine posed for pictures and chatted with diners about the importance of teachers and the process of agreeing to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

Some on-hand said they’d like to see Democrats succeed in Texas, but Kaine didn’t make any predictions.

On Tuesday in Austin, though, he vowed that he and Clinton are serious about doing well in Texas in November — even though a Democrat hasn’t won statewide office in Texas since 1994.


4:05 p.m.

A protester has tried to disrupt a Hillary Clinton rally in Des Moines, but was quickly removed from the event.

The woman, protesting on behalf of animal rights, tried to rush onto the stage during a rally at Lincoln High School, but, struggling, was escorted, out by security.

Clinton is visiting the battleground state of Iowa for the first time since her narrow win in the leadoff caucuses.


4 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says there could be “tremendous consequences” from Donald Trump’s comments that there may be something Second Amendment supporters “can do” to stop her.

Clinton says the remark was a “casual inciting of violence” that shows he lacks the temperament to be commander-in-chief. The comments, Clinton says, were the latest in a long string by Trump that “crossed the line” and raises the stakes for the 2016 campaign.

She says that words matter and “if you are running to be president or you are president of the United States words can have tremendous consequences.”

Trump insists he never advocated violence and his comments Tuesday have been manipulated for political purposes.

Clinton is speaking at a campaign rally in Des Moines.


3:40 p.m.

Donald Trump is accusing Hillary Clinton of “pay for play” during her tenure at the State Department. He says her behavior is illegal.

Trump is responding to emails released by the conservative group Judicial Watch that shed light on ties between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

Republicans have alleged the emails show improper influence on the State Department by the Clinton family’s charitable foundation, a claim Clinton’s campaign denies.

Trump says it shows that under Clinton, “you pay, and you’re getting things.” He says it’s “really, really bad” and is comparing Clinton to disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was imprisoned for corruption.


3:35 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland of Ohio is apologizing for remarks appearing to celebrate the death of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (AN’-toh-nihn skuh-LEE’-uh).

In audio of an appearance Monday before the AFL-CIO in Cleveland, the former Ohio governor is heard saying he didn’t “wish anyone ill” but Scalia’s death “happened at a good time” for union workers. The crowd laughs.

Scalia’s son, Christopher, tweeted: “Stay classy, @Ted_Strickland and you ghouls giggling along.”

Strickland said in a statement Wednesday the remark was insensitive “and I apologize.”

The high court deadlocked four times after Scalia’s death, including in a major union case over a nearly four-decade-old practice that lets public-sector unions collect fees from non-members to cover collective bargaining costs.

Strickland seeks to unseat Republican Rob Portman this fall.


3:30 p.m.

The conflict between Donald Trump’s campaign and loyalists to Ohio Gov. John Kasich appears to be continuing.

Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, is speaking at two Ohio rallies today, starting in the city of Dayton. State Rep. Niraj Antani, of Dayton, says he was denied promised VIP seating at the event. He says a Trump campaign staffer called him recently and asked him to remove a tweet favorable to Kasich. Kasich is an outspoken critic of Trump.

The tweet, now deleted, had said Antani was finding Kasich supporters instead of Trump supporters while out door-knocking in his district.

Antani, who was a Kasich delegate, says he was ready to come on board with the Trump campaign but is reconsidering after the campaign’s “petty” actions.

Ohio is a crucial battleground state that Trump likely needs to win to capture the White House.


3:10 p.m.

An Iowa shop has given Hillary Clinton a new T-shirt to wear on the campaign trail.

Clinton is touring Raygun, in Des Moines, on Wednesday, where she was given a shirt that said “America: Hill Yes.”

Store owner Mike Draper showed Clinton the operation and she recalled her father’s drapery business as he printed her shirt.

She said: “He had nothing as nice as this,” as she looked around the large airy space.

Clinton stressed her commitment to small businesses and helping young entrepreneurs during brief remarks.


2:45 p.m.

Republican Donald Trump is holding a roundtable with coal industry executives and businesspeople in Glade Spring, Virginia.

It’s a rare, intimate event for the billionaire candidate, whose public campaign appearances are usually limited to large rallies.

Trump is talking about the difficulties facing the coal and other energy issues.

He tells the workers that he knows they’re struggling.

He says, “You’ve been put in an impossible position, as far as mines are concerned.”

Trump his also going after rival Hillary Clinton, who is advocating a move toward renewable fuel sources. He claims Clinton “wants the mines closed,”

Danny Atwell of Buchanan Mine #1 tells Trump the industry has shrunk over the 43 years he’s been involved with mining.

He says, “Everyone is trying to choke our business.”


2:20 p.m.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is set to appear on ballots in at least 39 states, and party activists are working in places such as swing state Ohio to get his name before voters this fall.

Johnson’s ballot status in Ohio remained uncertain Wednesday, a day after Libertarians submitted thousands of signatures on behalf of a different candidate as a placeholder.

The state party said it would substitute in Johnson’s name once the petitions are certified by Ohio’s elections chief. The secretary of state’s office says its legal team will review the situation.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is slated to appear on ballots in at least 27 states.

Libertarians and other third parties face a patchwork of rules and laws nationwide governing access to ballots.


12 p.m.

President Barack Obama will mix business with vacationing during his stay in Martha’s Vineyard in a nod to the hotly contested November election.

The White House says he’ll attend a fundraiser Monday for the Democratic National Committee at a private residence in Chilmark, the town where the first family is staying during their two-week summer vacation.

Obama plans to play an active role on the campaign trail this fall and has already appeared with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in North Carolina. The White House did not disclose exactly where the fundraiser would occur or the cost of attendance. He is expected to deliver remarks and take questions from those in the audience.

Obama and the first family arrived on the island Saturday afternoon.


8:05 a.m.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is launching an effort to win over Republicans and independents.

Called Together for America, the group aims to use a wave of nearly 50 recent endorsements by high-profile Republicans and independents to convince voters to cross party lines.

Clinton’s campaign is also releasing new endorsements from several retired Republican officials, including former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Carla Hills, former Maryland Congresswoman Connie Morella, former Connecticut Congressman Chris Shays and former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte.

Some Republicans say they back Clinton because they don’t support Donald Trump’s bombastic style and controversial statements. Others object to his lack of foreign policy experience. The Clinton backers largely include former officials, though some current Republican officeholders have said they won’t vote for Trump.


3:10 a.m.

On the defensive once again, Donald Trump is blaming faulty interpretations and media bias for an uproar over his comments about the Second Amendment.

He’s insisting he never advocated violence against Hillary Clinton, even as undeterred Democrats pile on.

The latest Trump controversy arose from an offhand quip at a rally. Trump said there would be “nothing you can do” if Clinton’s elected to stop her from stacking the Supreme Court with anti-gun justices, then added ambiguously, “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is — I don’t know.”

Was Trump suggesting gun owners take matters into their own hands? Or merely musing about the powerful influence of the gun lobby?

Like so many times before, Trump’s supporters and opponents construed his comments in entirely different ways.

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