AP: Kaine Weeps at Site of Pulse Nightclub Shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential race ahead of the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Monday at Hofstra University (all times EDT):

6:20 p.m.

Tim Kaine has visited the Orlando, Fla., memorial site of the worst mass shooting in modern American history.

Weeping, he said, “we’ve got work to do.”

The Democratic vice presidential nominee made the remarks during a brief stop at Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were shot and killed in June. He was joined by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly. The couple became gun control advocates after Giffords was shot in the head in 2011.

Kaine laid white roses in front of a banner of rainbow doves. Many of the Pulse victims were members of the LGBT community.

Kaine will join Giffords and Kelly in Orlando to watch Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in their first debate.


4:26 p.m.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says Donald Trump’s improved performance is helping GOP down-ballot candidates around the country.

It’s a point McCarthy says he made directly to Trump in a phone conversation Monday.

The California Republican says that “As his numbers go up, our numbers go up.”

Republicans are widely expected to keep their majority in the House in November, but lose seats. Some Democrats even hold out hope for retaking the House majority.

But McCarthy contends that “we’re in a much stronger position than anyone would have given us credit for.”

His comments reflecting growing GOP optimism about outcomes for House and Senate candidates as Trump is not dragging down their campaigns the way some in both parties anticipated.


2:10 p.m.

Hillary Clinton will have some presidential support as she heads to Hempstead, New York, for her debate: her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

An aide to the former president says he’ll travel to the debate with his wife. The aide isn’t saying yet whether Bill Clinton will actually attend the debate.

The aide wasn’t authorized to discuss Bill Clinton’s plans by name and requested anonymity.

The debate’s run-up has been filled with speculation about who will or won’t attend. Donald Trump’s campaign walked back his suggestion that he might invite Gennifer Flowers, a woman who had an affair with Bill Clinton.

—By Julie Pace


2:05 p.m.

Donald Trump’s running mate is rallying supporters in New Hampshire before heading to New York for the presidential debate.

Mike Pence said at a Monday rally that the debate will give a chance for Trump and Hillary Clinton to meet with no media filters or parsing of words.

Pence was introduced by former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu. His son, Chris Sununu, is running for governor.

Pierre Provost came to the rally with a newspaper clipping showing him at a 1980 Ronald Reagan rally in New Hampshire. Provost said that’s the last political event he’s attended. He said he’s part of a “solid majority” who backs Trump.

He said, “We’re the quiet deplorables,” referring to a term Clinton used to describe some of Trump’s supporters.


1:50 p.m.

MTV is bringing back its 1990s-era show “Total Request Live” for a day, only this time as “Total Registration Live.”

It will be part of a national voter registration effort on Tuesday, with a show airing at 6 p.m. EDT and simulcasting online. Model Kendall Jenner will appear, along with television producer Joss Whedon, Camila Cabello of Fifth Harmony and singer Ty Dolla $ign.

Organizers say guests will stress the importance of voting. They will also test out technology helping people register via a text message or through Facebook.


1:35 p.m.

The first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be little more than background noise to President Barack Obama.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Obama will be “working tonight” when the debate airs. He said the television will be on in the background.

Earnest said the only deviation from business as usual is that the TV will be tuned to the debate instead of to Monday Night Football.

Earnest said Obama wants Clinton in the debate to speak about her record in a way that provides insight into her motivations to be president.


1:30 p.m.

Tim Kaine is suggesting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will have a tough time in Monday night’s debate because Trump can’t run and hide when the questions get tough.

The Democratic vice presidential is also predicting a strong performance from his running mate, Hillary Clinton. Kaine says the debate will reveal whether Trump has any details for his plans and can manage not to lie.

Kaine was speaking at a rally in Lakeland, Florida. He says he’ll be on the edge of his seat and taking his own notes in preparation for his debate next week against Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence.

Kaine will greet voters at a debate watch party in Orlando before the debate begins.