The Note: Top Political Stories of the Day

ByABC News
October 18, 2016, 6:04 PM


Obama Tells Trump ‘Stop Whining.’ President Obama criticized Donald Trump today for suggesting the presidential election will be rigged. "I have never seen in my lifetime or in modern political history any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place.” the president said during a joint news conference at the White House with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. ABC’s ARLETTE SAENZ has more:

Clinton Team Sorted Potential VP Picks Into 'Food Groups.’ Hillary Clinton campaign officials grouped potential vice presidential running mates by race, ethnicity and gender, according to a recently leaked email, further suggesting the degree to which her run for the White House appeared to be scripted. ABC’s MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN has more on the hacked email published by WikiLeaks.

Pence: Suspected Firebombing 'Act of Political Terrorism.' Mike Pence toured the site of an apparent arson attack and graffiti vandalism at a county GOP headquarters in North Carolina today, calling it "an act of political terrorism." "An attack on our political system is an attack on us all," the Republican vice-presidential candidate told reporters after touring the inside of the torched office. ABC’s INES DE LA CUETARA and EMILY SHAPIRO has more.

Early Voting Trends. According to an analysis of data by ABC News, approximately 1.5 million ballots have already been cast by either absentee or early voting. This is just 3.4% of the total advance votes cast in 2012. Early voting in the 2016 election has begun in 25 states, including the battleground states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. This includes states that either have in person voting or no excuse absentee. It’s still a bit early to tell which way the voting is going, but, according to both ABC’s analysis and reporting, some patterns are starting to emerge: Positive signs for Clinton in Florida and North Carolina, and positive signs for Trump in Ohio and Iowa. However, ABC’s JOHN KRUZEL, RYAN STRUYK and ALANA ABRAMSON report, these are very preliminary trends and can change, as early voting is supposed to increase within the coming weeks.


ABC’s JOHN SANTUCCI and CANDACE SMITH: The Trump team really pushed today that Donald Trump would call for term limits for members of Congress. Yet, he has said before he’s in favor of it and today in Colorado he said he would push for a constitutional amendment though he did not offer details. “If I'm elected president, I will push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of congress. They've been talking about that for years. Decades of failure in Washington and decades of special interest dealing must and will come to an end,” Trump said at his campaign rally.

ABC’s MATTHEW CLAIBORNE: Hillary Clinton may be down today, but her husband was out for one final campaign event before heading to Vegas for tomorrow’s debate. Clinton slipped a bit when he mentioned he would be doing a bus tour in Pennsylvania, something the campaign has not yet announced. So far the president has done bus tours in Ohio and Iowa and they announced one for later this week in Florida. He also said that he reached out to a friend in Texas for a good one liner to sum up this election and that line is “If you don’t want someone to drive a truck off the cliff, don’t give them the keys.” Then he ended his speech with “Give Hillary the keys!”

ABC’s JESSICA HOPPER: When describing how he and Clinton are supporters of the underdog, Tim Kaine used Clinton’s support of the Cubs as an illustration. Kaine loves baseball and baseball trivia. "Hillary and I, we’ve always rooted for underdogs. She's a Cubs fan, Lord. We have always rooted for underdogs and I think most Americans kind of have that same feeling,” Kaine said to laughs from the audience at his speech in Detroit. Kaine made a point of noting that Clinton beat Bernie Sanders “fairly” and in a “very contested” primary. The words stood out in a week where Trump has frequently called the election “rigged.”


New Trump Ad ‘Deals.’ The Trump campaign released a new ad today titled “Deals,” hitting Clinton and focusing on trade. The ad will air in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, according to the campaign. The ad argues: "Our economy once dominated the world and our middle class thrived. Today, jobs are gone. Factories closed. Because of bad trade deals pushed by the Clintons. That sent our jobs to other countries.” WATCH:

Hillary Clinton Super PAC Ad ‘Hate.’ Hillary Clinton’s super PAC, Priorities USA is out with a new TV ad. Titled “Hate,” it features Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard. “So when I see the hate that Donald Trump has brought to his campaign for president, it terrifies me…words have an influence, violence causes pain, hate can rip us apart. I know what can happen as the result of hate, and Donald Trump should never be our president.” In the moving ad, she recounts the 1998 murder of her son. It will air in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Iowa, Colorado & New Hampshire. WATCH:


"If you start whining before the game's even over? If whenever things are going badly for you and you lose, you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job." --President Obama on Donald Trump's claim that the election is rigged.

HAPPENING TONIGHT (all times Eastern):

--5:00 PM - Donald Trump campaigns in Grand Junction, Colorado.

--6:00 PM -- Mike Pence holds a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

--10:00 PM - Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders hosts an early vote rally for his former primary competitor, Hillary Clinton, in Tucson, Arizona.


@ABCLiz: Mark Cuban and Meg Whitman will attend the debate tomorrow as guests of the Clinton camp, per @jmpalmieri

@mcuban: Cant wait to give a big hug to my bestie @realDonaldTrump at the debate tomorrow night. I know you miss me !

@wpjenna: Trump tells supporters in Colorado Springs: "Forget the press, read the internet." He adds that many reporters won't be around much longer.

@evanmcmurry: Trump in CO: "Who's a miner? Raise your hand. You! You don't look like a miner."

@igorbobic: Trump on Hillary: “You know what the debate prep is? It’s resting. It’s lying down and going to sleep."

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