The Latest: Scott Walker poses as Democrat in debate prep


September 17, 2016 10:00PM (UTC)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign (all times EDT):

1:30 p.m.

It's not every day you hear Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talk like a Democrat. But that's what he's doing as he helps Donald Trump's running mate get ready for the vice presidential debate.

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A Republican familiar with debate preparations says Walker is playing Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine in debate preparations with GOP running mate Mike Pence. The Republican has direct knowledge of Walker's role but was not authorized by Pence's campaign to release the information.

Walker and Pence are political allies. Walker has heaped praise on his fellow governor while he's been more reluctant to praise Trump.

Walker briefly ran for president but dropped out last year.

Pence and Kaine are scheduled to debate Oct. 4.

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12:30 p.m.

A former defense secretary who served under presidents from both parties says that when it comes to national security, he believes Donald Trump "is beyond repair."

Robert Gates writes in Saturday's Wall Street Journal that the Republican presidential nominee is "stubbornly uninformed about the world and how to lead our country and government, and temperamentally unsuited to lead our men and women in uniform."

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Gates concludes: "He is unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief."

Trump has posted a response on his Twitter account saying he's never met Gates, and Gates "knows nothing about me."

Trump then says of Gates: "Look at the results under his guidance - a total disaster!" Gates was Pentagon chief under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

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12:15 p.m.

Donald Trump's running mate has released a letter from his doctor summarizing his medical history and results of a July physical exam.

Mike Pence's doctor writes that the 57-year-old Pence is in "excellent general and cardiovascular health." Dr. Michael Busk says Pence has a healthy lifestyle and can maintain his "high level of professional work" and physical activity programs "without limitations."

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The doctor also says that Pence had basal cell carcinomas — skin cancer — removed from his face in 2002 and 2010. He also had surgery in August 2015 to repair a hernia.

The doctor says the only medication Pence takes is Claritin for seasonal allergies. He does not smoke or drink alcohol, has diet-controlled heartburn and exercises four times a week.

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11:30 a.m.

Bernie Sanders is urging people turned off by their choices in the presidential election to turn out anyway, even if they think "everybody's horrible."

Hillary Clinton's defeated Democratic primary rival spoke on her behalf at a small campus rally in Akron, Ohio, on Saturday.

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He asked the crowd to spread the word about Clinton's support for tuition-free public college. And he denounced Republican Donald Trump, saying "we can't in 2016 accept bigotry as the cornerstone of any campaign."

About 200 people attended the rally at the University of Akron.

A small pro-Trump contingent held signs outside the building while some Sanders loyalists shouted, "We love you" when the Vermont senator pulled up. One woman yelled: "Thanks for opening my eyes."

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7:45 a.m.

Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn) says the prominence of Russia and himself as an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign indicates his country's growing importance

Donald Trump's comments about Putin's power and support have been rebuked by critics who suggest he would take a soft line in dealing with the Kremlin. Hillary Clinton has said Trump's attitude toward Putin is unpatriotic and "scary."

In Kyrgyzstan (KEER'-gih-stan) on Saturday, Putin took note of all that talk and said: "I want to hope that this is connected with the growing influence and significance of Russia."

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But, he added, "We can see an attempt to revive the image of the so-called Evil Empire and use it to frighten the society."


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