Donald Trump rallies supporters in Sarasota

AP file photo
AP file photo

SARASOTA, FL (WFLA) — On the eve of the 2016 Presidential Election, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump made final push for voters in the Sunshine State.

Trump appeared at a rally in Sarasota Monday morning at Robarts Arena on the Sarasota Fairgrounds. It was Trump’s first campaign appearance of five scheduled for Monday and his second appearance in three days in the Tampa Bay area.

Robarts Arena was not big enough to hold the crowd of thousands who came to see Trump. Hundreds had to wait outside and listen to the speech on loudspeakers.

The race for Florida is neck-and-neck, and Trump made one last effort for a photo finish. “In one day we’re going to win the great state of Florida and we’re going to take back the White House,” he said.

The Republican nominee spent most of his speech, which was nearly one hour long, detailing what he described as plans for his presidency: repealing the Affordable Care Act and cleaning Washington, D.C. of corruption. “When we win tomorrow, we are going to drain the swamp,” Trump yelled.

Trump briefly addressed the latest news that the FBI won’t file charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. FBI Director James Comey told Congress in a letter sent Sunday that a review of newly discovered Clinton emails has “not changed our conclusions” from earlier this year that she should not face charges.

Sent just two days before Election Day, the letter appeared to resolve any lingering ambiguity over the prospect that the Democratic presidential nominee could yet face a criminal indictment over her use of a private email sever as secretary of state.

“Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton,” Comey wrote to congressional leaders, less than two weeks after first telling them about a cache of newly found emails that investigators thought might be pertinent to their investigation.

“Nobody in this room can believe what’s going on with the FBI and the Department of Justice,” Trump said Monday. “Hillary Clinton is being protected by a totally rigged system.”

Trump also said Clinton is “the most corrupt person ever to see the office of the United States.”

In a brief moment of levity, he pulled from the crowd a mask that looked just like him. “Nice head of hair, I’ll say that,” Trump joked.

Trump said he is encouraged by close poll numbers in Florida. “Just imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as one people, under one God saluting one American flag,” he said. “I’m asking you to dream big because with your vote we’re just one day away from the change you’ve been waiting for your entire life.”

Sarasota’s Republican Party twice awarded Trump the title of Statesman of the Year.

After speaking in Sarasota, Trump continued his final campaign sprint with events scheduled in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Michigan.

Also on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden and Jimmy Buffett campaigned for Clinton and other Democrats in St. Petersburg.

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