WASHINGTON: Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton launched an open appeal today to independents and Republicans repulsed by Donald Trump, after the party's nominee again sparked controversy with comments seen by some as a threat against her.
The latest Trump firestorm erupted when he suggested at a rally yesterday in North Carolina that "Second Amendment people" -- those who support gun rights -- could take action to stop Clinton from appointing US Supreme Court justices as president.
After his comments were judged by many as courting violence, the Clinton team pounced by announcing a new "outreach to the growing number of Republicans and independents" who are prepared to vote for the former secretary of state on November 8.
The campaign unveiled a new website, togetherforamerica.com.
It lists dozens of Republicans and independents who back Clinton, including former director of national intelligence John Negroponte, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and Hewlett Packard Enterprise chief executive Meg Whitman.
"Americans are looking to the next president to help bring us together to tackle the big challenges facing the country, and Hillary Clinton's bipartisan support is the latest proof that she can work across the aisle to make us stronger together," campaign chairman John Podesta said in announcing the effort.
"Regardless of party, voters are increasingly concerned that Trump's tendency to bully, demean and degrade others sends the wrong message to our children."
Trump insisted that his "Second Amendment" comments referred to the power of gun rights supporters as a "political movement."
But lawmakers, former national security officials and other critics expressed concern that he had advocated violence, possibly in jest, against Clinton or her Supreme Court nominees.
"Hillary wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment" of the US Constitution, Trump, 70, told a rally at the University of North Carolina.
"If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks," Trump said.
"Although the Second Amendment people -- maybe there is, I don't know."