1. Florida Politics

Clinton scrambles to head off fallout from tough weekend

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton and her campaign scrambled Monday to head off any lasting damage from a brutal weekend, promising to release more of her medical records after her bout of pneumonia and conceding they were too slow in providing information about her condition.

"I just didn't think it was going to be that big a deal," the Democratic nominee said late Monday in an interview with CNN when asked why she didn't immediately tell voters about her recent diagnosis of pneumonia.

Democrats said Clinton's health incident alone is unlikely to fundamentally alter the presidential race, but some also said it adds to a growing sense of uncertainty less than two months from Election Day. For many supporters, Clinton's battle with Republican Donald Trump is worryingly close, raising concerns not only about holding the White House but also retaking control of the Senate.

"If you look at the way the last couple months have gone, it feels like the race should be further apart," said Greg Haas, an Ohio-based Democratic strategist and former county party chairman.

Clinton abruptly left a 9/11 anniversary event Sunday in New York and was seen on video stumbling and being held up by aides. Clinton said Monday night that she did not faint, but did feel "dizzy and I did lose my balance for a minute."

"What happened yesterday was that I just was incredibly committed to being at the memorial," Clinton, 68, told CNN. "I could feel how hot and humid it was. I felt overheated. I decided that I did need to leave. As soon as I got into the air-conditioned van, I cooled off, I got some water and very quickly I felt better."

At the time, roughly 90 minutes passed before aides said Clinton left because she was overheated. Several hours later, her doctor acknowledged she had been diagnosed with pneumonia two days earlier.

"In retrospect, we could have handled it better," Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said Monday. He pledged to release "additional medical information" about Clinton in the next few days.

Trump, 70, who also promises to release new medical records this week, showed surprising restraint regarding Clinton's health. He wished her well and did not repeat questions he has raised about whether the former secretary of state has the strength and stamina to be president.

He did hammer Clinton for her assertion Friday night that half of his supporters belong in a "basket of deplorables" and are racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic. Clinton later said she regretted applying that description to "half" of Trump's backers, but stuck by her assertion that the GOP nominee has given a platform to "hateful views and voices."

Speaking in Maryland on Monday, Trump said he was shocked to hear Clinton "attack, slander, smear and demean these wonderful, amazing people."

After a staff shake-up in August, Trump has largely abandoned the freewheeling style of campaigning that energized his supporters but also led to an endless string of controversial comments about women, minorities and others. The Republican nominee's newfound ability to stay on script has coincided with tightening in national polls and surveys in some key swing states.

Democrats are also warily watching a Senate landscape that looked to be favorable for the party if Trump proved to be a drag on GOP candidates. But Rob Portman in Ohio has distanced himself from Trump and appears headed for re-election, and Republicans are feeling more confident in Florida since Marco Rubio reversed course and decided to run for re-election.

"The last few days feed into a sense of uncertainty," said Chris Kofinis, a Democratic strategist. He said Clinton's rough weekend raises the stakes for the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, which "will either finish Trump or, if he does well, it will create a race."