hillary clinton usa.jpg
Photograph: EPA/TANNEN MAURY

US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump crossed paths Monday as both took advantage of the US Labour Day holiday to campaign for votes in north-eastern Ohio and other labour strongholds ahead of November's election.

Both candidates spoke in Cleveland, Ohio, with Trump going on to a Labour Day event in another city in the state and Clinton flying to Illinois on her new campaign jet.

Clinton spoke at a Labour Day festival alongside running mate Tim Kaine, a US senator from Virginia, and the leaders of two of the biggest labour unions in the United States.

The former US secretary of state assailed Trump's campaign style and said the United States needed to have an election "that values the kind of positive future that will make life better for the people of Ohio and empty promises and racial attacks won't do that."

Clinton, who has faced criticism recently for not holding news conferences, answered questions from reporters who accompanied her for the first time on her new campaign jet, a 14-year-old Boeing 737 that according to media reports once belonged to the fleet of the German airline AirBerlin.

She said she was concerned about "credible reports about Russian interference in our elections," saying it raised some grave questions. She also told reporters she is "more than ready" for the last two months of the campaign.

In an interview with ABC News, she also criticized Trump's visit to Mexico last week and said she wouldn't accept Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's invitation to visit his country before the November 8 election.

Trump created a "diplomatic incident" and "didn't know how to even communicate effectively with a head of state," she told ABC.

Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, attended a morning roundtable discussion with union members before heading on to a fair in Canfield, Ohio, where he spoke through a bullhorn, telling the crowd: "We will get our jobs back and we will stop companies from leaving," Trump said.

"Trade is a one-way street and it's leading us to the poor house," he said. "We have to bring jobs back to this country or we are not going to have a country."

Trump also committed to participating in all three scheduled debates against Clinton.

He told CNN he didn't plan to work particularly hard on preparing by having someone pose as Clinton while he practiced. Trump had previously complained that two of the debates have been scheduled on the same evening as televised professional American football games, prompting speculation that he could drop out.

Trump also answered questions on his jet as news reports showed his aircraft parked at the same airport as Clinton's. Both candidates said their goal Monday was to make appeals to workers and labour unions in the country's industrial heartland.

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