- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Donald Trump took a detour from the campaign trail Wednesday to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Washington marking the official opening of his new luxury hotel blocks from The White House — sparking questions about whether it was the best use of his time less than two weeks out from the election.

Mr. Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, meanwhile, was scheduled to make campaign stops in the traditional battleground states of Colorado and Nevada, where Hillary Clinton is leading in polling averages, and Utah, which has backed every GOP White House hopeful since Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson carried it in 1964.

At the ceremony, Mr. Trump said the revitalization of iconic Old Post Office in downtown D.C. should serve as a reminder of the nation’s potential and summed up the project with the motto, “under budget and ahead of schedule.”

“We don’t hear those words too often in government, but we will,” Mr. Trump said, standing at a podium that read “Trump Hotels” and before a backdrop that read “Trump International Hotel.” “Today is a metaphor for what we can accomplish for this country.”

Mr. Trump said the federal government is broken, and said “the future lies with the dreamers, not the cynics and the critics.”

He was joined on stage by his three of his children, Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, who praised her father’s leadership on the project and dismissed critics that have tried to discredit his business record.

“Two years ago when we said Trump would be coming to Pennsylvania Avenue in 2016, we had no idea what we would be foreshadowing,” Ivanka said.

Mr. Trump assured the audience that he was headed back out on the campaign trail, saying he has coming events scheduled in North Carolina, New Hampshire and Florida.

Mr. Trump received some good news before the event.

A Bloomberg survey showed him holding a 2 percentage point lead in Florida, which is widely viewed as key to his chances of coming out on top in the Nov. 8 election. The Los Angeles Times also released a national poll of likely voters that showed him running a single percentage point ahead of Mrs. Clinton.

The findings contrasted with polling averages that show Mrs. Clinton holds a 4 percentage point lead nationally and is up almost 2 percentage points in Florida.

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