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Obama latest target in spate of heckling

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Dealing with hecklers is nothing new to US politicians. But President Barack Obama on Friday became the latest in a wave of Democrats targeted by bounty-seeking agitators as the 2016 US election enters the final stretch.

[CLEVELAND] Dealing with hecklers is nothing new to US politicians. But President Barack Obama on Friday became the latest in a wave of Democrats targeted by bounty-seeking agitators as the 2016 US election enters the final stretch.

Incivility on the airwaves has spilled into campaign events from Florida to Cleveland, Ohio, where Mr Obama campaigned for Hillary Clinton, and encountered a protester declaring former president Bill Clinton a rapist.

Right wing website Infowars has put up a US$5,000 reward for anyone who is heard and seen on television repeating the explosive, and unproven allegation.

A few minutes into Mr Obama's campaign riff selling his record over the last eight years in the White House, the outgoing 44th president noticed a commotion in the crowd - populated largely by young voters and many families with young children.

"Our businesses have turned job losses into 15 million new jobs, we slashed our dependence on foreign oil," Mr Obama said trailing off, "hold on a second, young man. Don't be interrupting everybody, come on. Come on, sir. Come on".

Mr Obama tried to lead a chant to drown the man out.

"Everybody - come on, everybody. Let's do our little chant. Hillary! Hillary!" "I notice this has been happening everywhere," Mr Obama said.

"If you're confident about the other guy, just go to his rallies. I feel confident about my candidate."

"That's a better way for you to spend your time. Unless you're just being paid to be here. In which case hey, you know, everybody got to make a living. Where was I?"

The hard-fought White House race has turned even more nasty in recent weeks, as Mrs Clinton has pulled away from Donald Trump in the polls.

Since Mr Trump declared himself free of the shackles of Republican orthodoxy, Mrs Clinton's speeches have been repeatedly interrupted by people shouting that her husband "Bill Clinton is a rapist!".

On Thursday Infowars boasted in a headline: "'Bill Clinton Rape' movement explodes'.

AFP