Hoping to resuscitate discredited attacks of the 1990s and energize his supporters, Donald Trump has gone hard after Bill Clinton in recent weeks. Whether it’s slamming the 41st president’s economic policies or his personal baggage involving women, there is no boundary Trump has been afraid to cross.
His supporters likely look at these attacks as another example of Trump not being afraid to “go there,” but an increasing amount of old Trump video clips show that the self-obsessed billionaire’s recent comments are just as phony as his tan.
Donald Trump now pretends that Bill Clinton’s economic record wasn’t so great, but the 1997 version of Trump had a pretty drastic difference of opinion.
“The best thing [Bill Clinton] has going is the fact that the economy’s doing great,” Trump said nearly 20 years ago in a CNBC interview with Chris Matthews. “I’ve never seen anything like it. You know, they talked about the ’80s were good. The ’90s are better. I mean, the ’90s are really much better.”
Today, the presumptive GOP nominee may feign outrage over Clinton’s alleged treatment of women, but before he decided to reinvent himself as a presidential candidate, Trump expressed sympathy for the 41st president and called Clinton accuser Paula Jones a “loser.” At the time, he said that Bill Clinton should just refuse questions about his sex life.
When asked in the same 1997 interview whether he ever thought about running for office, Trump responded with a real doozy: “Can you imagine how controversial that’d be? You think about [Clinton] with the women. How about me with the women? Can you imagine?”
While it’s true that politicians often back away from old statements over time or shift opinions based on changing attitudes, Trump has taken it well beyond the norm. The words that come out of his mouth don’t just change over a period of many years; sometimes they change so rapidly – weeks, days, hours – it’s hard for any objective viewer to keep up. He likes to call himself an outsider, but he plays the game of political opportunism better than anyone.
Again and again, Donald Trump says whatever he needs to say – even if it’s at odds with what he said yesterday – to elevate himself and dupe everyone else.
He doesn’t really believe what he is saying about Bill Clinton. In fact, he really doesn’t believe anything. He’s just an opportunistic phony hoping to con his way to the highest office in the world.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.