Donald Trump and his campaign keep hinting that he might hit Hillary Clinton with Bill Clinton’s affairs at the next debate or town hall forum.
This, of course, is a really stupid idea so chances are high that he will do it. This makes his disparaging comments about the women Clinton cheated with relevant, and naturally, they’re not pretty.
Years ago, Trump called Paul Jones a “loser” and said that the public would have forgiven Clinton if only he had had an affair with a “really beautiful woman” instead of Monica Lewinsky. These quotes were brought back to life today by Greg Sargent at the Washington Post.
Sargent also published a Post compilation video of Trump’s comments. Watch here:
In 1998, Trump said in an interview with Chris Matthews, “Paula Jones is a loser, but the fact is that she may be responsible for bringing down a president indirectly.” This quote was first unearthed by WaPo’s Glenn Kessler.
In 1999, Trump said this about Monica Lewinsky, pointed out in an earlier article by Sargent, “It’s sad because he would go down as a great President if he had not had this scandal. People would have been more forgiving if he’d had an affair with a really beautiful woman of sophistication. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were on a different level.”
With all of the promises and threats to come after Clinton on this, it turns out that it is Donald Trump who gets the sexist trophy out of this entire mess, because only Donald Trump judged Bill Clinton’s affair based on the looks of the woman.
It’s okay to cheat if the woman is “beautiful”? I really don’t think the women of America are going to respond well to that.
This is a double fail, because it’s not going to go over well if Donald Trump tries to hold Bill Clinton’s affairs against his wife. Women – especially younger women – see this as the sexist, blaming the victim attack that it is. Even many young Republican women I talk to think this is beyond offensive.
Trump tries to claim this is about Hillary Clinton defending her husband over these women, but Hillary herself had been misled about their involvement with her husband and no sane person is going to hold her hurt reaction to her husband’s betrayal over her head. And again, Bill Clinton is not running for President.
This is actually one of the most insulting things Republicans keep pushing, because it says that they won’t take Hillary Clinton on as a person herself. They are attacking her as a wife of a former President.
Having an affair isn’t sexist. I keep trying to tell Republicans this, but as people who inherently do not understand what sexism is, when they try to use it as a weapon against the first women presidential candidate on a major party ticket, they are bound to make fools of themselves.
Sex isn’t sexism. Defending a partner who has cheated isn’t sexism.
Using Monica Lewinsky as a weapon without regard to her life is pretty crappy, but it looks like Republicans aren’t about to give that up. They’ve been doing it for two decades and they’re not going to stop. Lewinsky herself has said that she was fully consenting, there was no harassment or abuse by Bill Clinton. Make of that what we will, it was a long time ago now, but she has said she doesn’t appreciate being used by Republicans who misconstrue the events of her life for their own means.
Donald Trump is such a sexist, he can’t see the trap he is falling into. Younger women, younger married women, were already appalled when he suggested he might bring this up.
Women expect to be judged on their own merits and work, not on their husband’s actions. This isn’t exactly a novel concept. We don’t judge male politicians on their wives’ behavior. When male politicians cheat on their wives, especially Republican men, we are told it’s not relevant and God has forgiven them.
Donald Trump can try this but it will be a big old box of fail, yet again. And I suspect Hillary Clinton will be waiting for him.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.