The first glimpse into what a general election matchup between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will look like showed Trump will run a take-no-prisoners campaign.
In one of his first events since wrapping up the GOP nomination, he previewed a line of attack he will use against Hillary and Bill Clinton.
And it stunned everyone.
Speaking at a campaign rally in Oregon, Trump fired off words that proved if Hillary wants to accuse him of a “war on women,” Trump will let everyone know who the real perpetrators are.
He blasted Hillary for her past attacks on women who have made claims ranging from sexual harassment to rape against her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
NBC News reports:
“She’s been the total enabler. She would go after these women and destroy their lives,” Trump said.
“She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler, and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful.”
His comments came as part of a defense against recent attacks from Democrats focused on his controversial comments and stances on women’s issues. Trump told the crowd “nobody respects women more than me,” but in contrast, “nobody in this country, and maybe in the history of the country politically, was worse than Bill Clinton with women.”
“Have you ever read what Hillary Clinton did to the women that Bill Clinton had affairs with? And they’re going after me with women?” he added, incredulously, without citing any specific examples or sources.
What Trump is referring to is Hillary’s past as the ring leader of the Clinton world operatives who attacked the credibility of the many women who accused Bill Clinton of inappropriate behavior.
The Washington Times reports:
But Mrs. Clinton took a very different approach herself 25 years ago as the wife of then-Governor Bill Clinton, leading the effort to discredit women who came forward with their own stories of harassment or assault by her husband.
Campaign narratives written by reporters detailed how she honchoed the campaign team that handled “bimbo eruptions,” digging up personal papers and official records that could be used to undercut the stories told by a series of women. One top aide later recounted Mrs. Clinton’s intent to “destroy” the story of one accuser, while former adviser Dick Morris said Mrs. Clinton engaged in “blackmail” to try to force women to recant their stories.
In her 2016 campaign, Hillary has positioned herself as the Queen Social Justice Warrior.
She has even stated that every rape accusation must be believed.
But that was not her position when her husband was in office and his mistreatment of women threatened to derail their path to power.
The media was horrified by Trump’s attack, but it undercuts the central rationale of Hillary’s identity politics campaign.
And while many pundits questioned why Trump would dredge up Bill Clinton’s scandals from the 1990s, Americans born in 1998 will be casting ballots in their first election.
There is a whole swatch of voters who know nothing of the Clinton scandals of the 1990s — or Bill and Hillary’s long history of mistreatment of women.
Attacking your opponent’s perceived strength can be the quickest way to undercut their campaign.
If Hillary is going to run on gender, then Trump’s attack could be the beginning of the end of her campaign.