Posted: 8:45 pm Monday, October 10th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
For years, conservatives and many in talk radio have never been able to get past their contempt for Bill and Hillary Clinton. Much as some Democrats are still aggravated by the mere mention of Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, there has been a dream on the Republican Right of an in-your-face campaign against the Clintons, especially one that brings up stories of sexual assault against Bill Clinton as well.
That campaign has finally arrived.
Expect Team Trump to keep hounding Clinton for her husband's long-ago behavior, I'm told. His strategists gleefully believe it rattled her.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) October 10, 2016
“There’s never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women, so you can say any way you want to say it, but Bill Clinton was abusive to women,” Trump said early in Sunday night’s debate.
Trump said that not long after meeting with Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Paula Jones, and having them ushered into the debate hall – all three women have accused the former President of sexual assault.
In the debate, Trump not only went after Bill Clinton, but charged that Hillary Clinton had enabled him.
“Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously,” Trump said.
Trump continued that line of attack on Monday afternoon at a rally in Pennsylvania.
“Bill Clinton was the worst abuser of women ever to sit in the Oval Office,” Trump said outside of Pittsburgh. “He was a predator.”
At his rally, Trump even worked in a mention of the ultimate conservative punching bag, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and Kennedy’s infamous accident at Chappaquiddick.
Trump just now mentioned Kennedy/ Chappaquiddick as another example of Democrats (like Hillary) behaving badly.
— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) October 10, 2016
Before Trump took the stage, those type of attacks were readily embraced by local Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA).
“Hillary Clinton is no role model,” Rothfus said to the crowd, saying “she ridicules and attacks those who accused her husband.”
“I’m looking forward to that special prosecutor getting appointed next January,” Rothfus said to more cheers, echoing what Trump said in the debate on Sunday.
Not all Republicans have been thrilled about Trump going down this line of attack, mainly because there are many in the GOP who believe it will not work.
Every day Trump supporters talk about Benghazi, emails or 40 year old rape charges is a win for Clinton. The only… https://t.co/KtjcTtlq5d
— Rick Shaftan (@Shaftan) October 10, 2016
And many polls have shown that as well:
"Inappropriate" to use Bill's past personal behavior to attack Hillary
62% All voters
44% Rep pic.twitter.com/YppqsG0aWo
— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) September 24, 2016
But for those who have always wanted to throw everything they could in the face of Hillary and Bill Clinton – this is a candidacy they have dreamed of for many years.
We will find out in four weeks whether it works.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.