Apparently, Donald Trump won’t be happy until every single woman in this country hates him.
For the third straight day, the presumptive Republican nominee and thrice-married reality TV star claimed likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is playing the “woman card.” During an interview on NBC’s TODAY, the celebrity billionaire stated that the former Secretary of State and twice-elected Senator couldn’t get elected to any office if it wasn’t for her gender.
“The primary thing that she has going is that she’s a woman and she’s playing that card like I have never seen anybody play it before…Frankly all I’m doing is bringing out the obvious. Without the woman’s card, Hillary would not even be a viable person who could even run for a city council position.”
He also used his common refrain, telling the hosts that “nobody respects women more than I do,” which is I guess his magic cloak to shield him from accusations of blatant misogyny and sexism.
After winning all five primaries Tuesday night, Trump used his victory speech to attack Clinton, claiming that if she weren’t a woman, she wouldn’t get 5% of the vote. During a number of phone-in (natch) interviews the following morning, he continued to assail Hillary for playing the woman’s card, even when CNN host Chris Cuomo asked him if he understood that many women find that assertion offensive. (Of course, the Morning Joe crew just let it pass without so much as a pushback. But you knew that already.)
Since deciding to go after Clinton specifically due to her gender, many female journalists have weighed in on the implications during this election season. MSNBC’s Irin Carmon stated that Trump is continuing to tap into the politics of resentment, which has worked for him in the GOP primary, as he’s mocked and attacked Mexicans, Muslims, minorities and even the disabled, all to his advantage with his white working-class base.
By accusing Clinton of profiting off her gender, Trump has now placed being a woman on his pre-existing list of unfair advantages accrued to people who don’t deserve them. Thanks to political correctness, the thinking goes, what was once perhaps a liability is now a free pass that comes at the expense of people more deserving of free passes — people like Trump voters.
The New York Times’ Gail Collins claimed that Trump was dealing the woman card because he has no real accomplishments of his own to tout.
Do not ask yourself how many votes Donald Trump would get if he were a woman and he was the way he is. Truly, you don’t want to go there.
The bottom line on Hillary Clinton is that she’s spent her life championing women and their issues. She began her career with the Children’s Defense Fund, fought for better schools in Arkansas, for children’s health care as first lady and for reproductive rights as the senator from New York. As secretary of state she spent endless — endless — days and weeks flying to obscure corners of the planet, celebrating the accomplishments of women craftsmen, championing the causes of women labor leaders, talking with and encouraging women in government and politics.
It is true that politicians have a tendency to get carried away when it comes to hyping convenient details in their biographies. (Listening to Marco Rubio talk about being Cuban-American, you almost got the impression he had personally participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion.) But Trump is a white, male offspring of an extremely rich New Yorker of German descent. He’s had an unusual lack of charitable causes for a guy that wealthy. The problem suddenly becomes very clear.
The poor guy hasn’t got anything to talk about except real estate. He’s suffering from a severe lack of cards.
The Guardian’s Jill Abramson pointed out that Trump’s attacks are based off well-worn sexist tropes that women just aren’t strong enough to handle the White House.
— On Point – NPR (@OnPointRadio) April 28, 2016
Currently, favorability polls show 75% of women voters have a negative view of The Donald. That was before these latest comments and his decision to continue to stick to them. As it stands now, his deficits with women, Hispanics, blacks and young voters are fatal, and could lead to an epic Mondale-like defeat. It would seem unlikely that this strategy of criticizing Hillary for being a woman is going to help close those gaps.
But Donald is gonna Donald. And he’ll bring the GOP down with him.